Though Sega previously pledged it would "still do mature games" despite disappointing sales, Sega of America studio director Constantine Hantzopoulos cast doubt on that commitment during the 4 Guys 1UP: 01/01/2010 podcast, pointing not just to the sales of its own titles, but those of Dead Space Extraction, an on-rails shooter published by rival EA.
Postulated Hantzopoulos: "That begs the question, are we going to do more mature titles for the Wii," answering his own inquiry with "and it's like, 'probably not.'"gamesindustry.biz. "We were stunned. That was my litmus test. Basically, it's like, okay, you got EA, who can put all the marketing muscle behind this, an established franchise that scored quite well on 360 and PS3. They should be able to actually hit this out of the park, right? We get numbers, real numbers aside from NPD, and I'm like, 'Woah'."
Though Hantzopoulos points to "numbers aside from NPD," that particular firm reported sales of 9,000 for Dead Space Extraction's first month at US retail (October 09). And despite Hantzopoulos' faith in EA's" marketing muscle", EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich believes the tepid sales stemmed from a lack of marketing, explaining that "the success or failure of a Wii title usually correlates directly to marketing spend" and "Electronic Arts didn't market Dead Space Extraction as much as it does with other titles."
And while Sega's unlikely to bring us any more mature-oriented titles on the Wii, that doesn't mean the publisher considers its three "mature" games a wash.
Headstrong's on-rails shooter House of the Dead: Overkill (February 2009) and PlatinumGames' action game MadWorld (March 2009) were said to be "doing okay"--"at the end of the day we'll make our numbers," he specified-- while High Voltage's first-person shooter The Conduit (June 2009) was described as having "done quite well."
According to Hantzopoulos, sales of Wii and DS games are "a longer burn" than those of other platforms, which makes it hard to immediately label a particular title as a success or failure. "It's not necessarily first three weeks like most titles."
But what does this all mean? "At the end of the day, I just think that you're seeing kids are skewing much younger towards next-gen," Hantzopoulos concluded.