Ubisoft Won't Let Just Dance Be the Next Guitar Hero

Ubisoft Won't Let Just Dance Be the Next Guitar Hero

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Ubisoft says the Just Dance series won't burn out over annual sequels because it's more like a sports game franchise than a conventional music game.

"The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long," Bobby Kotick said, gazing with a father's love at the fast-fading Guitar Hero franchise. "And you have burned so very, very brightly!" And then he jammed his thumbs in its eyes and took a $50 million writedown! Or something like that, anyway; the details may be a bit off but the bottom line is that after a few years of heavy sequelization, the Guitar Hero franchise, and music games in general, crashed down as rapidly as they'd risen to the top of the game industry.

But even though we're already up to Just Dance 4 plus a couple of packaged DLC releases, Ubisoft says the dance franchise that debuted in 2009 is different enough from Guitar Hero that annual sequels won't bring it down.

"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 no 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," Ubisoft Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tony Key told a-list daily.

"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," he continued. "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."

The man's got a point. Classic rock is a stratified genre, while the focus on new music in Just Dance can, in theory at least, attract new users as old ones fall away. The one weakness, as Key noted, is the reliance on motion-based controls. It's a better system than the purpose-built controllers required by the previous generation of music games but if motion controls don't feature prominently in the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony and the Wii U proves to be a bust, Just Dance may not prove to be quite as Madden-like as Ubisoft hopes.

Source: a-list daily

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I can't help but wonder, why don't they just focus on releasing new songs as DLC instead of making sequels every year?

frobalt:
I can't help but wonder, why don't they just focus on releasing new songs as DLC instead of making sequels every year?

I was wondering that myself. Best answer I could come up with is that DLC doesn't tend to get much in the way of advertisement compared to actual games. Unless you're familiar with games and a hardcore Just Dance...er, then you probably wouldn't know much about DLC in the first place.

... it should be more like call of duty!
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No, the reason Guitar Hero died wasn't because a lack of music, it was because they got WAY too greedy. By the end they did way more than a sequel a year, a problem exacerbated by Rock Band also releasing multiple titles a year, which increased the level of saturation. At time of death we had Guitar Hero Metallica (Early 2009), Guitar Hero Smash Hits (Mid 2009), Guitar Hero 5 (Late 2009), Band Hero (Late 2009), and Guitar Hero Van Halen (Late 2009). Competing we had Beatles Rock Band (Late 2009), Lego Rock Band (Late 2009). It was mostly dead by the time 2010 showed up and gave us Guitar Hero 6, Greenday Rock Band, and Rock Band 3 to give us total oversaturation.

If they had stuck to 1 Guitar Hero game/year, it may have kept going. Maybe even 1 Guitar Hero and 1 Rock Band. Instead we got 5 Guitar Hero games and 2 Rock Band games in 2009. They couldn't have flooded the market any harder if they tried.

Annual sequels didn't bring Guitar Hero down. Quarterly sequels brought Guitar Hero down. That game got milked harder than the Call of Duty franchise.

frobalt:
I can't help but wonder, why don't they just focus on releasing new songs as DLC instead of making sequels every year?

I had the same question. The answer is most likely that they are extremely greedy. They can put out some tracks for a couple of dollars per track list, or they can put those on a disc and then sell that for $60.

OT: I think the idea of comparing this to a sports franchise is ludicrous. I just don't know why companies think their franchises are immune to exhaustion, when they clearly are not.

Baresark:

frobalt:
I can't help but wonder, why don't they just focus on releasing new songs as DLC instead of making sequels every year?

I had the same question. The answer is most likely that they are extremely greedy. They can put out some tracks for a couple of dollars per track list, or they can put those on a disc and then sell that for $60.

OT: I think the idea of comparing this to a sports franchise is ludicrous. I just don't know why companies think their franchises are immune to exhaustion, when they clearly are not.

He clearly does not understand at all why EA Sports games keep selling even with extremely little changes between installments - the licensing. People buy those games because they want to play as their favorite teams and players, something that those games let them do with the annual roster update and one whole new feature that every new game provides. If they weren't using real teams and players, those games would not have been able to maintain that business model without some crazy talent and / or very high production costs getting involved (with the latter going against the point of the annualization).

Just Dance does not have anything like that going for it, so there's no logical reason to think that mimicking them will achieve anywhere near the same level of success. Add to the fact that this is for the highly unpopular Kinect / motion controls and you have a business model that's simply unsustainable.

