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GDC: We’re “broader” than mature-rated content, says Nintendo

Friday, 27th March 2009 07:57 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Why do M-rated games lack success on Nintendo platforms? Because Nintendo’s “broader than that,” apparently. Sega and Rockstar must be thrilled.

“I’m not going to make an argument for why certain M-rated games, as you say, don’t achieve a certain amount of momentum on the Nintendo platform,” NoA corporate affairs VP Denise Kaigler told IGN at GDC yesterday.

“We’re broader than that. And that’s what our contribution to this industry is. We are making sure that we make games for a broad consumer platform from age five to 95, and that really has worked well for us.”

GTA: Chinatown Wars charted at six in the UK rankings on release, while Sega’s MadWorld only managed to place at 34. Why? Ask Sega.

“We’re not saying that certain games can’t succeed on Wii,” Kaigler added.

“We want those games. We want people to bring those opportunities to us. So I opened up my answer to your question by saying talk to Sega, talk to those guys.”

Sure it’s not because Nintendo hardware’s explosive growth this generation has been a result of selling in to non-gamers? We think it might be.

That interview’s well worth a read.

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34 Comments

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  1. Robo_1

    Only 34 for Mad World, that is sad. Mind you I’ll say this, it’s partly down to Sega’s somewhat nutty pricing strategy. Their games go for as little as half their original price only a month or two after release, so having witnessed that cycle before, I think many are holding off until it can be had for under 20 notes.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Tonka

    MW is really addictive. I hope it will keep on selling because it deserves it.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Tonka

    It’s written like some pulp fiction story.
    “Then, never satisfied, I ask why we didn’t see a major Wii game unveiling”
    “I try to cover all the relevant topics — starting, recognizably, with the typical a-hole line of questioning. Ice breakers? Never heard of ‘em.”

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Blerk

    It’ll be interesting to see how both of those games do next week. Wii stuff specifically often seems to do better in its second week than it does at launch.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Tonka

    I highly doubt that MW will do better than its first week. It is very niche. Old fashioned, flawed, black and white, new IP… ticks all the wrong boxes.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Rhythm

    Isn’t Madworld just an arena beat-em-up?

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Tonka

    I don’t know what that is.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. evilashchris

    Madworld has big black borders over a component lead, that’s why I didn’t buy it. lern2program nubs!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Hero of Canton

    You didn’t buy it because it has borders? That’s really sad. I remember when people used to play games because they were fun.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Blerk

    I thought the days of crappy PAL conversions were long behind us. Isn’t there a 60hz mode?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. evilashchris

    Nope, apparently not Blerk, and yeah HoC, it really is, because I was looking forward to it, I’m not paying full price for a crappy conversion I’m afraid.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Hero of Canton

    How about if you learned that the frame-rate was smoother than the US version (it is).

    #12 5 years ago
  13. evilashchris

    But you get borders left and right as well as top and bottom by all accounts, it’d piss me off to be honest.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Tonka

    The borders were the last thing on my mind to be honest. I guess they become less noticeable due to the fact that it’s a b&w comic book style game.

    Yes, it’s crap that they can’t do a proper PAL version. But the impact on the game is close to zero. You might be missing out on a really fun game.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Hero of Canton

    I played this before all the furore about the PAL version came out, and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I didn’t notice the borders at all. I’d have to go back and check that my telly automatically switching to 576i perhaps made them smaller.

    All I know is that people refusing to buy MadWorld for that reason, and that reason alone, are idiots.

    It makes me laugh when people complain about the lack of hardcore games on Wii, and then when a really fucking good one comes out, those very same people don’t bother buying it. Crazy.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. evilashchris

    I’m not saying I won’t buy it, I’m saying not at full price, and yes, it’s because of the borders. If you are going to make a game for the hardcore, then you should make sure it’ll work properly through the best connection for the console, no? ;)

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Hero of Canton

    It does work properly.

    What people fail to understand is that it’s not something that’s been added into the US version, but taken out of the European version. It’s not that it’s a shonky port, but it’s been removed for a reason. That being that it noticeably improves the game’s frame-rate, which has been known to be jerky at times in the US version.

    Not buying it doesn’t send a message to Sega that gamers aren’t willing to put up with games which have borders – all it says is that hardcore games aren’t appreciated on Wii. Which means publishers will be less likely to make hardcore games for the console. Which leads to more casual games, and then said gamers who’ve ignored the hardcore games back to whingeing that Wii never gets ‘gamer’s games’. Which is THEIR OWN FAULT.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Patrick Garratt

    I’m speculating, but my hunch is that the “core” gave up on Wii a long, long time ago. I’m not surprised it’s struggled. I really don’t think there’s a large core audience sitting at home, looking at 10 million Wiis, thinking, “I wish I had a violent game to play on this.” I think the huge majority of people that would like to play something like MadWorld sold their Wiis, or lost the controllers, yonks ago.

