Harmonix Founders Get Ridiculous Bonus

Harmonix Founders Get Ridiculous Bonus

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Who would have thought kicking off a peripheral-based rhythm game craze would be so lucrative?

While the frothing, pissed-off behemoth that is the now the U.S. economy is sucking the souls (and the bank accounts) of millions of Americans, Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy, are rolling in the big bucks. By next year, the Rock Band creators - who also created the first few Guitar Hero hero games - will receive an additional bonus to exceed $150 million for blowing away sales expectations with their mega hit band simulation title.

Apparently, Viacom already paid the duo over $150 million this year for Rock Band's success, but the additional bonus they're expected to receive should bring their extra pocket change through the deal to more than $300 million.

"We may not have anticipated the payment would be that high, but it's based on what they have achieved," said Viacom spokesperson Kelly McAndrew. "If they are making more money for us and we have to give a little back, that's OK."

The company acquired the Massachusetts-based developers in 2006, and Rock Band has sold seven million copies and 26 million music downloads across 13 countries, according to Viacom's Philippe Dauman. Not to knock the runaway success of two guys with a vision, but $300+ million is a lot of green to be dishing out to only two individuals, particularly when so many others are suffering financially. Surely they've earned their keep, but come on.

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Wait, your complaining that a huge media corporation is actually rewarding the creators of technology that has significantly boosted their bottom line?

Well, I can only hope that the rest of the guys on the Harmonix development team take home a nice paycheck as well...

In what way is $300 million ridiculous? Viacom has the money to give because Rock Band was so successful. Rock Band was successful because people bought it because it's fun because these guys (and their staff) made a great game. This is how the world is SUPPOSED to work.

Look at it this way. Rock band is a social game. For each of those seven million units sold, an average of two people's lives got a little better. That's 14 million people having fun together and in some cases learning about music in a new way. $300m divided by 14m people is about $21 per person. You could have one nice dinner for $25, or your life and the lives of 14m other people could improve dramatically by (indirectly) giving that money to these two guys.

I hope some day we humans grow out of our jealous tendencies.

rdeforest:
In what way is $300 million ridiculous?

In every way. Just $300 million...

Can you even concieve of that amount of money? That's like David Beckham's footballing career.

I mean, I like Rock Band but...

The_root_of_all_evil:

rdeforest:
In what way is $300 million ridiculous?

In every way. Just $300 million...

Can you even concieve of that amount of money? That's like David Beckham's footballing career.

I mean, I like Rock Band but...

Holy hell, I mean jeez. Kudos to them I guess they earnt it seen as how successful Rock Band has been. I hope they have put some money back into the franchise so they can get a higher calibure of DLC

As long as they don't horde that cash, good for them. I mean, it was either that or let it sit in Viacom's bank account until they find a possibly less lucrative use for it.

What's that you say? Give a reasonable bonus to these men, a reasonable bonus to those working under them on this project, and spend the surplus on other projects?
Nope, see, what we're going to do is spend all that money on giving these guys stupidly huge bonuses.

That way, we piss off the people who brought their idea to fruition, and deny the company valuable fall-back capital should we ever need it. Truly, that is the ideal way to run a corporation.

/serious/ Ha! I never get tired of the 'american' business style

The_root_of_all_evil:

rdeforest:
In what way is $300 million ridiculous?

In every way. Just $300 million...

Can you even concieve of that amount of money? That's like David Beckham's footballing career.

I mean, I like Rock Band but...

rdeforest:
I hope some day we humans grow out of our jealous tendencies.

I wouldn't say it's jealousy at all. I mean, at the risk of sounding like a commercial showing sick and underfed children...think how many sick and underfed children that could have helped!

Rdeforest says how this video game could have improved the lives of those who bought it, and that's worth something.

Yeah, well I'm not overly interested in seeing a waste of wealth given to those who made the lives of already happy people happier. If they can afford Rock Band, they can afford numerous other games that would have made them just as happy. Meanwhile, millions of people could use a fraction of that money to free themselves from slavery, poverty, hunger, etc.

Sorry to sound like an after school special, but this is a waste of wealth.

Like Root said, 'I like Rock Band, but...' (Though I think he said it for different reasons then I)

Imitation Saccharin :
What's that you say? Give a reasonable bonus to these men, a reasonable bonus to those working under them on this project, and spend the surplus on other projects?
Nope, see, what we're going to do is spend all that money on giving these guys stupidly huge bonuses.

That way, we piss off the people who brought their idea to fruition, and deny the company valuable fall-back capital should we ever need it. Truly, that is the ideal way to run a corporation.

/serious/ Ha! I never get tired of the 'american' business style

Your an idiot.

Take it how you want, but you are.

I really doubt viacom would give huge bonuses to two people and forget about everyone else.

That's not how business works.

What most likely happened is that everyone in Harmonix got a nice healthy bonus, only these two are getting all the media attention because of the amount.

If you knew anything about business you know it's suicide to give huge bonuses to two people and no one else.

Fool.

And to the rest of you, yes, you are jealous.
These men earned that money. They stayed awake in school, they got through college, they made a winning idea, they have money.

Don't pull this "Starving children in africa" bullshit because I know it as an almost guarentee that if you one that money you would NOT donate it to charity or consider it a waste of wealth.

Aries_Split:
Your an idiot.

