The Audience is Not There

I made a snide remark a couple of weeks ago in my last article about how since Brawlhalla was so awesome, I could throw out my Wii U because there was basically no reason to have it anymore. Well I got to thinking about it, and… it’s kinda true – at least right at this moment in time. But it’s not the poor console’s fault; it’s more than capable of running some pretty intense graphics, and Super Smash Bros. is one of the prettiest games I’ve seen in a while. No, what’s killing the Wii U is none other than the developers themselves. It seems that the Wii U is carrying a stigma among the gaming community for some arbitrary reason – in that no games made on the console will sell.

Here’s a tip dev’s… don’t ever try, and your failure rate will remain at 100%. Not only that, but you’re killing a perfectly viable console for no reason at all.

Not too long ago, I was excited to read that Rock band 4 was announced and is being aimed for release in late 2015. I was incredibly excited to play – after all, it’s a game series that has stuck with me since I began percussion, I had the peripherals I needed and a Wii U… except: there are no plans to bring RB4 to the Wii U. Why?  Daniel Sussman from Harmonix, the developers of the Rock Band series, explained:

“The Wii U is a really hard call for us, but from our initial research the audience is not there yet, and I would be really psyched for there to be this public outcry of “Where is the Wii U? I will absolutely throw money at you and I wanna buy it and preorder it!” and all that.  And then we start working on it.”

What a strange statement: “the audience is not there yet.” Last I checked guys, the Wii U was only trailing behind the Xbone in sales by about 2 million units. But no, 9 million households is totally not an audience at all, you’re right. Let this be public outcry #1, as I am sure no one else at all could possibly be wanting a Wii U release. I also don’t get why pre-orders are a factor in this statement, but that’s another article for another day.

Consider this: Who is more likely to buy your 4 player co-op party game

1. Xbox; A community of gamers whom the majority of which are Call of Duty or Halo players, on a platform that is saturated in first person shooter games / games heavily centered around a single-player experience (that is to say, a single player-of-the-game playing online multiplayer) or

2. Wii; A community of more casual gamers/families with young children who likely enjoy playing games with their kids, on a platform that is more centered around local multiplayer a la Super Smash Brothers or Mario Kart.

 

What the hell is wrong with you, Harmonix? Isn’t the audience not only there, but kind of hard to look past? I love your games, but seriously, what a skewed sense of logic. I’m genuinely baffled by the idea that the audience is for a party game is “not there yet”, on a platform which boasts MARIO PARTY as one of its IP’s! Not to mention the myriad of other couch co-op games on the Wii U – It just doesn’t make sense, and it’s really seeming like a cop-out so that the dev’s can just be lazy. I guess you don’t want to sell video games, Harmonix. Whatever floats your boat, guys. Just put Circa Survive songs in Rock Band 4 and I’ll forgive you maybe.

This is a really short article from me this week, simply because I don’t know what else to say about this issue that isn’t redundant or repetitious. Developers these days just really need to realize that riding on the coattails of a console pseudo-stigma that has no real credit to it just makes them look lazy. Release games for the Wii U and they’ll sell, it’s not that difficult of a concept to understand. 9 million people didn’t buy this console just to watch it collect dust on their shelves. For your games to sell you have to make games – you have an audience that a lot of game developers would sell their souls for… you should start appreciating it instead of diminishing it.

 

 

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