Archive for November, 2009

Is the Wii’s Pudding Tainted!

November 30, 2009
 

 “What does, “The proof is in the pudding”, even mean?”  I’m glad you asked!
According to The Word Detective, “The proof is in the pudding” is a popular figure of speech meaning “the quality, effectiveness or truth of something can only be judged by putting it into action or to its intended use” and when applied to food, according to The Word Detective, “A dish may have been made from a good recipe with fresh ingredients and look delicious, but you can really only judge it by putting it in your mouth. The actual taste is the only true criterion of success.”
“The proof is in the pudding”, isn’t the original phrase, and The Word Detective says, “But the key to the mystery lies in the fact that “the proof is in the pudding” is actually a mangled form of the original phrase, which was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I’ve applied the statement, “the proof is in the pudding” to the gaming world, particularly, the idea that Wii games sell well, despite being reviewed poorly.
Analyzing what analyst Michael Pachter said, “A well positioned game with an interesting concept can sell well on the Wii regardless of review scores
For the sake of this example, “pudding” would be poor review scores for games, and  “proof” would be how well those games sold.
Is Michael Pachter correct?  Are there Wii games that have sold millions of copies that were reviewed poorly, or “regardless of review scores”?
Absolutely!  The “proof” is Wii games like Carnival Games and Deca Sports that have reportedly sold a million copies or more, and the “pudding” is that Carnival Games has a MetaCritic average score of 56 out of 100, while Deca Sports has a MetaCritic average score of 50 out of 100.
While some may think those games are poor examples to use, let’s take a look at several games that have only been out a few weeks.
A picture says a thousand words, so here you go:

(click photo to enlarge)
What do you think of the information displayed in the photo?
I find it very interesting that Tony Hawk: RIDE is outselling both, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.  All three games come from established franchises, but Tony Hawk: RIDE is also more than double the price of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex]!
How is it that Tony Hawk: RIDE on the Wii has a higher sales rank than does Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex]?
A couple of reasons I think could explain it:
1)  Tony Hawk: RIDE isn’t rated “Mature” like the other two
2) The Wii’s “casual” crowd that “…wouldn’t know Metacritic if it fell on them.“, is buying the game because they are used to Wii games selling with peripherals, and they want to try something new.
Tony Hawk: RIDE is another example right now of a game that is reviewing poorly, but selling better on Amazon.com than other games that have reviewed better than it.
What do you think of the Wii’s game market and the way seemingly “bad” games, sell well.
*The prices, sales rank, and Metacritic.com score averages were gathered on Sunday, November 29, between 4p.m. and 5p.m.

A couple of links you may find interesting based around this topic: 

MetaCritic scores not important, but genre and franchise continuations are.
Predicting review scores.
Pachter says MetaCritic scores aren’t important.
Wii software doesn’t review well.
THQ, high review scores bring in high sales.
The pressure of MetaCritic scores.
Critics Speak, We Listen, Why?
Do Game Journalist Lack Morals?
Eidos asked low scores held back.


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Is the Wii’s Pudding Tainted!

November 30, 2009
 

 “What does, “The proof is in the pudding”, even mean?”  I’m glad you asked!
According to The Word Detective, “The proof is in the pudding” is a popular figure of speech meaning “the quality, effectiveness or truth of something can only be judged by putting it into action or to its intended use” and when applied to food, according to The Word Detective, “A dish may have been made from a good recipe with fresh ingredients and look delicious, but you can really only judge it by putting it in your mouth. The actual taste is the only true criterion of success.”
“The proof is in the pudding”, isn’t the original phrase, and The Word Detective says, “But the key to the mystery lies in the fact that “the proof is in the pudding” is actually a mangled form of the original phrase, which was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I’ve applied the statement, “the proof is in the pudding” to the gaming world, particularly, the idea that Wii games sell well, despite being reviewed poorly.
Analyzing what analyst Michael Pachter said, “A well positioned game with an interesting concept can sell well on the Wii regardless of review scores
For the sake of this example, “pudding” would be poor review scores for games, and  “proof” would be how well those games sold.
Is Michael Pachter correct?  Are there Wii games that have sold millions of copies that were reviewed poorly, or “regardless of review scores”?
Absolutely!  The “proof” is Wii games like Carnival Games and Deca Sports that have reportedly sold a million copies or more, and the “pudding” is that Carnival Games has a MetaCritic average score of 56 out of 100, while Deca Sports has a MetaCritic average score of 50 out of 100.
While some may think those games are poor examples to use, let’s take a look at several games that have only been out a few weeks.
A picture says a thousand words, so here you go:

