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Rock Band Execs to Get $300 Million Bonus


Finally, corporate rewards we can all get behind.

Based on the explosive sales of the popular video game Rock Band, Viacom (VIA) has agreed to pay the game developers an astounding $300 million in bonuses. The payment would be made as part of Viacom's 2006 acquisition of Harmonix - the company behind the game.

Finally, a corporate bonus we can all get behind.

Rock Band expands on Guitar Hero's original model of players rocking out on guitar controllers in sync to popular music. This version allows up to 4 simultaneous players -- or bandmates -- to play lead and bass guitars, drums, and vocals. The simple yet addictive gameplay is responsible for 7 million sales in 13 countries, 26 million song downloads and countless domestic disturbance calls from neighbors. It's also one of very few titles to span the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii platforms.

For exceeding performance targets last quarter, Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy received $150 million - and now stand to gain an additional $150 million in 2009.

Viacom spokesperson Kelly McAndrew was a little surprised by the amount the 2 execs would receive.

"We may not have anticipated the payment would be that high, but it's based on what they have achieved,'' she said. "If they are making more money for us and we have to give a little back, that's OK.''

It also seems to be incentive for neither developer to leave the company anytime soon.

Controlling the proverbial gold-laying goose, Viacom hurtled to fifth place in US video-game sales with its September release of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 console. The future looks bright when the sequel is released for other consoles in the coming months.

In addition to Rock Band 2, Viacom also scored exclusive rights to design the world's first video game built entirely around The Beatles' music catalog, thereby securing the lucrative "aging hipster" demographic.

The Rock Band game and equipment package retails between $113 and $130, depending on the platform - but it's a small price to pay for your child's love, happiness and extremely profitable career as a fake rock star.

Hey, it worked for the Jonas Brothers.
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