Pachter says Chinatown Wars sold poorly because DS is not aimed at mature audiences

Thursday, 23rd April 2009 22:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Michael Pachter has told Gamasutra that a mature audience just isn’t “there” for Nintendo DS.

Citing the lower than expected sale for Chinatown Wars, Pachter estimated that between the US and Europe, only 10 percent of the DS user base are males age 18-30. This is the target audience for Mature rated games.

The analyst feels that this has a lot to do with the way Nintendo advertises its product.

“There may be a lot of ‘adults’ who own DS hardware, but look at the ads: America Ferrera, Liv Tyler, Beyonce, and Carrie Underwood are all targeted at teen girls or women,” said Pachter. “It’s pretty clear to me that the ‘older’ DS demographic is largely female, and that they play Brain Training, Nintendogs, and Rhythm Heaven, not GTA: Chinatown Wars.”

Pachter believes that this is not because the market is tired of the GTA franchise, only that it would rather play the series on a console.

“I do not believe the market is tired of the GTA franchise,” Pachter says. “The other dimension is that the 10 percent of DS owners probably own a console as well, and if they’re inclined to buy GTA, they would probably do it on a console first. Few people buy the same game on the DS and on a console.”

Take-Two plans to continue it’s advertising support of the game, to try to raise awareness for the franchise on DS. Pachter, however, feels the company may be wasting its time.

“We can’t say that Take-Two made a bad game or marketed it poorly,” he said. “Instead, they created an M-rated game for a largely E and T audience, and those DS owners who are legally allowed to buy an M-rated game are not particularly interested.

“There’s no point making games for an audience that is not there.”

More through the link.



  1. Syrok


    #1 6 years ago
  2. Gamoc

    Pachter just blew my mind. I definitely didn’t think of that reason!

    #2 6 years ago
  3. anasui


    I dont think there aren’t enough mature DS players, so not only he’s stating the obvious, he also stated the obvious for the wrong reasons

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Prof Power Glove

    Um…..but won’t games like this act to help create a bigger ‘mature’ audience for the DS? That’s the point right? If it works, it should result in slow but steady sales.

    Don’t forget the DS suffers from big piracy problems too – especially with the target demographic for games such as this.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    I’m part of the problem here… I didn’t buy it and perhaps I should have. That said, I use my DS so infrequently these days that I should probably sell it anyway.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. absolutezero

    I bought it. I got bored really quite quickly. I think its GTA games, samething happened with GTA4 and even TL&D. Its just, I dunno too many go here do this then come back missions at the start they just sap any will to progress. That and the constant resetting of status just irritates. Yeah Ive been doing badass missions for this guy, but now im back to doing dogs body work for some dude thats slightly more powerful.

    Its not as if its a problem with the rest of the genre either, it seems to be something that set it stone in the GTA template.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. ShakaCarnage

    I would very much like him to fuck off now. I might start a petition.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. theevilaires

    psp port soon?…..

    #8 6 years ago
  9. anasui

    to sell even less? You wish

    #9 6 years ago
  10. hitnrun

    It’s a shame that the fate of all mature games on Nintendo system’s are tied to the incontrovertible truism among Pachter’s ilk that GTA is “a great brand” and GTA represents the the best an M-rated DS game could hope to attain.

    GTA is fun but it’s far from a must-own anymore. GTA 4 sold great because it had been 4 years and 3 console launches since the last one but the formula just isn’t interesting enough to sustain annual spin-offs.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. cachucha

    they should let the kids buy this, my nephew was dying to get it for his ds, and he is only 7 :D

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Gekidami

    Actually anasui this would have probably sold better on PSP, the other GTA games did if i remember correctly, though theres no chance this’ll get a port seeing as its build from the ground up for DS.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Gamoc

    GTA IV was a fantastic game and I will personally decapitate anybody who says otherwise.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Syrok

    I say otherwise. The story was not good at all up to the last two mission. The mission were repetitive and boring, except for 3 or 4. The characters were mostly not loveable, especially Nico and his cousin. The phone was the worst gameplay decision in years.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. Blerk

    Doesn’t the DS have the biggest ‘mature’ audience of any console?

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Syrok

    Not the right sort of mature, though. :)

    #16 6 years ago
  17. Mike

    I agree 100% with Abzero. Haven’t touched CW in a while now. Too much back and forth, innit.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Gekidami

    I havnt played it yet, i have it, just havnt touched it, its got decent reviews though… Then again so did GTAIV :o

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Mike

    It’s really good it’s just…well…read abzero’s post above. :)

    #19 6 years ago
  20. OrphanageExplosion

    It’s this sort of thinking that explains why Pachter is paid the big money. That and maybe making crap predictions.

    #20 6 years ago
  21. anasui

    “decent reviews” lol, Geki you cant hide your sony bias even if you wanted to

    GTACW is a good game, just not the best thing they made it seem to be. GTAIV was the same, a good game with some big annoyances overrated to the highest possible point

    #21 6 years ago
  22. Gamoc

    Syrok, could you be so kind as to give me your address.

    I won’t use it for any invasions of privacy, honest.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. Syrok

    316, Avenue Pr. Joseph
    01 BP 1760
    Ouagadougou 01

    Good luck. :P

    #23 6 years ago

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