Last week Oculus released its latest Studios title, Rock Band VR, bringing the dream of being a rock star into many people’s living rooms. Following its release however, developer Harmonix has been hit with lay offs.
The studio is letting go of 17 staff, it’s confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz. The company noted that this was in an effort to “align with our current and anticipated development needs.” We’ve reached out to Harmonix to confirm the news and ask if any of the Rock Band VR developers were affected.
“These people all played a role in making Harmonix and its games what they are today and we are more than grateful for their contributions,” a statement reads. “We are working to ensure that they are taken care of as we make this change.”
Lay offs at game developers are common after the release of a project as a team downsizes before moving onto another project or continuing to work on downloadable content (DLC), which Rock Band VR will be getting. Harmonix still has more VR in the works; virtual karaoke game SingSpace is slated to appear on Gear VR later this year, and the studio also released Harmonix Music VR as a PlayStation VR launch title. Recently the studio also announced a new physical music game, DropMix.
We gave Rock Band VR 7/10 in our review. It was the first VR game to attached a tracked object to a real world object to create a brand new accessory. Games Editor David Jagneaux rocked out, but ultimately missed some elements of the previous games. “The Classic Mode is merely a shell of its former self, but the new VR features establish a more immersive way of playing the game than ever before,” he wrote. “It’s lacking in a few areas, but the core of it all is too fun to ignore.”