Hudson: "Tell Your Readers To Download WiiWare Titles"

By Spencer . August 18, 2009 . 11:15am

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Bomberman Live sold over 500,000 copies. Not bad for a digitally distributed game. We usually don’t divulge into sales numbers, but there is an interesting story behind the downloadable Bomberman games.

 

Hudson released Bomberman on Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and most recently PlayStation Network. The WiiWare game, Bomberman Blast, is a bit different from Bomberman Live and Bomberman Ultra, but the heart of all the three games is the same.

 

Bomberman is Bomberman unless it’s Bomberman: Act Zero.

 

And yet, sales for Bomberman Blast were only “a fraction” of what the Xbox Live Arcade version. To be fair, Bomberman Live had a full year of sales before Bomberman Blast came out. That should explain the difference, but Mike Pepe, Director of Marketing, brought up another point, “Ultra has been out only for a month and it’s been catching up on Blast fast.”

 

Pepe mentioned some of the trials of digital distribution and expressed their data may suggest Wii owners are not purchasing WiiWare games. Hudson is in a unique position since they are pushing for multiplatform digital downloads. Later this year, Hudson will release Diner Dash and Military Madness: Nectaris on all three consoles and unlike Bomberman’s different feature sets these titles will be the same game across the board.

 

“You should tell your readers to download WiiWare titles,” Pepe told Siliconera. “It’s a challenge on WiiWare. It’s a shame that really good titles are being overlooked.” Pepe wasn’t partial to Hudson and mentioned LostWinds and World of Goo as some of WiiWare’s gems.


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  • ReturnOfSomeDude

    Not at all surprising.

    The Bomberman games are about multiplayer. When I have people over, if we’re going to play a video game, it’s going to be something less complex so players of all skill levels can get into it, like Rock Band. So, I’d only be playing Bomberman with friends online.

    Which system has the absolute worst online experience?

    Therefore, the absolute worst sales for the title.

  • Inkwell

    I love Bomberman, and I bought both Bomberman Live and Bomberman Blast. I also have issues with the online modes in both games but the online play in Blast is pretty wretched. Loooong wait times and frequent disconnects could explain the disparity in sales between the two versions. Or it could be much simpler: without a demo version, gamers are less inclined to “buy before they try”.

  • MadMirko

    If you want a game to sell as well as World of Goo (which rightfully dominated WiiWare sales charts in many countries for months) you need to come up with a game as fresh, original and polished as World of Goo, not the umpteenth rehash of an old series.

    Bomberman is also available in a few versions on VC as well. It’s easy to prefer them over the WiiWare version, and they are also cheaper.

    Instead of begging for money, how about giving us some real incentive?

    • MG

      This is the correct answer. Most of Hudson’s games on Wiiware have been average at best, and if people want Bomberman they just have to get one of the superior VC versions.

      In any case a developer whining and blaming the consumer isn’t something new. They’d rather blame us than admit they made a crappy game no one wants to buy.

      • ReturnOfSomeDude

        *cough*JeffMintner*cough*

        • ECM

          Ouch. (And not just because you mis-spelled “Minter”.)

    • KDR_11k

      Hudson made MyAquarium which has been dominating the charts even more than World of Goo. Critics hated it but it struck into the same niche as those aquarium DVDs and a realtime 3D aquarium with customization is probably way better than a static DVD that just loops a few scenes over and over again.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/xxHiryuuxx Hiryuu

    I got Ultra when it came out on the PS3.

    That’s about it for what I did for Hudson in terms of consoles. I was big on BM even moreso back when it was cool to play Super Bomberman 5 Gold Cartridge like there was no tomorrow.

  • sd28

    i still have bomberman generations and custom bomberman on my ds not to mention the older titles via virtual console so i have no need to by it

  • jp

    I don’t think it’s the consumer press’s job to tell people to buy stuff. Maybe Hudson should lean on Nintendo to actually build awareness of WiiWare.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I would argue that our responsibility isn’t limited to “consumer press.” In my view, what we do is try to bridge the divide between the developer and the community.

