Friday, April 24, 2009

MadWorld, Chinatown Wars showing poor sales

MadWorld, Chinatown Wars showing poor sales
Sean Ridgeley
Friday, April 17th, 2009

Nintendo's adult audience not worth the trouble?

A criticism from many gamers of Nintendo is how tame they've been in what content they allow on their platforms, particularly the DS and Wii.

As with its predecessors, though, Nintendo has been willing to sneak at least a minority of "adult" titles in there, this being a particularly popular trend lately with the likes of high profile titles Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and MadWorld seeing release, and to great reviews.

Many gamers, especially with analyst predictions, have been hopeful sales would prove robust and "show Nintendo the light", so to speak, but unfortunately this has not been the case (at least not in the U.S.), with poor sales for both those titles -- House of the Dead, published along with MadWorld by Sega, suffered a similar fate at 45,000 first-month sales -- and the usual first-party "tame" releases still dominating the charts, an exception being Pokemon Platinum (great game, but doesn't help).

MadWorld came in with 66,000 units, having debuted March 10. Chinatown Wars, on the other end, reported 89,000 units (a significant difference from the estimated 200,000 - 450,000), and released March 17. Sega apparently is happy with both their titles, however, as we see from a recent interview with their vice president of marketing Sean Ratcliffe on VentureBeat:

"House of the Dead has done very well and has absolutely met our expectations. The first set of data for Mad World is very encouraging, as well.

If [MadWorld] resonates with the audience [...] we absolutely want to make that into a franchise. I think it’s unique, and there are many aspects of that game which are sort of pushing boundaries. And it’s just great fun."

Going by the Entertainment Software Rating Board's (ESRB) data, the DS currently hosts seven M-rated games out of over 1,000, with the Wii at 26 out of just under 1,000.

Are Nintendo's consoles best left to the younger generation?

1 comment:

GaMeR said...

The problem was probably the lack of marketing. While MW was indeed known for a while, I sort of forgot about it until I saw that it was available for rent. PS3/360 titles on the other hand usually have more hype build-up and thus once Call of Duty 6 is out for instance, we'll all know about it as we have our friends list to remind us amongst other things. Nintendo lacks that and another issue is as you said, the fact that the Wii is mainly appealing to the younger market right now. I highly doubt a parent would buy their 6 year old some game with a guy with a chainsaw on the cover so that's the loss of some sales right there. And the older gamer is probably caught up with other things and therefore forgets about MadWorld or is not even aware of it as to them their Wii is just an amusement for when some friends are over, not a primary console to keep an eye on.

I think once the next batch of mature titles are released, the results will be better as by then titles like MW will be known.