When United States president Barack Obama purchased a copy of Just Dance 3 in December 2011, he wasn't just buying a game for his daughters, he was making a statement that Ubisoft's dancing franchise has "universal" appeal, managing director Xavier Poix has said.
"We got so many phone calls that day," Poix told IGN. "My first thought was that our PR in the U.S. must be really good, but no, I was thinking: now we're universal. The image that we wanted to convey with the game, the spirit of it, really worked. The president, in front of 80 cameras, can think, 'I'm not making a mistake in showing that I love this game.' It is so simple and positive that nobody could object. We're very proud of that."
As part of a Christmas shopping trip to Best Buy in December 2011, Obama purchased a Wii copy of Just Dance 3 for his daughters, Sasha and Malia. "The girls beat me every time on these various dancing games...and you guys will never get a picture of me doing it because I get graded 'F' every time," he said to reporters. He also bought a copy of The Sims 3 that day.
Just Dance is now one of the biggest franchises in gaming, having sold around 50 million copies to date since 2009. Its success was never guaranteed, as the game originated out a Raving Rabbids minigame and was pitched to Ubisoft top brass just six months before release.
The latest installment in the series is Just Dance 2014 Edition, available today on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.