This is a weird thing to post.

After 7 awesome years, today is my last day at Harmonix. 

I started my career at Harmonix in 2007, working on the release of the first Rock Band. Before that, I had been working in Boston, playing music with The Main Drag, booking shows at clubs around town, and applying to grad school. I had no idea when I walked into the Cambridge offices in 2007 that we would end up shipping…

  • Phase
  • Rock Band
  • Rock Band Track Pack Vol 1
  • AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack
  • Rock Band Track Pack Vol 2
  • Rock Band 2
  • Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock
  • Rock Band Country Track Pack
  • Rock Band Metal Track Pack
  • Rock Band Country Track Pack 2
  • Rock Band Unplugged
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Lego Rock Band
  • Rock Band Mobile
  • Green Day: Rock Band
  • Rock Band 3
  • Dance Central
  • Dance Central 2
  • VidRhythm
  • Rock Band Blitz
  • Dance Central 3
  • Record Run

…along with over 4,000 DLC songs for Rock Band, around 100 Dance Central songs, and a few games that never made it past the threshold of pre-production. It’s been a busy few years with a lot of really fun games. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The team that’s at Harmonix makes amazing things. There are upcoming games you know about, like Fantasia: Music Evolved, Dance Central Spotlight, and Amplitude. There are games you don’t know about just yet and games that haven’t even begun. Here’s a guarantee I can make you: all of these games are going to be transformative experiences in interactive music. Harmonix is an unstoppable force of great things – I’m so proud to have called them colleagues, collaborators, and friends, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Thank you to mentors and supporters at Harmonix who believed in me and let me do weird things (Mike, Alex, Eran, Florian, Tracy, Greg, Janet, and others). I hung out with the Beatles. I danced with Usher and Ellen. I played Rock Band with Conan O’Brien. I was a guest on Carson Daly. I hosted podcasts and livestreams, and I got to fly to Japan, Germany, England, France, Singapore, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, and countless other places. I’ve travelled the world and met incredible people thanks to fun, wacky video games. I’ve gone from PR helper guy to Project Lead and Director. It’s been a truly transformative 7 years.

And we did lots of dumb stuff that will live on forever on video. Some of it was silly. Some of it was sad. Some of it was just plain bizarre. We went to QVC. We ran a Kickstarter that SOMEHOW managed to get a dream game funded. I even led projects, including a complete relaunch of HarmonixMusic.com, shepherding Dance Central’s ancillary apps (Facebook, SmartGlass, and more), steering the programming for the Rock Band Network in its first year out, and, of course, being the Project Lead and EP for Record Run (available now on iOS, Amazon, and Android devices for free!)

Thank you to the amazing fans of Harmonix, who have supported our games for the last decade. I’ve been proud to answer your questions, hang out with you at events, and become friends with many of you. It’s a weird world where we can be connected via twitter and video games and sporadic events but form real friendships.

Most importantly, thank you to my closest friends at HMX. The Community Team (Aaron, Pope, Nick, Annette, Jessa, and Christine primarily, with alumni and associates including Sean, Navarro, Chon, Alli, JohnV, Kristek, Kyle, Steph, Kat, Cheryl, Fish, Rebecca, Abby, Matt, and others.) When you spend 100+ days on the road a year, the members of the team you work with aren’t just your coworkers – they’re your family. I’ve grown up with them, learned an infinite amount from them, and had some of the best times of my life by their sides. They are my favorite people by far, and I’m going to miss them immeasurably. Some recent photos of us with our mouths open at the bottom of this post.

What’s next for me? While I don’t have anything to announce today, I’m planning on staying in video games. If I get my way, you’ll be hearing from me again very soon.

And if you know of anyone who needs a seasoned publishing person, versed in the dark arts of Corporate Strategy, Public and Media Relations, Community Development, Marketing and Product Management, and “Other Salesy Sounding Things,” hit me up!

Where can you reach me?

As always, you can holler at me on twitter @johntdrake and tumblr at johntdrake.tumblr.com.

If you’ve got a position that you think I’d be a good fit for, I’m on LinkedIn here.

If you need to send me a note, you can always email me at johntdrake@gmail.com.

It’s an exciting time in this wacky industry – I’m nostalgic for times past, and excited for the future. In the meantime, have fun, rock on, and be good to one another.

Yours,

JohnD

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