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Viacom Forced to Pay Harmonix $383 Million

Harmonix has received a payout from its once upon a time parent company Viacom, to the tune of $383 million on top of an already paid $150 million.

The media conglomerate initially bought out the developer of the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band games in 2006 for $175 million. However, the trouble started in 2010 when Viacom attempted to regain $131 million paid out to the developer in bonuses after the release of Rock Band. Of course Harmonix wasn't massively happy about this, so the bickering began.

At the end of the year it countered, by claiming that Viacom still owed it another $700 million, because the parent company had deliberately "diverted opportunities from Harmonix for its own benefit." One of these missed "opportunities" was the renegotiating of fees with EA games which would have meant a bigger payout for the developer.

Giving out a Tit for Tat treatment in return, Viacom sold off Harmonix to a private holding company for a mere $50. Though the MTV parent firm did get itself a nice $50 million in tax break as part of the deal according to Gamespot.

Now the tables have turned it seems, as Viacom has no choice but to pay out almost $400 million to its one time partner and property. Of course the media giant is contesting it, asking the mediator to "consider arguments and evidence that were improperly excluded." Whether that will achieve anything but delaying the inevitable remains to be seen.

Maybe Harmonix would have done better throughout the last half decade if it had given us a decent song selection on the first Rock Band. God did that stink.