The problem is that the whole genre peaked with RockBand2. I mean, that game is just perfect, they really didn't have to do anything to it except add content. The basis of each band member having an avatar to customise, money and fans to be won, it just fit together so snuggly. Caveman was our band name, born from the ashes of 7 thumbs up, after our one-thumbed bassist left (grissly motorbike cleaning accident). See, Rockband2 has band stories, and felt as close to being an actual band as any of these games. Sure, Guitar Hero is fun, but when you want to play with friends RB2 is perfect. Best gaming experience ever, was playing through the whole Ten album with my friends, it does not get any better than that and probably never will again.

We didn't need more expensive peripherals, we just needed more peripherals, more guitars at a reasonable price, more things to add to the micro-band experience. RB3 and even GH3 were a step in the wrong direction... the keyboard in RB3 is lackluster, the guitar for GH3 was horrible. I'd rather have seen better drums for both games.

One thing I would have liked to see is a change of camera view though - when your in a band, you aren't watching yourself play, your watching the audience. If they had the option to watch an audience go mental while playing, lights etc, well it would have added a lot to the experience.

In fact, if they added more options, like the crowd watch mode, added some new guitars and a better drum kit, called it Rockband 2.5, added a lot of the DLC music, I'd buy it all over again. And this is from someone with 2 drum kits, mic, and 5 different guitars (my fave is the Explorer from GH2, easily).

Andy Chalk:
The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long

-Bobby Kotick

Wait, what? Did Bobby Kotick seriously just make a public statement that didn't embarrass Activision? Wow. I didn't know the guy had it in him. He's been constantly saying painfully stupid things, like that cutscenes and single-player should be (separate) DLC that you have to pay a fortune for.

Baresark:

frobalt:
I can't help but wonder, why don't they just focus on releasing new songs as DLC instead of making sequels every year?

I had the same question. The answer is most likely that they are extremely greedy. They can put out some tracks for a couple of dollars per track list, or they can put those on a disc and then sell that for $60.

OT: I think the idea of comparing this to a sports franchise is ludicrous. I just don't know why companies think their franchises are immune to exhaustion, when they clearly are not.

Or they could do both, although that would probably mean less money for them cos people would only buy songs from new iterations that they actually liked.

So yeah, greed will be their motivator here.

rhizhim:
... it should be more like call of duty!
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I just thought of the best idea! COD with kinnect controls!

The problem is pop music is samey, uninspired and boring. This means the Just dance bubble will pop once people realise that everything they are dancing to is shit.

Evil Smurf:

rhizhim:
... it should be more like call of duty!
image

I just thought of the best idea! COD with kinnect controls!

The problem is pop music is samey, uninspired and boring. This means the Just dance bubble will pop once people realise that everything they are dancing to is shit.

Oh come on, don't be so naive. The world is full of idiots for whom this very music is made. This is basic shit man.

So what reasons are ubisoft giving which explain it to be different from guitar games? Because all I read is: "We have to make it an annual thing, and just dance is not like guitar hero." Once everyone already has one of these games the sales will drop exponentially just like guitar hero, unless they come up with something.

Akratus:

Evil Smurf:

rhizhim:
... it should be more like call of duty!
image

I just thought of the best idea! COD with kinnect controls!

The problem is pop music is samey, uninspired and boring. This means the Just dance bubble will pop once people realise that everything they are dancing to is shit.

Oh come on, don't be so naive. The world is full of idiots for whom this very music is made. This is basic shit man.

So what reasons are ubisoft giving which explain it to be different from guitar games? Because all I read is: "We have to make it an annual thing, and just dance is not like guitar hero." Once everyone already has one of these games the sales will drop exponentially just like guitar hero, unless they come up with something.

The only solution I see is to make it cheap. People aren't going to shove out $60 for rehashed shit and some extra songs, but a $20-$30 expansion? There is where the money lies.

Of course, since Ubi is greedy as fuck, this won't happen. I give them four years, tops, before their model implodes.

chadachada123:

Akratus:

Evil Smurf:

I just thought of the best idea! COD with kinnect controls!

The problem is pop music is samey, uninspired and boring. This means the Just dance bubble will pop once people realise that everything they are dancing to is shit.

Oh come on, don't be so naive. The world is full of idiots for whom this very music is made. This is basic shit man.

So what reasons are ubisoft giving which explain it to be different from guitar games? Because all I read is: "We have to make it an annual thing, and just dance is not like guitar hero." Once everyone already has one of these games the sales will drop exponentially just like guitar hero, unless they come up with something.

The only solution I see is to make it cheap. People aren't going to shove out $60 for rehashed shit and some extra songs, but a $20-$30 expansion? There is where the money lies.

Of course, since Ubi is greedy as fuck, this won't happen. I give them four years, tops, before their model implodes.

I would sell a new music pack every year for $30, the pack would install on the harddrive and could be read by the game, so you don't need to buy a "new" game every year.

 

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