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Publishers Say They ‘Misjudged’ Wii

Written by Sherlock on Friday, 10 April 20093 Comments

We’ve all complained before about the lack of third-party titles for the Wii up to now.  While there has been a slight increase in output, we still talk of the shovelware for a console that holds the status as the top

Its better than the publishers think, really

Its better than the publishers think, really

selling.  Many among us have bought a new console to overcome our disappointment with new offers.

Now we find out what we knew all along: the publishers, like EA and 2K, misjudged the console upon its release and have played catch-up ever since. Even in August 2008, Sega boss Simon Jeffrey had this to say about the release of Madworld:

The Wii is a very cost effective platform to experiment with. There is a lot of crap coming out for the Wii in general. But if it’s not a good game, it doesn’t sell. That flood of crap will die down as publishers become more coherent.

The Wii is a great opportunity for hitting hardcore gamers. No one is doing that. With “MadWorld” from Platinum Games, we are trying to show that millions of Wii games want to move on to mature games. They don’t have to have an Xbox 360 to do that.

Video Game Media reports on the MI6 marketing conference in San Francisco, where publishers said as much.

“We didn’t realise the Wii was going to come on so strong,” said Kai Huang, co-founder of RedOctane.

“It took us a while to realise it was going to be a major force.”

So how did the publishers of these games get the console so wrong and, for that matter, why do third party titles continue to lag behind other games for the console, as we lament from time to time?  It’s 2009 and I’d suggest publishers get with the program.  Or are they going to continue to wait for HD capabilities?

3 Comments »

  • FooFan said:

    There’s no doubt that the Wii caught a lot of the developers out. It just goes to show just how innovative the Wii is when even the games developers don’t believe it would be a success, yet it goes on to break records and top the Sales charts by a long way.

    Only certain companies can see potential and have a drive to try out new things and go into unknown areas, Nintendo is one of these companies and that’s why they will continue to do well in the Games industry, even if every now and then they have a little blip(Much less likely now though).

    It’s also a testament to the developers who supported the Wii from the start. Namely the likes of EA and Ubisoft, who really helped to keep the Wii’s appeal going during that first year with some quality titles.

    Now the Wii is holding the attention of the majority of Game developers, we’ve seen some great titles surface and a lot of rubbish, which is to be expected. There’s still a lot more to come though…

  • Biddenden_Sue said:

    You’re spot on, Sherlock. The problem, obviously, is that a game takes at least a year, possibly many years, to develop, so two years down the line, we are still seeing shovelware churn out due to developers seeing the concept of the wii as a party/children’s console and not bothering tom pay attention to detail.

    Only a select few developers foresaw the Wii’s true potential and focussed on serious in-depth games that would go on to become classics.

    Luckily, more of these are now being released. We know which games have pushed the Wii’s boundaries, and fulfilled its potential. Now we just want more of the same.

    With any luck, they’ll have all just about worked it out when the next gen console gets released!

  • Satsy said:

    What, you mean some major developers might actually start to take notice and do stuff with the Wii now?

    Good, because the Wii’s game selection has been appalling so far. But then, so was the Gamecubes, in comparison with the consoles of the time. Same with the N64. I always used to cringe when I went to browse GBA games and all I’d see were movie-based games, edugames and Mario Sports titles featuring Golden-sun style sprites. This has been going on for far too long, and it’s always bugged me. Moreso because the difference between, say, the 360’s game selection, the PS3’s, and the Wii’s, shows you what kind of console you’ll be getting, and frankly the Wii can do much more than sports, minigames, puzzles, and sport-knock-offs.

    For a company that will tell you they like to keep their core gamers happy, I’d like to see them actually do something pleasing, rather than just throwing out another Animal Crossing and calling that a game for core gamers.

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