Perhaps.
But I'm an idiot supported by facts.

http://consumerist.com/consumer/executive-pay/ceo-pay-up-298-average-workers-43-1995+2005-250838.php

Aries_Split:

I really doubt viacom would give huge bonuses to two people and forget about everyone else.

Oh little one. I love your innocence.
Now tell me anyone like the Pointy Haired Boss would get fired.

Aries_Split:

Don't pull this "Starving children in africa" bullshit because I know it as an almost guarentee that if you one that money you would NOT donate it to charity or consider it a waste of wealth.

Well shows how much you know me (Which, incidentally, is not at all!)

Would I donate it all? No.
Would I donate a significant amount? Yup.

Not everyone is a money whore, and not everyone thinks of themselves first.
So no, I'm not jealous. They can have their money, it's just a waste.

So wait,

You start a company in a stupidly expensive city, take risk, put your reputation/career on the line, think outside the box, get acquired by a major media corporation (viacomm) in the processo, do rather well in the product you made, make parent company oodles of money... Shouldn't you be paid for it? And the whole time your CEO chair is approximately 6 feet above The Gap store?

Would have it been better if Viacomm just kept the $300M for themselves? Would have it been better if they guys thought, "Let's go work for an Investment Bank instead!"?

Umm, no.

You don't know what they have done with it, or will do with it. You don't know about their charitable contributions.

And I'm sorry, but while many of the Harmonix employees fit the Allston-Hipster/Musician look (tall & thin with hoodies and dyed black hair and piercings) I don't think any of them are actually starving themselves. I have yet to hear one of them complain about money. I'm guessing that many of them are going to get pretty good Christmas Bonuses.

Plus, these guys are ALWAYS at work. The CEO's light is often on until 9pm, and 'someone' is there until 10pm or later almost every day.

Also consider the fact that the IRS is likely taking HALF of the money from each of them, or damn close. So that $150M each suddenly turns into $75M each.

Sure, its a large sum of money, but its not like they are going to get that amount each year. I think its well deserved. I mean a movie star gets multimillion dollar contracts for crap films. Sports players get similar. They are rarely of this size, but they do multiple of them a year.

These guys have made some of the BEST games to come out recently. The games don't just 'sell a lot', but have done DLC/purchasable content in a way that NO games ever have, plus they've started a market for addon products that few games have been able to touch.

I personally think they deserve it, and I congratulate them for it.

(if you can't tell, I work in Central Square and interact with these guys fairly often)

Dear lord... can't they think of a better way to reinvest $300 million dollars in their company than this? Think how many great IP's could be realized, or how many more talented staff they could hire. To say this bonus is ridiculous is an understatement. I mean, what do you even do with $300 million dollars? Everyone's only got one mouth and one ass... even if they take up taking drugs as a recreational hobby they're not gonna come close to spending this.

wow they can make money hats while having money fights from their money forts

i'd personally go for the scrooge mcduck money pool to swim in

let's hope they keep making good games

Wow, you guys are really shortsighted. I can thing of about 300 million cool thing to do with that money. You don't think that the creative minds behind the franchise are just going to buy houses and yachts? I fully expect to hear about them funding cool, unique startups, commissioning works of art, or building schools or something like that.

Also, to say that that 300 should be spent on charity, go bug viacom. That is less than their average quarterly profit, so they can surely afford to pay this one-time bonus AND contribute heavily to charity. In fact they probably already do, it's common for most large companies.

People scream about socialism falling on us, but then people make it seem that if you come into any large amount of money that you should be forced to give it to charity- on top of paying nearly 50% in taxes. How's that for irony?

These are good guys, and they will do good things with the money. They deserve it, and sadly I've been told aren't putting a helipad on top of the building and taking helicopters to work.

I can't see a single reason that they don't deserve this. Viacomm is investing in other parts of the business too surely (but not to the press fanfare) and I'm sure that they are going to hire more talented people (as they need them) for future projects. As it stands however I think they have nearly 200 people there, which is a good number for that company. I'm not sure they really need more.

People seem to have a problem with wealth, and cry like small children when someone else gets it and they didn't. Sometimes its deserved. These guys didn't go into it for the money, but its a nice side reward. I have other friends that have been founders at MAJOR dot.com companies and took home millions. They've gone on to fund other startups, invest heavily in people around them, and continue to be really nice people overall. I think they are doing good with their money and not trying to horde it.

Aries_Split:
Your an idiot.

Kind of hard to believe you there when you say "Your" not "You're".

--

Anyways, back on track to the thread; I agree with the rest saying that the money could have been spent for other things and such. They make enough already by constantly adding a few songs here and there to get another swimming pool full of cash, and now this?

Sigh.

Ok, I support them getting the money, but people need to stop saying they were creative and "thought outside the box." Rhythm games have been around since DDR, if not before. And instrument peripherals have been in arcades for a while, if I'm not mistaken.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Ok, I support them getting the money, but people need to stop saying they were creative and "thought outside the box." Rhythm games have been around since DDR, if not before. And instrument peripherals have been in arcades for a while, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, but they were the first to put it all together into one package.

thebobmaster:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Ok, I support them getting the money, but people need to stop saying they were creative and "thought outside the box." Rhythm games have been around since DDR, if not before. And instrument peripherals have been in arcades for a while, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes, but they were the first to put it all together into one package.

So they were thinking "inside the box"?

ba dum tsh.

 

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