News Article

Retail Success Eludes GTA: Chinatown Wars

Posted by Damien McFerran

A case of the right game on the wrong platform?

It might be the highest-rated game in the history of the Nintendo DS, but critical success hasn’t translated into commercial victory for Rockstar’s GTA: Chinatown Wars.

The game failed to make the top 10 or 20 best-selling games for the month, and has sold well below the 200,000 copies that Rockstar was hoping for. In fact, only 88,000 copies have been shifted since its release in March.

Industry experts are citing the game’s lacklustre performance as proof that mature titles simply don’t have a chance on the ‘kiddie-friendly’ DS.

[via pocketgamer.co.uk]

More Stories

Game Screenshots

User Comments (39)

antdickensAdmin

#1

antdickens said:

There might be some truth in that, I think there is potential for Wii to have some good selling mature titles, but the DS is a bit of a long shot. If anything could prove this wrong it would be GTA

Tizoc

#2

Tizoc said:

I tried for several weeks now to buy this game at one our our electronic markets nearby. No chance! So maybe the games is not well distributed!

flatspikes

#3

flatspikes said:

This is potentially a real blow... I haven't had so much fun with a DS game before it seems I'm in a minority! I've tried to persuade my other DS owning friends to buy this too but none have so far! Guess this will shoot down the chance of any more GTA games on the DS then...

DamoAdmin

#4

Damo said:

I think it's just a clear cut case of aiming at the wrong sector of the market.

Big_A2

#7

Big_A2 said:

What was that thing Cammie liked to say agian? Evergreen?

Yeah... that was how he would describe New Super Mario Bros. I think the same thing applies here, it will continue to sell at a consitant pace over time.

wanderlustwarrior

#8

wanderlustwarrior said:

really a damn shame, I was hoping it would do a lot better. But once again, nintendo system owners tend not to know whats good for them.

at least I'm having fun.

warioswoods

#10

warioswoods said:

Piracy certainly shares some responsibility for the low sales. Just have a look at the rate of download for the torrents of this game. I'd like to see even more proactive anti-piracy actions by Nintendo in the near future, especially with the DSi. Hopefully the firmware updates will be mandatory to play new titles and will silently brick any DSi that has an unauthorized flash cart stuck in it.

ReZon

#11

ReZon said:

@warioswoods - I agree.

I didn't purchase GTA because it's just not the type of game I'm interested in. I was impressed by the review scores it's been receiving, and honestly expected it to have sold a little better. Two of my buddies have it, and they were enjoying it last I heard.

MayhemStaff

#12

Mayhem said:

Yeah, what I was going to say. More likely pirated up the wazoo rather than apathy and lack of wanting to play said title; I know lots of people enjoying it and lots of people with R4 devices and the similar (and have never bought a retail DS game in their lives).

Kirk

#13

Kirk said:

I would say right game, right platform, idiots who are graphics and technology whores who don't think it's for them simply because it isn't on more powerful hardware.

I would secondly say this is HUGELY Nintendo's fault for not having demos as the norm and Rockstar Leeds fault for not providing one.

If there was a demo for this game then people could have at least tried it and I bet you a million squid it would have sold far more copies.

There are many people to blame but it's not the fault of the game or the platform it's on.

dagreenone

#14

dagreenone said:

It will continue to sell over time. What's the big rush to 200,000? It is still too new, I know I am not going to pay full price for a brand new game. This article needs to be made in like 6 months (not a month after release) to actually give a true picture if it is a success or not.

KDR_11k

#15

KDR_11k said:

Piracy certainly shares some responsibility for the low sales.

Doesn't explain why other games sell better since they're no harder to pirate.

MickEiA

#16

MickEiA said:

i knew this wouldnt work what were they smokin when they decided to have a DS exclusive game

warioswoods

#17

warioswoods said:

@KRD_11k

Other games that sell quite well on the DS (Mario Kart, etc) appeal to a broader base of people, most of which do not know how to deal with flash carts, torrents, etc. The problem with a game like this one is that the demographic at whom it is aimed overlaps considerably with the demographic involved in piracy. Piracy will affect this kind of game far more than other titles that have a broader appeal.

