Rock Band and Guitar Hero co-creator Alex Rigopulos scored part of a $300 million-plus payday when he sold his gaming company Harmonix to Viacom (VIA) in 2006, but he’s not resting on his laurels. Speaking at the new Wired Store in New York’s Flatiron district on Friday, Alex said he’s looking to expand his “rhythm action” game empire to new platforms — like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.
But Alex impressed on us he’s not some callow businessman — he wants to make art. “If we made a move to the iPhone, I would want to take an ambitious step in that direction, rather than just do a kind of port to the platform,” Alex told SAI.
But what about the iPhone rhythm game Tap Tap Revenge, which is already available and popular? Not a threat, Alex says. Alex told us it was hard for him to get into the game because of its limited music catalogue, and he only began to enjoy playing Tap Tap Revenge once a special edition featuring Nine Inch Nails came out.
The iPhone’s low barriers to entry — cheap software, easy distribution, no plastic guitars to sell — means Harmonix’s version can do well even if Tap Tap publisher Tapulous has a headstart of a year or more. “Maybe we’ll get there [to the iPhone] late. But if we get there with something that’s better, for five dollars, we can probably sell it.”
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