News Article

Activision's Bobby Kotick Is Disappointed With The Launch Of The Wii U

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We're concerned about the install base for 6-11 year-olds"

It seems that people just can't stop hating on the Wii U.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick is the latest to knock Nintendo's new console, suggesting that the machine has been a commercial flop and is struggling to find favour with youngsters - a key demographic in today's market.

During the company's latest earnings call, Kotick was quizzed about the future of the all-important Skylanders franchise, and was asked to break down the install bases of the consoles which are currently available.

He replied:

We were somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U. We're concerned about the install base for 6-11 year-olds.

Kotick's concerns presumably revolve around the future of Skylanders Swap Force, which is due to hit the Wii U — as well as other platforms — later this year. The Wii was a key system in the success of previous Skylanders outings, and Activision is no doubt hoping that its successor will prove to be the same.

Hopefully we'll hear some good news about the Wii U soon — it feels like everyone wants to take a pop at the console these days.


From the web

User Comments (106)



Retro_on_theGo said:

Wait wait wait? He's worried KIDS AREN't playing the Wii U? HAH!!! You got nothing to worry about man, Nintendo's for the kiddies, remember?

Lots of negative news lately.



russellohh said:

Are there even that many kids games for it? ME3, Darksiders, Call of Duty, I haven't seen nearly as much Mario, Mario Kart, Hello Kitty's Island Vacation 7: The Deadening, as the Wii had. If BLack Ops 2 would just release DLC for the Wii U, or even make an official announcement, I'd play three times as much



MrGawain said:

My nephew got Skylanders Giants on the Wii when it came out, then a Wii U for Christmas. Skylanders Giants Wii U is 99.9% exactly the same as the Wii version, therefore he didn't get it.

Nothing to do with Nintendo, everything to do with Acivision trying to flog a dead horse.



Kyloctopus said:

Lego City Undercover is bound to get a part of that demographic, considering how well Lego games sell.



cornishlee said:

"We're concerned about the install base for 6-11 year-olds."

Yep, Because that's the exact demographic Nintendo was targeting at this launch. How could a system flouting Zombi U and NG3: Razor's Edge as exclusive launch titles, added content versions of Tekken, Arkham and AC3, together with day one COD possibly fail to attract 6-11 year olds?

Of all the bad news stories, I think we can most safely ignore this one.



XCWarrior said:

I would love for any of the Nintendo websites to stop publishing this crap. Good, I don't want the third Skylanders game on Wii U. They are going to run it into the ground. This third one should do it. The second one is already not being talked about like the first one was. I'd rather a bomb of a game not be on the system.

The Wii U is going to sell, stop publishing opinions of people to scare the fans.



K1LLEGAL said:

@cornishlee Look I hate Bobby Kotick, but you literally just supported everything he said. He's saying there's not enough kids playing on the Wii U. Whether thats because of the launch games, the price point, or the fact that they are still satisfied by their Wii's; it doesn't change the fact that there aren't a huge number of children playing on the Wii U.

That's all he's saying.



Slapshot said:

I know grown adults who love Skylanders! They bought it for their little ones and now they have done went off and gotten themselves hooked on the series. Haha



NorthLightSuplx said:

And when Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Animal crossing etc. come out and parents are buying the cheaper family friendly wii u as opposed to the expensive ps4/xbox 720 he will eat his words and come crawling back.



AbeVigoda said:

Anyone over 14 who plays these games is a huge loser. Buying goofy creature statues to play a game? Really?

Any adult who plays these games is on par with bronies as far as I'm concerned.



hiptanaka said:

So I won't have to rid through shovelware aimed at 6-year-olds when I look for my Wii U games? Good.



Drawdler said:

Okay I'll be perfectly blunt. I HATE this guy because of how he keeps going on about Skylanders and... Naturally for being the Activision CEO. So I will be brave and honest to say that I'm staring through rose tinted glasses.
However, to issue my less-biased thoughts, there's only one thing to say to all of the people who keep going on saying NINTENDOOOOOOMED!:
Unless this ends up being another GameCube(which I doubt since they clearly have things planned for a while), once new titles of their staple IPs come out the thing well sell like hotcakes.

Right now it isn't that great but the guy seems ignorant to how popular titles such as Mario and Zelda that are coming up for the Wii U will make it an easy sell for people who had a Wii and will want more of those series. ESPECIALLY families.

Mark my words. Kids will be begging for the console when they see the next Super Mario. Remember the 3DS and how Super Mario 3D Labd made it pick up a lot of steam?
Heck, I know people who decided on buying one this year after Wind Waker HD was announced, a remake of a years-old game they've played.



