The market for guitar-based music games may be in the gutter, but dance games are faring far better, based on the quarterly results of one of the major publishes of such games.
Ubisoft, which publishes such dance games as the "Just Dance" franchise (which includes the new "Just Dance 2" and "Just Dance Kids"), "Michael Jackson: The Experience," and "Dance on Broadway" today revealed it shipped a whopping 10.5 million dance games worldwide in the last three months of last year alone.
The strength of these games (along with smash hit "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood") helped drive the company's sales up more than 21%, to $809 million, over the same period last year.
That just ads to the momentum created by "Dance Central," from Rock Band developers Harmonix, which emerged as the best-selling game for the new Kinect system from Microsoft, according to the NPD Group (which doesn't provide figures on sales volume… only ranking). Microsoft says Dance Central moved over 1 million units in December alone.
All these dance games rely on the various motion-based gaming systems from the three leading console developers -- the new Kinect camera-based system from Microsoft, the Move platform from Sony Computer Entertainment, and the incumbent Wii from Nintendo. They also include licensed master recordings in the game itself and extra downloadable tracks to add after the fact.
Last week Activision announced it was disbanding the unit that makes the "Guitar Hero" franchise, a game that once seemed the most popular of the $60 billion a year global game industry.