News Article

Genius Sonority Reconsidering Denpa Men Direction After Underwhelming Sales In The West

Posted by Damien McFerran

Studio also eyeing a move into Wii U development

Genius Sonority president Manabu Yamana has been speaking to Nintendo Everything about the critically-acclaimed Denpa Men series, and has revealed that the games haven't sold as well in the west as was previously expected — forcing a rethink for the entire franchise:

Both “The Denpa Men: They came by Wave” and “The Denpa Men: Beyond the Waves” were rated very highly. I feel relieved to know that they were welcomed by the gaming community.

The number of downloads in North America and Europe combined did not exceed the number of downloads in Japan. Considering this, I am reconsidering both the format of gameplay and the appearance of the characters.

Despite this, Yamana explains that his company is still keen on releasing The Denpa Men 3 in the west. He also stated that Genius Sonority is interested in working on Nintendo's current home console, but cost is an issue:

Yes, to this day, we are still interested in working with the Wii U and our budding ideas have been growing. However, the cost of developing a game for the Wii U is much higher than the cost of developing a game for the 3DS. This is a problem for us and is thus preventing us from developing a game for the Wii U.

We'd love to see what this talented team can do on the Wii U, but it's a real shame that the two Denpa Men titles launched in the west so far have failed to capture the same commercial success as they did in their native Japan.


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User Comments (51)



DarkCoolEdge said:

I haven't tried Denpa 2 demo but the first one was very boring. I won't buy it even if they drop the price to 1€



MAB said:

Yeah, 3rd party support on 3DS isn't as good as what alot of users on this site make it out to be... Nintendo games have been the top sellers with Capcom being the runner up with Monster Hunter in Japan



WiiLovePeace said:

Yeah I watched the Denpa Men video advertisements & thought they were hilarious, I thought the game would be great too but when I tried the demo it was really boring & a bit expensive (at the time) so I didn't buy it. Might pick it up one day & the sequel too.



Prof_Clayton said:

I just didn't get it because I only have access to my WiFi, and the price was a little steep to make me drive around everywhere looking for some.
Plus who wants to wave their 3DS around in McDonalds like a maniac. >_>



SteveW said:

Part of the poor sales must have something to do with the photos, I don't know what the Denpa men are but I look at it and think Teletubies



electrolite77 said:

Got to be honest, although I like to support smaller developers and quirky games, I thought the first one was dreadful



BakaKnight said:

Ack... now I feel guilty I never got Denpa men 2...

Loved the first one and was going to buy the second, but when I completed the first game all the new extra dungeons popped out and I never got myself down to beat those too... It feels to me kinda "wrong" to get and play the second game considering I should transfer my characters while I didn't made them complete the first game >.>;

@Prof_Clayton With the first game I used to catch denpamen everywhere, stores, streets and even on the train and noone noticed or looked at me strange. You just hold the console a bit higher, barely wave it ^^
Side, but important, note, the game doesn't access Wi-Fi.
If the console find at least an access point then denpamen spawns even if you can't access to any of those Wi-Fi.
No clue where you live, but nowaday it's extremly hard to find places not fitting such conditions; Just a walk down any street with houses is enough for end to collect a good number of interesting characters XP



Spoony_Tech said:

I liked the first so much I bought the second but haven't had the time with the hugh backlog I have. I'm starting to knock some games off though so maybe ill get around to the second one soonish. Also I would buy the 3rd in a heart beat just to support them! I do however think the price is scaring a lot of people away. I'm not saying these games aren't worth it but many won't spend that much no matter how much they like it!



GamerZack87 said:

What could Genius Sonority possibly release on Wii U? Two words: Pokémon Colosseum. It was the first true 3D Pokémon game, and despite being a main-off (a spin-off that plays like a main-series game) it's good fun. I'm sure a VC version would sell plenty of copies.



IsawYoshi said:

Both the name and the denpa men is hurting the games sales in the west. It's an reaelly interesting game, but I'm sure a more appealing design and name would have sold the game to many more people. It needs to be rebranded, maybe with some sort of Monsters instead of the mens. That is if they want the game to sell more.



Lalivero said:

@GamerZackX Get out of my mind. I've been waiting for a Colosseum/XD sequel forever!

