The Wii: Great For Nintendo, Not For Game Publishers

The Wii is the bestselling video game machine of the last year, so the companies that sell video game titles must love the Wii, right?

Not so much. Electronic Arts (ERTS), which released its earnings yesterday, breaks down how much of its Q4 revenue came from games for each of the major consoles:

Playstation 3 (SNE): 15%
Xbox 360 (MSFT): 14%
Wii: 7%
PlayStation 2: 5%

Those numbers aren't aberrations, either: With one exception, the Wii has been the least lucrative next-gen console for EA since its debut.

It's also not a surprise. Part of it is by design: Nintendo publishes almost all of the best-selling Wii games (Wii Play, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Wii Fit, Super Mario Galaxy, MarioKart Wii) itself -- its one of the things that distinguishes it from rivals Microsoft and Sony. Part of it is that third-party publishers like EA were caught off guard by the Wii's success a couple of years ago, and are still scrambling to create titles for the platform. And part of it is that many blockbuster games, like Halo 3 or GTA IV, don't have Wii versions, for varying reasons.

But EA isn't giving up on the WII: Earlier this month it released BoomBlox, which was designed with the help of Steven Spielberg. But we have a feeling it won't be Spielberg's most popular release this summer.

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PS360WII3600d ago

I'll keep saying it. Publishers would get profit from the Wii if they sit down and actually make a real game for it.

PJF_Josh3600d ago

I'm afraid it may not happen. The Gamecube didn't have strong 3rd party support and ended up a distant third in that generation.

While the sales of the Wii are strong there still aren't a whole lot of games worth playing on it (besides the obvious 1st party Mario, SSBB, Kart, Metriod, etc.)

I own just 5 games for the Wii and have been disappointed by the lack of quality 3rd party titles (when compared to the other two systems). Maybe it's harder to get the motion controls right. The shovelware on the system seems to support this theory at least. I don't know, maybe they see the Wii as more for kids while the 360 and PS3 are "more grown up".

Whatever it is, I'm afraid I'll end up buying two or three more games total over the life of this console which would kinda suck. I just hope more comes along.

crck3600d ago

Just about every site has raved about Boom Blox with an average rating of about 8.5. How did it do its first week? About 25k in US sales according to VGchartz. Yeah its just their estimate but even if they are off by 20% (which is a lot) that would still put sales around 30k. Not good.

PS360WII3600d ago

oh so you are saying Boom Blox is in the same league as MGS4? Well if that the case and it only sold 20k then I'll admit I'm wrong but if Boom Blox is one of those quick little causal titles that don't have a real aspect of story, character intrigue and so on then I'll keep saying devs will make money on the Wii when they make actual games on it.

crck3600d ago (Edited 3600d ago )

They under spec'ed their system so much to save a 100 yen piece here and there that no top developers want to work on it. Most top developers choose their own projects. They choose not to work on the Wii because they can not fully realize their vision with it. Whose to blame? Developers who have a vision for a game and can not do it on the Wii because of hardware limitations or Nintendo for not providing the hardware needed?

forum_crawler3600d ago

"Part of it is that third-party publishers like EA were caught off guard by the Wii's success a couple of years ago, and are still scrambling to create titles for the platform."

Pretty self-explanatory.

Good games = good sales.

forum_crawler3600d ago

The blame should be placed on developers. Don't blame Nintendo for not producing a machine with the same processing power as the other competitors.

A good game, with a good story line doesn't need the best graphics to be good, or to be great games. If that was the case then every game ever released before Crysis (the current standard) wouldn't be worth playing (which is not the case).

One very good example: The Ocarina of Time. By today's standards, the game has very outdated graphics, but the game succeeds at immersing the player in a well thought-out story, with intriguing puzzles, and fun action. Heck, you could even go further back and make the same claim about A Link to The Past!

Developers that only make simpleminded games can only hope to see poor sales, and that is no fault of Nintendo (who seems to know its audience very well), it is their fault for not producing content that Wii owners want to play, or buy.

crck3600d ago (Edited 3600d ago )

Not Nintendo for skimping on the hardware so they could make an extra $100 a unit and tying the hands of developers. ok.... Whatever you say Mario. I guess 90% of the devs out there are just punks because they don't want to work with gimped hardware. Either way live with it and stop whining about it then because its not going to change.

forum_crawler3600d ago

Read 1.5...

Who is complaining? I am pretty happy with the games available on the wii. Last time I checked, this particular article (which is what we are discussing here) is about how Nintendo flourishes while 3rd party developers don't. Does it not make sense that if they don't put the effort, they shouldn't be expecting Nintendo-like success?

