Ubisoft won't stop making Just Dance games until the entire world is dancing
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A portion of an [a]list interview with Ubisoft's Tony Key...
[a]list: Just Dance 4 was one of the top sellers on Amazon over Black Friday. Was there sense inside Ubisoft that they needed to continue to push the series, that there were still plenty of fans and not to leave money on the table?
Tony Key: Not publishing Just Dance 4 would be leaving money on the table, but there's no reason to not publish it - we believe in it and we feel like there's not reason we shouldn't do it. So it's about annualizing it. It's about making it the top dance game for yet another year.
[a]list: This is the the fourth year of Just Dance releases as you said – it wasn't too long ago that Guitar Hero was atop the video gaming world, but there are no Guitar Hero releases anymore. Are there any concerns about something like that for the Just Dance series?
Tony Key: As far as brand burnout, it's not a trend, it's a reflection of what's happening in pop culture – as it evolves, so does the brand. Just Dance always has the best new music every year. I would rather not compare it to Guitar Hero; Just Dance is about the latest trends, and Guitar Hero is about great classic rock. I'd rather compare it to a sports franchise – every entry evolves the franchise and changes the roster, and that's what Just Dance does, and every year we're successful. It's not burnout we're worried about and we put a lot of work into keeping it fresh. It's more a console tradition now and we're the number one selling game on Kinect. So long as motion control is used on consoles, I think there's a place for Just Dance.
[a]list: Going back to what you said about the yin and the yang of Ubisoft, it's also good to have games like Just Dance to be the face of the medium, contrasted to the typically violent fare on consoles.
Tony Key: It brings a balance, and our retailers love it, and they're swarmed with games like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, but this is a game that brings the whole family together.
The casual and less-core gamer is part of the ebb and flow of the industry. When Guitar Hero was able to bring people in, it was good for everyone in the industry, and the same goes for Wii Sports, Wii Fit and now Just Dance. When hardware transitions occur, it shrinks the business, and it's important to expand it again and doing so comes from in part capturing the hearts and minds of casual gamers. It would be a shame to relegate them to free-to-play and mobile... there's nothing wrong with those systems but there's no reason we can't have that experience on consoles as well.
[a]list: So we should expect Just Dance games for the foreseeable future?
Tony Key: The whole world isn't dancing yet!
[a]list: So the ultimate goal is to make 6 billion people dance?
Tony Key: Exactly, until we reach that goal, there's going to be more Just Dance.
Full interview here