Activision Not Impressed by Wii U Launch

Activision Not Impressed by Wii U Launch

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Kotick is worried that the Wii U's slow sales could hurt Skylanders.

The Wii U's slow launch seems to be making a lot of big names worried. With Disney snapping at its heels with the upcoming Disney Infinity, Activision is trying to cement Skylanders as the game du jour for wringing cash out of 6-to-11-year-olds. Unfortunately, the Wii U's slow start means the audience of impressionable proto-humans isn't as big as Activision might like.

"As you know, we were somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U," CEO Bobby Kotick explained during an earnings call. "And I think it's a challenging environment this year, and one of the things we are concerned about is what the install base of hardware will be like for 6-to-11-year-olds. But we have a lot of confidence in the franchise in the long term. I think we're delivering another great product this year."

Skylanders, a toy/game franchise juggernaut hewed from the bones of the Spyro the Dragon series, is in with a shot of replacing Call of Duty as Activision's primary money spinner, having shifted 30+ million toys since its launch in March, 2012. Judging by how many adults I know that are caught in the game's thrall (myself included), Activision may not have to worry about the 6-to-11-year-old market after all.

Like the 3DS, the Wii U is going through a troubled launch. Unlike the 3DS, the Wii U won't be receiving a price cut, as Nintendo President Satoru Iwata explained last month. So what's the problem exactly? Well Ubisoft's Xavier Poix reckons the target audience simply doesn't grasp how the console works.

"It's different from the Wii, where seeing was believing," he said. "With the Wii U, people really need to experience it."

Iwata is putting the slow sales down to a far more mundane problem: The product lineup has "not yet fully communicated the value of our product." In other words: There ain't enough games.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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And I'm not impressed by Activision. I really have a hard time understanding how they are in a position to criticize when they are 60% owned by Vivendi.

Y'know I think out of those people Iwata might be on to something while the others are mostly full of shit.

Though the Wii U is something that you understand better after you have a tinker with it.

The console does better than the 360/PS3 did in their launch frames, but not impressed. Got it.

It's funny how business decisions seem to be made by people who are little more rational and knowledgeable than the weirdos who populate gaming forums.

If the Wii U isn't considered to be doing well, than I think that's an indictment of console gaming in general and that it's dying in the face of mobile and PC gaming.

Ugh, despite me standing up for Activision on occasion, nearly everything Bobby Kotick says makes me want to punch him.

And I agree with Iwata, when more big names drop, the Wii U will be better and better.

Poor Bobby. He is worried that his cash train might arrive late.

I wonder if Kotick even knows what video games are.

I bet he thinks he sells shampoo or something, for how out of touch he is.

Daystar Clarion:
I wonder if Kotick even knows what video games are.

I bet he thinks he sells shampoo or something, for how out of touch he is.

We all know here that Bobby's just disappointed he might not be able to rake in and squeeze more money on this console compared to others.

He dislikes video games yet works in the industry but only to make money and couldn't care less what franchises he liquidates.

Who would have guessed it. Activision thinks there are not enough kids on a kiddie console.

I am shocked I tell you

For the people that do not understand it this post is sarcasm

(Jeffers incoming in 3... 2... 1...)

At least that Iwata fellow has his head screwed on properly.

I thought this might happen. For some reason even I'm a little concerned. And what's worse is that Bobby didn't say something absolutely retarded this time (though the great product part puts me off).

Nintendo need to get out there more, just like they did with the Wii. I found hooked up Wii's in the middle of market places and shopping centres, why aren't they doing it this time?

D Moness:
Who would have guessed it. Activision thinks there are not enough kids on a kiddie console.

I am shocked I tell you

For the people that do not understand it this post is sarcasm

Sorry to be off topic, but I love your avatar. Mischief Makers kicks ass, and I hope they bring that to the WiiU.

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Oh she's not "not impressed" by the Wii-U, she's not impressed by Kotick's reasoning.
Poor fellow forgot why people buy consols in the first place.

I'm still very on the fence about the Wii U.. I generally like Nintendo stuff, even if mostly for their own games (Mario, Zelda etc.) but the controller looks awkward and even if it's not, it looks like a prime target for gimmicky gameplay. But I do think Poix has a point, stores need to put it on display so we can try it.

By the way, is there a skype function for the Wii U? Or just the Wiichat thing? And is it compatible with Gamecube stuff, like the Wii?