The hardware point is mute. Developers have the Nintendo console (nuances and all) as a development platform. If they want to be successful, they should put an effort. It is as simple as that. I mean, consider what you are implying here, that unless your console has the latest hardware, it isn't worth developing for it. Think about it. Last time I checked neither the 360 nor the PS3 had the latest and the greatest hardware (that realm belongs to the PC), so how is hardware a deciding factor when it comes to fun/good games?

If developers are trying to sell pretty graphics instead of game play, then yes, the wii isn't their platform. But blaming Nintendo for not having the latest and the greatest hardware available is silly, I mean should we blame Sony for not having a PS3 processor in the PSP?

KeiZka3600d ago

Dated hardware? Oh, what an argument, what an argument... That dated hardware is the hardware that is currently selling most worldwide. That oughta put some serious consideration on priorities.

If we go by "Dated hardware" card, then your PS3 and X0 are already dated. We do have PCs, at least those do who are doing well enough to have the cash required to stay on top.

jtucker783599d ago

Have any of you seen the top 10 games selling in the US right now.
Most of them are Wii games.

Mario Kart Wii, Wii Play, Wii Sports, Mario and Sonic at the Olympics.

XBox and Sony have Grand Theft Auto, Army of Two and Call of Duty 4 (still!)

Can you see the differences in the types of games sold? Is there any wonder that third parties aren't making the effort with hardcore games or shooters on the Wii?
If I wanted to create my artistic vision on a current gen console AND sell copies of my game I wouldn't market it for the Wii.
1) I wouldn't want to cut 9 / 10s of the game out to get it running on a Wii. I'd want to realise my vision as closely as I could.
2) I'd rather have the game running on 2 consoles instead of 1. (Two consoles that are similar in hardware.)
3) AND probably more importantly I'd want to produce my game for two consoles who's owners buy my sort of game, rather than party games.

If I was a party game developer I'd certainly go straight for the Wii as they are the games that are selling.
Even Smash Brothers Brawl is a bit of an all on one screen bouncing all over the place party game, although with a hardcore game mechanic.

Look at the games sold for the Wii? Would Kojima really want to make MGS4 for a Wii?
Apart from not being able to realise his vision (He struggled on the PS3). It wouldn't sell.
I'm sure all you hardcore Wii owners would buy it. But the public, the people that have made the Wii so massively popular wouldn't buy it.

Nintendo is going to go from strength to strength, with things like Wii Fit. If you like that kind of thing (party titles etc) buy a Wii, but all the traditional types of games: if you want to play them, or a current gen continuation of them buy a 360 or PS3.

forum_crawler - I still rank Ocarina as one of the best games I've ever played, but part of the immersion of that game, as well as the story, came from the beautiful visuals and the huge (for the time) draw distance, music, environment. You forget that Ocarina pushed RPGs forward.
Something which Zelda Twilight Princess couldn't continue with as the tech hasn't progressed. Ocarina was a pioneer. But now that nintendo can't continue with it we've got Bethdesta to carry on with the big beautiful immersive worlds of Oblivion and soon Fallout.

If the next Nintendo actually has some juice in it I think Zelda would re-capture its crown, but it won't because Nintendo make more money on party titles.

Look at the Conduit FPS. I bet that will be a good game, but it won't sell. It will sell a few copies sure. All you Wii guys on these forums will buy it, but most Wii owners won't. I was the only Wii owner I knew who owned Metroid 3.
Everyone else played Wii sports non-stop, a game I really am not interested in.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 3599d ago
bootsielon3600d ago

While it may be true that Wii has a little bit higher attach rate than PS3, its games, the console and accessories are significantly cheaper. Nintendo failed to realize that the hardcore should be the early adopters, not the casuals. If the casuals are the early adopters, you can bet your ass it has no appeal to the hardcore; the longer the time passes, the less likely that the hardcore will want it since it slowly becomes obsolete.

So then you have a console which sells mostly Nintendo games to the nintendo fanboys, and casual games to the casuals, but with no place for hardcore gaming since its specs hamper its capability to deliver new experiences that the hardcore want. Which is why people don't spend much money on the Wii, and it sits gathering dust for months.

Other than first party games, what are Wii owners looking forward to? What is its 2008 line-up besides party games? No more single player epics?

ChickeyCantor3600d ago (Edited 3600d ago )

" the less likely that the hardcore will want it since it slowly becomes obsolete.

Core gamers are in the minority, get used to it.

" Other than first party games, what are Wii owners looking forward to? What is its 2008 line-up besides party games? No more single player epics?

DO YOUR GODDAMN RESEARCH >_< hating and trolling the Wii pages without any knowledge puts you on a new low !!!

