The NPD-numbers of March 2009 have been released and there were quite some surprises, mostly negative ones. One of them was Mad World´s sales numbers, which only did about 66.000 units. The reason for that “flop”? Many accuse the target audience to be the wrong one.
This is wrong. There are many possible reasons for Mad World´s relatively low numbers. Bad marketing, new, unknown IP, unique black and white-style, cel-shading, overly violent presentation, etc.. The audience is not at fault, though.
The Wii has sold over 50 million systems so far. The Wii is the leading current gen-system, with quite a gap to its competitors. It won´t be argued with the fact that the Wii-userbase consists of many new gamers, people that are new to gaming and prefer short-fun party-games. BUT: With 50 million sold systems, there IS NO special audience anymore. This audience is of all kind of gamers that exist. Just like the Playstation 2 also had mostly casual gamers and far less dedicated gamers. Maybe more than the Wii, though that´s not the point here. Also, add in the Nintendo-fanbase, a fanbase that only exists for Nintendo-systems in this way. If you want to say the of these 50 million gamers there are only 66.000 people that are interested in “games like Mad World”, but then go on saying that it would have sold better on, for example, Xbox 360, you´re simply wrong or biased.
A game that sells only 66.000 on the leading system had its own faults, not something like a wrong audience. And ironically, there is just the perfect example, coming from the same developer. Platinum Games, who consist of former Studio Clover-members, is known for the grand adventure-game Okami. Released on Playstation 2. Long story short, it bombed hard. What were the excuses of PS2-fans back then? There were none. It was said how sad it was that a great game like Okami bombed, but then the topic was put aside. An adventure-game flopping on PS2, at an even greater installed hardware-base…wrong audience? Definitely not. Some games just fail at broad reception of the mass market, and Okami, and now Mad World, are such games.
Taking such game´s misery into an argument about a system´s right or wrong audience is trolling at its best and, in the end, only hurts yourself. If you think Mad World deserves more, go out and tell people about it. But don´t say “bringt it to Xbox 360, Sega”. That will not happen, and if it happens and flops again, you´ll never see such games again.