THQ’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development has some harsh words for the Nintendo Wii, describing it as a “Monopoly box in a closet” and saying the company will no longer release core games for the platform.
“The Wii is a Monopoly box in a closet! I’ve got my Wii Sports and I’m good,” SVP Danny Bilson told IndustryGamers. “I take it out, get the family around, we flail around for a couple hours, and we’re happy until next month when we take it out, or maybe for junior’s birthday, I’m going to buy him a Mario game.”
Bilson described the Wii as a “nightmare” for third party developers and said THQ is stepping back from the “core gamer” demographic on the system. “Right now, we’re not moving hardcore stuff to the Wii,” he said. “We were; we stopped it, just because we’re a little risk averse.”
That risk is the result of the Wii market being so “flooded with junk” that quality titles are difficult to pick out. “You look at the Wii wall [at GameStop] and you can’t find anything,” Bilson said. “It’s a big conglomeration of junk and the Nintendo stuff pops, and a couple of other things pop, and that’s it.”
THQ will continue to publish software for the Wii, he added, but nothing like Deadly Creatures, the Wii-exclusive spider-and-scorpion game that was released in February. Instead, the company will produce the family-oriented, casual fare more traditionally associated with the Wii – which sounds an awful lot like the “junk” he’d just finished complaining about. “I’m a big believer in that,” he added.
It’s a bit of a shame, because aside from a few notable exceptions – like Deadly Creatures – the Wii-owning core gamer market is virtually untapped and could represent a gold mine for a publisher willing to take it on. On the other hand, the Wii is essentially a gold mine all on its own and it’s hard to blame THQ or anyone else for going where the money is.