LevDog3600d ago

NO offense Sidar.. but he has every right to comment in any article he wants.. Thats the beauty of this site.. Everyone is free to comment with their opinion.. BAD or GOOD.. Im pretty sure he wasnt scrolling just for Wii pages.. If it shows up on the ALL section and its interesting read it.. and if he wants to comment he can..

Are you telling me you dont comment on other consoles articles??? You only read the Wiis articles?? Your a liar if you do

ChickeyCantor3600d ago (Edited 3600d ago )

you cant fight FACTS with opinions! you just cant!

IF he were to say he doesnt like the upcoming line up, it would be a different story.

" What is its 2008 line-up besides party games? No more single player epics?"
is not an opinion its just stupid conjecture.

" Are you telling me you dont comment on other consoles articles??? You only read the Wiis articles?? Your a liar if you do

Are you freaking new here? seems you dont know this guy, Bootsielon is known for the Wii-trolling.

edit: i never said he cant comment, i said he should stop trolling.
There is a difference >_< now im only left in frustration because i just replied to someone who didnt even THINK before he posted his comment and i actually replied.
Kudo's for your stupidity.

s1lens33600d ago

Last year EA said they made a mistake focusing on the Xbox 360 and Ps3, that they were going to focus more on the Wii. Something doesn't fit.

PS360WII3600d ago

I fits seeing that it takes more than a year to make a game usually

DR-IVO3600d ago

when a game come from EA they just poop it out, thats why lately many EA games are just horrible.

deeznuts3600d ago

"I fits seeing that it takes more than a year to make a game usually "

Not EA games :D

Funny PS3 15% of revenue? Orange Box perhaps?

Voiceofreason3600d ago

No you got it right but the report you are reading here is why they feel that way. They didnt really put anything out on Wii and really missed out on sales. Boom box may be great for kids but its not going to attract the same as Monster hunter 3 will or a game like The conduit. Of course this year EA has learned their lesson they claim. Not only are they bringing everything to Wii but Wii is the lead platform on some of those projects. whoever wrote this article just wanted to try to represent the Wii as a bad console for games. However there is more to take into account than just how well they did on each console. You also have to look at what was offered on that console. EA offered Wii the least.GH3 for Wii outsold all other versions of the game. Wii owners have no problem buying quality games as long as dev's make them.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3600d ago
Scerick3600d ago

Just thought I would add Boom Blox is awesome and worth a purchase. Boom Blox and Zak and Wiki are both the type of titles you guys should be buying to support 3rd party growth on the system.

Silellak3600d ago

I second the "Boom Blox is awesome" line of thought. Still need to try Zak and Wiki(pedia).

desolationstorm3600d ago

I agree with you 100% on those two games I picked both up. Zacka nd Wiki is 19.99 at gamestop if you wantd to get that game.

As for the article it really is a tiresome argument. Big franchises have sold well on the wii and also games with big marketing budgets. Not enough companies put any marketing to so many of these games to get awareness out there for them. Advertising on a videogame site or magazine isnt gonna cut it on the wii for some games.

The list of 3rd party million sellers on the wii isnt terrible if not compaired to the amount of 3rd party games on the wii. Though it is at least on par with the ps3 even if it does have like double the systems.

As for ea well they made good sales with My Sims because its an established franchise and they advertised the crap out of it(well for a wii game). I really wish Nintendo would take some 3rd party games that they think are good and send out messages to all wii owners or something. Boom Blox and Zack and Wik deserve sales.

Voiceofreason3600d ago

Sims is an established IP. My sims was a totally new IP. Sure had many things in common with the Sims but it also had so many things different it can hardly be considered the same game.

desolationstorm3600d ago

I know its not the same ip but it uses an established ips name in it. Name association helps just like any other spin off like many nintendo mascot games.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3600d ago
Aclay3600d ago (Edited 3600d ago )

That's exactly right because really the only games that are selling multi-millions of copies are the games that are Nintendo first party game titles like SSBB, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, etc...

But the majority of 3rd party Wii games are just Shovelware and EA isn't one of the most respected game companies nowadays either.

I find it amazing that one of the largest game companies EA only profited so little from the Wii. It's obvious that EA is better off making it's hardcore games for the PS3 and 360.

I want EA to develop BLACK 2 because the first BLACK was freaking awesome.

GFahim3600d ago

yeh but what hardcore game did EA even make? yes they got the controls spot on in medal of honor heroes but thats it. the rest of the games they made for wii is party games. they should blame themselves

Voiceofreason3600d ago

It really isnt that amzing when you look at th poor support they offered Wii owners. Only sports game was Madden, then they did My sims...Oh and NFS has been on Wii. What else have they done though?

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