A Reminder Of How Small A Group "We, Gamers" Are

People like us talk a lot about video games. We read the news, scour forums, watch trailers, download screenshots. But a piece on Gamasutra reminds us how small a part of the market "we" are.

Using the recent release of Madworld as an example, research firm GamePlan Insights reveals that, despite IGN naming it "as the Wii game with the highest level of unique interest, and by extension purchase intent" amongst its readers, and despite overwhelmingly positive review scores, there was a reason it sold only 66,000 copies in March.

And that reason was that the kind of people who were getting really excited about MadWorld - excited enough to not just talk about it, but buy it - were a teeny, tiny fraction of the Wii's install base. The game made a lot of noise online, yes, but it made a lot of noise amongst a small group of people.

According to GamePlan Insights' own polling data - which reportedly canvasses "1,000 gamers on a weekly basis" - MadWorld wasn't the most-anticipated Wii game on the horizon. It was the 41st, behind a string of "casual, music and puzzle" games like Wii Sports Resort and Trivial Pursuit.

Which ended up pretty close to the mark. Probably because, unlike the impression we get reading up on a game in the enthusiast press, GamePlan's 1000 gamers are drawn from "hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and everyone in between", including Gamefly's rental customer database.

Of course, this isn't news. Anyone familiar with the old "great game, poor sales" argument will be familiar with this scenario. But then, just like it's helpful sometimes to gaze into the night sky and ponder the scale of the universe compared to your tiny sack of carbon and water, it's also helpful to remember findings like this every time you feel like wailing "why the fuck is Wii Fit outselling Zack & Wiki?"

GamePlan: MadWorld Demonstrates Tenuous Link Between Web Hype And Sales [Gamasutra]


Comments

    You have to keep in mind that mad world was a black and white game and also it was not very good. Neither of these things would help sales especially among gamers.

      Madworld is one of several of Sega's plan to bring unusually mature-rated and 'hardcore' experiences to what is considered a platform for more casual gamers.

      I don't agree with Kotaku's statement, 'A Reminder Of How Small A Group “We, Gamers” Are'. If anything, it is evidence that Sega has failed to capture the male traditional gamer audience with their latest lineup. The male and traditional gaming audience for the Nintendo Wii is NOT small. 5.28million bought Zelda on the Wii. Even if 1/8 of those who bought Zelda were male and traditional gamers, that's still a lot of male traditional gamers. Perhaps this portion of the male traditional gamers (who own the Nintendo Wii) do not appreciate gratuitous violence as much. We don't know.

      Also, Madworld do not, gamers, a represent. period.

      Surely, a lot of Kotaku's readers are rampant gamers, but they would not themselves play Madworld, nor would they use Madworld as a definition for the epitome of gaming.

      But Of course, I crap on for too long. I know the article was one of several hundred that the writer had to prepare as part of today's work.

      Agreed. Madworld is a particularly 'arthouse' game on a platform that more dedicated gamers typically ignore. It's a poor choice to make this sort of observation.

    its violent and bloody... on the wii.

    it would have sold more on the 360/ps3 with achievements/trophies and online community.

    Madworld is not just violent....it's gratuitously violent.

    I have some great games in the violent category, Resident Evil 4 and Overkill - survival horror.
    I purchased both Okami and Zack and Wiki - Greatly underappreciated games!, but I don't know how i can justify purchasing a game where the main aim of the game is to kill someone in the most creative way.

    Just me i guess, I am obviously not a hardcore gamer!!!!

    Madworld is a new ip black and white game when has a black and white game come out on the 360 or ps3 so called hard core gamers should look at that this game had little to no tv ads internet hype wont sale a game

    And all the so called hard core games that we love to call hard core always have great tv ads hype for a year or so and most of the time they are not new ips

    Wii fit is outselling every thing 1 and Copcom did nothing to inform people about zack and wiki

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