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Need for Speed: Rivals skipping Vita and Wii U due to poor sales

Need for Speed: Rivals skipping Vita and Wii U due to poor sales

Mon 21 Oct 2013 9:26pm GMT / 5:26pm EDT / 2:26pm PDT
Games

Low sales on Need for Speed: Most Wanted means no Vita or Wii U ports for Rivals

Need for Speed: Rivals creative director Craig Sullivan told The Sixth Axis that the game will not be coming to PlayStation Vita or Wii U. Why? Poor sales of Need for Speed: Most Wanted on those platforms.

"We did a load of extra work on the Wii U version, and we had a lot of guys working on that stuff, you know?" said Sullivan. "It didn't really sell that many, in terms of the Wii U market. I would love for it to have, because we put so much effort into that, trust me. I'd love for it to be way bigger than it was, and the same for the Vita."

"[Rivals] is going onto new hardware, and you have to work out where you focus your efforts. The 200 people working on this game are only capable of making so much, and doing so many different versions of the game, so we had to go with where we think the biggest audience will be for the game, and that's where we are."

Need for Speed: Rivals is coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on November 19, 2013. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will launch on November 22.

20 Comments

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
And that's TOO damn bad. The Wii U version of Most Wanted was just as much fun, looked better than the 360 and PS3 versions AND had a ton of cool features not even the PC version had. It's definitely a must-buy on the system (and sadly, dirt cheap these days, too fast for a game that SHOULD have been an evergreen title)...

Posted:9 months ago

#1

Andy Samson
QA Supervisor

225 170 0.8
Although it was an excellent port, it was a port of an "old" multiplat game. What EA doesn't understand is that most Wii U owners also have a PS3 or XBOX 360. If they wanted to play NFS:MW they have already bought it for those systems "months ago" before it got released on Wii U. EA's just looking for an excuse not to support Nintendo's console.

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Lewis Brown
Snr Sourcer/Recruiter

193 52 0.3
@Adam, certainly not a port of an old multi format game we were developing them at the same time Most Wanted only came out in Oct 2012 on 360/PC and PS3. Then in March 2013 for Wii U.

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Christian Keichel
Journalist

565 775 1.4
@ Lewis

For consumers it doesn't matter, if the different versions were developed side by side. If the game is released 6 months after the other versions, it's a late port. Besides Andy's point was hat many potential customers already bought the game for another platform, when it was released for the Wii U in march 2013. It's a safe bet, that the game would have sold better, when it would have been available at Wii U's launch.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 22nd October 2013 2:38pm

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Richard Browne
EVP Gaming and Interactive

90 87 1.0
You buy a Nintendo platform for Nintendo product. Has been the way for an eternity. I highly doubt this shocked anyone.

Posted:9 months ago

#5

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Lewis, the guys and girls at Criterion did a damn good job with the Wii U version of the game...however, in the video game world, that was a late port.

If they were developed at the same time, as the consumer audience sees it, then they should have launched at the same time. Not nearly 6 months later.

But as Adam noted, you're not going to get many Wii U owners to buy a game they already bought on a different console almost 6 months ago. Those new features, as great as they are (and I personally love the Co-Driver mode), are not worth the $59.99 it takes to acquire them. Had it launched day and date with the other versions, you'd have had greater sales...though likely an inferior product due to less development time. Catch-22 on you and the gamers pay for it in the end...hence this article.

Posted:9 months ago

#6

Christian Keichel
Journalist

565 775 1.4
You buy a Nintendo platform for Nintendo product. Has been the way for an eternity. I highly doubt this shocked anyone.
During the first 3 years of the Wii 54 3rd party games sold 1 million or more units, during the same time 22 Nintendo titles sold 1 million or more units.
Source:
http://www.vg247.com/2010/02/24/nintendo-76-titles-on-wii-have-sold-more-than-1m-copies-worldwide/

Posted:9 months ago

#7

Lewis Brown
Snr Sourcer/Recruiter

193 52 0.3
@Jim I think you hit the nail on the head with.,.. "Had it launched day and date with the other versions, you'd have had greater sales...though likely an inferior product due to less development time. Catch-22 on you and the gamers pay for it in the end...hence this article"

Posted:9 months ago

#8

Richard Browne
EVP Gaming and Interactive

90 87 1.0
Christian - Nintendo sells close to 50% of all software on their platforms (last I checked It was around 46/49% on Wii and DS).

