Right time, right console, right gimmick

Ubisoft’s Just Dance is a rhythm-based dancing game for the Nintendo Wii that ended Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s nine week dominance of weekly sales is currently the third-biggest selling game in the UK having passed the one million mark recently and has sold two million worldwide.

Now, having looked at several YouTube clips of the game, I will say that I’m not convinced to go out and rent the game. But then, I’m not part of the one million plus Ubisoft was aiming for: these being most likely casual gamers who are very much into music and dancing.

It also helped that the Nintendo Wii is the casual and family gamer console of choice in the current generation and has a unique controller which makes the game more appealing. All this helped Ubisoft find its target audience easier than if they had released the Console on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The point is that for a game to succeed, it must have some kind of hook. For example, God of War series and Call of Duty has achieved success because it appealed to male gamers who were craving action and wanted something where they didn’t have to think too much. Note: This is not to say females don’t enjoy those games.

This is what Train2Game students – especially designers – must think about when they first think of an idea. They must ask themselves “how will my game attract potential buyers/downloads?” and “what audience am I aiming for?”

There are a ways to help determine this. The most obvious one is looking at past games that fall under the same genre as your game, research the successful ones and see how they were marketed. You can also promote your game on indie websites or at gaming events, which will get you valuable feedback. This will not only highlight the good and bad factors about your game, but also lets you see the opinions of your potential customers.

You can read the full story of Just Dance’s success here - http://www.train2game.com/Games-Design-News/Gaming-Industry-News/Ubisoft-tops-one-million-UK-Just-Dance-sales$19762475.html