In my experience, most of the parents buy Skylanders for the Wii because their kids are either A) still really young or B) only recently got the Wii. So they didn't get a Wiiu for their kids for those reasons and as such don't get the Wiiu version of the game.

Zhukov:
(Jeffers incoming in 3... 2... 1...)

At least that Iwata fellow has his head screwed on properly.

ARGLEBARGLENINTENDOWIIUOHMEHGAWDARGLEBARGLE!!!!!

Ahem... On phone, on bus. Cant type much. 3 million sales so far good. Better than other console launches. Not wii, but what is? Iwata legend. Programmed Earthbound, Poemon Gold/Silver. Bobby kotick massive prick. Raping Spyro. Can go suck bag of dicks. More titles on way. Wonderful 101. Bayonetta 2. Pikmin 3. Sales pick up. Bobby kotick, die in fire. Hatehatehatehatehate...

You want a bigger userbase for the Wii U? Release more games! Believe it or not, Nintendo consoles aren't just for first-party games and shovelware! If Activision makes a system-seller, systems will sell.

Of course, you could also blame Nintendo for not releasing enough first-party games, and then when Nintendo eventually does release the next Mario and the next Zelda, complain that Nintendo is edging out third parties because their games are too good.

Frankly, Mr. Kotick, I think you're just angry because Activision's standard annual CoD roster update style of development doesn't fly on Nintendo consoles (and let's face it, the Skylanders franchise is attempting the exact same thing now), and you're looking to shift the blame anywhere you can. The Wii U, while not as successful as the Wii was at this stage in its life, is selling pretty well for a freshly-launched console. You can't expect it to have the install base of a late-cycle console already, and you certainly can't blame Nintendo if existing users don't want to buy a port of a game that is also on consoles they already have, and obviously just an excuse to sell figures, and doesn't have anything significantly new to offer over the first game.

So try releasing an exclusive (and if you can't think of anything actually fun to do with the second screen, a map on there is better than something annoying and gimmicky). Put some time and effort into it. Make something great, delay it if you need to, and put a ton of marketing in it. If it's genuinely good, it won't just sell, it'll sell systems. Certainly this is smarter than blaming Nintendo for your multiplatform game doing better on consoles with six-year install bases.

P.S. Thanks

Well Bobby you know what you need to do? Make some console selling exclusives for the WiiU! -smack-

That Iwata guy speaks the truth. The main reason for the WiiU's slow start is lack of console selling games. It's a good system from what I've experienced of it(a friend of mine has one) but right now it's just not worth the investment for what I would essentially just be using to play the few Wii games I already own.

(having shifted 30+ million toys since its launch in March, 2012. Judging by how many adults I know that are caught in the game's thrall (myself included), Activision may not have to worry about the 6-to-11-year-old market after all.)

A bit out there! from there most recent quarterly results.

As of December 31, 2012, the Skylanders franchise has generated, life-to-date, more than
$1 billion in worldwide sales, and through January 2013, Activision has sold more than
100 million Skylanders toys worldwide.

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ACTI/1882596457x0x634081/fbb6a75d-f965-442b-8d6a-bde335918118/Q4_2012_atvi_press_release.pdf

It's time to stop blaming the consoles entirely (yes, we get it, it's a tablet, why the hell is it so scary to children if your claims are believed) and look at publishers who bitch constantly about the console not selling enough.

People buy consoles to PLAY GAMES. If there is a game they REALLY WANT the console is the SECONDARY PURCHASE to THE ACTUAL GAME.

Nintendo is the only console company to actively push its own lineup of games to sell its own console, and yet, the other consoles seem to be doing fine, because YOU AREN'T ACTIVELY BITCHING ABOUT THEIR CONSOLE WHILE DELAYING OR CANCELLING YOUR RELEASES ON THEM.

Do your job, and they'll do theirs. We've moved on from the Wii era. Get past it.

"the target audience simply doesn't grasp how the console works."?
What's there to get? It's an xbox 360 / ps3 with a touch screen. I think everyone understands!
The reason (i reckon) it's not doing so well is because much of the potential audience already has an xbox 360 or a ps3 and are not interested in the touch screen, at least not enough to shell out for it. Is that such a crazy theory?
Short of that, those who are interested are not ready to make that kind of investment until you prove to them that it's worth buying THAT console over the others, and how do you do that? With some good fucking exclusive titles!
True, not console has ever had an amazing laucnh line up (none i can recall) but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good idea.

Maybe if you also sold for the wii U the game without the portal of power you might have sold some more copies. I know i would have bought it for the wii U if that was possible

 

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