If we define eSport as a game played in professionally-run tournaments for cash prizes, then guys, I have to tell you this: Just Dance is now an eSport.
Yes, that’s right; Just Dance, the current king of casual console games, is now counted among the hardest of hardcore genres – shooters, MOBAs, strategy, sports and MMORPGs – as an eSport.
The declaration hasn’t just been made by Ubisoft but also by the Electronic Sports World Cup, which is fronting FIFA 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Counter-strike: Global Offensive as its other disciplines this year.
“For the 11th edition of the ESWC, we are very proud to widen the definition of eSport with Ubisoft. Competitive gaming has to welcome all kind of players, has to be developed in partnership with the games publishers, and has to showcase the most advanced technologies which link the body to the game. Just Dance is for ESWC the perfect medium to reach those goals”, ESWC founder Matthieu Dallon said.
“As soon as you put Just Dance on a stage the crowd starts dancing spontaneously. This is really inspiring to us and reflects the fact that dancing is a show as much as it brings people together. Competitive gaming shares the same goal, so we decided to partner with ESWC and create an official discipline with a very accessible show for everyone to feel the thrill of eSport,” Ubisoft senior eSport manager Jean-Baptiste Pennes said.
Qualifiers for the Just Dance World Cup will take place between July and September, online and at events around the world, including through World Dance Floor and Just Dance TV modes. The top 20 players will be flown to the Paris Games Week, which kicks off October 30, for the grand finals. Hit the links above for more details.
People talk a lot of shit about Just Dance when it pops up in context with more core-friendly games, as at E3, but it’s one of Ubisoft’s top-selling franchises with over 100 million sales. It’s one of those rare instances of a game with appeal beyond the limited “hardcore gamer” demographic that still holds plenty of value for those inside it – if you can convince them to try. (Yeah, I know you think bright colours and pop music automatically make something bad and that motion controls “are just waving your arms”, but shooters are “just clicking buttons”, and high level Just Dance play requires considerable skill.)
Just Dance 2015 arrives on PlayStation 3, PS4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in October.