      I can’t speak for Spencer, but that is always how I’ve approached this line of work. What good are we if we can’t convey a developer’s message to the people that support them? Both sides deserve fair, unbiased representation after all.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      We never said “buy stuff” or “don’t buy stuff”. This article is just a discussion about digital distribution platforms.

      • jp

        I’m referring to Hudson’s edict — the one that’s quoted in the headline of this post — not criticizing any actions you’ve taken here.

        • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

          Ah, sorry. I understand what you mean now. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Zuga

    Well, I have all 3 systems, so I usually buy my original IPs on Xbox Live or PSN. I was mainly interested in the Wii online offerings for the Virtual Console, and with all the “subpar” stuff that comes out on WiiWare, it’s really hard separating the good stuff from Family Pirate Party and Penguins and Friends Hey That’s My Fish!

  • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

    Wiiware’s simply not as well integrated into the Wii as XBLA is to the Xbox, IMHO. There also seems to be a lot more promo and HYPE behind XBLA titles. I’m looking forward to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon WW title… that’s probably going to generate a lot of sales.

    Anyway this reminds me of that story you did where only about 50 people beat Adventure Island. I just checked: Europe’s up to 200 now and America 400… still nothing to brag about!

  • maxchain

    Yeah, well, you should tell Hudson to bring that Story mode on over that was in the tangible Japanese release! Heck, the Super Bomberman series didn’t last five long (plus the Sega Saturn game) because people hated the one/two-player story game.

    • http://gplus.to/rootbeerking RootBeerKing

      Glad to see I’m not the only one pissed, about the fact that we never got the awesome sounding storymode that Japan got in the disk version of the game.

      I mean; the 2-player storymode in the Saturn, and SNES games, were half the fun!

  • ECM

    Bomberman Blast was done in, early on, by its absolutely unforgivably bad online experience. (Massive lag, disconnects, waiting forever for games, etc. such that I’ve never gone back after desperately trying to love it for the first 2-3 weeks–in fact, it soured me so much, that I haven’t even bothered w/ Bomberman Live or Ultra.)

    If Hudson wants us to buy their games, then they need to step up their game on the coding end because this failure is entirely on their shoulders, period, and no amount of spin or entreating people to buy a broken game is going to change this fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sambattyoner Sam Batty

    I happen to own Bomberman Blast, and yes, the online is pretty poo but I can certainly vouch for the awesomeness of having 7 friends over and blasting the crap out of eachother. 8 player local is a stroke of genius. And ReturnOfSomeDude, I don’t really get how players of ANY skill level can’t play Bomberman, most n00bs I have round pick it up really easily. It’s a d-pad and one button, how could it not be?!

    • ReturnOfSomeDude

      We used to run 4-8 player Bomberman in high school and college. If the player was new, and not a gamer, most of the time they would never play it again.

      • Tatsu

        I’ve had similar experiences. I think it’s because it’s so easy to blow yourself up the first time you play, then you have to wait for several minutes until you can accidentally blow yourself up again.

        I love the series, after getting good at it, but I understand why it turns n00bs away.

  • jarrodand

    I’d pick it up if they brought the retail release over and improved the netcode. As is, why bother?

    Still, Hudson bitching about Wii online sales seems strange given the support they’ve thrown it (both in VC and WiiWare) and how well some of their games have done (Tetris Party and My Aquarium notably).

  • http://gplus.to/rootbeerking RootBeerKing

    You know why I DIDN’T buy Bomberman Blast, Hudson?! Because you sold us only half a game! Sure it was cheap, but I wanted the full game damn it!

    I was waiting, and waiting for the disc version with the story mode(that Japan got), and it never came out!

    And I almost didn’t buy bomberman ultra, due to the lack of a storymode, too.

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