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Dead Space: Extraction Bombs, Analyst Blames Weak Marketing Effort

| 21 Oct 2009 17:20
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Dead Space: Extraction sold only 9000 copies in its first week of release, but EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich says the slow start shouldn't be a big shock to anyone.

A lot of people say that mature games just don't sell on the Wii. More and more, it's looking like a lot of people are right: Despite high hopes and lots of attention from the media, Dead Space: Extraction managed to put out only 9000 copies from September 29 to October 3, the end of the NPD's monthly reporting period. It's only a five-day stretch, true, but it's still hard to see that result as anything but a bomb.

Still, according to Jesse Divnich of EEDAR, the disappointing result should come as no surprise to EA. Despite previous claims that its success, or lack thereof, would go a long way to determining whether the company would continue to publish mature-rated games on the platform, he said the game has failed to live up to expectations in large part because EA failed to adequately market it.

"Electronic Arts didn't market Dead Space: Extraction as much as it does with other titles. And the success or failure of a Wii title usually correlates directly to marketing spend," he said. "If Electronic Arts spent little on marketing, I am sure the sell through was no surprise to them. So I do not believe sell through was a disappointment to EA."

There's more to it than just a weak advertising campaign, of course; Divnich also pointed out that the market for M-rated games on the Wii is relatively tiny. "As we progressed and witnessed the sales results from games such as MadWorld, it became pretty clear the market size for games with mature-content was extremely small, much smaller than any other home platform," he said. "The truth is most core gamers who gravitate towards mature content likely own more than just a Wii."

In spite of the slow start, however, he said the game could still achieve some degree of success. "Given Wii games tend to have a flatter sales curve, I don't think 20,000 plus units is out of the question for October and maybe we get a holiday bump in November and December," he added.

A compadre of mine asked why a game like Extraction, which by all reports is pretty good, would sell so poorly and I honestly can't come up with a better reason than the one we've already touched on: Mature games just don't sell on the Wii. It's a sweeping generalization, sure, but I dare you to show me that it's not true. Wii Sports Resort and idiotic pilates things sell by the truckload on the Wii, but M-rated games? Chasing that demographic is just flushing money down the crapper.

Source: Edge Online

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