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Harmonix Must Be Pissed...

Posted on Wednesday, May 14 @ 14:27:26 PST by

I've been clamoring for a Kinect-less Xbox One since the beginning, and Microsoft changed its tune earlier this week with its controversial but mainly positive announcement. Several outlets have painted Microsoft as having turned itself into a victim, but the more obvious victim in this whole proceeding is Harmonix.

This isn't like Kinect Sports Rivals, developer by Microsoft-owned Rare. Harmonix is a bonafide third-party developer which, since leaving the Rock Band series on the sidelines while the band-rhythm genre takes a much needed breather, has placed its trust on the Kinect with three entries in the critically-acclaimed Dance Central series and working tirelessly since 2010 when Disney approached Harmonix with the idea behind Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved.

Even now, some of my peers are already tired of hearing about the title, rivaling the reaction whenever The Last Guardian is mentioned. But an incredible investment has been made with Disney Fantasia, and just when it's about to release this year in the Fall, this bombshell hits and the expected audience and future forecasts of the title will have to be trimmed significantly. And let's not forget that Harmonix might be working on another Dance Central for Xbox One; if true, this cuts into its development plans as well.

So for Harmonix, the Kinect-less Xbox One SKU must feel like a slap to the face, though it can only be assumed that Microsoft brought the news to the developer earlier to soften the blow. However, if the tweets from Director of Publishing and PR John Drake and publicist Nick Chester are to believed, that's not the case whatsoever, including "Oh, great. Super great." and "Oh, good." (Such sarcasm is super serial, guys.) A more tempered response was given by Harmonix to Joystiq:
As avid gamers, we're excited for fans to have more choices out there. As game makers, this platform change doesn't affect our strategy – it reinforces that we must continue to focus on building innovative, compelling and well-designed motion experiences to motivate consumers to buy our games.

We believe that tightly-crafted motion games can be great, genre-defining interactive experiences, as we've proven with the Dance Central franchise on Kinect for Xbox 360, and we're eager to prove it again with Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved this fall on both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Whatever the case, I hope Harmonix continues to develop titles because it's one of the few music-oriented developers that I trust to deliver quality games that are polished and original.

Luckily, the Xbox One has exceeded the five-million mark in April, so the number of people with a Kinect 2.0 is considerably higher than those who owned the original Kinect peripiheral for Xbox 360. The install base has been waiting for a game that justifies the Kinect and Disney Fantasia does just that, though that install base may not wait for much longer.
Related Games:   Dance Central

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