What To Expect From Third-Parties On Wii In 2010

By Ishaan . January 10, 2010 . 12:55pm


Surprise, surprise: game publishers are still clueless about how to make games sell on the Wii. Whether they really fail to understand how to overcome this hurdle or deliberately turn a blind eye to their shortcomings is an argument that’s been ground to a fine paste, so I’ll refrain from instigating that particular debate again.


Instead, let’s take a look at this interesting quote from Gamasutra’s recent feature on third-party publisher reactions to abysmal sales of uninteresting games.


One thing’s for sure — the focus has changed. Stores like Target and Best Buy have reportedly told game publishers not to even bother approaching them with collections of mini games, which they will no longer pick up.


Now, hold on for just a second before you start to cheer for the retailers. Let’s try to understand the reality of the situation first. Keep in mind these are the same types of people that also refuse to stock copies of good games that we all love. They aren’t championing excellence; nor are they taking a stand against laziness. All said and done, it comes down to sales and how many of them you make in a given week or month. If crappy mini games were still selling, they’d be all over them.


Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, yes; this is still a good thing, regardless of the intentions behind the decision. Retailers refusing to accept mini game compilations probably means publishers will be forced to try something different in the following years. At least, the bigger publishers like EA, Ubisoft and Activision who can’t really afford to drop Wii support entirely. The question is, all things considered, are we going to see a rise in quality going forward due to this?


I’m inclined to say no. 2010 and 2011 have got to be scary years for third-party publishers that are faced with the reality of competing with a new Zelda and potentially Mario and Metroid launching this year and the next. One must also consider the Wii Vitality Sensor, which will probably be another runaway hit with long legs that carry it for years, if past efforts like Wii Sports and Wii Fit are any indicator. Unfortunately, most publishers just aren’t equipped to compete with Nintendo’s own games on the platform.


That begs the question, what will we see from third-party publishers over the next year or so? I’m going to venture a guess and say more ports. You’ll probably finally see Capcom port Resident Evil 5 to the system. Modern Warfare 2 from Activision is a shoo-in as well. What else does everyone expect to see? Fire away in comments.

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  • lostinblue

    I predict confusion.Basically, when Nintendo is leaving entry point titles and focusing on the core, because that’s exactly what it did on the DS, developers will be either doing more garbage mini-game fests for it, and finding no audience or simply not doing games, claiming core games can’t sell on it; when in fact the ones they released in 2009 weren’t advertised.And advertising is the point they don’t get.

    I don’t think developers will get that point of investing and standing behind it with bucks in Wii’s lifetime. In fact I’m not even sure they want to get it, quite the opposite.

    As for a potential Resident Evil 5 port… Up yours Capcom, I’m not buying that 1 year late. No thank you.

  • Hraesvelgr

    Well, this year will bring US localizations of Fragile and Arc Rise, and since I have bought a Wii game in… two years, I think, that’s good enough for me. I’d like to see more good titles for the Wii, but, honestly, the 360/PS3 keep me plenty busy (and poor).

  • I don’t really care what’s coming. Wii has proved itself to be best system in terms of game selection and quality, and I don’t need to scour upcoming games to find stuff that’s interesting, the existing game library is already that large. Probably next year will see more stuff like Mushroom Men, Dawn of Discovery, Trauma Center, Raving Rabbids and such besides interesting less traditional titles like Your Shape and Just Dance. With a selection like this, there’s plenty to choose from!

  • So, if Wii mini games aren’t selling for these retailers like they used to, then what is? A rise in quality games doesn’t seem like an immediate answer, but, maybe it will be to some extent.Well, as someone who has a hand in retail, these games are the only type I see stocked in the Wii aisles, so they’re kind of stomping their own foot here. I mean, these are the only games I see that we have to offer and they’ve been here for a long time, either selling nonstop or collecting dust. It’s also interesting that retailers refused to stock Muramasa when it’s a game like that that adds some flavor for their customers to choose. I even tell my co-workers that this is exactly what the higher-ups don’t get ’cause I keep having to tell my clients about something we -don’t- carry. Admittedly, I don’t get it myself, either. One copy of Overkill and A Boy And His Blob were sitting on the shelves for so long I almost felt compelled to buy them myself.Also, I really love how Carnival Games is the face of these articles at all the game sites I visit. That poor man in the boiler hat… well, not poor at all, it seems.

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