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Editorial: Nintendo Heading Towards Disaster

Jordan Lund sees disaster in the future for Nintendo, due to their inability to sell games.

Excerpt: "Out of 774 listed Wii titles, only 67 of them have sold a million copies or more. On a platform with a built in audience of 60 million players. That's not even the half of it. Get this: 396 of those 774 titles sold 100,000 copies or less. Put another way, 51% of Wii games are completely ignored by 99.83% (or more) of their potential audience. An audience that keeps growing by the day.

So where are the games being bought? Both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are seeing gains in terms of hardware sales and software sales. 360 software market share is up 9% from last year, that's almost double the 5% in hardware growth they've seen this year. PS3 market share has increased 4%, which doesn't seem like a lot compared to the 360, but it's far better than the 5% loss in share that the Wii experienced.

I've said from the beginning that the Wii platform is a soccer mom driven fad and when that fad implodes (as did Cabbage Patch Dolls, Tickle Me Elmo and Beanie Babies) what you're left with is an audience which doesn't like games, doesn't buy games and doesn't play games. That's exactly the pattern we're seeing. When the tale of the Wii is written and people ask "What happened? How did we go from selling 60 million pieces of hardware with no software?" the answer will be "You targeted people who don't play games.""

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Nugan2412d ago

Oh god, here we go again.

First of all, even if the Wii did not sell another unit, it would be far beyond fad status. How many Tickle Me Elmos were sold two Christmases after it was released? Not over four million. Three Christmases? I don't know about Elmo, but it looks like the Wii will sell around two million this year.

And no software sales? Then why are 4 to 6 of the top 10 best sellers titles each month Wii games? And these aren't brief hits that fizzle after a month. No, these titles sell well month after month after month.

Yes, there is a 3rd party software problem. There's no denying that. 1st party titles sell much better than 3rd party ones. Of course, most 1st party Wii games are also of a distinctly higher quality than many of the 3rd party alternatives. Still, it's a problem and I think 3rd party developers need to ask themselves how Nintendo's titles are selling so well and so consistently and their titles aren't.

Anyway, I know this post sounds very fanboyish, and I apologize for that, but the apocalyptic speculation in this article is so absurd that I couldn't hold back.

Mahr2412d ago (Edited 2412d ago )

"And no software sales? Then why are 4 to 6 of the top 10 best sellers titles each month Wii games?"

Nugan, actually referring to concrete sales number numbers outside of vague, abstract percentages is clearly not allowed around these parts.

mint royale2410d ago

This is the worst editorial i've seen on N4G and that is saying something.

I'm not even going to go into how many wrong points this 'writer' has come up with. Its just to easy :)

All I will say to the writer is look at the charts and enrol at elementary school.

Venox20082412d ago

It's a sad truth, developers just need to explore audience and make a good quality game and not another party game...

pcz2412d ago

Are you joking? 67 games selling over a million copies is a fantastic achievement! Especially as a lot of wii games such as No more Heroes, Zack and Wiki, Demon Blades etc get basically no advertising/media exposure.

Have you ever seen a wii third party exclusive game being advertised on the side of a bus? or in cinema adverts? or even billboard adverts? Thought not.

Mahr2412d ago

"Gamasutra has noted this to be especially true for Nintendo as their software revenue has dropped 18% in 2009 compared to last year. They did miss an even bigger point however: Wii software sales have dropped 18%"

For the record, software revenue and software sales are not the same thing.

"They sold more software with 15 million unit sales than they did with 23 million unit sales. That’s a huge problem"

What?

"Wii fans love their Wii Sports, Wii Play and Wii Fit and not much else."

Not really. As of last year, more third party software had been sold on the Wii than first party. Given that Nintendo's first party titles performed more strongly last year than this year, it seems unlikely that things have changed.

"Looking at global sales on VGChartz"

VGChartz? Tell me, when you see those magazines at the supermarket that talk about how bigfoot was spotted and Elvis still walks the Earth, do you actually believe them?

"Of the top 10 best selling Wii games, 9 of them are also Nintendo titles, fueling the argument that Nintendo makes money on their platforms and nobody else does."

Or, uh, it would fuel that argument if there was evidence that only the top ten titles on a system are capable of making money.

"Out of 774 listed Wii titles, only 67 of them have sold a million copies or more"

And? Out of something like half as many PS3 games, there are what, fifteen or twenty games that have sold a million plus? Who gives a toss?

"On a platform with a built in audience of 60 million players"

Which is relevant... how? Developers are paid based off units moved, not by some sort of nonsensical imagined matrix of units moved divided by potential install base divided by the number of other games out there times the cosine of pi.

"Get this: 396 of those 774 titles sold 100,000 copies or less."

Putting aside that these numbers are coming from a site run by werewolves, do you actually believe that most of those games needed to sell 100,000 or more to actually make money? Really? That's adorable.

"Put another way, 51% of Wii games are completely ignored by 99.83% (or more) of their potential audience."

Most of those games deserve to be ignored. I fail to see the problem.

"“What happened? How did we go from selling 60 million pieces of hardware with no software?”"

Selling less software than last year is hardly the same thing as selling no software at all. It just means something like thirty-seven million units sold during the year instead of thirty-nine million.

Yeah, total disaster right there, Chicken Little.

JonahFalcon2411d ago

None of you remember the Nintendo 64 and GameCube, huh?

Nugan2411d ago

What about them? I'm really not sure what you're implying.

If you mean that both were eclipsed in sales by other systems, yes, that's totally true. Neither were absolute failures, but both were far from hugely successful.

But what does this have to do with the Wii? The N64 and GameCube sold below their competitors from launch. The Wii has consistently outsold its competitors. Besides the fact that all three systems were made by Nintendo, what is the point of comparison here?

Mahr2411d ago (Edited 2411d ago )

The Gamecube and the N64? Have you seen the profits Nintendo made in those years?

That's a rhetorical question of course; I know you haven't because that would require actual research.

Since you're such a huge fan of the tinfoil hat crowd over at VG Chartz, here you go.

http://www.vgchartz.com/for...

Golly, what a disaster it would be for Nintendo to go back to only making around a billion dollars US each year.

Nugan2410d ago

Sorry Mahr, I didn't mean to suggest than the N64 and GameCube weren't profitable. Nintendo is very business savvy, and doesn't have to be the market leader to be successful.

My point was that even if consider the GC and N64 to be commercial failures, there really are no grounds for comparing them to the Wii.

Mahr2410d ago (Edited 2410d ago )

Apologies, Nugan. My comment wasn't actually directed at you. My comment's directed at Mr. "Heading Toward Disaster" over there, who's trying to peddle the notion that there's some doomsday coming where Nintendo's state will look like http://homepage.ntlworld.co...

when in actuality even a worst-case-scenario for Nintendo looks more like http://img2.uploadhouse.com...

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