Harmonix enters new partnership with PDP; announces 'major' Rock Band 4 feature update for Fall 2016

Harmonix appears to be switching publishing dance partners, as it goes from Mad Catz to Performance Designed Products. Meanwhile, Rock Band 4 is in line to get a major feature update this fall.


Given the current state of Mad Catz as a result of its gamble on Rock Band 4, a divorce between the publisher and Harmonix seemed quite possible. Today, Harmonix confirmed the parting of ways by announcing a new co-publishing partnership with the folks at Performance Designed Products (PDP). Not only will PDP work to design future Rock Band instruments, but Harmonix has also announced 'a major Rock Band 4 feature update' that's set to hit this fall. This will be issued in addition to the lesser monthly feature updates that have been delivered to Rock Band 4 owners since December.

"As we look to fully achieve our goal of creating this console generation's category-defining music gaming platform, we need to partner with a truly world-class manufacturer that can operate at the scale that Rock Band requires," Harmonix CEO Steve Janiak said via press release. "PDP has a well-deserved reputation for innovation, customer satisfaction, and quality. They have the logistical and technical expertise to support Harmonix’s ambitious plans for the future of Rock Band, with new hardware alongside a major Rock Band 4 feature update coming this Fall,"

The change in partnership comes nearly a month after Mad Catz saw a massive executive board shakeup and laid off 37 percent of its workforce, citing overmanufacturing of Rock Band instruments and underwhelming Rock Band 4 sales. Mad Catz is still listed as the publisher of the Rock Band 4 software and will presumably still get a cut of those sales.

While it's too early to speculate whether the PDP partnership will have the same ending, it should be noted that Harmonix has more than Rock Band 4 on consoles on its plate. There's currently a Fig crowdfunding campaign underway to help bring Rock Band 4 to PC, while the developer also announced Rock Band VR during December's Game Awards.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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