Posted:9 months ago

#9

Christian Keichel
Journalist

565 775 1.4
@ Richard
Even 50% 1st party would mean 50% of all software were sold by 3rd parties. On the Wii, this would mean about 435 million games during in 7.5 years. That's much more, then what the GBA had in total software sales (377 million)

Posted:9 months ago

#10

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
Not EVERYONE who has a Wii U has another console, guys. I'd gather the amount of Nintendo-only households is fairly large, but I'd also gather that those households don't buy as many games as PS3 and 360 users. I think the main issue with Wii U ports I've seen isn't that the games are too old, but come from reviewers who may have played those "old" games but aren't writing or thinking of their readers who may not have experienced ANY of the games previously.

Posted:9 months ago

#11

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,227 387 0.3
Its probably a shame for WiiU, but I can't help thinking its a game far better played on a console than a small Vita screen, and I'm pretty sure most Vita owners have a home console.

Posted:9 months ago

#12

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,008 1,396 1.4
Popular Comment
It's a combination of factors. The port is late, and it's surrounded by a clearly better value release (Mass Effect 3 right next to the same-priced Trilogy release on PS360 was insane). It's not advertised on the platform at all. The fans feel personally attacked by the publishers (Nintendo fans regularly feel dismissed by third parties, and they aren't doing much to show them otherwise). The port is over-priced for a late release, so even if they didn't buy it on another platform gamers look at it as "$60? But it's $30 on all these platforms. You're trying to rip us off." Another common one is counting a spin-off of a main franchise as major support then pointing to it as the reason that platform won't get future support when it fails to perform well.

These factors combine to make self-fulfilling prophecies for third parties on Nintendo systems. "Well, we're unsure about the audience, so we'll 'test them'" is a common and awful strategy. It leads to all of the above factors which lead to poor sales. I'm not saying there aren't valid business reasons to not develop on Nintendo systems, in particular the Wii U, but publishers seem to be completely unaware of the impact they have on their own performance, and play the blame game constantly against Nintendo and its fans.

Posted:9 months ago

#13

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

147 143 1.0
But publishers aren't stupid. If there's money to be made, they'll go for it. The problem is that there isn't much to be found on Nintendo systems for anyone that isn't Nintendo (or a developer very close to them). People act confused about why a developer like Ubisoft isn't supporting the Wii U as much, but it's because nearly 3 million Wii U owners didn't pick up the new, heavily-advertised Wii U exclusive ZombiU.

As a publisher, why spend resources putting a game on a console if it won't sell? Because it's a traditionally strong console, from a well-loved company? That's just not a valid reason. If it won't sell, then don't do it. And Wii U owners have proven in the last year that they just won't buy big titles on the system. Look at the sales of even Nintendo's releases on the console: they're terrible. Until Wii U owners get out there and actually buy games, this will continue to happen.

Posted:9 months ago

#14

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
@Nick: In the case of Need for Speed, I believe THAT game was less money for MORE content. As noted (and I can attest to this from working in retail), many Nintendo-only households buy LESS home console games than PS3/360 users for a few reasons. One game like a Mario Party or Mario Kart or a Wii FIt or whatever is meant to last past a "normal" play and trade lifespan on other console titles and while it translates to decent sales for some (mostly first-party games) with nice replay value, it doesn't work at all well for ports (even if they're better or have more features when all is said and done).

Also, I think Zombi U didn't do as well because Nintendo hasn't had a truly "hardcore" audience as large as its competition in ages. Sure, sure, 3DS Mario Kart and Animal Crossing attract the hipsters and such. But mention Nintendo and say, FPS to people and GoldenEye pops up most often (and yeah, it's the one Rare did on the N64)...

