Both Madworld and The Conduit have reportedly sold poorly despite receiving good average review scores on review aggregation sites, such as Metacritic. Sega says it is investigating why sales have been slow and dismissed the idea that Wii is a casual gaming platform more suited to gamers who would rather play the likes of Wii Sports Resorts and Wii Fit than a first person shooter.
Speaking to Wired, Sega's Mike Hayes confirmed that the company will continue to make mature-themed games for Wii despite the poor performance of its last two adult titles:
What we can say is that we'll still do mature games for the Wii market because with an install base of some 34 million in Europe and America (maybe half of whom don't own Xbox 360s and PS3s)…. So even if you took half of those where they're not into those (core) games, you've still got 8 million consumers to go for. So I think the sheer scale of the Wii allows a shooter, or a mature game, to be a niche but a successful niche. And because the development costs can be less on Wii, that means you can sell less to be successful…. We can take more risks on the Wii.
It's certainly worth Sega persevering, but for how long? Perhaps Wii just isn't right for this type of game. The two mature games that the company has released have actually received very decent review scores, so perhaps the audience just isn't there?
We rated MadWorld 9/10 in our review and summed it up by saying:
MadWorld has many highlights. The exclusively tailored hip-hop soundtrack fits brilliantly with the high-octane violence, while the outlandish commentary and eye-catching visuals add enormously to the game's atmosphere and unique style. The excellent map design, the pace of the game and the sheer range of entertaining moves help to make MadWorld the ultimate mature-themed game on Wii thus far. If it's hardcore you were waiting for, then you won't be disappointed. MadWorld will blow your mind.
MadWorld also scored well on review aggregation site Metacritic, with an average mark of 80% based on over 70 reviews. The Conduit divided opinion and received a real mix of review scores, from as low as 4/10 right up to 9/10. It averaged 69% on Metacritic.
Are there enough hardcore Wii gamers out there to warrant the development of more adult-themed titles?