This is bringing back those rumored remakes for the 3DS; even though they were obviously fake, still wanted them to be real. D:



rjejr said:

Having your game star Teletubies is not a good way to attract gamers over the age of 2, but those who are attracted are probably going to be turned off by the 1st games $9.99 and 2nd's $11.99 prices.

When Dillon's Rolling Western came to eShop 2 years ago its $9.99 price was an issue mentioned twice in TW's review:

"While controls are a drawback, another issue to address is the pricing. Dillon’s Rolling Western has seized the title of the most expensive 3DS game in the eShop, priced at $9.99 in the U.S. and £9.00 in the UK."

Here's here's entire review:

If your first game doens't sell well at $10, how well do you think it's sequel is going to sell at $12? The 1st games price should have been dropped to $4.99 when the first released and the 2nd $9.99. $11.99 and it better have actual Pokemon in it. B1G1 wouldn't hurt either.

My youngest son really enjoyed the demos for both games but even he knew the price was high. I do think he's been waiting for a sale though.



ikki5 said:

They expected something like this to do well in the west? Are they serious?



Windy said:

Both games are so good it's hard to believe any of this. But if sales are bad, sales are bad. Wii-U just might be a better direction to take this excellent series which would infuse a Great RPG to a System which is flatlining in the RPG genre. It would be hard pressed however that the Wii-U would outsell the 3DS versions of the game with so many 3DS systems out there



Windy said:

@rjejr I agree if any game isn't selling well a price drop makes sense right? Well unfortunately they don't see it that way in the Eshop. Only very few get a sale or a price drop and they seem to rotate the same games for sales and price drops. I wonder how many HarmoKnights sold last month. I bet not too many but they will drag that price out and probably never offer a price drop. Zenonia is a perfect example. It's been in the Eshop since the old DSi days and is a .99 cent Android game they sell for 7.99 and has never seen a price drop. Just a rediculous price for a game that probably see's like 10 downloads in a 6 month time span



rjejr said:

@Windy - The sad part is, the Wii U and 3DS eShops have been having a relative TON of sales compared to the Wii. I don't think the Wiiware/VC service had more than 1 sale in 5 years.

So Nintendo is getting better. Heck there have actually been sales almost monthly on the Wii U - I've purchased Trine 2, Kung Fu Rabbit, and Toki Tori 2+. A whole bunch of retial games I didn't want were on sale last month. They still need more demos though, all the E3 demos should have been released to home consoles by now. Target has WWHD and PS3 has Lego and I want SM3DW to hold me over for the next 2 weeks. But they are coming around. I half expect a PS+ like service called "Player Select" sometime in the next few years. Slowly getting better.



Gold_Ranger said:

I've bought a few eShop games and while good, they are way too expensive!
Planet Crashers
Denpa Men
I can't remember anything else off the top of my head.
But I never got Denpa Men 2 because the it was a higher pricetag than the first!



Shambo said:

The games are great as they are, but they were a bit on the expensive side considering how unknown they are, and the fact that they're download only. That and the pretty short time between both games stopped me from getting the second game so far. Still planning to play it one day, but how about this: make a third one, bundle all three in a physical release in the west, and I'll definitely get it.



bezerker99 said:

I forgot about this game.

.......and I'm still disinterested. Back to forgetting.....



cyrus_zuo said:

This game is really innovative!
It's sad to me that people are skipping this game b/c of graphics.
I'd expect that form Xbox/ps3 fans, but I have this delusion that Nintendo fans look at gameplay and innovation first.



Aqueous said:

I still have not finished the after quest on 1 and due to that I've only gone as far as the demo on 2



Gobelee said:

You guys are missing out on a great series. If they alter it for the West I am going to be disappointed.



Raylax said:

Never played either game, but I heard plenty of good about them.

What I'd really love to see them do is a new console Pokémon RPG - it's a shame Colosseum and XD were so polarising, I personally found them to be extremely interesting alternate takes on how a Pokémon game could be structured. Not that I think the 'main series' (handheld) formula should follow suit, but having a more story-driven game with little to no multiplayer incentive.* Handheld Pokémon is increasingly prodding players towards the metagame, which is in no way a bad thing. But a solid Pokémon storyline without thinking about competitive strategy, and which more-or-less assumes you're already familiar with the basics, is really fun too.

