Sega studio director Constantine Hantzopoulos (yes, really) did some divulging on the latest episode of the 4 Guys 1UP podcast, expressing his discontentment with the reception of mature Wii titles nowadays.
While he noted sales for the company's MadWorld, House of the Dead: Overkill, and The Conduit were more or less satisfactory, the point of contention is after the numbers for those titles as well as EA/Visceral Games' Dead Space: Extraction were in, a shadow of doubt was cast over Sega HQ.
He goes on to cite The Conduit as a particularly dissapointing example. Again, it performed "quite well", although given the graphical quality and multiplayer matchmaking efforts (see: circumvention of the friend code system), they feel it should've been a real hit.
“I have to say that [mature games] was a space that was open and we took a gamble on it," commented Hantzopoulos. "It’s like, ‘Wow, there’s no mature games on the Wii. Is there an audience out there?’ We did some research, it said there was an audience out there. I won’t comment about Nintendo, they did champion The Conduit as a ‘this is a Nintendo game.’ And, you know, I think they did okay by us. At the end of the day, I just think that you’re seeing kids are skewing much younger towards next-gen."
"But that begs the question, are we going to do more mature titles for the Wii? And it’s like, probably not. Look at Dead Space. We were stunned. That was my litmus test. Basically, it’s like, okay, you got EA, who can put all the marketing muscle behind this, an established franchise that scored quite well on 360 and PS3. They should be able to actually hit this out of the park, right? We get numbers, real numbers aside from NPD, and I’m like, ‘Woah.’”
Extraction was a test for EA as well. As Hantzopoulos notes, sales for these titles are a "slow burn", meaning they sell fairly well over time, not immediately, but the 9,000 launch figure for the game was a real blow nevertheless. We're not going to proclaim the end is over quite yet, but we'll be damned if it doesn't seem close.