What To Expect From Third-Parties On Wii In 2010



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.

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.