New Michael Jackson video game revives moonwalking

Mon Nov 1, 2010 7:58pm EDT
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By Georg Szalai

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Video game maker Ubisoft is betting that dancing games will be all the rage this holiday season -- thanks in big part to the King of Pop.

The company will bring "Michael Jackson The Experience" to stores November 23 on Nintendo's Wii for $49.99, as well as to the Nintendo DS and Sony's PSP for $29.99. Additional gaming platforms will follow next year.

On Monday, Ubisoft announced that to encourage early purchases online or in stores, it will make available a limited number of a special edition glove reminiscent of Michael Jackson's famous glove for people who buy the Wii game early. It didn't detail how many gloves it will offer, but said it expects them to sell out fairly quickly.

Ubisoft recently also launched dance game "Just Dance 2" in stores after selling more than 4 million copies of "Just Dance."

"The dance category will be really strong this year, and we can be a leader," said Tony Key, senior vp of sales and marketing at Ubisoft.

"The games are very accessible and are great group/family/party games. With Michael Jackson, we are looking to take things to another level."

The video game industry has seen sluggish sales most year amid a lack of hit games. Some analysts have also argued that in a weak economy, consumers are more cautious with purchases and buying more used games.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicted fewer than 1 million units of the Jackson to be sold by year's end and expressed doubts about the game's ability to draw a major audience.   Continued...