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Rock Band dev sold for $50 – report

Cheap as chips.

Media giant Viacom reportedly sold Rock Band creator Harmonix to investment group Columbus Nova for the princely sum of fifty dollars.

Columbus also assumed Harmonix's liabilities, reports All Things Digital.

"That includes expensive music rights fees, and responsibility for lots of unsold games and equipment sitting on warehouse shelves," the report's author, Peter Kafka, said.

The sale apparently nets Viacom $150 million in tax benefits. Kafka predicted restructuring at Harmonix.

On Christmas Eve Viacom announced it had sold Harmonix to Columbus Nova in what was effectively a management buyout. The exact sale price was not disclosed.

It bought Harmonix in September 2006 for $175m (£113m), but struggled to capitalise on the success of the original Rock Band.

Harmonix, now independent, insists the music genre is alive and well and has revealed it is "hard at work on some unannounced projects that we think you're going to be pumped about".

"We are excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately-owned studio," it said.

Both Columbus Nova and Viacom refused to comment.