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Dance games are the new Guitar Hero

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Guitar Hero  is essentially dead. People, for some reason, got really tired of plastic instrument-based music rhythm games and sales of the games and their associated peripherals dwindled down to pretty much nothing. Even the rather superb Rock Band 3 sold less than 5000 copies on all formats at launch.

Maybe it’s because of all the instruments, because peripheral-free Dance and fitness Games have proven that people still want music based gaming. A lot.

According to the NPD, as reported by the LA Times, such games have become incredibly popular. In fact, sales of dance and fitness games like Dance Central, Zumba Fitness, Just Dance and – ugh- The Black Eyed Peas Experience has increased 325% over the last year. Compared to the overall games industry, which saw a pitiful increase of just 3%, that’s pretty monumental.

It seems, for the moment at least, that they’re here to stay. "I thought it would die after the first year, because it felt like a fad to me," videogame analyst Michael Pachter said. "But it’s been two years now, and I’ve been wrong the whole time." You? Wrong? Yeah, not like that’s ever happened, Mike.

Ubisoft’s profited quite nicely from their forays in to the genre. Just Dance 2 on the Wii is the number one selling title on consoles this year, and its all-platform sequel is doing pretty well at retail too. Then there’s the Michael Jackson Experience, The Black Eyed Peas Experience, Abba: You can Dance and The Smurfs Dance Party. Sweet Jebus that’s a lot of body rockin’!

For that reason, I  suspect that dancing games will repeat history and become even more like Guitar Hero, by eventually saturating the market leading to general apathy and indifference.

Last Updated: November 30, 2011

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