News Article

Confusion Reigns over Mega Man 9 Sales

Posted by Damien McFerran

Mega Man 9 is easily one of the biggest WiiWare titles so far, but it’s only when you look at the figures recently published by VG Charts that you realize just how big. 140,000 downloads in one week – that’s a lot of cash in your virtual pocket, no matter which way you look at it.

Well, it would be if Capcom hadn’t debunked the figure almost as soon as it was released. According to Nintendo Everything, Capcom’s Corporate Officer/VP of Strategic Planning & Business Development Christian Svensson (boy that’s a long job title, I bet his business card is massive) had this to say:

Any numbers you’ve seen or quoted are not correct. That said, I think we’re cautiously optimistic about MM9’s performance.

So do we take that to mean that the figure of 140,000 is too high or too low? Some clarification would be nice, Capcom…

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User Comments (45)

Fleeman

#2

Fleeman said:

i could see that number being super low its most likely closer to 1,000,000 sales

Gitaroo_Dude

#4

Gitaroo_Dude said:

140,000 is PROBABLY too high.

I say that because downloadable games still are not as big as retail releases by any stretch of the imagination.

And let's not forget how easily new games can climb up the Wiiware popular games chart either, which is a sign imo that not many of the games on the service sell THAT well.

Wiiloveit

#5

Wiiloveit said:

@Gitaroo_Dude: Think about the number of Wii's currently available. Now think about the percentage of those that are currently online. Now think about the amount of people who can easily get themselves Wii Points but would NOT like to buy Mega Man 9. Although 140,000 may seem like a LOT, compared to the amount of Wii's currently circulating, it really isn't that much at all. OK, WiiWare games were never going to sell as well as retail titles, but on this occasion I can see Mega Man exceeding the number stated by VGCharts.

EDIT: Wait, I just realised that it was 140,000 downloads in one week. After reading this, I must agree that maybe I was being a bit too ambitious. My bad :)

Serpent

#6

Serpent said:

Wouldn't be surprised if it was more the 140,000 downloads, The game is probably the most hyped Wii Ware game.

0-Watt

#7

0-Watt said:

FOR ALL:

VGChartz has no base for their sales data on downloadable software. The site was created by someone on a forum I lurk who was BANNED for pretty much pulling numbers out of his ass. He has a couple sources and then just extrapolates numbers on that.

People just latch onto the site because he posts data on it. It doesn't mean it is correct data. It's just bull data that people think is real because the site exists.

Objection

#9

Objection said:

@Tony--Is that because you just downloaded it as well or something? ;)
I think 140,000 might be too high a number, but not too high a number to eventually reach!

MayhemStaff

#10

Mayhem said:

It's a lot... hopefully enough for Capcom to consider MM10... maybe in a SNES style engine! ;)

Wiiloveit

#11

Wiiloveit said:

This would be a perfect spin off to The Price Is Right: The WiiWare Sales Are Right!

I feel like playing Cliffhanger and Plinko now.

Adam

#12

Adam said:

All right, I know that developers supposedly aren't informed of sales for digital downloads. The same has been said for XBLA developers. But can someone explain to me how this is possible? I mean, these guys must be getting paid. Do they not check their bank statements? It seems like it would be impossible to hide from the ones being paid how much they are being paid. I must be misunderstanding something very basic. Clarification would be appreciated.

MrPoo6321

#13

MrPoo6321 said:

Think about all the people that are downloading it on the PSN or XBLA.... this thing has to be making a LOAD of money.

Kaluba

#15

Kaluba said:

WOW!!! That is a TON of downloads! I haven't downloaded it myself and I am not sure if I will, because I want to download Mega Man for the actual NES.

Loooca

#16

Loooca said:

@Objection_Blaster: It's only normal to charge more for it, even if it sounds unfair.

I blinked upon seeing those number earlier this week. I expected much, but not this much. Mainly because a lot have been raving about the lack of love (in their twisted brains) for the 8-bit "thingy", so I didn't think that many bought it after the first few days. Though, these numbers could be very true—the Blue Man is that great.

And LOL, Capcom's announcement clearly translates to: "LEAVE US ALONE. WE'RE POOR, THIS GAME DID NOT MAKE US... RICH. SO DIDN'T, YEAH."

Peznaze

#17

Peznaze said:

That is an interesting point... 140,000 in one week on all PS3's, Xbox360s AND Wiis, combined... Could well be too low. But it is impossible to gauge accurately and any number you hear will be a total guess, NPD, VGChartz, Magic 8-Ball, they'll all be equally accurate and the companies don't release such information.

thewiirocks

#18

thewiirocks said:

THIS GAME DID NOT MAKE US... RICH. SO DIDN'T, YEAH.

