Monday, June 18, 2007

Sega Skeptical About Wii Prospects

Sega marketing VP Scott Steinberg riled Nintendo fanboys worldwide today when he told Reuters that he is "a little concerned about the creative depth of the Wii pool." He went on to add, "The Wii will start to look really dated in a couple years when developers get more value from the 360 and learn more and more about the PlayStation 3. [...] How much value can developers and creative folks get out of this wrist motion two years from now, or 5 years from now, or 10 years from now? How can they design products that aren't too derivative of what's already out there?"

It's a question that really betrays more about the speaker than it does about the topic. Sega's premium release list for the Wii currently checks in at a grand total of six games, only two of which are currently out. Sonic and the Secret Rings is the latest entry in a decade-and-a-half-old franchise, in which a poor Wii control scheme is the perfect companion to gameplay that betrays a complete lack of understanding of the concept of "fun". Nights: Journey of Dreams is the latest entry in a decade-and-a-half-old franchise, the controls and gameplay of which we're yet to hear much about.

Ghost Squad, you'll be happy to hear, is an original title (or at least a port of an original arcade title), but Alien Syndrome returns true to form by being (wait for it) the latest entry in a decade-and-a-half-old franchise. Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, despite all indications, was actually rather fun, though not exactly original, but their last title, The Golden Compass, is a movie license, so its badness is a mostly foregone conclusion.

I think when Sega asks how developers can create Wii titles that aren't derivative of what's already out there, it's not a rhetorical question. They'd really like to know. Can somebody help them out?


Xantar said...

What's really interesting is that Sonic and the Secret Rings is universally hailed as an improvement in the franchise. While it wasn't anywhere near perfect (and I don't like it much myself), it shows potential, and it's still one of the top selling games on Wii as of April 2007. And historically, Sonic games have actually sold best on the GameCube. It seems to me Sega shouldn't be biting the hand that feeds it.

But then again, Sega's PR department blows bollocks. I think only Sony manages to be more incompetent.

GregT said...

I note that there's mention of Sega working on a game called "Sonic and Mario at the Olympics" which as far as I know is the first time both mascots will appear in the same game, even if said game does sound deeply lame.