Colosseum handled it fairly well, albeit with a few clunky mechanics - Shadow Pokémon was a fantastic idea that brought fundamental changes to long-established core mechanics, like catching Pokémon, but training them quickly became a chore. So they went away and refined the concept - fleshing the plot, polishing and improving the Shadow Pokémon mechanic, and tweaking a few other niggles - and came back with XD. It's lack of a proper Battle Mode and some area reuse I think turned people off it, which is a real shame. For my money, it has by far the most interesting and engaging single-player experience of any 'standard mechanics' Pokémon game, period (The magnificent writing in the PMD Explorers Of games have it beat, but those are a different kind of game). I like to hope that it's gained at least a cult following, and that that's enough to tempt Genius Sonority to dip their toe into the water again - even after the poorly received (deservedly, frankly) Battle Revolution - and come up with a new console-targeted single player Pokémon adventure.

  • nb: referring to such a game's "story mode", such a title would still be well served having an additional "battle mode" dedicated to multiplayer but entirely removed from the story mode, a la Colosseum. XD cut out much of the battle mode, losing it favour, whilst Battle Revolution cut out almost the entire story, losing it even more favour.


SetupDisk said:

Too many guys or man children as it were not confident enough about their masculinity outside of Japan. If only the denpa men shot everything and beat up women. That would be a surefire hit!



I-U said:

If I didn't have to go to different Wi-Fi spots or depend on QR Codes online to get better Denpa Men, I would have likely played the first Denpa Men to completion and may have gotten the second one. As it stands now, the original has been off of my 3DS for months.



Doma said:

Genius Sonority are underwhelming developers. Nobody should care.



Red_XIII said:

To be honest, I would've loved this game in an instant if you could buy denpa men with play coins. But, no.



DerpSandwich said:

@BakaKnight Literally the same thing here. Still haven't gotten around to beating everything, and while I loved the game, I don't see myself buying the second one any time soon, and now I feel kind of bad...



Prof_Clayton said:

I never knew it worked on all wifi without connecting, that's pretty important info.
Thanks for telling me! :3
Now another game I have to choose from.



Barbiegurl777 said:


Yeah that was my impression of the game series to in the 3ds e-shop. I did try the demo of dempa men but just wasn't impressed enough to bother buying either game.

Happy Gaming! (^_^)



RR529 said:

I really enjoyed the first game as it was a very solid (and even challenging later on) JRPG, and it had a ton to offer (I personally think the 40 hours I got out of it was worth the $10).

Despite that I can understand why it didn't sell well. While the RPG gameplay is solid, it won't win over anyone who isn't a fan of the genre already, especially with the divisive (and deceiving) art style. Also, while it undoubtedly has the content to make that $10 worth it, I can understand people not wanting to spend that kind of money on a game they're not sure of.

Haven't played the second yet.



ThreadShadow said:

And here I thought Genius Sonority was a Nintendo studio. Nintendo should be paying the bill for their Wii U game...but if that's not the case, maybe they need to hit Kickstarter.



JustinH said:

Perhaps the sequel didn't sell well outside Japan because it came out something like a week after the first one.

@GamerZackX YES.



unrandomsam said:

@rjejr Early wiiware must have done ok or there is no way that the same studio's would bother making more especially with such a high threshold. (If it worked the way I think it did - i.e on a per game basis).



MasterWario said:

I enjoyed the first one a lot, but the second one seemed so lackluster in comparison (especially with the music), so I never actually finished the second.



rjejr said:

@unrandomsam - Everything I've read on here told me Wiiware didn't do ok, companies just kept making games for it b/c there were 100 million Wiis sold so they probably all thought they could get rich quick. I honestly can't recall a single good Wiiware story. Maybe World of Goo, but I'm pretty sure even that sold better elsewhere.



jesse_dylan said:

@JustinH Yeah, I hadn't even gotten around to playing the first yet when the second already came out. Bought them both, though. It didn't get any kind of advertising, either. I'm not sure how Nintendo expects stuff to sell. They could at least put it under an RPG heading on the front of the eShop or something. No one knew this game even existed.

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