MTV intends to incorporate features of Harmonix's break-out hit "Guitar Hero," as well as the popular game "Karaoke Revolution," into MTV Web sites--which will, for the first time, allow users to play online versions of these games. "Guitar Hero" lets gamers play out their rock star fantasies, even providing a full-sized guitar-shaped controller, while "Karaoke Revolution" transforms a gaming console into a karaoke machine. MTV also will develop game content based on classic songs.
"Guitar Hero," which appeals to a wide range of demographic groups, is a significant acquisition for MTV, said eMarketer analyst James Belcher. "'Guitar Hero' has been a big deal and is growing," he said. "It's not just for one age group; you can get songs that would appeal to a range of people."
While Harmonix is a relatively niche publisher, focused entirely on music-based games, its acquisition by Viacom signals that the company is focused on participating in the video game market, Belcher said. "It's not just this one-off property," he said. "This says they want to stay serious about games."
Last month, MTV Networks said it had agreed to pay $200 million for Atom Entertainment, which owns four major units, including gaming sites Shockwave.com and AddictingGames.com.