The video game industry was revolutionized by RockBand and Guitar Hero, the games that get you as close as possible to playing in a virtual rock band even if you never touched a music instrument. Behind these two masterpieces is Boston-based Harmonix, and native Israeli co-founder Eran Egozy.
Egozy, 37 years old living in Boston, serves as CTO of Harmonix and has a good reason to smile. He and Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos, a fellow MIT alumni, made it to Time Magazine’s 100 top influential people this year, and have recently earned a $300 million bonus from Viacom. Valleywag says that the two are en route for an even larger bonus in 2009.
Guitar Hero was launched in Novemeber 2005, sold more than 14 million copies and made about a billion dollars in revenue. Rock Band came out almost exactly two years later (right in time before the holyday shopping madness) and sold about 2 million copies making $460 million in revenue. Not bad.
Harmonix was founded in 1995 and has a headcount of 160 people, many of which are former band members that found a steady income after hitting a dead end with their bands.