Announcing Converge’s Investment in Harmonix
Before 2005, musicians and enthusiasts in the U.S. relied on live performances, jam sessions and recordings to satiate their musical passion. That year, Harmonix (based in Cambridge), run by a couple of young MIT graduates and COO Mike Dornbrook, changed interactive music gaming forever with the launch of Guitar Hero, creating a franchise that has earned more than $3 billion in sales.
Today, Harmonix is a different company than its inception in 1995, and a very different entity than its Viacom days- its titles, team, and brand are now staples in the interactive music gaming industry. This month, Harmonix released Rock Band 4, reviving a fan favorite with more than 2,000 songs to choose from. Harmonix joined forces with Apple to launch Beat Sports – one of the three games featured on the Apple TV. And just this past week launched Beatniks.
These three properties are the most recent releases, but Harmonix has a number of titles engaging music fans: Amplitude, A City Sleeps, Chroma, Dance Central, Fantasia: Music Evolved, VidRhythm, amongst others.
Harmonix CEO, Steve Janiak is spot on with his prediction that virtual reality will “reinvent the way people interact with music” – virtual reality in the home seemed like a fantasy 20 years ago, but Harmonix is primed to bring VR games to the masses.
Harmonix has emerged as the leader in interactive music gaming, and is one of the top game developers building games for America’s 155 million gamers (Entertainment Software Association). The U.S. gaming market reached $15.4B in the United States in 2014, and will continue to grow as generations who grew up with gaming consoles buy their children the latest devices and systems. Harmonix understands the ecosystem: loyal Rock Banders want the newest and most updated songs, a new generation of gamers emerge, and global adoption creates additional demand from consumers all over the world.
Thanks to our Venture Partner Mike Dornbrook, the former Harmonix COO, we are ecstatic to work alongside Spark Capital and Foundry Group, and Harmonix’s top tier management team: gaming legend Alex Rigopolus is at it again on the creative side, paired with ex-Nokia exec, now Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak, COO Chris Rigopolus, Mike Verrette (VP of Development), and Walter Somol (VP of Publishing). There isn’t a better team creating interactive music games, and we at Converge Venture Partners feel extremely privileged to work with an all-star team. Don’t forget to get your version of Rock Band 4!
For a deeper dive into the video gaming market, check out ESA’s 2015 publication.
More on Harmonix’s $15M raise, here.