To be fair, it hasn't made them "rich". At least not yet.

Think about it. 140,000x$10 = $1.4m. Nintendo is probably taking about half of that. That leaves only 700K for Capcom. 700K is easily the cost of 7 engineers and managers. (Assuming an average wage of ~100K/yr.) If anything, Capcom may only be breaking even so far.

Whatever Capcom walks away with, it will still pale in comparison to their sales of disc-based games. Hopefully, titles like Mega Man 9 will attract more buyers to the downloadable-game market, thus increasing profits.

Gitaroo_Dude

#19

Gitaroo_Dude said:

@ Peznaze

Except all 3 versions were released at different times, so VCchartz's info couldn't take that into account.

I have no doubt that MM9 will eventually pass 140k, but I'll wait for an official confirmation. Bionic Commando Rearmed only did like 100k on the two systems with active online communities.

AlexSays

#20

AlexSays said:

Think about it. 140,000x$10 = $1.4m. Nintendo is probably taking about half of that.

Wrong.
Why would Nintendo get half the money made from Capcom's game?
Especially when it isn't exclusive.
I can see Nintendo getting some money. But to say half is just ridiculous.

And the rest of your post is just as incorrect.
You honestly think it took Capcom $700,000 to make Mega Man 9?

Loooca

#21

Loooca said:

@thewiirocks: No, it probably won't. But I have a feeling the people at Capcom didn't expect this will make much, or have such hype following it. Another feeling tells me they don't want to acknowledge the popularity of retro games, so they could go on with their XZ2 version 2.0: The Final Before Final — or, you know?

I... wouldn't know about them being paid that much, no. Nintendo itself doesn't pay much (or as much as I expected), even though they don't have that many employers. So, it makes you wonder what a bunch of workers from Capcom could earn out of this. I don't think the creators did this for the money. I mean, of course they did, but you can feel that there's more to it then just cash.

And that was terribly off-topic of me, but :)

thewiirocks

#22

thewiirocks said:

Wrong. Why would Nintendo get half the money made from Capcom's game?
Wrong.
Royatly rates in the downloadable game industry are absolutely terrible. Microsoft is believed to currently pay out ~35% to developers, keeping a lion's share of 65% to themselves. Nintendo moved into this space and offered higher royalties to the small players. Even 50% is a significant boost to their royalty rates. (Though I will grant that the figure is merely a guesstimation for discussion purposes. Nintendo may be paying out 60-65%. Doesn't matter for my point to hold.)

You honestly think it took Capcom $700,000 to make Mega Man 9?
Wrong.
You honestly think Capcom took less than $700,000 to develop, package, and market Mega Man 9? Take a look at the credits for a moment. A good, hard, long look. All those people had to be paid. $700,000 is probably not an accurate figure for development (seeing as how it was a figure for possible development costs), but it is not an unreasonable figure.

Especially when it isn't exclusive.
Wrong.
Non-exclusivity INCREASES development costs. The theoretical advantage is that you take in 3x the profits for a relatively minimal increase in costs.

And the rest of your post is just as incorrect.
Wrong.

Wrong
Wrong.
The sooner you stop using that word, the sooner we can stop escalating these posts and speak like intelligent gentlemen. ;)

AlexSays

#23

AlexSays said:

Your whole argument is backed by an imaginary number you created in your head.
Actually, two imaginary numbers.
The first number being how many times MM9 has been downloaded.
The other being how much money Nintendo gets.

Come back with real numbers before you try to substantiate an actual argument.

The sooner you stop using that word, the sooner we can stop escalating these posts and speak like intelligent gentlemen.

Intelligent men don't substantiate arguments with imaginary numbers.

blockhead

#24

blockhead said:

i think that number is too high for only one week of downloads it probly is closer to 10-20 thousand

dr_mario

#25

dr_mario said:

I don't know how much money capcom is making off this but they deserve every penny of it! Megaman 9 is one of the best games I've played in a while and is even better than the majority of my wii disc games!

Objection

#26

Objection said:

"Think about it. 140,000x$10 = $1.4m. Nintendo is probably taking about half of that. That leaves only 700K for Capcom. 700K is easily the cost of 7 engineers and managers. (Assuming an average wage of ~100K/yr.) If anything, Capcom may only be breaking even so far."
I won't touch on the profit % topic since Supermario has already gone there & I don't know how many people made MM9, but I'd be very surprised if:
A- anyone worked on it for a year
B-Anyone involved in the title except managers get paid anywhere near 100K.
@supermario and his fan--to each his own ;)

RetroWare

#27

RetroWare said:

I think it sold more then that, easily. Also, that site is often wrong on a lot of sale figures.

