UPDATE AS OF 4/30/12
A lot’s been happening with MiCoach. Not long after the news below, Adidas filed a lawsuit against THQ who was evidently holding the code they’d developed to date hostage–refusing to continue development on it but also refusing to let go of it. Happily, as of a few weeks ago the lawsuit was “amicably resolved” according to the sites Gamesta and Joystiq, clearing the way for a third party developer to take over and finish development of the game.
As for who the third-party developer is, the mind reels. Could it be EA, who struck gold on the Wii with the Sports Active series, but seemingly failed to replicate the success with the Playstation or Xbox? Or could it be Majesco or Ubisoft, both of whom are locked in a battle for supremacy between Zumba Fitness and Your Shape, respectively. Or could yet another third party swoop in? So far, not a peep from any of the game media, but I’ll be sure to keep an ear out. Leave a comment below if you hear anything!
One of the most anticipated titles among the exergaming enthusiasts was the collaboration between THQ and Adidas to bring the MiCoach training system to the Xbox and the PS3. Heck, they even lined up major sports celebrities like Dwight Howard when they announced it last June. The release date was originally to have been in the next two weeks.
Sadly, during today’s earnings call (which resulted in the stock price plummeting even further after weeks of steady decline), THQ announced that it has cancelled the Adidas MiCoach game, and would focus once again on “hardcore gamers” versus casual gamers.
While this is probably not a bad move for THQ, it’s a sad day for fitness game enthusiasts. Judging by all the early buzz, this was going to be an incredible fitness game put together by real-life sports trainers. The MiCoach hardware would provide unprecedented feedback, and the activities would be suitable not just for casual users, but also for real sports training.
And so we’ll have to wait and see if any developer picks it up from here. As great as games like Wii Fit and EA Sports Active 2 have been, there is definitely room for a smart game developer to take fitness games to “the next level”, where you’re not just following an inane and boring fitness routine on-screen, but actually participating in virtual reality activities that are BOTH fun and get your heart pumping. Seems that games have either been one (Kinect Sports, Dance Central) or the other (Your Shape: Fitness Evolved), but few (with the exception of Kung Fu High Impact) have found the intersection of both.