The September 2009 launch of Electronic Arts' Dead Space Extraction
was a "litmus test" for Sega on the realities for mature content on the Wii, says studio director Constantine Hantzopoulos -- and the picture hasn't been encouraging.
Sega has made its own forays into mature content on Nintendo's platform with MadWorld
and House of the Dead: Overkill
, but EA's experience with Dead Space
sealed the deal on the company's concerns for the potential of such games.
"We were stunned," Hantzopoulos told podcasters at consumer site 1UP
, describing the reaction to Dead Space Extraction
's sales numbers, which didn't break 10,000 units in the first month.
"That was my litmus test," he says. "Basically... you got EA, who can put all the marketing muscle behind this, an established franchise that scored quite well on [Xbox] 360 and PS3. They should be able to actually hit this out of the park, right?"
"We get numbers, real numbers aside from NPD -- and I'm like, 'whoa'." He later added: "Are we going to do more mature titles for the Wii?... probably not."
Although he says it was a "gamble" to create games like MadWorld
for the Wii audience, Hantzopoulos says Sega's research suggested that there was an audience on the platform. And Nintendo "did okay by us," he adds, as a "champion" for Sega's first-person shooter The Conduit
"At the end of the day, I just think that you're seeing kids are skewing much younger towards next-gen," he says. Nonetheless, the picture's not entirely negative, he points out: Sega's pleased with the games themselves, and says they're "doing okay... we'll make our numbers."
"That’s the other thing you find out about the Wii," he says -- sales don't spike quickly "like most titles... it's a longer burn, actually."