Despite numbering nearly 25 million, North American Wii owners aren't massively interested in Mature-rated games for the console. Sega and Platinum Games' stylized gorefest MadWorld managed only 66,000 units upon its debut in March, with High Voltage Software's sci-fi shooter The Conduit shifting just 72,000 units following its June opening.
As low as those numbers may be, they dwarf those of EA and Visceral Games' Dead Space Extraction launch. According to sales figures from the industry-tracking NPD Group, the survival-horror shooter shifted a mere 9,200 units between its September 29 premiere and October 3, despite garnering a solid critical reception.
EA had not returned requests for comment on the game's opening performance as of press time. However, the company has expressed satisfaction with the performance of the original Dead Space, which received glowing reviews on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Last October, the Xbox 360 edition of Visceral Games' new intellectual property just managed to crack the NPD's top 10 sales chart with 193,000 units sold. In May, EA said that the shooter had since sold more than 1.4 million units worldwide.
Dead Space Extraction's dismal debut presents a speed bump for EA's rush into the Wii market. As part of the publisher's year-end earnings report in May, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that he expects 10 of his company's Wii titles to be hits. Beyond EA Sports Active, though, the publisher has struggled to find a space on Nintendo's console, seeing tepid responses to Wii-targeted titles such as Grand Slam Tennis and Boom Blox Bash Party, both of which debuted to fewer than 100,000 units.
Despite Extraction's low numbers, EA remains committed to the Dead Space series. In July, Variety revealed that EA had partnered with the Temple Hill production company on a live-action film based on the game, directed by Eagle Eye helmer D.J. Caruso. Last month, EA job listings indicated that Visceral Games was staffing up to begin development of Dead Space 2 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.