The studio that helped to define and bring light to the music/rhythm genre may be making a creative leap once the next generation of consoles finally arrives. Harmonix, the studio behind the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, appears to be shaking things up as the studio is currently working on an IP that may not just involve gamers becoming rock stars but instead actually feature some traditional gameplay of a combat oriented nature.
Harmonix may not be abandoning its music roots by any means, as evident by the forthcoming releases of Rock Band Blitz and Dance Central 3, though the studio may be taking a true creative risk for a new next-gen IP. As discovered in a job posting made on Gamasutra, Harmonix is currently seeking a Combat Designer “to create real-time, single-player combat experiences for a brand new IP on next-generation hardware.”
If that doesn’t sound interesting as it is, the job posting went on to say, “This is an exciting opportunity to contribute creatively to the studio and work on a project that is unlike anything Harmonix has ever done before." So after giving us four core Rock Band games and three installments of Kinect based dance busting via Dance Central, it appears that Harmonix is finally changing things up but the question remains exactly what we can expect.
It may seem hard to imagine what sort of games Harmonix may be able to produce outside of the realm of music titles, but I wouldn’t exactly pigeon hole the rhythm genre as the only thing Harmonix is good at. The fact that the studio is seeking a Combat Designer is rather interesting as real-time combat can range from anything from things like Mortal Kombat, God of War, and even Call of Duty to an extent.
Chances are low that Harmonix is developing a modern warfare action game, but it would be interesting to see a product come out of the studio which combines an existing action genre with that of a rhythmic nature. Previous studios have played around with doing a music based action title, including EA Chicago prior to when it closed up shop, but so far we haven’t seen anything major come out let alone something from a universally respected studio such as Harmonix.
In a perfect universe it would be nice to see Harmonix give us something such as a Capoeira fighting game, finally giving us our long sought after Eddie Gordo spin-off, or even something all but fantastical such as a spiritual successor to Revolution X. Ok, on second thought maybe a Revolution X sequel may be a long shot seeing as how Aerosmith doesn’t have the sway they once had and how we can no longer fight a totalitarian government by shooting CDs at them since those are obsolete these days.
We likely won’t get a taste of what Harmonix may be up to until E3 next year, but in the meantime it’s at least nice to know that the studio is pursuing other things and won’t necessarily be tied to Rock Band and Dance Central for the next ten years.