Of course some Nintendo fanatics will disagree, but I'd say "let me see your collections" followed by "why haven't you tole your non-Wii/Wii U owning pals about these games?"

All that said, I don't think the Wii U will have a huge bump up in sales, but will get some kicks up the long ladder it's on as certain 2014 games hit stores. I don't think Bayonetta 2 will move many consoles, Mario Kart 8 or whatever will be big, but not THAT big (but as an evergreen, will be successful), Smash Bros. will be the same in terms of not doing much for units moved and anything else needs to be seen at E3, playable and have a concrete release or else that year will be not too much different than this one's turning out to be.

Posted:9 months ago

#15

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

868 1,273 1.5
Nick Wofford pretty much nails it, especially with this line:
As a publisher, why spend resources putting a game on a console if it won't sell?
While most people know that 360 games(and the Xbox brand in general) don't sell very well in Japan, what you may or may not know is that alot of third party multiplatform games won't get a release in Japan for the 360 simply because it won't sell enough copies to be worth the effort to the developers. Just a few off the top of my head are Silent Hill: Downpour, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Metal Gear Solid: Revengance. However, the list is much longer than that. And to clarify, I mean that a multiplatform game like Injustice that releases on the 360 and other systems in the US would release on multiple systems in Japan except for the 360.

And that is the same reason why many publishers are abandoning Wii U and Vita versions of their games, because they know the amount of copies that will be sold on those systems will be so small and nonessential that it's just not worth the time, money and resources it would take to make and/or port them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 23rd October 2013 1:14am

Posted:9 months ago

#16

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,008 1,396 1.4
@ Nick Of course publishers are stupid. Not all the time, but implying they make consistently good business decisions is nuts. Do you have any idea how many publishers were destroyed this generation? How many spent most of the generation in the red financially? How many employees were fired to make up for these bad decisions?

I've never understood this view, and I hear it repeated consistently, but it's simply not true. Businesses make mistakes ALL THE TIME. Saying that the reason they don't make games on Nintendo systems is that they simply "know better" is ridiculous. As for third parties not selling on Wii U, guess which platform Ubisoft made the majority of their income on last generation? Spoilers: It isn't the one they released Assassin's Creed on.

The very existence of this current, potentially disastrous blockbuster syndrome is the result of these bad decisions. It's the result of publishers always chasing that Call of Duty dollar, overbudgeting, not tempering expectations for reality. Again, I'm not saying it's always a mistake to not develop on Nintendo platforms, but it's ridiculous to claim it's always the right choice as well. Look at Rayman Legends. Despite burning their fans and spending a fortune on 3 ports, the game still did better on Wii U. What would it have done if it had been released exclusively on Wii U in a less crowded time of the year? Potentially much more, and that was clearly a mistake. Those ports won't make their dev costs back.

Posted:9 months ago

#17

Simon Lawrence
Production Manager

12 4 0.3
This is a shame Most Wanted was great on the PS Vita. Vita owners are getting a raw deal from EA with this and that Fifa 14 is full price and just a reskin of Fifa 13 (which was a reskin of the launch Fifa on Vita). PS Vita has turned into a viscous circle that Sony needs to arrest. No install base prevents publishers making games, lack of games makes people hesitant to buy a Vita.

Posted:9 months ago

#18

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,130 1,038 0.5
@Nick. Agreed highly on Rayman Legends. I was one of those in favor of Ubisoft getting the Wii U version out FIRST, as I'd have bet a few bucks that success on the Wii U would have led to better sales on the other platforms with their larger installed bases.

Posted:9 months ago

#19

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

765 574 0.8
This would mean a change in EA's publishing policies and strategies. They have been full with bad decisions in the last years. Aside from cases like the one mentioned by Nicholas here I still remember the case of Need for Speed world; who in EA decide to release it the same that that Starcraft 2 was hitting the shops? They didn't knew? Nobody noticed how the rest of companies were moving their product two week away from that day?

You need to be aware of what the rest of the companies are doing, specially those that technically are direct competitors when it comes to audience`s attention. EA never seemed to be doing that.

Posted:8 months ago

#20

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