Fantasia: Music Evolved – Harmonix’s reaction to the Kinect-free Xbox One

By Brenna Hillier
14 May 2014 00:03 GMT

Microsoft’s decision to unbundle the Xbox One and Kinect is likely to have serious ramifications for developers with motion games in the work – like Rock Band developer Harmonix, the team behind Fantasia: Music Evolved.


So Fantasia: Music Evolved is a Kinect game – the first third-party triple-A Kinect game for Xbox One, in fact. You can’t play it with a controller. Even with the draw of the Disney brand, it’s something of a hard sell with hardcore gamers, and the fact that every Xbox One comes with a Kinect was going to give it a boost.

Microsoft changed all that today by offering a Kinect-free Xbox One. Take a look at this pair of tweets from Harmonix’s John Drake and Nick Chester, which Joystiq says followed right on the heels of the announcement:

One, that’s sarcasm, and two, did Microsoft not think to mention this to a valuable partner? Harmonix is independent, but it produced the Dance Central games, which were some of if not the best games for the Xbox 360 Kinect. It seems insane that the developer would be taken unawares by this.

We can’t take the social media posts of two staff as representative of the entire company, of course, and Harmonix itself released a statement on the matter:

“As avid gamers, we’re excited for fans to have more choices out there. As game makers, this platform change doesn’t affect our strategy – it reinforces that we must continue to focus on building innovative, compelling and well-designed motion experiences to motivate consumers to buy our games,” the developer said.

“We believe that tightly-crafted motion games can be great, genre-defining interactive experiences, as we’ve proven with the Dance Central franchise on Kinect for Xbox 360, and we’re eager to prove it again with Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved this fall on both Xbox One and Xbox 360.”

Chester also had nice things to say:

That’s a pretty positive attitude; kudos, Harmonix. And look, to be honest the latest trailer showing off the Capsule environment seems pretty fun and (yes, I’ll say it) innovative. I’m pretty excited to see what Harmonix has done with Fantasia: Music Evolved when it releases in northern autumn.

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