Nikkei report shows discontent stirring in industry

Japanese developers wary of Wii?

While Nintendo is enjoying great success around the world, several Japanese developers are fearing that the Wii’s popularity may soon die down, according to a report by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun [registration required], which points at the dramatic slowdown in Japanese sales shown by figures for August and September.

Many developers miscalculated demand for the Wii upon its release, and are now cautious of over-estimating the popularity of the system. According to Enterbrain’s research, only one title of the Wii’s top 10 selling games was not made by Nintendo. That title, Dragon Quest Swords, still failed to meet Square Enix’s estimations.

It’s the Wii’s different demographic that is taking some developers by surprise, especially for projects that have been long in production and so have had little time to adjust for the new unexpected surge in interest amongst the older age ranges. One unnamed marketing manager told the Nikkei “most video game fans still haven’t bought a Wii,” after the latest instalment of a successful franchise failed to sell as well as previous versions.

The worries come soon after Capcom announced that the Monster Hunter franchise will be moving to Wii – a huge property in Japan that has proved a saving grace for the PSP system – despite having previously been announced as a PS3 title. Given the game’s largely hardcore following, it will prove interesting to see if the title can sell as impressively on its new home.

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