With the official announcement from Viacom and developer Harmonix that the two companies would be splitting up, and the latter would be considered an independent studio again, there was some confusion as to what the future of downloadable content (DLC) would look like for both games. We previously reported that Harmonix said that DLC for Rock Band would continue right on schedule, but there was some confusion as to whether that had anything to do with Viacom, or if it could change at any given moment. The developer has confirmed to Joystiq that they do indeed still own the IP rights for both games, and that everything is still up to them.
While this means that DLC is still planned for the games, it also confirms that if Harmonix chooses, they can issue new releases with the franchise titles. So, there’s the option for a Dance Central 2 coming from Harmonix, and not any other developer that Vaicom chooses. Furthermore, distribution agreements with Microsoft for Dance Central, along with Mad Catz and EA for Rock Band have not been affected.
As Joystiq sees it, Harmonix just doesn’t need Viacom’s backing anymore. With the music game market a substantial part of gaming, and Harmonix’s name tied to it, they no longer need Viacom’s presence or licensing muscle to make games, or get content. Harmonix has put in the work to build relationships on their own, especially over the last four years, and therefore they simply have what it takes to break way from Viacom, and they succeeded.