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Schofield confident on Wii's mature market

Visceral boss admits Extraction is an experiment, but underlines importance of marketing

Glen Schofield, VP and general manager of EA's newly-branded Visceral Games studio, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's confident there's a market for mature content on the Nintendo Wii platform.

He admitted that the team's forthcoming title Dead Space: Extraction, due out on the Wii later this year, is an experiment for the company, but noted that the sheer number of those consoles that have been sold gives them a good chance.

"I'm confident - it is an experiment, but there's going to be 50 million Wiis out there by the time the game comes out, so if you only hit 2 per cent of the installed base you've got a huge number," said Schofield.

"I don't know - there have been some already, Resident Evil and House of the Dead, that have done really well, so we're pushing for that 80-plus-rated game, and that'll put you in the top 5 per cent of all Wii games... because most do not have a great score."

He added that marketing would be key to the success of the game, and admitted that the company should have invested more in the launch of the original Dead Space last year.

"Well, we did pull the game in two weeks early - it went through Sony and Microsoft test with flying colours," he said of last year's game. "We didn't get bounced once, so we were able to release two weeks early. I think maybe part of it wasn't having online, but other than that... EA came back and I think learned a lot about how much to spend on new IP at launch. Maybe we underinvested in the beginning - it was a good investment, but maybe it needed more.

"But the name is surely out there now, and the awards really helped. If you look back at the history of videogames, a lot of times it's been the second game that's benefitted from the first game's critical success."

The full interview with Glen Schofield is available now.

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Phil Elliott