News Article

id Chief: "Show Me Why I Should Develop For Wii"

Posted by Damien McFerran

Hollenshead isn't sure the Wii is a viable platform

Following on from last week’s worrying report that third party development on the Wii is a risky business, id Software head man Todd Hollenshead has added his own two cents to the debate.

Speaking to Gamespot, Hollenshead had this to say:

If you look at the data, the Wii is Nintendo—and then everybody else. And then among everybody else, it's licensed properties - and then stuff that people lose money on. So, for a really original, game-centric IP, if you're a third-party developer, I would say, "Show me what makes such a compelling case for the Wii.” Even if we make an awesome game, there's still a question as to whether we're going to justify our investment. And also, I mean, if you look at the market, the type of games we traditionally make, those games are selling record numbers on non-Wii platforms.

However, it should be noted that the id chief isn’t necessarily hating on the Wii; to clarify his statement he adds:

Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that almost every company doesn't try to be all things to all people. Nintendo isn't trying to be all things to all people either.

Still, the fact that one of the most talented development studios in the world is not currently looking to produce software for the Wii is something that all Nintendo fans should feel slightly sad about; imagine playing one of id’s unique brand of FPS titles using the tried-and-tested ‘Wii Remote and Nunchuk’ control method…


From the web

User Comments (30)



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

I agree with you Clayfrd. A big part of the reason games like this might sell poorly on the Wii is because many "serious" gamers that this kind of game would appeal to have more than one console—a Wii and something else—and they would rather play an id game on the "other" console.



Wrenski said:

Because the Wii is selling like mad and the pointer has already been proven to be a delightful boon to FPS games, yet surreally underutilized? That there's a whole untapped market that obviously yearns for something to sate them, and if you weren't dicking around (as EA did with the NES way back when) you could've already been enjoying the benefits that Conduit is likely to reap in your stead?

That and these 'record numbers' have almost immediate drop out, and worse, because of development costs, often times don't recoup what was invested. Mark my words: Don't expect RockStar to ever try to make another game on the level GTAIV, especially not when Chinatown Wars, which would have cost an absolute fraction to make, is also doing great, and gamer response has been far, far more positive to it.



Stratos said:

Conduit is our ray of hope. I would like to see it take Hollenshed's words and shove them back in his face. Though if Conduit fails...
House of the Dead Overkill, Tenchu and Deadly Creatures were the first round. Madworld is the second. Conduit is the biggest of them all and will possibly be Wii's last stand of sorts. If they all fail then we can kiss a number of future quality games goodbye.
Madworld and Overkill are selling well (aside from the Madworld resolution fiasco in Europe) so there is hope there. We'll see how Conduit does.



calculon said:

Considering the current situation with Wii development, I'd say this tool Hollenshead is full of it just like every other third party developer who avoids the Wii for the the same dumb-ass excuses.

I'm sorry, but Nintendo's input for this generation's blockbuster titles has been fairly minimal, with the usual entries - Galaxy, Kart, Brawl and Zelda - heading the front line. That's four games! If you honestly think that there's no room for your dev. studio to compete with four game over two years then you're an idiot.

Yes, you could factor in 'casual' titles like Wii Fit but that's not the target demographic for most of these whiners. I think the main issue for these guys is that they're lazy bastards who make a crap load of money and have got complacent living off a franchise that gets milked to death. They've lost focus on what's important - taking a risk because they're too afraid to loose image rather than money.

To people like Todd Hollenshead, I say "Bugger off and stop clogging our ears with stuff that doesn't change a damn thing."



Objection said:

@Metal Slugger-Just FYI, Half Life isn't made by id, if thats what made you think it. They're made by Valve. Great games though, the HL series.




Hollenshead is right with nintendos not here for eveybody toaday as they give us what they want us to have and not what we want when we are the ones paying high prices for the games and periphrials.We should be glad mad world even saw the wii,but me and other gamers will make more of a life on our xbox 360's and our ps3's because nintendo chooses to control us and it's sad really.




#& thats the attitude that makes nintendo say ok so they do not care! well let's keep making crap games until they get so bad we plummit! real smart.What is wrong with the game industry and communities toay? i miss the ninties when it was strong.



The_Fox said:

@post 8:
No, he (and they) have a very valid point. The types of games that Id is known for don't show a promise of preforming well yet on the Wii. Maybe if a few more more hardcore (I'm getting sick of that term) games do well you'll see them try, but why take a huge financial risk (in the middle of the economic crisis, no less) when they are clearly doing well elsewhere?



wiiboy101 said:

its sure grapes wii rules id dont like it






Sean_Aaron said:

No kidding. I don't think I've played a game from ID since Doom; everything since seems like Doom with an extra feature or two, but always the same mindless theme of space marine running around shooting everything that moves, then find the switch that opens the door so you can go to a new area and repeat ad nauseum.

I'm perfectly happy to see iD favour other platforms, ta very much.



dogsoldier said:

Its easy, if he's asking Why? I'm sure a man who is clever enough to programme should already know the answer - Make casual games that the masses will buy - like .... say ... Nintendo do. But then cant really see Doom-Fit on the shelves any time soon. So yheh Hollenshead, go and make lots more false perspective shooters for guys that are still growing hair on their balls. KillZoneDoomBusters III will always sell the same number of copies to the same demograph that its aimed at. I'm happy playing Family Ski with my daughter and having a laugh.

Thank you Nintendo for at least trying to do something a bit different. You only have to read some of those Nintendo development interviews to see why they are enjoying success. ID are known for one thing, and one thing only - They are a one trick pony.



