Wii Market Not 'Worthwhile' for Epic Games

With more than 50 million units sold around the globe, the Wii has an installed base significantly larger than any other platform this generation. It's pretty hard to ignore that market, and most companies have been scrambling to figure out just how to get a piece of the Wii action. Not Epic Games, though.

In speaking with IndustryGamers recently, they asked Epic VP Mark Rein if his company would make an effort to modify its popular Unreal Engine technology to fit the Wii or even handhelds at some point. Rein just doesn't believe the market is there on Wii, and he doesn't want to waste Epic's resources in custom designing an engine for the platform.

"If you stretch something too thin, it becomes very thin. How do you support that? We don't make games for that platform because we don't see a market for the kinds of games we make – let's be honest," he said.

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Homicide3839d ago

He's absolutely correct. Look at the sales for MadWorld and The Conduit. Compare it to casual mini-games like Carnival Games.

SinnedNogara3839d ago

The sales for Metroid Prime 3, Red Steel, and Call of Duty: WaW say that hardcore games can sell well. And most Wii games have "long tales" meaning that they sell slowly, but hit 1 million over time.

Something tells me that The Conduit will start to sell well over time. MadWorld sold worse, and is going to become a franchise.

I think all the bias reviews (GamePro, which a lot of people trust) might have killed a sales-streak.

asdr3wsfas3839d ago (Edited 3839d ago )

We could also compare it to Resident Evil 4 or Call of Duty. RE4 for wii is considered the definitive version and sold over a million. RE Umbrella Chronicles sold over a million. Call of Duty went platinum for wii. No More Heroes is Suda's best selling game on any console and a wii exclusive. According to Sega House of the Dead: Overkill turned a profit a little bit ago. When I bought today on Amazon they had lowered the price to 20 dollars - it was ranked third in wii sales at that time.

I bought Madworld. It was 6 hours of gameplay and not worth more than a rental. Very nice style and humor, but 6 hours is not worth 50 dollars.

Call of Duty World at War had initial sales in the US of:

Week 1: 44,468
Week 2: 29,994
Total: 74,462

This is a mature franchise with name recognition. It was released Nov 11th, in time for the holidays. The game eventually went platinum.

The Conduit was released June 23rd. The NDP period tracking US sales ended July 4th. The Conduit was tracked for 11 days. It sold just shy of 72k copies in that time in the US. The exact same June NPD report shows that the video game market has slumped considerably. Again, compare:

Call of Duty Waw: 74,462 in 14 days, released around Christmas
The Conduit: 72,000 in 11 days, released during June and during a significant slump in the video game industry

The former went to reach platinum. I'm sorry, I honestly don't understand how you can conclude that it bombed at this point. Maybe after next month we'll see that it's more of a failure. But the evidence you're looking at now suggests that it may become a tremendous seller. If you look at most wii third party games that end up selling very well, these initial sales classify it as a success.

I play FPS games on PC. It's not like I just went out and bought the cute little game system to match my ipod. I started on Doom and have played the original Unreal to UT2004, each Quake up to 3, and others. And I honestly don't understand why people have to predict failure for everything on the wii so soon. Didn't that just blow up in people's faces like 3 years ago?

And from playing those PC games, you wanna know a secret? The Conduit is better than any Unreal game I played (original Unreal, UT, UT2003, UT2004). I was damn good at a couple of them. Now The Conduit won't dethrone quake because quake defined what deathmatch was, but I enjoy The Conduit just as much as Q3A or Action Quake 2, and God I loved those games.

Wanna know something? If there's one thing I've learned about Epic playing all that UT, it's that they're better at making game engines than actually making a game. You're listening to the opinion of someone who failed making "hardcore" FPS games for the discriminating PC market. If he can't understand the hardcore FPS market on PC, what makes you think he knows anything about it on the wii?

Honestly dude, just wait a couple months and if you're right I'll gladly admit it. But if you're making predictions and unwilling to do analysis, you should just concede that it's a totally uneducated guess.

Mr.Mister3839d ago

here is an example of a lazy developper and hungry for money
i could get a disagree for saying that but remember the difference between unreal 3 and gears of war?

N4g_null3839d ago

oobob that is what I'm talking about Hell I was on crom 1 last night man am I rusty. Yeah, but UT3 no one plays that game at all. Epic had to give it away a few months ago so people would play it.

