Wall Street Journal reports that Rock Band developer was purchased for less than the cost of a single game--plus the taking on of all liabilities.
In 2006, MTV parent Viacom bought Harmonix for $175 million in cash. In late 2010, it sold off the money-losing division for a substantial discount. According to the Wall Street Journal, the late December sale of the Rock Band developer to private holding company Harmonix-SBE Holdings LLC was for a price point of just $50--$10 less than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band 3.
Harmonix's cash sale price was reportedly less than that of one of its games.
Of course, the low price point isn't the whole story. The Journal reports that in addition to the $50, the deal called for the purchaser, an affiliate of New York-based investment firm Columbus Nova, to assume all of Harmonix's liabilities. Though an exact figure for said liabilities was not provided, it would include the Boston-based developer's music rights fees, as well as the value of existing Rock Band game inventory.
The deal had an apparent upside for Viacom, though, as it reportedly allowed the multimedia multinational to take a $150 million tax write-off.