Fuser is a “celebration of music festival culture” say Harmonix

Fuser Harmonix Interview
Fuser Harmonix Interview

What do you get if you cross Blue Oyster Cult with the Black Eyed Peas? An awesome track in Harmonix’s new music game, that’s what.

Anyone with even a passing interest in music games will know Harmonix’s games. The developers are best known as the creators of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series, games which sparked an obsession with plastic instruments a few years back. In recent years, Harmonix have continued to turn music into interactive experiences with the Dance Central series and the fascinating card game-video game hybrid DropMix. However, these past projects could arguably be seen as a trial run for their most ambitious title yet – a new video game called Fuser.

Fuser logo

What do you get if you cross Blue Oyster Cult with the Black Eyed Peas? An awesome track in Harmonix’s new music game, that’s what.

Anyone with even a passing interest in music games will know Harmonix’s games. The developers are best known as the creators of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series, games which sparked an obsession with plastic instruments a few years back. In recent years, Harmonix have continued to turn music into interactive experiences with the Dance Central series and the fascinating card game-video game hybrid DropMix. However, these past projects could arguably be seen as a trial run for their most ambitious title yet – a new video game called Fuser.

“Fuser is a completely new take on the music gaming genre,” explains Harmonix’s director of marketing and communications, Dan Walsh. “It’s a music mixing game where you are a performer at a massive, non-stop music festival. Players will need to read the crowd and spin the perfect mix at the perfect time. If you get it right, the crowd will go wild. Get it wrong and you risk losing the crowd.”

In a year where music festivals are largely off the agenda, Fuser could help keep the joy of music alive in fans around the world. By placing the player at the heart of the mix, Fuser allows you to become the DJ of their own personal events.

“Games like Rock Band and Dance Central are all celebrations of the prevailing music culture at the time they were released,” enthuses Walsh. “Fuser carries on that legacy. It’s a celebration of festival culture, DJ culture, and a music industry that is more collaborative than it’s ever been.” But Fuser is fundamentally different from Harmonix’s previous video games in one key aspect.

Fuser gameplay 2

“Many of our previous games were more prescriptive – you were performing a note for
note recreation of a song or a choreographed dance routine that was the same every
time you or anyone else played that particular song,” elaborates Walsh. “In Fuser, your experience will differ every time you play and it will differ from your friends’ as well. The gameplay is more focused on enabling player creativity than anything we’ve done before.”

Dig into Harmonix’s storied history and it becomes clear that the studio’s output has slowed down a fair bit in the last few years. While game soundtracks are better than ever, interest in rhythm-action games is waning but Walsh is confident that players are ready to return to the genre.

“Music games may not be reaching quite the same heights they did in the days of Rock
Band and Dance Central but they continue to achieve critical and commercial success
every year – look no further than the rise of Beat Saber and the reception to Cadence ofHyrule just last year,” he explains.

Fuser gameplay

“Fuser is a music game like you’ve never seen. It taps into not just the songs, but the culture of music and festivals, while embracing the creativity of creating mixes to share with friends. Just as it is with music, the atmosphere and social elements are a big part of why we think this is the right time for a game like Fuser.”

As our conversation draws to a close, Walsh assures us that Fuser is a game for everyone, regardless of their musical aptitude (or lack thereof).

“The magic of Fuser is that just about anyone can make a mix that sounds good. That said, having a sense of rhythm and an ability to stay calm under pressure will definitely help you achieve better scores in later levels!”

We won’t be dusting off that Casio keyboard gathering dust in our spare room but we can’t wait to drop the beat when Fuser lands later this year.

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