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Harmonix’s Fuser bets on user creativity as the future of music gaming

Where do you go after Guitar Hero and Rock Band? That’s a question the music genre has been trying to answer for about 10 years, with varying degrees of success. Some games have looked to VR to replace the physicality of performing on peripherals, yet the platform still remains out of reach for many thanks to cost and space requirements. Others have taken risks with unique spins on rhythm-action – often brilliant in their own right, but none have captured the mass market like the guitar games of the 2000s.

Does the answer lie in user-created content? That’s what Harmonix is betting on with its latest title, Fuser, a music-mixing game officially unveiled today. Part performance game, part creative tool, it’s a far cry from the days of rocking out with a peripheral in your living room – instead favouring a Coachella-influencer vibe as players mix current tracks together to satisfy crowd demands.

“A lot of our traditional games – whether it’s Rock Band or Dance Central, even some of the stuff we’ve done in VR like Audica – are very different in that those games are either a recreation of, or performance to, an existing song,” Harmonix exec Dan Walsh told me during a preview session. “Fuser is a music-mixing game where you are creating things as opposed to recreating things.”

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