Hazuki

#18

Hazuki said:

I completly agree with KDR_11k.

"Right game? It's a 2D GTA! GTA didn't become big until it went 3D."

GTA was complete trash in 2D, no one cared about it, the game series only got possible once it hit GTA3.
For some reason, all the reviewers out there, absolutly love the GTA series, the most overrated series ever i think. Look at all the 10s GTA4 got for example. It was alright...but not perfect by any means.
This game sold where it should have.

Outrunner

#19

Outrunner said:

Bleh. No matter what reviewers say I still don't like these types of games. No buy for me.

MrPanic

#20

MrPanic said:

It's a shame though, GTA:CW was way better than GTA4. People just don't care because it's cartoony and on ds, or still think it plays like the 2d gta's from the old days.

Golgo

#21

Golgo said:

Don't sweat it Rockstar I'm buying a copy next Wednesday.
So that's 88,001! Huzzah!

deadly_by_design

#22

deadly_by_design said:

More demos = less piracy. I've technically pirated games just to demo them, but ended up uninstalling and deleting them after a quick try. I've also downloaded games, tried them out, and then bought them. Makes more sense than blowing $40-60 on a chance when you're on the fence and w/o a demo.

I think piracy may play a larger part in this DS game than others because it appeals to an older demographic. This demographic is more savvy in terms of "appropriating" media, IMO. On the other hand, they're also the ones with jobs and money to purchase... so who knows.

2D GTA doesn't bother me, but the fact that there's a cop every 10 feet does. Still a good game though, from what little I've seen.

wiiboy101

#23

wiiboy101 said:

apparently theres a 2D GTA game on DS i own the game and im clearly playing a top down 3D GAME were on earth you get a 2D GTA game i dont know

sinse wen was GTA DS 2D

its clearly a fully 3d rendered top down game its not 2d it uses 3d polygons and 3d sprites its 3D

the fact of the matter is this GTA sells to kids chavs DS is owned more by adults not chavs and gta has always been overrated

its a reflection on ds user base not being 12 year old kids thinking prostitutes make a game good and sweet gameplay doesn't mean anything

AND THE SALES ARE USA ITS CLEARLY DOING GREAT IN EUROPE

industry what ex what clearly games of all types sell well on ds and wii and clearly the DS libery is chock a block full of traditional core games

MATURE NO, IMMATURE YES Nintendo fans are not the same fans as sonys """!!CHAV USER BASE"" WHO RATE GAMES ON HOW MANY GUNS NOT ON GREAT GAMEPLAY OR INNOVATION

stop calling a """!!!IMMATURE FRANCHISE MATURE!!"" FAR FAR FAR FROM MATURE

gta userbase was average aged 12 in uk when all the anti gta and manhunt thing was going on after one teen murdered another.............

the average age of a zelda and mario game was proven 26

26 vs 12 AGAIN IMMATURE NOT MATURE DONT CONFUSS THE TWO

ITS 12 YEAR OLD CHAVS CALLING THEM SELFS """"""MATURE""" BECAUSE THEY LIKE GTA

AND ITS THE SAME """""""""KIDS"""""""" CALLING NINTENDO FRACHIZES KIDDY IN FORUMS NO ADULT GAMER WOULD CALL MARIO KIDDY AS ONLY A KID IS """""""""""""""""""""""IMATURE ENOUGH TO SAY THAT GET IT NOW""""""""

Wiiloveit

#24

Wiiloveit said:

I think that this will be one of those games that will still sell well over a long time though, so hopefully Rockstar won't have it too hard.

wiiboy101

#25

wiiboy101 said:

its been in uk top ten since release its still there now i believe its a top ten sitter in other country's also total sales matter not chart positions look at mario kart ds its a STAYER FOR SURE lol

Golgo

#26

Golgo said:

