News: Sega Praises Wii, Promises More Support
Posted 21 Apr 2010 at 04:49 by Aaron Clegg
Sega pledges continued support to "very important" platform; and cites more opportunities for edgier titles...
Say what you will about the games, but publisher Sega has remained one of the staunchest supporters of Wii when it comes to software - at the very least on a quantity level. With fresh, Wii-exclusive takes on their own franchises like Sonic and the Secret Rings and House of the Dead: Overkill, as well as stepping in to publish more varied titles such as MadWorld and The Conduit, the company has enjoyed admiration from wide sectors of the core community.
Yet with questions of varying commercial success from some of these titles, a feeling developed late last year that Sega might be looking to wrap up 'core' support, and abstain in this area on Wii like so many other publishers have seemed to. There were even some voices in the Sega camp that suggested this switch.
However, Sega West CEO Mike Hayes has come right out to pledge continued support for console in both 'core' and 'casual' spheres, seemingly keen to quash the comments of lower-ranking PR managers made over the past few months.
"To be blunt, there were some erroneous quotes that went out. They did come from Sega personnel but they weren't appropriate or accurate. I did speak to a lot of the European press, saying 'Please ignore all that.' With Tournament of Legends we've definitely brought that down to more like a T-rated level. So there's a viable market there. Is it going to be as big as the Teen or Mature market that exists on the Xbox 360 or PS3 platforms? Certainly not. Is it viable, because the cost of development on the Wii is significantly less than those other platforms? Then, potentially the answer is yes. Our general view of the Wii is that it's a platform that's done Sega particularly proud; we've been very supportive of it with the success we've had with the Mario & Sonic series, success we've had with the Sonic series, and some of the redesigned IP like House of the Dead. So the Wii remains a very important part of our mix. So you will see certainly quite a few more announcements on Wii titles that Sega will be producing and publishing. Just Dance has been absolutely phenomenal. Most of what Sega does on the Wii is more in that field, but I still say there's an opportunity for titles in that more edgy genre. You're right that Wii is such a phenomenon that it caught many people off guard when it first came out, and I still think it continues to surprise with the software numbers it can notch up on appropriate titles."
It could be speculated that the Wii market is what generates most income for Sega, with multi-million selling blockbusters like Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games still appearing prominent in the charts. It would also be naive to dismiss the company's 'core' offerings as commercial failures, with Overkill showing particular popularity in Europe, as well as speculation that the black and white gore-fest MadWorld sold around the same numbers as each individual version of Platinum's big-budget HD game Bayonetta, and still pulls in steady numbers.
Sega will be continuing to release core-centric games on Wii this year with the High Voltage Software productions Tournament of Legends and Conduit 2.