Who would have thought kicking off a peripheral-based rhythm game craze would be so lucrative?

While the frothing, pissed-off behemoth that is the now the U.S. economy is sucking the souls (and the bank accounts) of millions of Americans, Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, are rolling in the big bucks. By next year, the Rock Band creators – who also created the first few Guitar Hero hero games – will receive an additional bonus to exceed $150 million for blowing away sales expectations with their mega hit band simulation title.

Apparently, Viacom already paid the duo over $150 million this year for Rock Band‘s success, but the additional bonus they’re expected to receive should bring their extra pocket change through the deal to more than $300 million.

“We may not have anticipated the payment would be that high, but it’s based on what they have achieved,” said Viacom spokesperson Kelly McAndrew. “If they are making more money for us and we have to give a little back, that’s OK.”

The company acquired the Massachusetts-based developers in 2006, and Rock Band has sold seven million copies and 26 million music downloads across 13 countries, according to Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. Not to knock the runaway success of two guys with a vision, but $300+ million is a lot of green to be dishing out to only two individuals, particularly when so many others are suffering financially. Surely they’ve earned their keep, but come on.

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