    I think it speak volumes that a new GTA game can’t make that much of an impression on DS. It’s the biggest core game IP in the world. If that can’t do it, forget it.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. evilashchris

    Fair point, still nasty that i get borders and people on composite don’t though. So there.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Hero of Canton

    @Pat – You might be right, but if that’s the case it shows the ignorance of core gamers who often ignore perfectly decent core games on Wii and yet will happily pick up any mediocre guff on the HD consoles. It’s pretty clear that there’s a substantial percentage of core gamers who are really all about the technology – if a game’s SD, then it’s not worth bothering with. That said, the DS does appeal to plenty of core gamers – I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve said Rockstar really haven’t pushed this nearly as much as they should, and a few more who have played GTA on the home consoles and just aren’t that interested in a handheld version (regardless of the fact that it’s a brilliant, inventive and fresh take on GTA which arguably has more unique ideas than GTA IV did). I think part of it is that people want to play different games on the move than on their home consoles, and that’s a big part of why the PSP has struggled, and why the iPhone/iPod Touch has become so successful for games very, very quickly. The other problem with the DS is piracy. It’s probably the easiest console on the market to yarr stuff for, and that’s definitely had an impact on sales.

    The Wii has certainly been less successful in wooing core gamers, and part of that is because it’s so disruptive, which is the main reason why it’s garnered such a substantial audience of non-gamers who find its controller that much more appealing than a traditional pad. Gamers feel slightly threatened by the Wii – it’s forced people to relearn how to control certain games, and a lot of gamers aren’t happy that ‘their’ hobby is now being enjoyed by groups of people who wouldn’t previously have touched a videogame. So it’s a difficult situation Nintendo finds itself in, really – you could argue with the core games that it’s too little too late, but I don’t think a lot of that is Nintendo’s fault. I think a lot of that is third-parties assuming (with fairly good reason, it has to be said) that Wii would fail, and others really not putting any effort in, simply tossing off cheap ports or minigame compendiums. It’s just disappointing that when a really good core game arrives on Wii, people are prepared to find any tiny reason to write it off. But it’s silly for those same people to then complain about the alleged lack of decent core games on the console.

    @evilashchris – I’m using component and it looks great on my telly. Like I say, it defaults to 576i rather than 480i. It’s probably not the same for all sets, but even with borders (which are less noticeable in this game than in any other because of the monochromatic art style) it’s one of the best-looking games on the console. Hell, on any console (from an artistic standpoint, anyway).

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Mike

    I don’t think the core complain any more. They’ve simply given up.

    1 Mad World does not a good system make.

    Tbh though. I’ve been considering a DS purely for GTA, and Broken Sword and the new Zelda.

    Help me.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. evilashchris

    I can’t believe you don’t have a DS already Mike, they’re great. Zelda, Mariokart, NSMB and Chrono Trigger.

    HOTD:Overkill has had me playing my Wii for the first time in ages, so SEGA know I liked that :D

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Hero of Canton

    @ Mike – do you not read the comments threads on this site? :lol:

    And no, one Mad World does not a good system make. But you’d be ignoring a fuckload of other really good games which people curiously seem to forget when it comes to the Wii.

    And why do you need help for wanting a DS? You’re not going to get AIDS from buying a Nintendo console, you know.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    hardly a “Fuckload”, not unless you enjoy shovelware…

    #24 5 years ago
  25. Hero of Canton

    Okay, but I bet I could name at least twenty great games on Wii.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Syrok

    Lists! \o/

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Mike

    HoC: I’ve already bought a Wii twice and sold it both times.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Hero of Canton

    So why do you need help for wanting a DS?

    #28 5 years ago
  29. Mike

    It was a joke.

    Sorry.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Retroid

    I like how they think that a ‘wider’ audience would mean crapper sales for M-rated games.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. No_PUDding

    That is purely why the PS2 rocked then.

    It could do both.

    Wii upset the balance, and PS3/360 are too hardcore.

    For the moment anyway.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Hero of Canton

    Yeah, I don’t think we’ll ever see a console quite like the PS2. For all that Wii is the fastest to 50 million, I think it’ll start to tail off now and won’t end up outselling PS2 like some predicted. It has already started to slide in Japan, and it remains to be seen what happens in the west, but I think it’ll begin to tail off in the middle of this year or possibly early next (the likes of Wii Sports Resort among others will ensure a healthy Q3/Q4). Thinking about it, Nintendo will probably not be too bothered by that – it’s made a profit on every Wii sold, the console has been far more successful than the GameCube ever was, and the DS in its various iterations is still earning it big bucks.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Michael O'Connor

    “I don’t think the core complain any more. They’ve simply given up.”

    That’s their own loss, surely? I own at least a dozen games on the Wii that would be considered aimed at the “core” gamer, all of which are unique titles that can only be found on the format. There’s also some real games on the WiiWare shopping channel.

    The console might not be getting triple A titles every single week, but does it have to? Are gamers attention span so short that they’re not satisfied unless they’re getting a “fix” on their console at least twice a month?

    The DS, I own at least two dozen “core” games for. Not having a DS is a loss to gamers as well if they don’t want to buy it; there’s some beautiful gems on that handheld as well.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. theevilaires

    All good and interesting points. Now mash them together to see the future of the wii and its dominance so far. Then never speak of the damn thing again.

    #34 5 years ago