Dance is In, Music is Out as Game Sales Fall

It's no surprise that video game sales continue to fall— off 5 percent in January. And as expected Activision Blizzard's "Call of Duty: Black Ops" topped the list. The big surprise is the fact that dance games are thriving, with three dance games in the list of the top ten bestsellers.

Just Dance 2 Wii
Source: Ubisoft
Just Dance 2 Wii

As music games decline — Activision Blizzard is shutting down its once popular 'Guitar Hero'franchise — there's been plenty of speculation that people just aren't willing to pay for more casual games, and only big franchises targeting 'hard core gamers' can succeed. The rise of the dance genre proves that's far from the truth. It' just a simple shift in trends: dance is in but music is out.

French game maker Ubisoft is leading the dance-off — it published two of January's top ten games, "Just Dance 2"in the number two spot and "Michael Jackson The Experience," which was number nine.

"Dance Central," from Harmonix, was the eighth best selling game in January, a sign that MTV may have mis-fired when it sold off the game studio for the paltry sum of $50 and liabilities. Yes, that's right — fifty dollars. Viacom made the call to exit the game market, and it took such a low payment because the investor group that bought the developer also took on music rights fees, and got a hefty tax break from the deal.

There's no question that social games — the likes of Zynga's Farmville or Apple app "Angry Birds" — continue to gain on more casual games. But people are still buying family-friendly games like those in the dance genre. But they're buying in smaller numbers than they used to.

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