And what it means for Dance Central: Spotlight and Disney Fantasia.
Harmonix is arguably one of the only developers ever that made good use of the Kinect sensors for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and made good use of them consistently- even Microsoft’s own internal teams couldn’t quite figure out what to do with the advanced motion and biometric sensor at all. Meanwhile, Harmonix made an entire franchise of hit games, Dance Central, based on its strong utilization of the Kinect and making it intrinsic to its game design.
Obviously, the mandatory bundling of the Kinect with the Xbox One was good news for them- with the Kinect no longer being a peripheral, and being a part of the basic core package for every unit, their games would be exposed to a larger audience. However, Microsoft’s decision to unbundle the Kinect from the console must have had a bad impact on their outlook… right?
As it turns out, it doesn’t feel like it did.
“It wasn’t a surprise to us,” Harmonix Music Systems co-founder Alex Rigopulos told Polygon. “We’ve worked with Microsoft for years, so it wasn’t like we read the news headlines and it was a shock. Our interest in bringing Dance Central to Xbox One was in no way predicated on a Kinect bundled in every box.”
He went on to say that he was selling his games that people wanted to play, and that he was confident that the strength of the games was such that people would buy a Kinect sensor if necessary to play them- those that wouldn’t wouldn’t likely have been interested in the games to begin with.
At the very least, they are being very sporting and professional about it. Hopefully, their games do well in spite of the Kinect now no longer being a part of the core Xbox One package.