The movements are too jerky and every thing has too much detail so players get lost in the over design. Quake was fast accurate and the special moves where natural instead of some double left left to jump out of the way. The whole cover thing on gears of war is lame also.

Believe me I've tried to like their games and I can use their engine but I hate doing it... there is always some nagging problem or error because you are trying to be creative in a engine that is just a hack it seems.

You would think an real FPS maker would step up and say well we can out do these other guys on the Wii. Instead they are saying we are not good enough to make a game that will sell on the Wii. I hope they are not hoping that nintendo pays them money to make some thing when the same thing did not even work out for SONY.

UT3 bombed on the only system that did not have pirates. The funny thing about epic was they even claimed that people where pirating this game yet I found no one playing it on the day I bought it and almost a few weeks after that. Yet I got my copy of conduit early and found people playing it, and I still have no problem finding a match. The same thing goes for quake 3.

If I want to play a FPS that is new I play quake wars they got vehicle controls and physic right and they have tanks that don't get stuck on twigs.

asdr3wsfas3839d ago (Edited 3839d ago )

While the figures are from wikipedia ( I didn't consider that. My apologies. Keep in mind the same applies to RE4, though.

At this site ( we see the quote:

""An official statement from the company gloats that "the hit game has garnered the biggest initial success at retail of any first-party PS3 title to date, and will continue to drive incentive for hardware sales throughout the year."

Sony Computer Entertainment's Scott Steinberg said earlier this month that the Guerilla Games developed Killzone 2 has "exceeded our expectations." The title sold more than 500,000 copies in the U.S. in its first two months on the market.""

When wii games sell slow at first it's taken as a sign of failure (The Conduit) despite overwhelming evidence that wii games sell slower for longer. So your point for PS3 is correct - particularly as more people have adopted the system - but I just wanna point out that no one accepts that in an argument about wii ;)

My comment isn't a knock on the PS3, I empathize with you guys. It's just saying that companies like epic should consider all platforms. Just like the wii is underpowered because of lazy developers, the ps3 has 9 cores, and they could be put to better use (I'm really interested in ray tracing on the system but don't know if that's feasible for modern gaming). Even if ray tracing isn't, there are plenty of other things those cores could be doing if they designed a given game for the ps3 from the ground up. Same problem with the wii - the launch game Rogue Squadron for Gamecube looks better than whole lot of wii games because Factor5 knew how to program for the system. They have some insane technical specs on that game. They apparently tried to port it to original xbox and the system couldn't even run the game, which shows that when people compared original xbox to the wii that even the GC had advantages over it.

You can best see this with Oblivion for the PS3 (I don't like that style of game but all my friends do so I know a lot about it). It runs at a higher frame rate on PS3 and IIRC a higher native resolution than on xbox. So I sympathize with you, and I'm not knocking PS3. It has stuff the wii could technically never accomplish. But I like my new controls, and I don't like how the console industry I've been into since NES and bailed on after PS1 treats me like I'm somehow less core than kids who grew up without cartridges.

asdr3wsfas3839d ago (Edited 3839d ago )

Oh man, crom 1! I wasn't as good at the indoor levels as the outdoor but my brother rocked crom 1 - first time I ever heard flak monkey. He'd get it with the secondary fire killing people with direct grenade lobs, not the splash damage. He was a god of UT, regular and instajib. We'd play rankin together in ut2004 and sometimes I'd win, but my kills wouldn't be too far above my deaths. I'm the spaz who runs in to grab the frag cannon or rockets and dies over and over till he gets em and sprees to make up for it (or even shock rifle). My brother would win Rankin with 25 kills 7 deaths....he could wall and dodge jump across the entire map in about 4 seconds.

The level is perfectly designed for it and the last thing Epic ever did right. I'd watch him get shot in the flak cannon room, dodge jump off the metal siding against the wall to the second level, grab the stimpack on his way to the 3 level area with the rocket launcher in the middle, come around from the shock rifle side and kill the dude who hit him. It was insane. I could hold my own but I was best with the minigun at long distances - I use an optical trackball with sensitivity maxed and you can keep steady way easy with it.

Did you ever play Malex? He went by that a lot and was pretty insane in instajib and arena. Later in his play he'd name himself Ricky after Trailer Park Boys and people would get furious cause they thought he was a n00b. He'd get kicked from games he was winning.

