Cambridge’s Harmonix Releases Beatles Rock Band

Filed in Business by on September 9, 2009 1 Comment
Courtesy of NECN

Courtesy of NECN

I continue to be amazed at the innovation that comes out of Cambridge based companies and universities.  Harmonix’s new release of The Beatles:  Rock Band is another example how ideas that come out of the MIT Media Lab have the ability to create products and companies with staying power.

Harmonix is a subsidiary of MTV Networks and is based in Central Square Cambridge.  The original founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy met at the MIT Media Lab and started Harmonix in 1995.  The concept of bringing music appreciation to non-musicians sounds easy but is technically quite challenging which is why the combination of both Rigopulos’ and Egozy’s talents made this company’s offerings uniquely successful.

With the release of their Guitar Hero video games Harmonix brought wannabe singers and musicians out of the shower and into the living rooms.  They later expanded the game beyond the guitar to bring together the pieces of a Rock Band.  Their latest offering may bring their video games to an older audience.  Older Beatles fans may be enticed to play the game even if they buy it for their children.

On the Beatles side this represents a shift into more main stream commercialization of their work.  The video game includes 45 songs and even story line from the Beatles story.  They happen to also be releasing their entire catalog that has been digitally remastered on the same day.

The video game actually went on sale last night at midnight and I am sure will bring new fans to the Rock Band games.  The Beatles version includes the ability to harmonize that was not present in previous games and given the Beatles gift for harmonizing was probably a must have for the development team at Harmonix.  For around $60 you can work on perfecting your version of Paul McCartney!

Update: Just got an email from MicroCenter on Memorial Drive where you can get it for $39.99 in store while they last. Only one per customer.

NECN interviewed lead designer Chris Foster:

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