Gate_Shikimuri said:


I think @cornishlee is trying to say is that Bobby expected Nintendo to have kids down flat but Nintendo wasn't targeting kids. Nintendo was going for the well-rounded approach rather than the family-friendly approach. Remember, "the console is tailor-made just for you" while the Wii is "fun for the entire family". I'm pretty sure Reggie said that.



Farmboy74 said:

Why would anyone buy the Wii U version of Skylanders Giants, when by all accounts there is no difference from the Wii version. Granted there were some kid friendly games at launch, but a lot more games that have launched have been aimed at the 18+ demographic. I wonder if Bobby is happy with Wii U BLOPs sales?



MadJay1664 said:

6-11 year olds play 18 year old games and they always have! I know kids that do and kids in my family that do! You don't have to make kids games to get them playing because they'll play anything they can get their hands on lol



RandomNerds said:

The Wii U hate train is just nuts at this point. The Console is not perfect, but what console at launch is!? If Nintendo can just stay focused and keep improving the console and its features it should be fine.



odd69 said:

the launch of the wii u hasnt been all that great in my eyes BUT the system is awesome,i say give it a year before you open your mouth about it. i do hope nintendo proves this guy wrong



SneakyStyle said:

I'm not worried about the WiiU at all, but i'm worried about the fact that some big names (sony/microsoft) might be throwing a lot of money at various places to have them help defame the WiiU.

All this bad news and barely any good news all over the internet makes me think this, when what it all really should be about is the great titles that are almost out like monster hunter, smash bros, mario party, mario kart... the list goes on and on and onnnnn..

Something very fishy is going on with the WiiU reporting.



K1LLEGAL said:

@SneakyStyle Well these websites are posting the bad news stories because they get hits. People click on them. Just look at the Rayman story. Not because Microsoft and Sony are paying them to. Also what news is there to report about those games you mentioned? What details do you have on Mario Kart U for instance?

Mindlessly bashing the Wii U is wrong. But so is mindlessly supporting it.



mshope10 said:

what crazy is wii u is such a great system and so many people don't know cause playing it in a store does not show the benefits.

Nintendo needs to make 3 commercials.the first should be like a psa.telling the public that wii u is an all new full HD Nintendo game console.that it plays brand new HD wii games and its still plays all wii games and works with wii accessories.

then a features or things to do with wii u commercial.showing off TV play,miiverse,movie and TV watching options,great web browser,eshop,and its many options.

then and this is major a 3rd party game wii u has call of duty,assassins creed 3,Madden 13,mass effect 3,zombiu,and show they are all in HD and have gamepad features that are nowhere else.

because it seem only people who had there wii u for a week or more understand what a great system it I hope Nintendo gets the message out there.



TheDreamingHawk said:

PS3 also had these problems at launch. They were FAR worse though. Look at it now!

Just give it time, devs.



mingzu said:

@K1LLEGAL I think your right. It's that there are no "good" news at the moment. The bad new keep coming in a steady flow and the good news are kind or rare these days. You can take the last month, we had constant flow of dooming comments from gaming company's and on the other hand we had one nintendo direct with exiting news.



SpaceApe said:

A flop because it launched way too late and missed out on all the great games of 2012. You can't even get the season pass for Black Ops 2 or Nuketown on the Wii U version. Sadly it looks like I'll be trading in my Wii U for something else this year. So far Nintendo has no good games announced for the Wii U in 2013. Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101 don't cut it.



Buzzthebatgirl said:

The target market for the Wii U launch was clearly the adult "gamer" market, not the "kiddie" market. Give the Wii U some time (and some actual game releases) and it will overtake the Wii in sales. I've been at those Wii U demo tours and kiddies go mad for the Gamepad, give 'em some kiddie games and they will be hooked.



C-Olimar said:

@SpaceApe Since you mentioned announcing good games, how do 3D Mario, New Zelda, Mario Kart U, Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei, X and Smash Bros. 4 not cut it? If you bought a Nintendo console and you don't like any of those games... what's wrong with you?



AbeVigoda said:


Why not keep the Wii-U (for all the good games that will be out by the end of 2013 and beyond) and buy either a PS4 or 720 when they come out?

Or are you poor?



JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

@NorthLightSuplx Nope. What you are basically saying is that all Nintendo has going for it is first party titles and third part developers should steer clear. Just like the Wii, not many third party games did well on the system. How can anyone blame third parties now for being cautious?



