Harmonix Sold to Private Equity Firm Columbus Nova, Goes Independent Again

12/23/10Follow @gthuang

Cambridge, MA-based Harmonix, the music-gaming company behind Rock Band and Dance Central, said today it has been sold by Viacom (NYSE: VIA) to Columbus Nova, a private equity firm based in New York. Financial terms were not disclosed in the press release, and Harmonix was not immediately available for comment.

“We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio,” said Harmonix representative John Drake in a blog post.

Viacom announced its plans to sell off Harmonix last month. Speculation had swirled around whether Electronic Arts or another big publisher would snap up the studio, which was founded in 1995 and bought by Viacom/MTV Networks for $175 million in 2006. Now it looks like Harmonix will be free to form partnerships with the big game distributors while maintaining its independence.

[Disclosure: I'm in a band with one current employee and one former employee of Harmonix. The band, Honest Bob & the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives, has songs in Harmonix games.]

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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