Ah, the Wii. No other console in the history of gaming has done more to both bring together and tear apart the masses. While it is introducing a whole new generation of people to the joys of our hobby, the reception to Nintendo’s little white juggernaut by the enthusiast gamers has been nothing short of underwhelming.
Last year’s MadWorld, a black-and-white blood bath death match by Bayonetta creators Platinum Games, is a great example of the divide between the game’s target audience and the people who actually own a Wii. No one knows this better than Mike Hayes, President and COO of SEGA Europe, who recently commented that putting MadWorld on the Wii was a bit of a “mismatch”. He went on to elaborate why he thought that, in hindsight, MadWorld should have been a 360, PC or PS3 title.
“Clearly that was a mismatch with the Wii audience — particularly in terms of the amount of cross-ownership between Wii and the other home platforms. If you’re going to play a mature-rated game, you’re going to get your 360, PC or PS3 out to do so. But you can’t knock us for having a go.”
True enough, Mr. Hayes. At least your company had the guts to back a Mature-rated Wii title, even if previous efforts by other developers had fallen flat. Mike Hayes also went on to say that the titles developed by Platinum Games lend themselves more to the increased power of a beefier platform like the 360 or the PS3.
While it’s rare to see a publisher, especially someone as high up as Mike Hayes, admit that they made a mistake, it is refreshing to some degree. If anything, SEGA has learned that the “hard-core” aren’t interested in Wii gaming, with the possible exception of Nintendo’s first-party titles. While a sequel to MadWorld may never appear, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it make the jump to the 360 or the PS3.
What do you guys think about this? Did you play MadWorld, and what was your opinion of it? Would it have worked better as a 360/PS3 title? Will SEGA actually learn from this?