Despite sharp graphics, fun gameplay, creative Wii controls and unprecedented use of a weird shirtless cartoon boy to demonstrate said controls, Capcom's 2007 Wii game Zack &Wiki never sold big. Hey, it's only the 13th best-reviewed Wii game ever.
The news comes via Gamasutra's coverage of the struggles third-party companies continue to face on the Wii. Zack & Wiki: The Quest For Barbaros' Treasure, as polished a Wii game as was released in 2007, has sold just 126,000 copies in its first 26 months of release.
The game was a mix of point-and-click adventuring, puzzle-solving, all integrated with controls that turned the Wii remote from virtual hammer to virtual bell to virtual all kinds of other stuff. Very creative, largely ignored.
Gamasutra had Capcom's Chris Kramer remind us of the challenges:
"If you're not Nintendo, it does seem harder to make money on the Wii today compared to the PS3 and the Xbox 360," Kramer says. "It's a very tough market to crack and is ever-shifting."
But Capcom hasn't struggled with all of their Wii titles. Resident Evil 4 for the Wii has sold over a million copies. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles also sold very well, the Kramer recently told me. Rival publishers' more mature games, such as the recent Madworld from Sega and Dead Space: Extraction from EA, have had a tougher time selling.
Zack and Wiki has a Metacritic score of 87, 13th best on the Wii.
So blame not Capcom or the Wii without at least factoring in that, in this case, it was a publisher's cute, colorful and creative Wii game that flopped.
Capcom Reveals Weak Zack & Wiki Sales, Talks 'Tough' Wii Market [Gamasutra]