Harmonix, creators of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, are gearing up for the next generation of gaming machines. While the company is still committed to the latter two of those franchises, this new game will be a whole new property.
According to Superannuation on Twitter (via MCV), Harmonix has posted job listings for a software engineer, senior content designer, senior level designer, and most interestingly a narrative designer on their website. Those titles make it sound as though Harmonix is staffing up for a decidedly different sort of game for the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, and they are. The project is described as a motion-based music and combat game with “emotionally compelling storylines.”
Harmonix has made for a remarkable rock and roll story over the course of its career. They are, appropriately, The Beatles of music video games. The company started with promising ditties that were creative but familiar with Amplitude, their would be With the Beatles. Then they went global with break out full lengths Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2, the Revolver and Rubber Soul of their careers. Those were genre-defining games, but then the company went on to make its biggest critical and commercial smash Rock Band, their Sergeant Pepper. The sequence breaks a little after that. Rock Band: The Beatles came first but that’s their Abbey Road, and the aesthetically weird Rock Band 3 was definitely their Magical Mystery Tour. Where The Beatles went on to pursue solo careers of varying quality, Harmonix survived its break up with EA and MTV and is out there still keeping on keepin’ it on.
How does a motion-based combat game with an emotional story fit into that framework? Sounds like Plastic Ono Band to me.