New York – Viacom (NYSE:  VIA) plans to sell its Harmonix game development
studio, which created the "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band"
music video game franchises, the company said in its quarterly financial
report. Viacom acquired Harmonix for $175 million in 2006, and since then it
has operated as part of the company’s MTV Games unit.

The music game market
generated a total of $1.7 billion in 2008 before it began to lose steam.

In its
most recent quarter, Viacom reported charges of $260 million on Harmonix
goodwill and the writedown of "Rock Band" assets.

"Our decision
to exit this business strategy is to focus on what we do best, and that’s
creating world class entertainment," Viacom president and CEO Phillip
Dauman said during an earnings call Thursday.

"The console games business
requires expertise we don’t have. For us, this is all about focus."



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