Retro City Rampage was one of the last major releases to grace the WiiWare service, an anarchic top-down action title that brings to mind the original GTA titles and has enough '80s and '90s pop culture references to cause a nostalgia overload. It's arrived most recently in a definitive, heavily updated form on 3DS, re-branded as Retro City Rampage DX.
Vblank Entertainment's Brian Provinciano has said on multiple occasions that the latest 3DS version has proven to be a sales success, performing well and enhancing his interest in working on the portable in future. Unfortunately, the WiiWare version hasn't made any money due to the sales threshold on the service and the fact the title arrived — arguably — well after the Wii Shop's prime; Provinciano highlighted the issue to us last March and described the release as a "$20,000 gift to fans", before later clarifying that it had only reached a quarter of its sales target after its first month on sale. The scenario is simple, due to the sales threshold — since abandoned in the eShop stores — no money is given to the developer unless minimum unit sales are achieved, a policy with solid intentions at the Wii Shop's launch but has since backfired.
The one-man studio has now given an update on progress, highlighting how many copies still need to be sold to hit the threshold in both North America and Europe. It needs to hit its target in the first two years of release — so that'll be by 28th February 2015 — or all revenue is lost. The numbers are in the Facebook post below.
Thanks everyone for the support and making Retro City Rampage such a huge success!
Unfortunately, the WiiWare version hasn't done so well. While I knew the odds of releasing on this platform were stacked against me, it was a labor of love and I did it to keep my word, and for the fans. The challenge though, is that it hasn't made a cent in revenue yet, due to the WiiWare sales threshold. WiiWare games must sell a minimum number of units for the developer to be paid, and sadly, too few gamers buy WiiWare games.
Retro City Rampage for WiiWare is still 750 units from hitting the WiiWare sales threshold in North America (850 in EU). The threshold must be hit within the first two years, or the developer won't see a penny, and at the current rate, it won't reach it.
Especially if you downloaded a .wad and enjoyed the game, please consider buying a copy on WiiWare. Remember, you can grab it on both the Wii and Wii U (in Wii mode) via the Wii Shopping Channel.
It'll certainly be a disappointment if the title fails to reach that minimum target, with its Spring 2013 arrival on WiiWare clearly damaging its prospects. Success on 3DS and multiple other platforms should have, at least, eased the loss.
Do you have Retro City Rampage on WiiWare, or do you still plan to pick it up? Let us know, as we were certainly fans when it was released.