Harmonix, developer of games like Rock Band and Beat Sports, thinks that it's time for rhythm games to break into the PC market. In an editorial on the studio's blog, Harmonix community manager Cian Rice explained why the PC landscape is well-suited to the rhythm genre, despite there being few instrument- or music-based games on the platform.
The post unpacks why rhythm games rarely find success on PC.
"First and foremost was the lack of awareness on the consumer side," Rice said. "There was no notable marketing effort for many of the PC iterations of past releases on PC.
"Additionally, there were typically few options that actually catered to the PC audience, including PC-focused features like graphical settings or a mouse and keyboard centric user interface."
Rhythm games on PC are typically indies pairing music-based gameplay with other genres, like roguelike-rhythm mashup Crypt of the NecroDancer, Rice added. Pure music-based games, however, are few and far between, with online marketplaces like Steam not even having a category dedicated to the genre.
But it's because of platforms like Steam and virtual reality, however, that Harmonix foresees rhythm games shifting toward PC. Both allow for user-generated content, streaming or other features that, according to Rice, are more compatible with the types of games Harmonix is best known for.
Harmonix has previously shared its interest in VR, having announced Rock Band VR for Oculus Rift in December. The company also released music-based shooter A City Sleeps for Windows back in 2014. Sales of the console-based Rock Band 4 were noted as "lower than originally forecast" by co-publisher Mad Catz, which posted major losses last quarter following the game's launch.
Most recently, Harmonix launched a revamped version of the fan favorite Amplitude. The Kickstarter project suffered numerous delays before launching on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in January. You can see watch our gameplay overview below.