Capcom: "Gamers have abandoned the Wii"

Written by Joe Martin

January 6, 2010 | 10:59

Tags: #gamers #wii

Companies: #capcom #france #nintendo

In a frank interview the head of Capcom France has said that hardcore gamers have all but abandoned the Wii and that the future of the company rests solely on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Nintendo reckons differently though, claiming that the console has weathered a year of slow sales and has come back out on top.

Antoine Seux, director general of Capcom France, gave a (French) interview with GameKult (via Spong) that saw him lamenting the poor performance of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles compared to the success of the very similar Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles a year or two previously.

"In absolute terms the figures aren't that bad, but we're not going to lie to ourselves, they're lower than we hoped," Seux said. "After three weeks, we're at a total of 16,000 copies sold. There's clearly a problem with this style of game on the Wii; gamers have obviously moved on to other things. And yet two years ago, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles was a great success on Wii. You can see that customers on this console have turned to much more mass-market stuff. It's disappointing."

Seux came right out and admitted that hardcore games are collapsing on the Wii and that even big-budget titles struggle to make an impression, pointing to Sega's Madworld as an example.

"What works massively well, and I'm relying on GfK figures here, are very, very mass-market games like Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and, to a lesser extent, Just Dance and the Rabbids. These titles are very strongly supported, above all, by huge advertising campaigns."

"Two years ago, there were still gamers on the Wii, Nintendo loyalists who have turned their backs on this console in favour of the next generation," he said. "[2009 was] the year of the emergence of the so-called next-generation machines. We feel that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 took a firm foothold in the market. This isn't necessarily reflected in the sales figures, because the Wii still represents a major portion of sales, but the growth is on those two platforms.

"The DS is in decline for various reasons like market saturation and piracy. The PSP is dying for the same reasons. The Wii is very much a family console with relatively low attach rates. So for us at Capcom, the future is on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360."

Nintendo's Iwata Satoru meanwhile has said today that the Wii is recovering from a slowdown of sales that came late last year and that the future is bright for the console, again.

"I think it's now safe to say the Wii has recovered from slowdown," Iwata told Reuters. "I'm not sure if it's prudent to use words like revival and recovery lightly before making absolutely certain we can maintain this momentum. So, I steer clear of such words today."

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