It’s a question as old as time itself: Should developers spend their valuable time designing mature titles for the Wii? Now before you go spouting off your opinion, Capcom’s Masachika Kawata has some thoughts on the matter. Kawata tells Kotaku that the poor sales numbers for Sega’s ultra-violent splatterfest MadWorld are unfortunate, but he doesn’t see that influencing the next Wii installment in his company’s Resident Evil franchise, RE: The Darkside Chronicles.
Katawa goes on to say that he’s excited to see Dead Space headed to the Wii, in part because it was his favorite game of last year. However, I think the real issue here isn’t whether developers should pursue mature Wii titles. It’s whether developers of established franchises will continue seeing the Wii as little more than a novelty sideshow to be used to bring in a little extra cash by churning out average titles that sell simply by virtue of the fact that they are piggybacking on the success of their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 cousins (cough…Dead Rising….cough).
Meanwhile, original IPs like MadWorld get overlooked (and maybe rightfully so, depending on whether you think the game succeeds at being a good game in its own right), causing a bit of a chill to run through other studios perhaps considering getting into the mature-Wii-game business. Manhunt 2 is an example of a game that offered something unique, thanks to the Wii-specific control scheme making the violence all the more visceral, but the lack of polish, and the fact that the PS2 version offered no compromises in the maturity department, turned the Wii version into the kind of less-than, novelty I referenced earlier.
It will be interesting to see what Dead Space Extraction ends up bringing to the table later this year. And here's hoping Capcom has a back room somewhere filled to the brim with original and exciting new ways to push the Resident Evil franchise forward, rather than simply letting their creativity be stiffled by their franchise's popularity.
So where do you stand on Wii-based violence? Originality or familiarity?