GTA: Chinatown Wars sales 'frustrating' - Nintendo

Sales executive for console maker criticizes Take-Two's marketing support for disappointing DS debut of open-world crime series.


Nintendo has experienced unprecedented success with older gamers in recent years, but ironically, games rated M for Mature (audiences 17 and older) have frequently struggled on the platform. For example, Take-Two Interactive's blockbuster Grand Theft Auto series debuted on the DS earlier this year with Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars but has barely broken sales of 250,000 at US retailers in the intervening months.

Nintendo thinks Chinatown Wars could have been a bigger hit for the DS if Take-Two had promoted it more.
Nintendo thinks Chinatown Wars could have been a bigger hit for the DS if Take-Two had promoted it more.

In an interview with MTV, Nintendo executive vice president of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway acknowledged the critically acclaimed open-world crime game's commercial struggles and laid some blame for it at Take-Two's feet.

"It's frustrating, quite frankly," Dunaway said, noting that some M-rated titles like Resident Evil: Wii Edition have managed to sell a million units on Nintendo systems. "Part of what's needed is you have to continue to put marketing support behind these titles. The old dynamic of 'Throw it on television for a few weeks and then move on and forget it' just doesn't work, because new consumers are coming in all the time who are interested. So you've gotta keep coming up with ways to expose it."

When the game sold fewer than 90,000 copies at US retailers in its debut month, Take-Two representatives showed faith in the title, saying, "We're confident in Chinatown Wars' long-term success and believe it will continue to sell well." Since then, Chinatown Wars has arrived on the PSP and has been announced for Apple's iPhone.

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