XSEED Talks Wii Support And Why It Isn't Touching Retro Game Challenge 2
Posted by Andy Green
"Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning"
XSEED Games has a reputation for localising great Japanese-only titles for the west. The publisher has been very successful with its choices, with The Last Story becoming its most successful title of all time.
Another highly-regarded title is Pandora's Tower, a game that has already made it to Europe but not to North America just yet - XSEED confirmed earlier this month that it was on the way and would be available in spring.
In an interview with Digital Trends, Vice President at XSEED Games Ken Berry revealed he believed The Last Story was so successful because it was simply a fantastic game, saying how informed gamers had been tracking it for a long time since it emerged in Japan and knew just how good it was from the beginning. However, Berry doesn't believe Pandora's Tower will match the same level of success:
We do not expect Pandora’s Tower to match its sales as we will be even farther along the Wii’s lifecycle by the time it releases, but we do still expect a strong showing thanks to the great support from the fanbase for these JRPGs on Wii.
Asked about why other developers choose to shun older consoles in favour of the newer systems, Berry said it's largely down to the retailers who often allocate precious shelf space to newer hardware:
All the excitement, and higher price points and profit margins, are with the new hardware so focus shifts quickly for both retailers and publishers. A platform isn’t truly dead until all new software ceases to release on it, which in this day of digital distribution could take a very long time.
Though Berry doesn't feel the Wii is dead just yet, he did reiterate that Pandora's Tower will be the last title XSEED published on the system, however he did suggest that should another great game come along it would be tempting.
There's also been a lot of talk about Retro Game Challenge 2 making an appearance in the eShop, but it seems that if it does happen, it won't be published by XSEED Games as the whole process has simply become too expensive:
We loved the original game so much that we really went way above our comfort zone on the investment it took to bring the game over here. It was an incredibly expensive project due to multiple IP owners and the extensive localization programming necessary as it was never intended to be sold outside of Japan. Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning as it was about three times as expensive to license as a typical DS game at the time, and it came back to bite us in the end when sales didn’t live up to our expectations. Even if the IP holder was open to us licensing the sequel, we can’t go into a project knowing that we’re going to lose money, no matter how much the gamer inside us wants to.
What are your thoughts on these interesting insights? Let us know in the comments section below.