Peach64 said:

People on here love to twist a story. The guy has just said the sales are disappointing and not encouraging to developers and publishers, why I don't think anyone can honestly say is not true. He's not saying the system sucks and is doomed. He's not saying that in 12 months time everything won't be looking rosy. He just made a very simple statement about how things are right now and he's correct.

It's just like how people reacted to that EA comment last week. The guy said the next Sony and Microsoft consoles are significantly more powerful than the Wii U, which is what every dev and news website is also saying, but people went nuts saying they were hating on the Wii U and no longer wanted to support it.

Stop trying to get irate when there's no reason for it!



TikiTong said:

Considering this guy is the boss of Call of Duty's publisher, he probably views anything that doesn't sell a quadrillion copies in a week a commercial flop. Sorry Kotick, but I'm once again disregarding your nonsense



-KwB- said:

Man, Nlife is full of disappointing news, sheez. We'll all be better by staying out of gaming websites and everything .. this is depressing ..
Wii U is great if you like it or not, if people don't want to invest, that's bad for them .. if Ninty gives us what we want, we'll be overglad ..



dizzy_boy said:

What? 2 and a half months in and there isn't enough kids playing on a WiiU. So how many 6 to 11 year olds have over 300 bucks for a WiiU then?



meppi said:

Nice find!

I'm not concerned with what Kotick thinks anyway. After he destroyed Bizarre Creations I stopped buying anything that has an Activision logo on it. Works for me.




Only thing I was disappointed by at launch was the lack of a game bundle here in the states and all of the annoying "graphical inconsistencies" complaints every reviewer outside of NL used to bash the Wii U versions. They look FINE, people! It's a new console and they're launch ports! This wasn't a surprise!



Tuturoopa said:

Ya the 6-10 year old category for Wii U is weak, kinda kids don't care about shovel ware, and there's a good chunk, Id rather Wii U be advertised as a hardcore machine, there's a bigger age range for that category, therefore more people, therefore more money, Skylanders series is more than just 6-10 year olds, whenever I go into game stop there's at least one adult buying a new figure or two



MetalMario said:

He's kinda right. The launch had a myriad of problems.

And we should be concerned about this because this is another third party developer that Nintendo has.



Tuturoopa said:

Wait till Lego city undercover comes out, and the kids ask if its available for ps3 and they're told its only for Wii U, Then theyll bug their parents till they get a Wii U, Im not saying Lego citys only for kids, All my high school friends and I think its sick thats its Lego GTA, but it also appeals to kids a lot too



asusanto said:

I see forecasting Wii U price drop soon enough. More Wii U bundles will soon be available to boost hardware sales.



TechnoEA said:

The point of being a Game Journalist/Reviewer and all that is to report news, good or bad. You're not just supposed to report good news and ignore the bad, just because it's your company you're loyal to. I also find it weird how some people religiously praise their own company and bash other companies. Why ? That goes for any fan-base. Sony, Nintendo Etc.

When the PS3 had a slow start, everyone wished for its death and said it's going to flop, now the Wii U is in the same situation suddenly it's "Give Nintendo/WiiU time it just came out a few months ago". Now you know how Vita users feel.

That said I'd be worried about my game not selling well also. However Nintendo warned people time and time again that the system will cater to everyone this time around, and their ads reflect this.



Collision_Cat said:

He's concerned about not enough 6-11 year-olds playing the Wii U because those are the sorts of people who play Call of Duty!



Moonhillwat said:

That's what you get for making it available on the Wii as well. Why would parents get a brand new system when they're already gonna invest a lot in a new game + toys? Suddenly, keeping their Wii around makes a whole lot more sense.

But if it was released just for Wii U and not Wii, this could wind up being a system-seller.

Another day in bad business decisions.



Peach64 said:

@Blizzaga Selling Wii U's is not Activation's concern. Do you honestly believe it was a bad BUSINESS decision to release it on the Wii? Because it would make them a ton more money to not release it on the console with a 100 million plus user base, right?



WesCash said:

I was somewhat disappointed with the launch of the WiiU and I'm concerned about it's install base. Does that make me a hater? I still plan on getting one eventually...probably...maybe...



hYdeks said:

any new system these days seems to get the poopiedoodledingdongs end of the stick first they where picking on 3ds, then (and still) the vita, and now Wii U. Freakin annoying....I'm gonna buy a system cause I like it, not because these industry "professionals" think the system is a lost cause.



duskao said:

lol, prob cause KIDS don't have the money to put into it and their parents are sick of dishing out money on a money grubbing franchise like skylanders so they don't want to purchase a new console as well. Man, when i was a kid i had a hard time getting my mom to buy me a slurpee(slushie,snow cone...). Think so quickly after the global recession publishers are expecting money to be tossed around like in the 90's, before a huge percentage of the north american population lost jobs and houses and are still trying to recover. Boggles my mind!



jayblue said:

if multiplayer is sorted out it would fly off shelves nintendo need to sort this out big time nintendo land the biggest online game off the year and its offline a fairground that you cant play online with people,nintendo offline was snes era,get people that know what gamers want not suits that just want profits but cant deliever.



