How PaRappa the Rapper Inspired Guitar Hero, Rock Band

PaRappa the Rapper played a significant role in the evolution of Harmonix as a video game developer, ultimately inspiring the creation of the wildly successful music franchises Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

During the latest episode of our monthly interview show IGN Unfiltered, Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos credited Sony’s 1996 original PlayStation music rhythm game as being incredibly influential in shaping the studio.

“We had been struggling for years to make this interactive music thing work, but then something happened, which is that rhythm games appeared in Japan,” he said. After citing Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmanina, Rigopulos highlighted PaRappa the Rapper as being especially influential, noting that playing it for the first time was “the kind of lightbulb moment” for Harmonix.

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