Forget UT3, even ut2004 was in serious trouble. People only played the demo maps except for some vehicle levels. There was almost no point in actually buying the game. If you wanted DM you pretty much had to play Rankin, and while it's my favorite FPS map ever, even it gets old.

You didn't like dodge jumping? Man, after ut2003, that was the only thing the game had left for me.

I'll check out quake wars. I'd heard about it but was sick of FPS games back then. Of course, I'm going to get The Conduit out of me first.

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YoungKingDoran3839d ago

okay epic, we get it. you hate wii more than most fanboys.

UncleJaysus3839d ago

While the Wii has the biggest install base, most of that is casual, rather than core gamers. The games that sell big numbers are games that appeal to mums, girlfriends, kids etc - games that appeal to the casual audience who, let's face it, bought thier Wii so they could excercise and bowl, not play FPS games.

The odd well-known franchise may do OK on Wii, but generally Nintendo is the only company who can say they've done as well as they'd like. Software - especially third-party - sells better on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Epic's games appeal to an older, core-gamer audience who on average spend more money on games and care about how games look. No-one wants to see Unreal Tournament on Wii.

Nihilism3839d ago

epic games appeal to people who think cliffy b is 'cool'...not core gamers...which is sick because only in a world this messed up would people respect a douche like him, core gamers care about the games, not obsess over kojima etc......there are fanboys and core gamers, the fanboys are usually new to the gaming scene and will defend their console of choice at all costs, and the core gamers miss the days of megadrive vs ns....when games like alex the kid and old skool shizzle ruled the world, and yes battletoads ruled

asdr3wsfas3839d ago (Edited 3839d ago )

I bought the wii for Punchout and the Conduit. So someone bought it for an FPS game. I've played Unreal, UT, UT2003, UT2004. I started with Doom, moved through Quake 3, then went to Unreal. I'm that older, core audience.

Here are statistics showing that what you're saying is demonstrably false. Wii may have more casual gamers, but the core market is there. This is taken from the list of best selling xbox360, ps3 and wii games on wikipedia.

Four of the best selling wii games:

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition: 1.5 million

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: 1.31 million

Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles: 1.15 million

Red Steel: 1 million

Let's start with the idea that only Nintendo makes money on the wii games. A *rerelease* of RE4 beat Metroid Prime in sales by around 200,000k. So the hardcore RE4 reliably bested a first party game by Nintendo. Maybe if we had other third-party AAA titles we'd see that more. If a port of a last generation game and a rail shooter do that well, can you imagine how a new release AAA title might sell even more? Even Umbrella Chronicles and Red Steel are comparable to Metroid!

The following are the 7th-11th top selling PS3 games.

7. Resident Evil 5: 1.21 million approximately
8. Heavenly Sword: 1 million
9. Killzone 2: 1 million
10. MotorStorm: Pacific Rift: 1 million
11. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction 1 million

A ***rerelease*** of RE4 on wii outsold the premier of RE5 on PS3. The rail shooter Umbrella Chronicles is 50,000k short of meeting that. When you consider the producer's crack that the wii couldn't play the title screen from RE5 - total BS as that's rendered beforehand - it makes you realize how out of touch the publishers are. Red Steel even matched sales with Killzone 2.

Xbox360 starts a little lower to match the sales. Here we start at 13th or so. But once you see these titles, you'll realize my point:

14. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 1.762 million approximately
16. Mass Effect 1.60 million
19. Call of Duty 3 1.534 million approximately
21. BioShock 1.5 million
25. Resident Evil 5 1.417 million approximately
28. Call of Duty 2 1.4 million
30. Fight Night Round 3 1.25 million approximately
32. Left 4 Dead (over 1 million)
33. The Orange Box (at least 1 million)
34. Dead or Alive 4 (1 million)
35. Halo Wars (1 million)
36. Ninja Gaiden II (1 million)

A rerelease of RE4 is 250k short of matching Oblivion on xbox360. It's important to stress the rerelease part as most people have played the game. And it also beats RE5 on Xbox360 alone. So RE5 has sold worse on either PS or 360 taken individually than a rereleased RE4 on wii. How is there no market for RE5 on wii?

RE4 beat Fight Night, Ghost Recon, Call of Duty, Left 4 Dead, and Halo Wars. It tied Bioshock on 360 and was 100k less than Mass Effect. RE Umbrella Chronicles beat Ghost Recon, Dead or Alive 4, Left 4 Dead, Ninja Gaiden II, and Halo Wars. A rail shooter on the wii outsold a Halo IP and Left 4 Dead on 360. I love rail shooters, but that is not a wildly popular format.