18 certificates don't stop parents getting GTA games for their kids on other platforms, so I don't think that's the reason. More like non-existent marketing, I'd suggest,

wiiboy101

#27

wiiboy101 said:

golgo the tv adds in uk were very few and always AFTER MIDNIGHT so i agree entirely..................... and yes its proven the average GTA fan is well below 18 years of age

im 36 i have got the game with my new DSi i like it but its no zelda or mario even metroid hunters and mario kart are more fun

its a good game but it soon becomes mind numming like all gta games hows many times does jacking a car take before it gets very stale

ill re play other games far far more than ill re play gta UR A GANGSTER SO WHAT doesnt make for genius gameplay does it

same applys to madworld weak late night only marketing and the fact its full retail price and only 6 hours long

AND THERES A LOT OF FOLKS WHO SIMPLY WILL NOT BUY A BLACK AND WHITE VIDEOGAME

HOW MANY HAVE DOWN LOADED IT PIRATE COPY 1 MILLION MAYBE MORE LOL

Mix

#28

Mix said:

I will be buying it, eventually. I got a DSi for my wife and a few games that we play together so I'll pick it up later.

The game looks awesome and I prefer the top down game play. Also, I don't buy the pirate angle.

wiiboy101

#29

wiiboy101 said:

its a 2D game

were is GTA ds 2d the map the menus because i clearly see a 3d top down game not 2D

and its better for it in that angle of play on a handheld its a better game than gta psp for it 2d my ass LOL FOLKS

deadly_by_design

#31

deadly_by_design said:

Calm down, wiiboy. It's an isometric view, which might as well be 2D, even if most everything else is modeled in 3D. (aside from character sprites, etc)

Stuffgamer1

#32

Stuffgamer1 said:

@warioswoods #18: Careful there! What you wrote there seems to suggest that people who play games about theft are more likely to steal games. Don't want mainstream media picking up on that statement straight from a gamer, do you? :P

Anyway, you guys have no IDEA how many people have shown interest in the game at Gamestop right up until they're told it's DS exclusive. That has DEFINITELY been a HUGE factor in its lack of sales.

Objection

#33

Objection said:

I plan to get GTA-DS in a few months. I think that people need to chill. It's only been about 2 weeks. Give the game a few more before declaring it a financial dud and whatnot.

Big_A2

#34

Big_A2 said:

@ 33. Stuffgamer1: That's not what he's saying. He's saying the market GTA is aiming at are the kind of people who don't see any problems with stealing (or as they call it "getting free") games, becuase they can.

A group of kids at my school (GTA fans, of course) constanly make fun of me for not pirating games. I'm not even going to bother explainign them that their killing the game indistry, but I guess they're only killing games that they like, so it's their loss.

masked_marsoe

#35

masked_marsoe said:

Nintendo pointed to the example of CoD4 on DS. It sold 36,000 in its first month, and since then has sold 500,000.

The DS is a different console in that big sellers tend to take a long time to start selling large numbers, rather than a short burst before obscurity.

shogunhitokiri

#36

shogunhitokiri said:

I don't think that GTA is on the wrong platform. Everybody is just impatient and looking for any little thing so they can criticize the Wii or DS. People complain about the lack of "hardcore" titles and then Chinatown Wars and MadWorld are released and sell below expectations. Then people want to say that "hardcore" titles don't sell on Nintendo consoles when the same people complain that dust is collecting on their Wii and DS and the funny thing is they don't even own a copy of those games.

WolfRamHeart

#37

WolfRamHeart said:

I bought this game the day it came out and it really upsets me that a game of this quality is being overlooked. The same with MadWorld; I picked it up on day one and I was under the impression that both of these titles were what the "hardcore" fans were waiting for. Now I read that MadWorld sold even less than GTA:Chinatown Wars did. What are people thinking?! GTA: Chinatown Wars is one of the best games on the DS! If you haven't picked up either of these great games I highly recommend that you do; you won't regret it!

Stuffgamer1

#38

Stuffgamer1 said:

@Big A2: I know that's not what he was saying. Hence the :P at the end of the paragraph, which is an indicator of sarcasm. Would a ;) have been better?

I agree with your statement, anyway. I don't want to kill the game industry, so that makes pirating look stupid to me. I don't mind downloading ROM's of games that have been discontinued and are not available in any format, but new DS games? NO WAY!

bkdove

#39

bkdove said:

I bought this title one month ago, and is a drug for me... I'm sorry for Rockstar :(

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...