Video-game designer Nick Earl spent eight months holed up with his development team rushing to adapt ''The Godfather'' for Nintendo Co.'s Wii.
The reason for the long hours: Earl's employer, Electronic Arts Inc., like some of its competitors, underestimated demand for the Wii, whose motion-activated wand lets players wield a virtual sword, mimic real golf swings or strangle a victim. Instead, game makers put most of their resources into Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, which was released two days earlier in November with a more conventional hand controller.
Now, publishers are scrambling to get titles to the 3.56 million U.S. and Japanese Wii owners who have made the machine the top-selling game console this year.
''Those companies are backtracking,'' said Anthony Gikas, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis. ''They're going to need to get their best-branded product on that platform. That will take a good nine to 12 months.''