Sega still open to core Wii games

Company president and COO Mike Hayes says Nintendo's massive installed base allows even niche markets to be successful; The Conduit sells 150K worldwide.

Perhaps more so than any other publisher, Sega has taken risks on establishing a mature audience on Nintendo's family-friendly Wii. This year, the Japanese company has released three titles exclusively for the Wii that have catered to a more adult crowd: Headstrong Games' House of the Dead: Overkill, Platinum Games' MadWorld, and High Voltage Software's The Conduit.

Is this what Wii owners want?

However, despite agreeable review scores, none of the titles have been able to tap into the Wii's massive installed base, which stands at 52 million worldwide through June 30. Though Sega stated that House of the Dead "absolutely met our expectations," the title failed to crack the NPD Group's top 10 US retail releases for February. MadWorld and The Conduit had equally disappointing starts, debuting with a respective 66,000 and 72,000 units in the US.

Still, Sega doesn't appear ready to give up on finding the Wii's core gaming audience. Speaking to Wired, Sega president and COO Mike Hayes said that just because the three aforementioned titles didn't score breakout success doesn't mean that adult-centric games won't sell on the platform.

"I think if you take our slew of more mature games--House of the Dead: Overkill did really well in Europe, and for some reason even though it's a big (intellectual property) it did less well in North America," Hayes noted. "So that's kind of like a win and a miss that's kind of come out neutral."

"MadWorld sales were very disappointing, but was that to do with the platform?" he continued. "Was it that people didn't like the art style? Or that people didn't like the way the game played through? It could be many things, which we're obviously researching." Hayes went on to note that Sega considers The Conduit a success, given that it shipped 300,000 units worldwide, about 150,000 of which sold through to consumers.

Hayes also said that Sega fully intends to continue releasing more mature games for the Wii, given that the platform's massive installed base allows even niche games to be successful. "I think the sheer scale of the Wii allows a shooter, or a mature game, to be a niche but a successful niche. And because the development costs can be less on Wii, that means you can sell less to be successful. We can take more risks on the Wii."

The Wii has a number of core-audience titles on the horizon. Conduit developer High Voltage Software is currently prepping The Grinder and Gladiator A.D. for Nintendo's platform, neither of which has a publisher yet. Other Wii exclusives include Electronic Arts' Dead Space Extraction and Capcom's Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, which are both expected later this year.

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Discussion

65 comments
Marcster1994
Marcster1994

The problem was is that you weren't advertising enough. You weren't making people WANT it. You just said,"Hey, we made a cool game!" And that's it.

GameShark9000
GameShark9000

It's amazing how Sega is being so selfless during tough times. Hopefully this will encourge other companies to put in effort into a game that has a chance of saling instead of shovelware that is instantly going to flop.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

"the game will likely end up finding an audience of over 300,000 gamers on Wii lifetime making it a moderately successful new IP" yep, so out of 50+ million wii owners, only 300k are old enough to kiss a girl. So let's stop the nonsense shall we? The wii isn't next gen, isn't hard core, and the 99% demographic is pre-teens.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

retroguy02, you might be right about it but I rightly feel if Nintendo just aim for casual gamers, we won't see third party support today. So for hardcore gamers, there still might be some risk to be taken with the development of games being setup near the end of this year. For me, I'm an all rounder. Its easy for people who own an Xbox360 and PS3 will look at the Wii and say "The graphics, online and replay value is inferior to our powerful console". On the other hand if Nintendo follows there lead, then we wouldn't have motion controls today they would've been repeating themselves again. So in other words, Nintendo Wii will be able to succeed as a next generation console than a hardcore and casual platformer and I guarantee the motion controls will be the next trend in the future. For Sega, I'm sure third party support wouldn't live without that company and many others. Sorry if I've overblown this subject but I do like to get the thoughts out of my head.

retroguy02
retroguy02

I think the reason why Sega isn't doing so well despite making some good games (and more importantly, having the guts to do so) on the Wii is that it is aiming for the niche hardcore gamers on the Wii, and not trying to win over casual gamers, Wii's predominant user base. Most hardcore gamers who own Wii are already disgruntled with the shovelware lineup and are very skeptical of third-party games even if they look promising, and most have already switched over to a 360 or PS3 (me included, I have a Wii but play only on my 360). I think Sega needs better marketing to convert mainstream Wii audiences towards good games rather than aiming at a disgruntled niche audience.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

If Im not mistaken in 1994-1996 gamers said the PS-X wasnt a core gamer console and after the N64 was released it would be a distant second I wonder where the Playstation brand would be today if companies like Konami and Squar-enix took advice from the so called core gamers.

BtmnHatesRbn
BtmnHatesRbn

Strange reporting. Maybe everybody in Las Vegas, NV, loves those games. Everyone owns a copy.

ralphikari
ralphikari

Sega's bar is so low that Trinidad Limbo dancers have trouble with it.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

Go sega go sega! Finally, someone will take us seriously! Svrew all those shovelware companys, we will finally get real games.

angelGP32
angelGP32

150k sold is a success on the Wii, holy crap. That's a total turd bomb on any other system.

