What Developers are making?
A Tale of CrapWare
With a crash of thunder and spark of genius,
Came a brave little console, here to guide us.
But how will he get there, through peace or through wrath,
Little Wii-Knight, motion controls in-hand, creates his path.
The Developers Apirations
What’s interesting about having all of this data at your disposal is seeing quickly how consoles can be remembered, or to drudge up old arguments with harder proof about what assumed at certain points but couldn’t really prove it yet. What the above shows is just how much developers spread across various genres on various consoles. Below are the pictures split-up.
Developers fight for the attention of the audience. They rally behind their champion in the hopes of promoting their game, but they don’t rarely the wisest of choices getting caught up in the publicity of a console.
This shows the types of games that developers are making for us to play. It’s not about what we like, but what developers think we like or that we will like in the future. A heavy emphasis on Action games with your Assassin’s Creeds, Resident Evils, Devil May Crys and the sort. But something interesting shows up when you comb through the various consoles
Of the set of consoles, Wii-developer’s set their focus on making non-traditional games and actually moved Action games towards the 3rd slot while it took 1st in development on the PS3/X360. The games covering the Misc Section, the largest selection of the Wii’s library, was the Music Games (e.g. Sing-It, RockBand, Just Dance), which we talked about heavily in the previous article, but also games like Fitness Assistants (ala Wii Fit, Zumba) and many trivia games, which shows that developers were heavily pushing the “family-fun” aspect of the console.
But developers heard about the popularity of Wii-Knight. Wii-Knight is the new phenomenon, every household has one. It’s so easy to use, kids and adults of all ages enjoy the wonders of Wii-Knight. “Maybe they’ll like my game” the developers though.
However, these games left much to be desired by the market. The problem that we started seeing was a less reliable Wii-Market, not trusting many of the games for the console and the sales showed for it.
The Rise-and-Fall of the Wii
What’s funny is I have the graph annotated for top sales, but you can easily guess what each spike in Genre Sales is. The humungous Sports spike at the beginning is Wii Fit sales. Almost any Platformer spike is due to a Mario game. In Fact, most spikes in sales are due to 1st party games, which leads to the question of how do the sales look without Nintendo in the picture?
Not only does the sales per genre shift when taking away Wii-Fit (bumping Sports to 3rd place), but we see a drastic decrease in sales across the board. This could be predicted from the drastic differences from the mean in graph 6, though. Wii Play 26 Million Sales with a 4.7 Mil in the Misc Category, Wii Sports 81 Million bringing the average to 16.6 in Sports, New Mario Bros Wii with 26 Mil in a Avg 3.5 Mil Platformer Category. What the Hell? Without Mario, Platformers get brought down from 3.5 Mil to 1.2 Mil average in 2010; without Wii Fit, Sports Average goes down from 16.6Mil to 250K; and without Smash Bros Brawl, the average goes down from 1.1 Mil to 250K. That means that in each category Nintendo makes up at least 75% of the average sales of that Genre if not more. What’s worse about the Wii library is when you look at the number of titles that don’t sell well at all.
Only the creators of Wii-Knight knew how to create games that the audience wanted. The developers, instead, created games for Wii-Knight that were beneath him. But the little knight was just following orders, so he promoted the games of the other developers. “Maybe you’ll like play Jeopardy with the whole family? Or this ‘fun’ point and click cooking game?”
With the Wii, we see a crapware flooding the market library, at least in terms of sales. This has nothing to do with how good the game is, which is left for a later article. The most crap comes in at the half-life of the console, with ~120 crap games vs ~200 less-crap games. But that does mean that at least 1/3, 1 in 3, look to the left and right of you and one of you is a shitty game. Well, actually the X360 had ~70:~150 which is just as bad, but the PS3 had ~50:~150 at its worse year making it the king of sales with only 25% of games not selling that well. For the Wii, no genre outperformed over the rest, they were all equally shitty. For the other consoles, though, there was some fan favoritism. Action games were most successful than not for the X360, but Sports games were more successful than not on the PS3 while the opposite is true for the X360.
“It’s no use,” said Wii-Knight. “The crowd may love me, but you’re games are just terrible.” And so, the developers lost their faith in Wii-Knight and one-by-one took their misplaced aspirations and left Wii-Knight alone, letting him age more gracefully. Becoming a hit-or-miss console than a smash-hit console, Wii-Knight kept some of his integrity in tact before his child would follow in his footsteps.
Maybe they’ve already realized, but just because you have a popular market, it doesn’t mean that developing a game will get it sold. With, at one point, 2 out of every 3 crapware games going to the Wii, it makes anyone hesitant to want to try anything for the console.
Here lies the dreams of developers that have come and gone, whose faith in Wii-Knight was misplaced.
Any Suggestions for other Data Analyses are welcomed, though pulling and polling the data and what not will take time.
All data in this post was scrapped publically from VGChartz.com and any inconsistency in the data is likely due to unreported information towards VGChartz.com as well as improper handling of scrapping by myself. I argue that this is minimal because games that do well and that make up a large portion of trends is from publishers willing to advertise their successful(larger) sales numbers, and less successful games that don’t constitute a noticeable trends have lower sales figures to contribute heavily towards analysis. But without these numbers, this is hard to say definitively.