*writers note: please know I own all 3 consoles, plus a decent gamingPC, so I'm not biased nor a fanboy*
Lets set the stage a bit, imagine you're a Publisher, planning to release a new franchise on Wii. You've got 2 offers from developers, 1 game a hugely aggressive and promising hardcore game ( think Project:H.A.M.M.E.R.) and the other a novelty "minigame" collection. The first game will set you back several millions of dollars due to the amount of work that has been poured into it and the other will cost you about a million dollars. Of course you start by doing some research about the market...
first we need some numbers:
Here is the list of games that have sold one or more million copies for wii ( in total ).
Click here for the full list
So you'll probably notice a few thing immediately.
1. If you are Nintendo, your games will sell like crazy...
14 out of the 20 best selling games for Wii were published by Nintendo, sadly you are NOT nintendo, and there can only be one Nintendo.
2. High review-scores don't equal high sales, rather the other way around...
(Unless they are made by Nintendo)
only 1 game from the top 25 in reviews made it into the top 25 most sold games for WII, Guitar Hero 3:Legends of Rock. But 3 games that are in the top of the list for sales got madly bad reviews, yet they sold like hot buns with boobies on them.
Big Brain Academy -> MC Score: 68 -> Rank: 135 -> Sales Rank: 11
Mario & SOnic At the Olympic Games -> MC Score: 67 -> MC Rank: 146 -> Sales Rank: 7
And the most horrible game of all, hated by all core gamers:
Carnival games -> MC Score: 56 -> Rank: 235 -> Sales Rank: 12
So even though Carnival Games is considered to be a horribly bad game ( there are 234 better ones available on Wii alone according to the 'core-audience'), it sold close to 3 million copies.
another 2 nice examples of this are "Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition" and "Game Party".Though RE4:W is ranked the 6th best game for Wii (score of 91), it is only at the 27th location in regards to sales ( 1.76 million copies ). GP however is ranked as one of the WORST games for wii, with a rank of 332 and an average score of 25/100 (WTF!)
it sold almost the same amount of copies as RE4:W namely 1.72 million.
So you're thinking about this game you want to release, and you've seen these numbers... What would you chose?
The "Casual" game obviously has the lowest requirements, I mean even if the reviews suck like hell, you've still got a good shot a selling a huge load of them. While the "hardcore" game is a wild bet, it can get rave reviews and still sell like crap ( Okami didn't even reach 1 million copies worldwide ). So in these 'hard economical times' you'll probably want to go for the 'safe bet' and bring out the "casual" game...
This is why we ( the core gamers ) need to step up to the plate... If Okami is mentioned on dtoid, it sounds like everyone has it, yet I rarely see it in people's wii-game-collections when they post their gamesetups ( I haven't got it either since I was making the same mistake most of us are making ) So I've just ordered it online to make up for it :-)). We have to start buying more games for the wii, there are some absolutely brilliant titles available on this system, yet none of us seems to be getting them, eventually all publishers are gonna start thinking the way you were just thinking... Most of us say whenever we can that our Wii is in fact just collecting dust on our shelves, while there is actually no need for that at all...
This weekend I've commited myself to play my Wii again, and started of by finishing some more chapters of Call Of Duty 3 ( bought COD4 for 360 and COD5 for PC ) though I once rented COD3 for 360 ( before it was decided that renting games is illegal in Belgium ) and I realised that it is in fact a better 'experience' on the Wii... Sure the gfx look like crap compared to the 360-version, but hell, planting explosives and handling the cranes or even driving are so much more fun in the Wii version! So I'll be getting COD4 or COD5 for wii as well, just to see the difference in playing experience ( and to support the "core-games" of course!) After that I played some "No More Heroes", another core-game that didn't even sell a million copies, and though I absolutely love "Devil May Cry" on the 360, the fights in NMH are just so much more enjoyable! Especially doing the finishing moves :-)
What started all this for me was a blog by Phoenix Gamma
about something maddox said in an interview...
. Specifically this bit:
I'm really fucking tired of people who play Xbox 360 and PS3 calling themselves "hardcore gamers." Look at the list of top 10 games on 360 up above. See anything in common? Those are the games that most people play on 360, and with the exception of Braid, they also happen to be the most popular, most heavily marketed, and most consumer-oriented games in the industry. It'd be like someone eating a meal at McDonalds and saying "I'm a foodie!" No, you're not. If you're into movies, you don't go out and see Jurassic Park and call it a day. You try to see movies that try new and interesting things. The types of movies that only someone who has watched thousands of movies could appreciate for doing something unique. Similarly, if you're a hardcore gamer, you should be looking for new gaming experiences. You shouldn't be satisfied playing the same old mass market games. Not that these games are bad, but they're not for "hardcore" gamers any more than McDonalds is for hardcore foodies. If you're a hardcore gamer, go out and play Katamari Damacy, track down an old copy of Radiant Silvergun on Saturn, or play an indie game like World of Goo. These are the experiences that move gaming forward. Not blockbuster sequels like Halo 3.
Sure we all know maddox is the ultimate troll, but in a way he's right... Sure COD4 was awesome and all that on 360, but it wasn't nearly as new and refreshing as the controls on the wii-version of COD3, you actually have to throw your grenades in the Wiigame! now that
is a novel idea!
I fear however that if we don't start supporting these core-games a bit more in the future, they'll just die out, because for publishers all that counts in the end is MONEY, no matter how you turn it and since we like dissing the wii better then actually paying attention to some of the great things it delivers, eventually no core-games will get released anymore since they're just not financially viable!
So, if you own a Wii and another console, maybe consider getting a multiplatform game in the Wii-format next time, sure it won't look as spiffy, but a lot of the times, the experience will be more fun then it's more serious counterparts, and isn't that what it's all about in the end, the fun you get from playing these games? Trust me, contrary to what a lot of us claim, there are some great experiences to be had on that white-waggle-box!