Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: A sign?

Written by pikaby

What I am about to say is my own speculation and should not be taken as a serious fact. It should give you something to think about though. Seeing as Tatsunoko vs Capcom, the high-profile 2D fighting game everyone has been waiting for has just been released on US shores, I'll juat take this chance to talk more about Capcom and the Wii.

It's sad, isn't it? Most of the major publishers and developers have all but shunned the Wii and not making games for it just because the steaming piles of crap they put on said console doesn't sell. Oh, it has the waggle-stick and motion controls, let's see if we can still squeeze money out of that gimmick! Sorry bros, not gonna work this time. You know by now casual gamers aren't going to lap up every release you make- they're called casual gamers for a reason. As in, you know, they don't make it a hobby or take any serious interest in it.

Many publishers are guilty of this(here's looking at you, Ubisoft, EA, Sega). Okay, so that isn't entirely fair, Ubisoft did make No More Heroes, EA had MySims(which it milked to death after the first game) and Sega had MadWorld, developed by Platinum Games. The last one did not sell because of the Wii's casual audience, and it sure wasn't a system seller for the core gamers either. Platinum Games looks like it has jumped ship, its next game being Bayonetta for Xbox 360/PS3. And that has happened many times. The Wii whines in a corner about 3rd party support.

The Wii's great paradox is the group that it's gunning for, the casual crowd, just doesn't follow the flow of gaming news as closely as most gamers do, and definitely don't buy as many games. More often than not they'd be satisfied with one or two and then make the occasional purchase once every few months. And they don't know the effort that goes into making actual good games for the Wii and they don't get as much enjoyment from them as regular gamers do. So, publishers try to make yet another minigame collection, they're screwed. They put in big bucks to make a high-profile game, they're also screwed.

And now, to look at Capcom.
Tatsunoko vs Capcom has been released just a few days ago, and it's definitely not catered to the majority of Wii owners. Seeing as how games that aren't waggle-enabled sports games, Mario games, or bland minigame collections have not performed well, there will be a chance that Tatsunoko vs Capcom, good as it is, will fall too.

Capcom have said that the Wii market 'is tough to crack', following the fall of Zack and Wiki, another great Wii game that no one bought, and again after Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles failed to shift in large numbers(a personal favorite of yours truly, so what if its a lightgun game, it's good, and that's all that matters. Great graphics by Wii standards, tight gameplay, story, etc.). Its only real success was Monster Hunter Tri. Although, RE: Darkside did perform rather well in Japan, selling more than 70k units within its first week. And Okami's Wii port has also done well too.

If Tatsunoko vs Capcom bombs in sales, there'll be a chance that Capcom might never work on the Wii again. Wii has already lost the trust of many publishers who can't get their good games to sell.

What is even more bothersome is the recent 'Capcom x Microsoft' collaboration, which was revealed on the same day Tatsunoko vs Capcom went to store shelves (January 26, 2010). It turned out to be a Monster Hunter Online game. It's strange though. Monster Hunter is at its peak in Japan, while the XBox 360 is the worst selling next-gen console in the same region. What is Capcom trying to do here? Anything could happen in the near future. With Dead Rising 2 and Lost Planet 2 going to next-gen consoles, and the Wii getting the shaft with Phoenix Wright ports and Mega Man 10, things look bleak for Capcom's strained relationship with Wii.

(Note: The DS is still receiving some Capcom love, with DSiWare game Dark Void Zero, and the upcoming Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Investigations, Megaman Battle Network: Operate Shooting Star and Okamiden: Chiisaki Taiyou)

Let's see Tatsunoko vs. Capcom as a litmus test. If it does well in NA, we could see more coming in from Capcom. If it doesn't, well....

Capcom is resilient, I'll give it that. It managed to hang on to Wii development even after many of its hard efforts on good games went to pot. So maybe the Wii will have some 3rd party support in the end after all.

Remember, I'm just rambling here.
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