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Although MTV Games and Activision have pulled the plug on music rhythm video game franchises Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Ubisoft continues to embrace the music genre from multiple angles. The French game publisher held a press conference in Paris to announce The Black Eyed Pea Experience for Kinect for Xbox 360, and Wii, just before the group performed the first of three sold out shows at the Stade de France.
“We are thrilled to be working with Ubisoft to create The Black Eyed Peas Experience video game,” said Peas frontman will.i.am in a press release. “Ubisoft has both redefined and dominated the dance category in the video game industry and we can’t wait to be part of taking that to the next level by infusing an experience that’s 100 percent authentic to The Black Eyed Peas.”
Band members Fergie, will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo will perform motion capture for their in-game avatars, which will feature their likenesses and voices. The video game will come packed with all of the band’s hits, including “Boom, Boom, Pow,” “Rock That Body,” and “Let’s Get It Started.”
Ubisoft development studios in Quebec and Paris are collaborating on the Wi game, which will offer gameplay similar to Ubisoft’s Just Dance franchise. Players will hold the Wiimote controller and follow the on-screen dance moves of the band. Developer iNiS (Lips, Elite Beat Agents) is creating the Kinect game, which will allow players to create an on-stage avatar and dance with the band using full body movements.
Ubisoft is working with Fatima Robinson, the group’s creative director and choreographer, is working with the development studios on new dance routines for the games. Both games will allow gamers to sing the lyrics for songs, which will scroll on-screen.
After partnering with the Michael Jackson Estate, Ubisoft has sold over 3 million copies of Michael Jackson The Experience for Wii, Kinect and PlayStation 3. This is the second game in what is now considered a new franchise that will allow top music acts to connect with fans in a new way.
Ubisoft first jumped into the dance game with Just Dance on the Wii. That franchise has sold over 14 million copies to date. The latest game, Just Dance 2, is being promoted through a sponsorship of Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour in North America. Perry’s “Firework” is featured in the game and Ubisoft is offering gamers a chance to play the Wii game backstage with Perry through a contest.
Ubisoft is launching a new dance game, The Smurfs Dance Party, this summer in tandem with Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 3D feature film, which stars Perry as Smurfette.
At E3, Ubisoft announced that Just Dance 3 will expand beyond the Wii this October with a Kinect for Xbox 360 game and a PlayStation 3 game that utilizes PlayStation Move motion-sensor controllers. The game will feature over 40 tracks from a wide genre of music, including Perry’s “California Gurls” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.”
Ubisoft is also entering the music rhythm video game genre this October with Rocksmith, which allows gamers to plug in a real guitar to play 50 songs from bands like The Rolling Stones, Nirvana and The Cure on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game promises to go beyond the current crop of offerings by also teaching players how to play a real instrument. Ubisoft is currently offering fans the chance to play the game at the Vans Warped Tour throughout the summer.
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