Sean_Aaron said:

I have a 10 year old and I haven't found it too difficult to find games to play with my kid. We still break out Nintendo Land which was my launch day purchase, played some Chasing Aurora, had a lot of fun with Little Inferno and played through The Cave together once. I was going to play Rayman with her, but you know that's not working out so it looks like I'll be picking up New Super Mario Bros. U.

Oddly enough it never occurred to me to buy a game which would then require buying little plastic figures separately. Probably because there's no way in hell I'm going to encourage her to collect crap like that. It's bad enough she likes the Pokemon games!



TingLz said:

By his logic, the PS3 was a commercial flop and the Vita is still a commercial flop. The Xbox was almost a flop. After all, these systems didn't sell 10 million consoles (or whatever these fools expected) when they launched!



Will-75 said:

What's up at NintendoLife why all the Doomsday articles ? I mean for real , I always thought that was ign's job ..



SCAR said:

Yup, it's official. Companies at the top have no idea how to handle in the industry. Alot of kids can't even afford the console with their parents getting it for them this last holiday, and his statement should have been more like 7-25 year olds. Besides, how would a kid dominated audience be so hard to entertain anyway?



Sean_Aaron said:

No doubt Kotik is prepping for his explanation of a quarterly loss to investors: "We really tried folks, but goddammit if Nintendo didn't sabotage our projected Skylanders sales by not selling enough machines to the under-12s! I mean, couldn't they offer them layaway terms or something? Now what am I going to tell my kids come Christmas??!!??"



WaveBoy said:

Yawn. More Wii U negativity, which i find baffling considering the awesome game line up on the horizon which seems to cater to all ages. NSMB.U, Nintendo Land & Scribblenaughts are 3 titles that would of pleased the younger age demographic as well aside from the old. Ahhh, the interwebz, where people including developers continously whine like spoiled little babies.



Meaty-cheeky said:

1. The economy is bad, people aren't buying games as much anymore. This is going to be a huge problem not just for Nintendo, but for Microsoft and Sony when they roll out there next gen hardware.

2. Nintendo hasn't advertised Wii U that much.

3. Consumer confusion between Wii and Wii U, a lot of people still don't understand the difference between the two consoles. Nintendo has failed to adjust this problem again due to a lack of advertisement and showing off the Wii U's potential.

4. The Wii U needs big AAA games that are exclusive, so consumers say I must get a Wii U, instead of these multi-platform games were people instead buy the game for there Xbox 360 and not buy the more expensive Wii U version.

In the end developers need to calm down, because when Nintendo brings out there holiday line up of games the Wii U instal base will sky rocket.



StarDust4Ever said:

The Wii-U is not the next Sega Dream Cast. Sure the Dreamcast and Wii-U have some simularities, such being released early for it's generation, but so did the 360 (and it was plagued with RROD errors). It would not bother me if Nintendo returned to being an under dog. The N64 and GameCube era saw the release of some pretty good games after all.



FluttershyGuy said:

Does this mean we can officially referring to Nintendo consoles as "kiddie consoles?"

I doubt that there is anybody on Earth who solely, 100%, likes the things society's stereotypes deem that a certain age group/gender/race is supposed to like.

I'm 36 year old male who loves football, hockey, Die Hard & Lethal Weapon films, good ole' fashion Rock 'n Roll, and hot women in lingerie. I also love Nintendo games/consoles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and chick flicks. Only reason I've not tried Skylanders is it gives me something else I'd be driven to collect. Also on the poor side at this point in time. So, sue me.



DaemonSword said:

The world is baffled that Activision got away with making a sh*tty remake of GoldenEye64, along with other sh*tty James Bond-Of-Duty games.



Shanksta said:

Skylanders's sales probably blow because its extremely overpriced for the figurines. Also alot of bad parent's are buying their 6-11 year olds call of duty, so either way he's getting money. So maybe he should shut up.



Neram said:

So it was "Nintendo's systems are too kiddie!" and now it's "Nintendo's systems aren't kiddie enough!"?



