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.”
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