Back before Harmonix was combining the acts of shooting and shimmying in Chroma, or even before they ruined my college grades with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, they made brilliant rhythm blast-‘em-up Amplitude. It was amazing and everybody loved it, probably even The President. Flash forward to now: all these years later, Harmonix is Kickstarting a sequel. The original was console-only, but this is 2014; you’d figure there’d be a PC version in the mix. No dice, though, due to Sony technically owning the license. But maybe, you know, sometime down the line? Apparently the situation is a bit more complex than that, and Harmonix told RPS we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up.
I asked Harmonix’s Nick Chester if PC could ever, ever, ever in a million years get a version of Amplitude, especially given that PC gamers are such a powerful force in the world of Kickstarter, and Harmonix’s console-only campaign is flagging a little. He explained, however, that while Harmonix would love to make it happen, it’s out of their hands.
“So we’d love to bring Amplitude to a platform like PC, and in fact it’s something we considered. But at the end of the day, this is Sony’s IP and taking it to non-PlayStation platforms is just not in the cards right now. Going into this, we knew how the lack of a PC/Mac/Linux version might have an impact [on our Kickstarter]; we’re not blind to that fact, as I’ve seen some suggest. But we believe in the title, and think that the PlayStation consoles are a great fit for the game.”
“Without going into detail, it does extend beyond just them owning the name or IP. There are other moving parts that wouldn’t necessarily give us a clear path to doing a spiritual successor on other platforms without the Amplitude name.”
It’s a shame, but sometimes there’s little that can be done – especially when there are various music licenses involved in addition to game names and IPs. Game developers can build space ships that open fire on the very notion of music itself, but business is a more powerful force still. Oh well, though. At least Chroma is coming to PC and PC alone. I’m still not exactly amped about our lack of Amplitude, but it’s something.