Acclaim just tossed us a press release announcing the beginning of the beta for Dance! Online, a game created by Dave "Remember Earthworm Jim?" Perry and, we assume, Satan.
The title is a free-to-play online rhythm game, the likes of which I could swear I've seen somewhere before. The hook for this title, however, is that it has access to the Warner Music Group's vault o' albums, a collection that includes artists such as Ray Charles, The Talking Heads, and Our Lord Diddy. How any game involving, even in theory, Sean "Puff the Magic Diddy" Combs, could possibly fail is utterly beyond me, and, according to my business card, I'm supposed to know about these sorts of things.
Sadly, thanks to the press release and the few minutes I've spent with the title, the game comes off as an interactive advertising platform for WMG. I can imagine they have a boardroom full of middle-aged fat guys with priapisms the size of a baby's arm over the potential of this sort of thing, but those of us who are old enough to read, drive, and know what the word "priapism" means, will see through the thin layer of gauze to the disgusting, marketing types who patched this thing together.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
Los Angeles and New York, April 12, 2007 – Acclaim Games today announced the launch of the online game DANCE! Online, a free-to-play multiplayer online dancing game. In an industry first, DANCE! Online will feature top talent and master recordings from Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG), making it the first free multiplayer online dance game to feature major label content and artists. With the start of “Open Beta” testing this week, thousands of U.S. PC users will have the opportunity to dance virtually to songs from select WMG artists.
"This is by far the closest collaboration any major music label has ever had with an online game" said Howard Marks, CEO of Acclaim Games.
"DANCE! Online has started the music based game revolution which has captured the minds of hundreds of millions of players in Asia", said David Perry, the game's director and industry superstar designer.
In making the announcement, George White, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Product Development, WMG said, “With the enormous popularity of dance-based games in Asia and other parts of the world, we’re excited that our artists and music have the opportunity to reach the millions of fans who are participating in this growing phenomenon.”
In another video game industry first, Atlantic Records recording artist Cupid, with his hit single “Cupid Shuffle,” will make a personal virtual appearance in the game. Other artist-related announcements will follow where the artists will create their own avatar and play the game live online and chat with fans. The game will feature some of the latest music from select artists and personalized virtual items including artist-branded clothing, accessories and more. Upon the game’s full launch later this year, players can compete to win autographed merchandise and other artist-branded products.
Players of DANCE! Online can create their own avatar and use either the keyboard or most PC compatible dance pads to match the beat of the song and to make their character perform choreographed dance steps. The game features up to 6 players dancing together and includes a variety of game modes and options. Players will be able to purchase optional items from the game shop to customize their virtual characters with clothing and various accessories. Players can also purchase “song packs” to dance to even more songs from WMG’s catalog. The game is free and will be supported by in-game advertising provided by IGA Worldwide.
DANCE! Online is directed by video game industry veteran David Perry. The game is in Beta testing beginning this week, which means that anyone who registers for an account can immediately play for free. For more information, please visit www.acclaim.com.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.
About Acclaim Games
Based in Beverly Hills, California, Acclaim Games is a revolutionary company with over 1 million registered players worldwide. CEO Howard Marks, a cofounder of Activision, has established Acclaim as one of America’s top online game brands. Today, Acclaim Games offers only the finest online games with a focus on accessibility, playability and most importantly fun. Acclaim’s free massively multiplayer games include BOTS!! (futuristic robot fighting action game), 9Dragons (Martial Arts MMORPG), 2Moons (Extreme Action MMORPG), DANCE! Online (hit music dancing game), and Top Secret (a fan developed online game). To learn more, please visit www.acclaim.com.
About David Perry
David Perry - CEO of Gameconsultants Inc. and Acclaim's Chief Creative Officer is a 24-year video game industry veteran, Perry launched his professional career at just 15 years of age by writing video game programming books in his native Northern Ireland. Since then, Perry/Shiny has developed numerous games (including The Terminator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mc Donald's Global Gladiators, 7-Up's Cool Spot, Disney's Aladdin, Earthworm Jim, MDK, Sacrifice etc.) his most recent games have sold over $300M, based on the Matrix franchise. Perry sits on the Advisory Boards of the Game Developers Conference, the Hollywood and Games Conference, the Gamers Expo & Westwood College. He a regular speaker at key industry events like E3, and has represented the video game industry speaking at conferences like TED.
You didn't actually read all of that, did you?