Disturbing Wii Third Party Sales Trend- IGN's Matt C

Well, it looks as though December NPD will be dropping in the very near future and I would be surprised if the data suggested anything except that Nintendo completely destroyed during the month. Wii and DS sales should be through the roof. And games like Galaxy, Guitar Hero III and even that stubborn Wii Play should all perform very, very well, too. But if you look beyond mega-sales of Nintendo-published videogames and the successful third-party efforts that bridge the gap between hardcore and casual, you will still see some developers struggling to land a hit on Nintendo's console.

I'm on the phone with the president of a big development studio yesterday. His teams have created an original IP for Wii. It's dark and scary. And while every publisher they've met up with has loved the premise and execution of the game, few of them want to touch it. Why? Nobody believes it will sell on Wii. Let me just drive that home. Publishers think it's an amazing effort. But not for Wii.

I can't even call this logic crazy, either, as much as I wish I could. Fact is, a quick examination of NPD sales shows clearly that many of Wii's top sellers are titles whose presentations steer as far away from the M rating as possible. Sure, Resident Evil 4 and even Umbrella Chronicles performed pretty damned good, but these titles are part of a series that is nearly as recognizable and popular as Zelda or Mario, for crying out loud. Metroid Prime 3, one of the best games on Wii, barely edged past 500,000 in sales (shameful!). Carnival Games is set to surpass that. Manhunt 2? I'm not even sure if Wii owners realized it shipped. (It's out, by the way.)

Right now, developers hoping to deliver an adult-themed game to Wii owners are facing a serious Catch 22 situation. Publishers are reluctant to touch it because there is nothing out there, the anomaly that is Resident Evil aside, that unequivocally proves that Wii owners care about these types of games. And since few publishers are willing to take a chance on original M-rated Wii games, the proof needed to sustain more M-rated games on Wii may never arrive.

It's no different outside of America. Look at Japan, where the solidly reviewed No More Heroes just shipped and flopped. Director Suda 51 recently made comments in which he admitted that he wasn't aware that the Wii demographic was largely uninterested in mature-style titles like this. He also said he would like to make a No More Heroes sequel, but if sales don't suddenly spike in America, I seriously doubt he'll ever get that chance. His next project could very well be on another system, where it is more likely to find success.

I believe this is an issue that must be addressed by Nintendo itself because third-parties don't seem to have the balls to take a chance. The Big N, on the other hand, has all the necessary advantages. One, gamers like you are more likely to buy a Wii title published by Nintendo. You can deny it all you want, but you know it's true. Second, Nintendo has the resources to create a AAA adult-themed (and exclusive) Wii game -- or several of them, which would be preferable.

Retro Studios. These guys are taking a vacation from Samus Aran's universe. Let's hope they've got something up their sleeves that is very, very light on mini-games and with themes that will appeal to the hardcore. NST. Well, Project Hammer went bye-bye. Keep your fingers crossed for something even cooler. Monolith Soft. They made Baten Kaitos and Disaster: Day of Crisis shows promise. Nintendo EAD doesn't seem at all interested in creating these types of projects, but Mario and Zelda are not enough to sustain a healthy and robust development environment -- one that proves to third-parties that they can succeed with their own adult titles. So, Nintendo, farm some stuff out and do it quickly. There are all sorts of third-party developers who would love to create original story-driven or adult-themed IP for Wii. If third-party publishers won't give them the chance, you should

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Adamalicious4669d ago

When you submit a story remember to use the original headline and post a summary, not the whole story. It'll be good for your C-Rank.

CyberSentinel4669d ago (Edited 4669d ago )

"Wiiii!" That's the sound simple minded fanboiis make when they get taken for a Nintendumb ride.

@1.3: Most of those games are either developed or published by Nintendo themselves. Nintendo is the only one making money on the Nintendo Wii platform. Some of those titles are "freebie" pack-ins as well, and therefore do not reflect true sales figures. How many people bought Nintendogs WITHOUT the DS lite package? How many people bought brain age ONLY because it was 19.99? How many people would of payed 34.99 for brain age/academy? How many would of paid 49.99 for Wii Play, WITHOUT the wiimote? Look at Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy numbers, and compare them to the installed user base numbers. You can't fool me lemming, I know the facts.

More....I Told You So.

LanRanger4669d ago

Yes, you told us that "'casual gamers' DO NOT buy games."

Really? 17 million copies of Nintendogs sold on the DS. The two brain training games have sold over 20 million copies. Animal Crossing: WW over 8 million copies.

Wii Play has sold 9 million copies; Mario Party 8 4 million; Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games 2.5 million; Rayman Raving Rabbids 1 million.

Casual gamers may not buy as many games per person as hardcore gamers, but there's a few billion of them. Don't underestimate them

DrPirate4669d ago

I think the Wii has gotten enough hate for now.

I also reserve the right not to speak because the PS3 isn't exactly breaking records either so to speak.

However, in relation to the console, my opinionated input is that: Everyone I know that owns a Wii, owns a Wii to play Nintendo games. None of the people bought their Wii at launch to play Red Steel, but rather, Metroid, Zelda Mario and Super Smash Brawl.

Third Party efforts shouldn't abandon the Wii because there is a great deal of money to be made, however, they should focus a portion of their resources on market research and figure out a game that people would be inclined to buy. If this means filling in the gap of hardcore games, or just making more mini-game party games, is yet to be seen.

Adamalicious4669d ago

Yeah. I haven't bothered to get a Wii yet 1)because they are a pain to find (I did see one at Wal Mart once though) and 2) the only games I want to play are Zelda and Mario. I've already got more than enough games to get through on PS3 and 360 to keep me busy so I can wait to buy a system that really only has two games I want to play.

lonestarmt4669d ago

feel the same way. It would be cool to have a wii. There just isn't enough on it for me to go chase one down. IF they were as easy to find as a 360 or ps3 I might have one. There doesn't seem to be middle ground for wii games. You have few masterpieces, but then crap. You don't have games that are in the middle of the road solid titles like DW, devil may cry, folklore, and games like that. Besides my friend who lives down the street has one, I will just play that until proven otherwise.

ChickeyCantor4669d ago (Edited 4669d ago )


Do all PS3 and 360 games sell enough to make a huge profit( meaning win every penny back + profit) ?.

So yes Wii games do not sell that great but developers, they do not lose the same amount if they were making a PS3 or 360 title that wouldn't sell enough.
A lose is never good, but the lose ratio in percent doesn't differ that much between the 2 development costs...does it?
I do wonder....if they ever heard of GOOD MARKETING.

PES2008 Looks FUN and i don't even like Soccer/football games, it seems Konami has put up a solid game ( just by looking @ the screens)
but since its soccer it will sell anyway yeah bad example. XD

" Director Suda 51 recently made comments in which he admitted that he wasn't aware that the Wii demographic was largely uninterested in mature-style titles like this."
Just wait before you state something like that, wait if its selling in EU and USA and if not then make such a claim....its japan you are talking about but do not ...change your games.
BTW do some research...
Suda is real prove of developers not doing RESEARCH to a Specific market.

Maddens Raiders4669d ago

purchase casually, incedentally creating 3rd party developer casualties. Who would've think it?

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