ClaTheNinja
ClaTheNinja

Nothing wrong with putting these games on the Wii. But you're only hurting yourself by not also bringing them to PS3, 360, and PC.

rgame1
rgame1

300k thats it? wtf? No more heroes shipped 300k in USA and 200k in PAL.

fon1988
fon1988

Madworld was fun at first, but I feel it lost it's oomph about a couple hours into it. The House of the Dead Over Kill was fantastic and I enjoyed every minute of it. Conduit's single player could of used some work but I continue to play the online frequently. Sega needs to continue this trend and make good quality, mature titles and they will tap into the core audience and make bucketloads of cash doing so.

NuKkU
NuKkU

im suprised the conduit sold very well maybe because they advertised the heck out of it but i still think most if not almost all hardcore games cant survive on the wii

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

The problem with MadWorld is quite simple: it's not a very good game. It's gruesomely entertaining for about an hour, especially the commentary, and then it becomes pretty dull. Saying that you can't sell violent games on the Wii because MadWorld and The Conduit flopped is like saying that you can't sell soda because New Coke was a disaster. Make a good action game, and it'll sell just fine. Resident Evil 4 has sold, what, 4 or 5 million units across two Nintendo platforms? The trick is to use the Wii's assets to make the right kind of game, rather than making stripped-down versions of 360/PS3 games that instantly turn people off.

agehaelhaym
agehaelhaym

Yeah, give me Jet Set Radio! I loved the DC game. House of the Dead: Overkill was fun and the Australian Bang Bang Box was a nice package. I loved MadWorld's art style but the game was kind of boring after a few hours.

X-RS
X-RS

JET SET RADIO!!!

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

I am interested in MadWorld, but not fully sure I should get it.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Overkill, I still want but there are just so many PS3 games that I want that it just gets overshadowed. Madworld, I hate the art style, it hurts my eyes, that is why I didn't buy it. The Conduit, it pales in comparison to FPSs that I can buy on my PS3, plus reviewers have unanimously described it as "dull".

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Guzthon is quite right and it is that reliance on particular individuals that makes me wonder what Nintendo will be like when Miyamoto retires. I mean, if Sega's quality has dropped since losing Naka and Suzuki what will Ninty's be like?

GBPackersrule
GBPackersrule

"Buy The Conduit. It's good" Good? Pff. You clearly haven't played Call of Duty 4. If you think that joke for a FPS is good, then COD 4 will take you to the gates of heaven.

Guzthon
Guzthon

Sega is not the same company in the last years, no Yu Suzuki (creator of Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, etc.) and no Yuji Naka (creator of Sonic, Dreams, Burning Rangers). Only time will tell (I hope).

DMLSLAT
DMLSLAT

It's so weird that Sega's so supportive of Nintendo's console... But hey I'm a big Nintendo fan and I'm disappointed at how little support it's getting from third parties, so I'm all for this. When a Sega game only for Wii gets a 9 on here, I'll get it no questions asked. Step 1: Make a halfway decent Sonic game. :P

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

Great for Sega, but just try to make your games a little bit better and longer, here in Mexico wii games are 90 bucks.

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

Buy all three!! they are really fun and each one is a different approach to known fields

thetravman
thetravman

Kinda agree with masterman. I saw absolutely no advertisements for all of those games. Alot of gamers don't check online like us for the best games to purchase.

DS_Lightning21
DS_Lightning21

House of the Dead was successful because it was pick-up-and-play, so it appealed to both casual and hardcore gamers. Sega needs to make more games that focus on both groups rather than just one side.

masterman280
masterman280

reasons 1. conduit had no ad. neither did house of dead or madworld. 2. madworld was banned in many conturys. 3. madworld was so violent parents wont even lets there sons/daughter buy it 4. 18+ people are more into 360 and ps3 but the main reason is that there dont advertise it

M212
M212

Call Of Duty 4 is being ported to the Wii. It's being developed by Treyarch( the guys that made Call of Duty 1, 3 and 5) not Infinity Ward. It probably won't do as well as the 360 and PS3 versions, but I think it will sell well and Wii owners will be able to accept it. In fact Hideo Kojima(the maker of the Metal Gear Solid series) said he would like to make a game for the Wii. I would like to see a Wii exclusive MGS spin-off title.

thetravman
thetravman

Sega should make another F-Zero game for Nintendo again.

