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Zumba Fitness: World Party aims for a human connection by dropping avatars

Zumba Fitness: World Party will trade in avatars in favor of pre-recorded instructors to better establish a personal connection, Majesco's senior vice president of marketing Liz Buckley told Polygon during a press event in San Francisco.

During a demo of the game, we watched a player dance alongside celebrity Zumba instructors. Each scene in the game is shot on location, like a cliff overlooking the ocean in Hawaii and a rooftop in the city of L.A — both of which had the realistic, yet visually enhanced appearance of a music video. According to Buckley, this helps players establish a one-on-one connection with both the environment and the instructor.

"Zumba is all about community," Buckley said. "If you go to a class regularly or just a couple of times, you develop relationships with your instructor. It really is community and relationship driven. We found in research was that women really wanted to have that connection with their instructor. A real person."

"Zumba is all about community."

As dancers improve their moves and better match their instructor, the game heats up. More background dancers dot the game's screen, and special effects happen more often. These additional details are meant to help the game feel like more like an "escape" than a workout.

Zumba Fitness: World Party gives players a chance to dance with 14 Zumba masters. Each instructor created their own choreography in the game. Bonus videos also feature talks about their personal experiences traveling and learning dance moves in different regions.

"The avatar games we released [such as Zumba Fitness or Zumba Fitness Core] were perfectly legitimate fitness experiences, but the additional details make you feel like you're on location with the instructors," Buckley said.

Zumba Fitness: World Party launched for Xbox 360 last month. The next-gen version of the game launches alongside the Xbox One Nov. 22.

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