Thursday, January 29, 2009

No Zack & Wiki Sequel

It's come to my attention that Wii point-n-click title Zack & Wiki was totally unprofitable for publisher Capcom. In fact, according to the seldom-reliable VGChartz, it has to date sold just over half a million copies (0.54 million). That makes it the 84th best-selling game for the console, but still not a money-spinner according to Capcom marketing dude Colin Ferris in a recent interview.

To put that in perspective, it beat the pants off the combined sales of Okami across all platforms (0.34 million) and kicked No More Heroes right in the nuts (0.19 million) but when even the abominable Red Steel can muster an even million in sales and the reissue of House of the Dead 2 & 3 squeaks in at 0.95, you have to consider Zack & Wiki as something of a commercial failure. (Link's Crossbow Training - not even a real game - is listed at nearly three million units. I guess they just sold that many Wii Zappers, for some reason.)

Seriously - you idiots bought more copies of Guitar Hero Aerosmith than you did of Zack & Wiki? What kind of cretins are you?

The half million isn't impressive, but probably more important to Capcom was that it almost completely failed to shift units in the month following its release - four weeks after landing at retailers it still hadn't cracked 100,000. Also, it probably wasn't helped by a complete absence of press buzz and bizarre statements by producer Hironobu Takeshita that gamers who were having difficulty with the game's puzzles were just "not paying enough attention".

Anyway, the long and the short of it is, don't go expecting a sequel any time soon. Which is a sadness no real words can explain.

Hey, here's some silver lining - other games that haven't sold so well on the Wii include Alone in the Dark, SoulCalibur Legends and Pimp My Ride, so I guess there's some justice in the world.

NOTE: I am aware of the irony in this post, given that I gave an effusive although tongue-in-cheek review for the House of the Dead reprint while simultaneously savaging Zack & Wiki. It should be clear from this that you should not actually listen to me. You should buy every game I talk about, and then join me in hating on the ones that are actually quite loveable.

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