How Ubisoft and Michael Jackson came together to make a game

With the one year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s sudden
death approaching, Ubisoft announced last week that it would be releasing
“Michael Jackson: The Game” later this year.  

It’s a title that makes sense, especially as the dance genre
seems ready to explode, but we were curious: How did the French publisher and
the King of Pop come together in the first place? It turns out to be a pretty
interesting story.

It all started at E3 2009 – when Ubisoft’s management had a
breakfast meeting with Jackson’s team, says Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

“They said ‘Michael wants to do a game with you. You have to
come up with a concept that he likes,’” says Guillemot. “Automatically we said
‘yeah, we would love to do a deal with him – and we would love to do a dancing
and singing game.”

The representatives took the idea back to Jackson, who was
in rehearsals for the upcoming “This Is It” comeback tour. He liked what he
heard and arranged a meeting with the Ubisoft team three weeks after the show.

Three days before that meeting, Jackson died in L.A.

Development on the game continued – even though there was no
certainty that it would carry Jackson’s name. Ubisoft’s thinking was that even
without the name recognition, there were the elements of a good game there.

“After a while, we were able to continue the conversations
with the estate and we managed to come to an agreement,” says Guillemot.

Players will get the chance to step into Jackson’s glitter
glove this holiday season. 

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