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id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead Wary Of Developing And Publishing For Wii

r_pad
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Posted April 13, 2009 - By r_pad

id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead Wary Of Developing And Publishing For Wii

Numerous third-party developers and publishers are wary about creating and publishing games for Nintendo Wii. As with previous Nintendo platforms, the majority of successful games are first-party offerings and, in general, it's difficult for third-party titles to thrive in a similar fashion. Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, isn't feeling the Wii either. In a recent interview with GameSpot he said:

"If you look at the data, the Wii is Nintendo--and then everybody else. And then among everybody else, it's licensed properties--and then stuff that people lose money on. So, for a really original, game-centric IP , if you're a third-party developer, I would say, 'Show me what makes such a compelling case for the Wii.' I'm not saying that it's not out there, but there hasn't been anything that's been demonstrated to be a really huge success. So the game-centric game-based properties are successful on 360 and PS3, and PC, especially if you have a combined launch. They're not as successful on the Wii. In fact, if you're already doing those others, then maybe you add the Wii as your fourth platform. But if you look at the numbers, independent Wii-centric development is not really justified yet."

Despite the Wii's phenomenal sales, it looks like Nintendo is still suffering from the same problem it had with the Nintendo 64 and GameCube consoles -- third-party games aimed at core gamers aren't nearly as successful as first-party titles. This time around, the numbers are totally different and I'm convinced it will take one great game to break the dam. I was hoping that MadWorld would be that game, but that was rather naive of me; as cool as the art style and developer are, it's still an M-rated game that's kicking off an original series. Perhaps something with a 'tweener approach like EA Sports' Grand Slam Tennis would work; it looks like it will have the same kind of "gamer" fun as Virtua Tennis combined with the Wii's motion-sensing controls and visuals that are appropriate for the system's relatively modest power.

So when Hollenshead says "yet", I believe he's waiting for one example that will lead the way -- one title aimed at enthusiast gamers that will establish a blueprint for third-party success on the Wii. Will it happen? I'd say there's a fairly good chance, though the odds would have been better in a stronger economy that would give developers and publishers more room to experiment.

Do you see any breakout third-party titles (geared towards core gamers) in the Wii's future? Do you think one title will break the proverbial dam? Or will the Wii rule with first-party games and mainstream offerings like Jilian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum?

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Tags: Videogames, Wii
id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead Wary Of Developing And Publishing For Wii
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