Dualmask
Dualmask

Fact is, these games that come out for the high-end consoles cost so much to make mainly because of the graphics. I love HD as much as the next guy as a PS3 owner, but the sheen of nice graphics wears off after a while and gameplay returns to the top of the priority list. There are great games on all consoles, but I just wish more developers would stop letting the Wii's lesser power be a hinderance to their decision to develop serious games for the platform. After all, PS2 games are still selling and the Wii does have that massive install base. Where's the downside? And maybe the devs need to consider that these deep, high quality games don't necessarily have to be M rated. I love a good game, whatever the rating, E or M, if the gameplay is strong. I can play Mario Galaxy or Prototype and have a blast. Maybe Sega and other devs need to make more games like Galaxy (that is to say, deep, rewarding gameplay without unnecessary gore) and less games like Madworld (not that Madworld wasn't good, it was just gore for its own sake which I didn't care for).

Madmangamer364
Madmangamer364

"However, despite agreeable review scores, none of the titles have been able to tap into the Wii's massive installed base..." Wha...? A problem with Sega's recent efforts thus far (specifically Madworld, and to an even greater extent, The Conduit) was that the reviews for these games were pretty mixed. You either had the group that gave it props for being "new/different for a Wii game" or those that just weren't feeling what the games were offering in one way or another. As much as these games were hyped and all, none of them were "must-have" games, and I think that has been proven. Anyways, I don't mind Sega trying to do something different on the Wii, but that doesn't mean that every "core" game it publishes has to be a violent and vulgar mess. If Sega would do something like revive one of its RPG franchises, I would be far more interested in that than its recent efforts. More importantly, what Sega and many other publishers/developers need to realize is that Wii owners want quality games, just let every other system owner. If Sega committed itself more to quality than "core," I think it would see better results.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

yes, exactly wii needs adult games, needs to get more people used to playing them on that system, because it is fun and fun to use and play on

Cruse34
Cruse34

It's good they haven't given up.

Excedra
Excedra

The Wii needs these games, I liked madworld actually, and especially no more heroes. They should make a gta for the Wii, and if its exclusive, and gets a 9,0 or above, then that would be sweet.

Hoodstock
Hoodstock

If The Conduit would have been a better game it would have gotten better reviews and more people would have bought it. It had tons of problems, including not being in stores until two days after its release date. Make a sequel right and it will sell.

FoxExecutive
FoxExecutive

I don't look at Nintendo as a system for kids, but a game system that everyone can enjoy. Nintendo's biggest problem isn't lack of third party support, but third party support that doesn't try hard enough. How many "mini-game" games can one system have? But their are certainly amazing titles out there for the Wii. Luckily the Wii has some promising first party titles for the Wii coming out this year and next.

Ghetto_ninja
Ghetto_ninja

I loved Mad World. It was a breath of fresh air. It's one of the few newer games I have enjoyed. It was a bit repetitive, but there was enough things added as the game went a long to keep it fresh.

Neosonic23
Neosonic23

Im Being Honest I have t played MadWorld cuz of Up and Down reviews. Im Still Waiting For A Company to be the new Rareware to Nintendo

Durhamster
Durhamster

The conduit was terrible. If you own only a Wii it's alright but for people like me who own a wii and a PC this game wasn't even worth a rental.

Brawl578
Brawl578

I have tons of respect for Sega. The only part of them I don't respect is Sonic Team (surprise, surprise).

Aurey
Aurey

Madworld is amazing, I didn't like the music but still it is great. House of the Dead is as fun as always, maybe even more, the old-movie vibe of the game is awesome. Maybe Sega should have made these two games for the other consoles and only produce party games for Wii, like Monkey Ball (Banana Blitz was a lot of fun) or the Sonic related games. That kind of content seems to sell well on Wii.

NICKKELANIUS
NICKKELANIUS

@lamprey263 true that- but if they rated them like they should, no game would get higher than a 3.0

lamprey263
lamprey263

The only reason I haven't picked up The Conduit yet is because Wii games are graded on a totally different scale than other games; it's as if the entire class fails a test so they grade on a curve, so a Wii game with a high grade ends up being just mediocre overall. That's not to say all Wii games are bad, as there are certainly some great games out there, it's just so hard, even with reviews and tons of player feedback, to tell what's really worth playing. I got Mad World because it looked promising, stylish, with that edginess of mature content... but that game always got boring after playing it for less than an hour. Anyhow, as for mature games, I've lost count long ago how many times I've been in the game store and kids want games like Mad World and The Conduit and parents are like "that looks too violent, maybe something else". Sure there are mature gamers on the Wii, mature games will sell some copies but not like the mass appeal of mature games that end up on the X360 or PS3, with the different crowds those consoles attract.

dareough
dareough

@enix165 Have you played Madworld because it is actually a very fun game. Before I bought it that is what I thought about it but it completely changed my mind. Although it is short it is very fun I recommend it to all Wii owners above the age of thirteen.

dareough
dareough

Nice this is great news for me since I only own a Wii.

shamarke
shamarke

Come on Wii show us some blood!

enix165
enix165

I'm with Spikedjester's second comment;I don't buy the games because I'm not interested in my Wii anymore...plus MadWorld seems like random, over-exaggerated glorification of gore to me, I need a real game, not some random beat-'em-up with nonsensical amounts of gore and unorthodox art styles.