What's sadder is development costs are remarkably low on the wii. The profit for a rerelease of RE4 is insane when you consider they just ported the Gamecube version and added motion controls. While the sales figures above shows the argument is false at face value, considering the development costs shows it is rather detached from reality. If I held stock in all these companies that didn't call the wii would succeed and I found these figures out, there would be serious problems.

The fact a released RE4 outsells Xbox and PS3 AAA titles destroys any argument that there's no market on the wii for them. The problem is the developers are lazy, justifying why they didn't have wii games ready for launch, and covering for poor workmanship when they tried to mindlessly port them to make up for their delay. I have a degree in CS, trust me, it's obvious.

A new IP like No More Heroes on wii is Suda's most successful game ever. An rereleased old IP like RE4 and a rail shooter based on RE outsell 360 and PS3 exclusive AAA titles. And there's no market?

Honestly, I don't know how people in the industry aren't fired for dragging out this trope without a cursory look at these numbers.

starvinbull3839d ago (Edited 3839d ago )

Your figures are BS! Killzone 2 has sold over 2 million and sold over a million in just over a week. The pre-orders alone were above 1 million. I'm calling BS on your figures.

here's a link that puts Killzone 2 at 1.7 million after 10 weeks

Your whole point (as far as KZ2 is concerned) is based on the assumption that once the game had launched and sales slowed to a crawl that it stayed on the numbers it held at that moment.

Your point is good but get the figures right.

EDIT: don't use Wikipedia figures which have gone out of date and never get updated if you are having a debate about sales figures of games still in their first 6 months on the shelf.

N4g_null3839d ago

It's clear to see that hardcore gaming is shrinking because gamers are getting tired of sequels that did not work all that great in the first place yet traditional game type are no longer being made. If a console game doesn't try it's best to be a PC game then it is looked down on.

fighter, brawlers, action adventure, exploration and RPGs are barely on these list. What you have are PC orientated games now on the HD systems. This is not good for gaming and it is actually making console gamers PC gamers since traditional games are not even really being pushed on those consoles.

Blazblue sold 120k on the PS3 and 90k on the 360 now tell me the hardcore gamers love a stylish game like madworld. Infamous is hyped and only got to 640k. Valkyria chronicles is at 500k. Killzone is at 1.74m

Scott Steinberg tells Gamedaily Killzone 2 "set the record as the most pre-ordered SCEA PS3 title to-date." On top of that, Steinberg says, the game is also "the fastest SCEA PS3 title to break the 500,000 unit mark and it's also the highest selling SCEA PS3 title for the first 30 days out of launch."

Yet it is only at 1.74m and they were happy with 500k being sold so quickly.

Mario Kart Wii (15.4 million) WOW and the hardcore complained about the blue shell yet millions of gamer have no problem with it…
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (8.43 million) man it doesn’t get more hardcore than this game.
Super Mario Galaxy (8.02 million) seriously it may be easy to some but it is not easy at the end LOL.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (4.52 million) How many grandmothers even know what this is?
Link's Crossbow Training (3.76 million) LOL why would casuals even buy this?
Super Paper Mario 2.28 millio
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 2 million

Resistance 2 is at 1.57 it would not even place on the Wii.
Killzone is lower than that game LOL.

Now lets look at the games that could fit on this list of Nintendo sales.
On the PS3
Grand Theft Auto IV 5.68m
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 4.42m
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots 4.08
Resistance: Fall of Man 3.61m
MotorStorm 3.49m
Assassin's Creed 3.40m
Call of Duty: World at War 3.38m
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue 2.93m
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 2.48m

On the Xbox 360
Halo 3 9.92m
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 7.60m
Grand Theft Auto IV 7.15m
Gears of War 5.90m
Call of Duty: World at War 5.69m
Gears of War 2 4.99m
Assassin's Creed 4.52m
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 4.24m
Forza Motorsport 2 4.00m
Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures 3.39m LOL
Kung Fu Panda 2.99m
Fable II 2.91m
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 2.73m

