I was very fortunate to receive a review copy of Just Dance 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. It’s been a blast playing it with my family, especially my 8-year-old daughter. It really is a perfect Switch party game, especially with the Joy Cons. As with other Just Dance titles, the gameplay is addicting and great for all abilities. It’s smart to track the controller motion, allowing those who are not great dancers to do their best and still make progress in the game. As a fat guy, I really appreciate this part of the gameplay. It has become a yearly tradition for Just Dance to have solid games come out every year.
Recently we were playing together, and I noticed my daughter spending a lot of time looking through Just Dance Unlimited. For those of you who don’t know, Unlimited is a subscription service with over 200 songs at your disposal. You get a free trial with a purchase of the game, then you can pay to continue the service. It struck me as a little odd that my daughter was spending so much time on Unlimited. I will admit that the songs with the core game are not as plentiful as I would have hoped, but they are quality songs that all ages and dance ability can enjoy.
So why would she still gravitate to the Unlimited songs? Well, the main draw is the number of songs that encompass the entire Just Dance franchise. With songs from the early 00’s, Unlimited most likely has a song that will appeal to the genre you grew up with. From disco to pop, you will find something to get your groove on. So if players gravitate to Unlimited, what is the draw to buy the yearly edition of the game? Right now, the only draw is to buy a new version, as older versions will have servers shut down pretty soon.
So my question is this – why doesn’t Just Dance switch entirely to an online service model? You can buy Just Dance 2019 for $39.99. 12 months of Unlimited costs $24.99. Wouldn’t it make sense to meet somewhere in the middle and just promote Unlimited? I think the next logical step for Just Dance is to push Unlimited and make the franchise an online service model from now on.
Here is what I am thinking. Push Just Dance Unlimited to $29.99 a year. Guarantee a specific amount of new songs a month, and rotate songs in and out to keep things fresh. 200 songs is a lot, so maybe lower things to 100 songs, add 3-4 songs a month and rotate the catalog like I already mentioned. To put it in perspective, the Just Dance 2019 catalog only has 12 songs. It just makes sense to stop with the yearly editions and go forward solely with Just Dance Unlimited.
Now before you jump all over me about this being a stupid idea, let me be perfectly clear. I understand that this won’t happen because Ubisoft would not earn as much money as they can with their current model. Paying $40 for the base game plus Unlimited every year puts more money into their pockets. I personally think they should move away from this model as a service to fans. It might help with asset allocation by using developers for other projects instead of being stuck making a yearly version of Just Dance. And it gets fans to subscribe to Just Dance for a long time.
Look, Just Dance 2019 is fun. It’s a great game for families, especially on the Switch. But I think it’s time to switch things up. Let’s not spend time having big dance numbers at the UbiE3 conference every year. Let’s just push Unlimited, pump up the price a little, and regularly update the catalog to keep things fresh. I think fans would appreciate this move instead of wasting money on a 12 song yearly edition.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!