Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hardcore Whiners

Everytime there's a discussion on why third-party videogames "won't sell" on Nintendo Wii, I just roll my eyes and wonder what these hardcore types are drinking.

"Third-party games that don't sell" usually means the hardcore games they want - Madworld, The Conduit, Resident Evil Darkside, Dead Space Extraction.  It never dawns on these kids that, maybe, just maybe, these hardcore games just aren't any good.  Why should I pay $50 for a lightgun shoot-em-up, when there are nearly 20 similar games to choose from?  And why should I pay for "mature" titles that drown in blood and f-bombs?  The public is just expected to line up with money in hand, like nice obedient little pets.  The real world doesn't work like that.

There are plenty of successful third-party games on the Wii. They just aren't the kind that hardcore nerds want anything to do with.  The new Expanded Audience games - fitness and dance games in particular - are waved away and ignored.  Meanwhile, here in the real world, Ubisoft's Just Dance is selling like hotcakes, topping the charts, and giving Nintendo a run for its money.  Not a peep.  Not a word.  Just Comic Book Guy sneering (IGN's temper tantrum of a review is a case study).

Namco's We Cheer has been a great hit on the Wii.  So have nearly all the fitness titles from Ubisoft, Namco and EA.  EA Sports Active has sold millions, and will stay on the charts forever.  Shaun White Road Trip was a big hit, and so was Boom Blox, De Blob, House of the Dead.  Muramasa and Little King's Story have found success on the Long Tail, slowly but steadily finding an audience.  And, of course, there are those great WiiWare titles like Bit.Trip.Beat and World of Goo, and all the Virtual Console classics.

There is no excuse for whining.  Thankfully, it appears that major players such as Capcom, Namco, Konami, Ubisoft, and EA are respecting the Wii market and are providing their strongest games for the platform.  2010 is already shaping up to be the Wii's best year yet.

Two words for the hardcore whiners: NBA Jam.  NBA Freakin' Jam, kids.

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