There are already thousands of games on the Wii. The vast majority of them are pure garbage. How, then, can developers make Wii games that stand out?
Gamasutra asked the developers behind some of the Wii's most successful games how they did it, then followed up by asking foreseer Michael Pachter for his $0.02.
Joel Seider, executive producer on Midway's Game Party series (which have sold nearly three million units), says it's all to do with the game's audience.
When you design and build an arcade game, you're trying to get someone to have a lot of fun in a short period of time; you're not trying to make some big, open-world MMO.
And that concept translates well to the type of person who is a Wii gamer, a large percentage of whom would call themselves casual gamers. They may play Game Party for an hour or so, but in fact they will probably play a few of the mini-games in the collection for just 10 or 15 minutes each. So we had to design for a very short gameplay experience.
Antoine Guignard, producer on the Wii version of Shaun White Snowboarding, has a different opinion. He thinks a Wii game needs to do a few things: namely, play to the system's strengths, by avoiding "realistic graphics" (which will look awful compared to the 360 & PS3) as well as making the most of the simple motion controls.
And poster-boy analyst Pachter? He's on Seider's side:
The Wii audience isn't sophisticated enough to know whether the game they're buying compares favorably to, say Gears of War or LittleBigPlanet, because they probably don't own an Xbox 360 or a PS3.
They buy the Wii games that they buy for the same reason that people go to McDonald's. McDonald's doesn't win a lot of restaurant critic awards but they are approachable, they're consistent, and you know what they're going to serve you.
Sad that none of them could just say "make a game that doesn't suck/look like it came from 2002".
Can You Create A Must-Have Wii Game? [Gamasutra]