Viacom, who owns such properties as Paramount Films, MTV, Comedy Central and Harmonix, have reported a 59% loss in earnings for the third quarter of 2010. From the report - it seems partially to blame on Rock Band 3 development costs and early indicators of poor sales of the game. Both the film and TV division of Viacom reported an increase in earnings - thereby making the Harmonix investment even more dire.
Because of this Viacom has said they are putting Harmonix up for sale - a studio they had originally purchased for $175 milllion from Activision back in 2006 when Harmonix helped create the Guitar Hero franchise.
We've said it here over and over, but it appears the music genre has run its course and simply over saturated the market. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock sales were extremely poor, and this move by Viacom signals a similar trend for Rock Band 3 - despite solid reviews. One thing that's unclear - this could negatively affect an already degrading system of DLC for the Rock Band franchise thanks to numerous licensing issues that are bound to arise.