Lyndexer said:

He really shouldn't be replying that not enough play WII U. He is more worried on Xbox 360 on Call Of Duty. With the Mario, Sonic and other great Nintendo or 3rd party franchises, WII U won't end till it's time for a new system upgrade.



Raylax said:

Oh god, please. Let's not try to argue target age group concerns when talking about Nintendo.



devilwaffle said:

I just got my Wii U yesterday, and I'm certainly not worried. once E3 hits and Nintendo shows Smash Bros 4 then they'll shut up. and if we're lucky, Zelda HD as well, but I'm not getting my hopes up... but a Zelda game would certainly get things going, is what I'm getting at.



CaPPa said:

When I saw the headline "We're concerned about the install base for 6-11 year-olds" I thought that they were referring to Call Of Duty sales.



AVahne said:

Considering Nintendo's history, the Wii U was released ON TIME. The other two are actually coming in late.
Can't wait for the exclusives that will be coming to Wii U though.



retro_player_22 said:

To all the idiotic critics and media ppl, the Wii U has only been here for three months, it's not like Nintendo ain't doing anything about it.



jhuhn said:

I think Nintendo did miss the mark on the WiiU eShop, not adding simple games that kids would play, which include card games and board games like Scrabble, Reversi, Checkers, Chess, or SORRY!



CoffeeWithGames said:

"was asked to break down the install bases of the consoles which are currently available."

It should be noted that he was asked about the Wii, and PS3/360 specifically, not the Wii U. He digressed to the Wii U, when he was originally asked about the Wii and PS3/360 attach rates instead. Perhaps it should be titled "Kotick thinks PS3 and 360 markets are worse than the Wii U for Skylanders, because he diverted question to another console he wasn't even asked about."



The-Chosen-one said:

Its not bad news at all, if someone critisise a console, only when people shout pointless things, nintendo is kinda slow with their games, they should have had a great title which would show their power, and inovation they havent done that ''yet'' but i know how nintendo works they have something up their sleeves, which will boost the sales in no time, and they keeping it till the new ps4 or xbox is anounced.



CharbroiledEwok said:

Maybe consumers can just sense that Skylanders (and its illegitimate offspring, "Disney Infinity") are money blackholes disguised as innovative gameplay...



Tate24 said:

Is Nintendo listening? constant bad stuff ive read and listen to is becoming annoying. Nearly every article is sumthing bad about Wii U

Question is?

Is Nintendo doing anything about it?

(.....tumble weed......)

guest not:/



Guybrush20X6 said:

So many doomsayers.

The PS3 had a crappy launch and it recovered.

(Until the hacking scandal but that's a different kettle of fish)




I have a 7 and a 9 year old and they're happy with the software and understanding the hardware. The psbox consoles hardly have an install base at all for 6-11 year olds, that's why I actually choose Nintendo consoles.



NintyMan said:

Are New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land not enough? This is going too far. Launches rarely became complete successes, so I sense impatience in these developers.

Just wait until E3, and then you'll barely hear a peep from these guys.



Chunky_Droid said:

Activision was competing with 20+ other titles at launch, and the fact that EVERYONE who bought the original Skylanders bought it on a different console, and are more likely to buy the sequel on the same console.

Of course it wasn't going to sell well on the Wii U, that's just obvious.



Mario-Man-Child said:

Bobby Kotick, now there is a hate figure. He is concerned with the install base for 6-11 year olds. The man is an absolute pleb. What kind of parent buys a six year old the latest and most expensive video game system? OK a rich one. When I was six I had a bike and that was basically it. The Wii U is way to advanced for a six year old, a six year old should have a SNES or something, this is ridiculous.
@ Araknie, Nintendo are saying that, but where are the hardcore games from Nintendo because that's what everyone wants



NorthLightSuplx said:


No 1st party sells the system then 3rd parties make more games for the system because of the larger install base. Skylanders sold more on Wii than any other system due to the large install base



fortius54 said:

I am actually a parent of two children in the age range mentioned. I will concur with most on here that Nintendo is definitely the way to go for this age range. Unfortunately, the price range of the Wii U does not warrant me purchasing this system, yet. In a perfect world, I would own all of the systems available. Unfortunately, I will most likely just buy one of the next gen systems. I will know a little more about what to purchase in the coming weeks if the Sony announcement is indeed the PS4.

The Wii has enough games to keep my two children busy for years to come. I will agree with a few of you. At the moment, there just are not enough games available that I care to play to make me want to run out and buy the Wii U. Considering issues people have had with the downloadable content being tied to the system, the digital discount is not very intriguing either. That said, the ZombiU bundle does have me interested...decisions, decisions.

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