XCWarrior said:

I seriously didn't even know Id was a game developer. Could care less if he develops for Wii - he apparently doesn't want to make money.



Kid_A said:

So basically he's saying--Why should I challenge myself and take risks?
And another thing: Nintendo is considered to be the best developer in the world, and this is their console. Of course it's going to be Nintendo and then everyone else when it comes to the Wii.



Lotice-Paladin said:

Let id Software do what they want. They are the one who's missing out on making good games for the Wii, but I forget to recall the last time they developed a good game anyway.

By the way Blaze, great avatar and I love the name! One of my all time favourite characters and such a great nickname .



KDR_11k said:

The games iD makes face stiff competition on the HD platform and any sub-par game falls hard, usually taking the whole company with it. The Wii is a platform for significantly cheaper games and if he had been paying any attention he'd notice that many original IPs have been making a profit on the platform. What tends to be misleading is the first month, HD system game sales spike in the first week and quickly drop off, that spike is seen as the primary sales period. Wii games start low and slowly go upward, selling over a LONG time. I recall EA being disappointed with the initial Boom Blox sales but a year later it was a million seller. If you look only at the first month as with traditional platforms you'll think the Wii's games sell a lot worse than they really do.

Also last I checked it's more profitable to go into an unclaimed market than one that's already saturated. Look at the Wii FPS market, with the current situation id could release a game and actually stand out instead of being panned for making a game that feels like every B-grade FPS out there and subsequently fading into obscurity because everybody else is better at attaching sales hooks to games while id's one trick, better graphics, no longer works.

If you wait until your genre has numerous million sellers in it before entering the market don't be surprised if you find that your lunch was already eaten two weeks ago. Going into an established market like that is a bigger risk than claiming a new one, the necessary work to succeed in a saturated market is much greater and thus the investment much higher and even then you have a chance to fail, if you do you're out a whole LOT more money than you put in. Claiming a new market means you'll be forgiven a few mistakes as there's no competition to compare you with and you need less work (noone will complain if an id game on the Wii doesn't look like a 360 game) to make your game with a much higher payoff as everybody is waiting for someone to feed the starving market. Look at Red Steel, that game sold millions despite being severely flawed! New market = low investment, big payoff, chances of success somewhat harder to guess but that's what you're paying your CEO so much money for, right?



vherub said:

he does have a point that awesome games on ps3/360 tend to sell better, but awesome games on the wii, simply do not always sell better. It has to be frustrating that you can make a really great game, have this giant installed base, and not hit a homerun.



The_Fox said:

I hear a lot of "Oh well, his loss", when that is quite actually the gamers loss. Shouldn't Nintendo pursue some of the more established developers? I mean, let's face it, as much as I like the Wii, 80% of the games released on the system are complete and utter poo, seeking to cash in on the casual boom. The Wii needs an influx of different games, and turning your back on developers isn't the way to go.



dogsoldier said:

... if only the suits could understand what KDR_11k said. Its not rocket science, but then again thats why successful games companies are like rocking horse poo... and why, like the publishing industry you only have a handful of mega publishers who's futures are supported solely on the wobbly foundations of their software houses. You are only as good as you last hit. At least the Wii is a viable platform to encourage inovation and limit risk.



KDR_11k said:

vherub, look at the games that fail to sell huge on the Wii. Most of them were niche from the beginning and often the publishers were satisfied with the sales anyway, indicating that they were prepared for it and kept the budget low enough to make the game profit at a fairly low sales threshold. I mean, how many games are there that would realistically have sold big on the HD systems but failed to sell on the Wii? Mad World was doomed from the beginning (people don't want quirky graphics or excessive gore) and even then I think Sega was actually happy with it. Gamers tend to follow the sales for a few weeks and then declare success or failure, the Wii market does not work that way. You have to wait months or even a year to determine whether a Wii game really failed. Anyway, I can't even think of a great game that failed to sell, I can however remember many games that got hyped at first but failed in the quality department when they finally came out.

The Fox: 80% of EVERYTHING is crap. Id hasn't exactly been a notable developer lately, their last few projects were also-rans.



dogsoldier said:

If all you make & sell is first person shooters, your market is people that buy first persion shooters. That market is of a finite size and always will be.

ID like everybody else has to look at their bottom line. How can they grow their audience without becoming un-cool.

Its not easy - look at Nintendo - they are trying to grow their audience and see what happen on places like this.

Everything is unfolding in the Universe as it should be and in the end none of it matters.



motang said:

can't really argue with the man he has a good valid point...and that's why there is multi platform. Nowadays if you are gamer it's always good to have at least two consoles. I have two the PS2 (which is still going very strong) and the Wii, and I plan on getting a PS3 once I upgrade my TV.



Marioman64 said:

i only skimmed the post, but i just wanted to point out how okami for the wii is pure awesomeness

my friend tried it, and he was surprised when i told him it came on ps2 first, he was all like "how the heck do you draw in that one?"

twas born for the wii i say



dagreenone said:

If id doesn't want to develop for the wii, that is there own business, however it should be noted that their previous hits are already hugely popular on the homebrew scene.
Doom and Quake are already available on the wii via the homebrew channel. Using the wiimote/nunchuck control scheme is a very natural fit.



wiiboy101 said:

ID show me anything evolved over doom 1 in gameplay and innovation apart from graphics

and why would a fps dev ignore wiimote/nunchuck






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