Sega: Hard-core Wii games a ‘successful niche’

San Francisco (CA) – Sega President Mike Hayes has defended his company’s decision to develop additional ‘hard core’ titles for the Wii. Hayes also termed The Conduit a ‘success,’ but conceeded that MadWorld sales were ‘very disappointing.’

“We actually regard The Conduit as a success. We shipped 300,000 units, sold through half of those and now it’s at the point where it’s selling consistently at a time when Wii sales are generally depressed in the marketplace. So what does that tell you? We still kind of don’t know,” Hayes told Wired. “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.”

According to Hayes, the “sheer scale” of the Wii’s audience was enough to create a successful niche for mature games.

“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. You’ll see more games in that genre coming from us,” added Hayes.

It should be noted that a Nintendo VP recently admitted that she did know why “hardcore” Wii games such as MadWorld and The Conduit generated disappointing sales.

“You know, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. It could be titles have the same type of sales curve that a lot of Nintendo titles have,” Denise Kaigler told Wired in a previous interview. “A lot of Nintendo titles don’t follow that traditional sales curve where they launch big and then that’s it. Our titles have a long tail. They build in popularity, and this could be the case with, as you mentioned, MadWorld and The Conduit. It’s our hope that the games will pick up in popularity and they’ll continue to sell.”