DO YOU REMEMBER the time Michael Jackson launched his career in The Jackson Five, shook the world in his Earth Song video and gave that interview to Martin Bashir?
Whatever he is remembered for, there’s no doubting the late Michael Jackson is one of the world’s most renowned musicians with a global following of millions. In fact, he’s the most successful entertainer of all time, according to Guinness World Records.
With all-time sales of over 800m records across the globe and revenues of $1bn in the past year alone, it seems people just can’t stop loving the King of Pop’s music.
So it makes sense that Ubisoft is delivering an official rhythm action music game featuring Jacko for players to dance along to.
It features 25 historic tracks including ‘Bad’, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat It’, ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’, ‘Earth Song’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
And it doesn’t matter if the consumer’s console is black or white because Michael Jackson: The Experience is heading to Wii, DS and PSP this November, with Xbox 360 Kinect and PS3 Move versions arriving early 2011.
Ubisoft brand manager Rachael Grant tells MCV: “We certainly cannot underestimate the power of the Michael Jackson brand and how we can benefit from a retail and consumer perspective.
“The fact that Michael is synonymous with entertainment makes the appeal for a must-have Christmas product even greater.
“Due to his iconic status we are confident this will add to the shelf appeal of the game by striking a chord with consumers from all demographics, generating additional cut through during a crowded marketplace this Christmas.”
WII YOU BE THERE
The first major console Ubisoft is releasing Michael Jackson: The Experience on is Wii. Given the publisher’s previous dancing game succes (Just Dance) Wii
is the ideal platform for the game, offering Jackson fans motion-sensing technology to capture their killer moonwalks.
It’s the first Michael Jackson game on Wii that allows players to step into the shiny shoes of the King of Pop himself.
Users can perform each track by copying an on-screen avatar of Michael, who acts as the game’s coach. Stages are inspired by his world famous music videos from the streets of ‘Smooth Criminal’ to the natural landscapes in ‘Earth Song’.
The game also features on-screen lyrics for users to sing along to while mastering their off-the-wall moves. And new Michael Jackson fans needn’t beat it – there’s a tutorial mode with video clips and expert advice from a pro choreographer that teaches users how to grab themselves and moonwalk like the best of them.
The DS and PSP versions of the game are based on rhythm action gameplay and also feature some of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits.
Players can tap along to the beat on the portable versions to progress and unlock new tracks.
The DS and PSP games even feature exclusive ‘rotoscoping’ technology, which tracks their dancing prowess even without a Wii Remote. Not bad.
“Michael Jackson: The Experience makes learning to dance like the ultimate pop icon fun and accessible for everyone,” adds Grant.
UBI NOT ALONE
There’s also the option for a group of four players to dance together, either as four Michaels or three backing dancers with one player taking the lead as MJ.
Ubisoft says the widespread appeal of Michael Jackson combined with the multiplayer aspect and a strong marketing campaign (see ‘Marketing Jackson’) will result in a Q4 sales success.
Grant says: “We are very confident that a strong marketing campaign coupled with the incredibly strong brand of Michael Jackson will ensure that everybody will be dancing to his tracks all through the Christmas holidays. And they won’t stop until they get enough.”