David77

#28

David77 said:

140 000 is way to high. Bionic commando rearmed was said to be an incredible success and they talk about 100 000 for ps3 AND 360. Maybe 140 000 is close to the truth, but for the 3 platforms together.

Starwolf_UK

#29

Starwolf_UK said:

We'll never hear the truth since NPD doesn't cover DLC and the companies behind DLC platforms keep thier mouthes shut.

Though sooner or later we might be able to get some anecdotal minimum sales figure using the Nintendo channel (remember you need to add every single country since every single country records the stats separetely).

As for development costs and that. The royalties are just a different version of the liscensing companies do for you to publish games on their system. Add in no production costs (discs individually are cheap to press but consider the minimum run tends to be 10,000 and under or ever producing is literilly costly), no dsitributors (and as a result no pesky wholesale prices then MRSP prices), no warehouses (for your inventory before distributors pick it up) and the fact development costs are far lower, you don't need to sell too many...

The game is probably the most hyped Wii Ware game.
I think world of goo forever holds that award :P

Twilight_Crow

#30

Twilight_Crow said:

Everybody knows how well megaman is been selling, but I've no idea how close is that number to reality, what I know, is that Capcom really knows how to cause polemic.

LucBernard

#31

LucBernard said:

Nintendo offfers the best Share to developers, better than microsoft all i can say is that its similar to the share that devs get off itunes for apps, so its around erm i cant say but you guys can do some research.

All I can say is that it has a 3 infront of it, the ammount of % nintendo takes.

Objection

#33

Objection said:

@Adam-- :O Oh, so that's what he meant! I thought they got a slice of warm apple Pi--3.14285714... !! ;) (thats what my calc says)

Killraven

#34

Killraven said:

Luc you're a top bloke.
Just so you know, i'm glad you're still around. (unlike that Bplus guy that disappeared as soon as his game came out.)

dark_moogle

#36

dark_moogle said:

So MS takes 65%, Nintendo takes 50%, anyone know how much Sony takes for PSN software (just out of curiosity)

Adam

#37

Adam said:

Just in case you missed it, 5 comments above you a WiiWare developer said Nintendo takes 30-something , not 50, Monsieur Moogle, so I think we can trust that figure rather than the random guess of 50.

The MS 65% statistic came from someone who reads backwards and goes by a source that isn't actually sure of the statistic. According to the linked source, Microsoft pays the developer 65% rather than keeping it, but the source also specifies, If the source is right, MS pays the developer 35%, which is at most 5% higher than Nintendo (unless it really is .3% or pi% as Objection Blaster and I have divined).

I, too, would be interested in how much Sony is taking off their games. They have a great service going that doesn't seem to get nearly as much attention as it deserves due to the considerably smaller user base.

vherub

#38

vherub said:

I recall capcom disputing an okami wii sales figure vgchartz a while ago.

anyway, i got mm9, and I hope it is popular enough that capcom does some more retro revival games with the same about of care.

Djungelurban

#39

Djungelurban said:

100K/yr for a game developer?! Yeah, right... In crazy insane world that is. Unless you're the owner of a very successful developer/publisher, making games is not a very profitable job. And concerning the credits list, most those people where probably just in and out contractors or Capcom staff. Any contractors on this game would probably not work on it for more than a few days top and anyone on staff wouldn't burden the development budget of MM9 significantly because they are employed anyway. No, I'd guess that the game cost about 100k-200k. And most of that would be salaries.

LucBernard

#40

LucBernard said:

are you guys crazy? Nintendo does not take 50%

its between 29 and 31% that they take, not allowed to tell the proper number

also yes you'd be suprised alot of devs get 100k in a year and thats not alot in the game industry, well i dont make that lol sadly :( me its more like 10 times less haha

Ricardo91

#42

Ricardo91 said:

@Objection_Blaster. You need to get a new calculator then. All the ones I've used say it's 3.141592654 (that's all the numerals I know, and I'm not guessing the others). :

I think 140,000 DLs in one week is a bit much. Sure, there are many MM fans and it's been hyped out the wazoo, but I didn't expect a difficult game that looks like it's 20 years old to do that well, especially with all the young people playing Wii, but that's just me. :P

Talicus

#43

Talicus said:

Those sales actually kind of surprised me, considering it has almost continually been less popular than My Aquarium, if the "Most Popular" list in the Shopping Channel is to be believed.

Master_K

#44

Master_K said:

If the sales are correct and Luc Bernard is telling the truth that Nintendo gets 30%. This means the devs get 70%. Do the math 140000 DLs = 1.4M. 70% of 1.4M = $980,000. So this is how much they've made.

whalleywhat

#45

whalleywhat said:

Something tells me Capcom didn't spend a million dollars on this. That's what I call profit. Bitter tears for Ben Judd.

p.s. Noone listens to VG Chartz.

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