Unlike its predecessor, Michael Jackson: The Experience, the Black Eyed Peas game, currently for Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, actually sees gamers battling and dancing alongside the group instead of playing them.
Black Eyed Peas: The Experience is even catching the attention of Kenny Wormald, the star of the hit film Footloose, who was at a recent launch for the game. The 27-year-old has been performing on stage for 20 years and admits that even a pro like him learned a few new tricks from Black Eyed Peas: The Experience.
“It’s more than just a game, but a choreographed dance-off against one of the world’s best groups,” he says. “(Even) as a professional dancer it’s really good because it makes you very meticulous and can teach you.”
On average, it takes between 18 months to two years from inception to completion of a dance video game of this kind. For game developer Ubisoft, the uniqueness of the game comes from incorporating the band’s style, brand and creativity into every detail.
“Everything had to be approved by the Black Eyed Peas. The songs that we chose, how the dancers are dancing, what type of clothing they are wearing,” says Jeyson Acevedo, public relations manager at Ubisoft Canada. As a result, everything from the Black Eye Peas’ futuristic outfits to will.i.am’s famous asymmetrical coif appears.
To transform the Black Eyed Peas into digital avatars popping and locking on screen, Ubisoft spent days scanning the group members’ bodies. Wearing outfits fitted with sensors, the group had every move and expression recorded and translated into the dance-motion game.
“Technology is letting us do more than just loan fans a song,” says Acevedo. “It lets them actually dance alongside The Black Eyed Peas.”
Black Eyed Peas: The Experience is in stores now and will be available for PlayStation in December.
The Black Eyed Peas aren’t the first celebrities to make an appearance as themselves in a video game.
- Michael Jackson: The Experience (2011) - The first video game in the Experience franchise has the King of Pop (as an avatar) help players learn and perform some of his famous moves to hits like Billie Jean and The Girl is Mine.
- Shaquille O’Neal: Shaq Fu (1994) - The now-retired basketball player traded in his sneakers for swords in this kung-fu video game. In the poorly-reviewed game, Shaq fights off evildoers after falling into a parallel universe.
- The Beatles: Rock Band (2009) - One of several famous Rock Band games released in recent years, players perform as one of their favourite members of the group. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr make appearances in the game as players try to master classic hits and climb the charts.
(This story was originally published in Metro News Canada)