I posted the highest seller to show you what these gamers like…
Wii owners like more traditional games that are fun that is easiest to see.
360 has all of the heavily ad driven games that people don’t care about.
Ps3 has the same as the xbox 360 with some remains of their PS2 fanbase.
All of those games that NG4 and other sites with fanboy HD guys hyped the hell out of way more games than this. Where are those sales? WTF the HD systems are hardcore why are you not buying these games? Yet these are the games the represent your consoles. It’s sad but I have way more fun with the Wii list and the HD list is mighty mediocre too me. If I want to show off normal map I flash up a HD game but do I let people play them hell no! J/K Most people don’t even like to watch HD games being played.
If you look at the trend then you see a hardcore game only sells around 1-2 million at most and there is only really a core of about 1-3 million hardcore gamers then there is an avg of 100k niche true hardcore gamers. The rest are lead by ads mostly and hype.

Now the Wii gets anti hype all the time yet still manages to sell their games and even out do similar games on the HD systems.

What you have to ask yourself is where are the games that are like Mad world and NMH on the HD gaming list? Is there any thing to compare them to on the HD systems?

Bullet Witch sold 100k weird style
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger sold 90k great style and art and old school game play IE traditional gaming.
Overlord II sold 90k yes this did come out on the Wii also . no one bought it either.
Project Sylpheed - Arc of Deception sold 80k the hardcore don’t even play these games any more.
Final Fantasy XI All In One Pack sold 20k LOL come on!

The hardcore as of right now are dead to every one else except the huge publishers. As of right now hardly any one is making money on any of these systems simply because gaming has become some thing that it wasn’t meant to be.

The Wii is side stepping this mess. If you want to be mad at some one be mad at your fellow hardcore gamers. They are not showing up to your party or ours. That is the truth.

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Suga Shane3839d ago

I am about to either lose bubbles or recieve disagrees but here I go. I am first and foremost a gamer but I must be honest, Because of my age and time spent in the gaming world, I am partial to Nintendo but I do not let that blind me. Anyway, I am aware of the hatred that "new gamers" have towards the Wii as well as this engine creator epic. In my opinion, and what I read into this article is that epic simply does not have that talent required to create a game for the Wii. Sure, they can make things pretty, a pile of horse manure can turn into a flower garden, but they lack imagination. I am not knocking any console as I own a Wii,360, and soon a PS3,so a rebuttle should be carefully thought out.I will stop there simply because once the HD gamers stumble across this article and begin to shred it with their so called "logic" my words will fade like the credits after a movie.

nightmareluffy13839d ago

That made sense in a poetic sort of way. Have a bubble.

N4g_null3839d ago

You are so right Shane. On top of this epic works best in a market of graphical gimmicks because they don't really have the talent to create really nice looking art. I will admit I was impressed at what they got in a live engine at first yet no one felt like their art was creative. One of the things that made console gaming so much fun was the fact that the games where so creative and actually fun to play. The fun in HD gaming is all visual... it's not unlike mortal kombat when it first came out. People loved the realism yet people played SF2 and countless other games with better art.

Epic can polish certain things but they just do not push them selves creatively. Epic has gotten the most back lash for their engine and the look of it. This is the only time I've actually seen people hate a developer because their engine helps people make bad art choices and designs LOL. Gears is suppose to be their best work... it is detailed but just lack creativeness. Metal gear sold just off it's creativity even if I didn't like the cut scenes. Most nintendo games sell because they are creative and functional thus fun while offering a challenge.

The industry does need a reset but if you just look at even Saturday morning cartoons and even adult cartons it is no longer about creativity and fun but maybe shock humor.

schlanz3839d ago

50 million people is quite a big number, even if many of them are casuals. There is no denying that with a number that size, there are also millions upon millions of core gamers that own a Wii. I don't think its right to assume there isn't a market for core games- and I think this thread has already proven they can sell.

Rein is wrong to think that the Wii is any different from the PS3 or 360 when it comes to 3rd party success; there have been massive financial failures on both systems.

If Epic only wants to develop the best looking games, thats their business, and they don't need to look for excuses not to make games for the Wii. But if Epic is so well-known for their ability to create excellent game engines, why don't they build one for the Wii and then give other devs a license to use it?

Also, there is no telling what Motion Plus will do for 3rd party games. Will more accurate motion control be enough to captivate the attention spans of more core gamers? As long as the game built around it is actually good, I think there could be tons of 3rd party success. And that's where Epic could come in and provide an excellent engine.

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