Sega: It's not game over for mature Wii titles
House of the Dead was profitable on Wii at lower price; publisher has development budget for more adult content
Sega's recent targeting of a mature audience on the Nintendo Wii has been successful in the long-term, with the publisher telling GamesIndustry.biz it has more budget for similar adult content on the format.
Although The House of the Dead: Overkill didn't set the charts on fire on initial release, the company said that sales at a lower price point have made the game profitable, and the company is still willing to experiment with product despite the Wii being seen as the home of sugar-sweet games.
"House of the Dead: Overkill was a profitable title for us," revealed Gary Dunn, MD of European development for Sega, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz.
"Whilst it had a rather sharp tail at full price, they do bubble away at a lower price point for a long time. You get your money back and a bit on full price, but over the years, if we do the final product return on investment, profits come from the lower price point."
Although another mature title – MadWorld, developed by Platinum Games – also didn't hit blockbuster status, Dunn is happy to take the risk, and has cash in the bank if the company decides to release more 18-rated titles.
"You have to push boundaries and explore. I think whilst MadWorld commercially didn't sell what we were expecting I wouldn't say it's game over for mature Wii titles from Sega.
"We're taking a look at the resources we have now. We've got money to invest in development, we're just considering where to invest it next," he added.
Sega was one of the first publishers to try to sell mature games to a Wii audience, with Electronic Arts also now eyeing the market with its Dead Space franchise.
Bethesda, publisher of Fallout and the Elder Scrolls, is also planning to try its hand at mature Wii games, with a title due to be announced this year.