(click photo to enlarge)
What do you think of the information displayed in the photo?
I find it very interesting that Tony Hawk: RIDE is outselling both, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles.  All three games come from established franchises, but Tony Hawk: RIDE is also more than double the price of Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex]!
How is it that Tony Hawk: RIDE on the Wii has a higher sales rank than does Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex]?
A couple of reasons I think could explain it:
1)  Tony Hawk: RIDE isn’t rated “Mature” like the other two
2) The Wii’s “casual” crowd that “…wouldn’t know Metacritic if it fell on them.“, is buying the game because they are used to Wii games selling with peripherals, and they want to try something new.
Tony Hawk: RIDE is another example right now of a game that is reviewing poorly, but selling better on Amazon.com than other games that have reviewed better than it.
What do you think of the Wii’s game market and the way seemingly “bad” games, sell well.
*The prices, sales rank, and Metacritic.com score averages were gathered on Sunday, November 29, between 4p.m. and 5p.m.

A couple of links you may find interesting based around this topic: 

MetaCritic scores not important, but genre and franchise continuations are.
Predicting review scores.
Pachter says MetaCritic scores aren’t important.
Wii software doesn’t review well.
THQ, high review scores bring in high sales.
The pressure of MetaCritic scores.
Critics Speak, We Listen, Why?
Do Game Journalist Lack Morals?
Eidos asked low scores held back.


2009’s Gaming Turkey Award

November 27, 2009

      Today, being Thanksgiving, many gamers sat down with family and friends to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner, and many of those dinners probably had turkey as the main meat of the meal.

     How is it, that turkeys seem to be loved most by Americans, only after turkeys have been baked/roasted/fried and are being eaten off our plates, instead of when they’re flying around, gobbling, or running like crazy?
    I think the same sort of thought pattern happens in the gaming world.  We tend to favor certain gaming companies, whether it’s Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony.  If you game, you probably have a favorite console or gaming company. 
     Though we may enjoy the games and consoles, I would say gamers don’t always agree with every decision a gaming company makes, or sometimes with what a representative may say.  Instead of enjoying the companies flying high, we prefer to roast them with our words, like many turkeys on Thanksgiving are roasted in ovens, when the gaming companies do or say something we don’t agree with.
    So, what’s all this turkey talk?  The Gaming Turkey Award!  
    The Gaming Turkey Award goes to either a gaming company or a person within the gaming industry, that through actions or words have caused uproars and have been roasted/baked/fried by the community of gamers.
The 2009 Gaming Turkey Award goes to…
 (click photo to enlarge)
…Robert “Bobby” Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
Why does Bobby Kotick get the 2009 Gaming Turkey Award? 
Kotick seems to be the man in the gaming world that was roasted more than any other, and mostly because of things he has said.
Two Famous 2009 Bobby Kotick phrases:
When questioned during a conference call: “…if you don’t mind, just your comfort level regarding pricing of some of your new games that have some expensive controllers and any feedback that you had from retail as we move through the holidays. Thanks, guys.”
Bobby Kotick’s reply: “And Tony, you know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further.
A Kotaku.com article said this, “Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Kotick said, “The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.

Do you agree or disagree with this choice?  Leave a comment and let me know who you would choose!

2009’s Gaming Turkey Award

November 27, 2009

      Today, being Thanksgiving, many gamers sat down with family and friends to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner, and many of those dinners probably had turkey as the main meat of the meal.

     How is it, that turkeys seem to be loved most by Americans, only after turkeys have been baked/roasted/fried and are being eaten off our plates, instead of when they’re flying around, gobbling, or running like crazy?
    I think the same sort of thought pattern happens in the gaming world.  We tend to favor certain gaming companies, whether it’s Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony.  If you game, you probably have a favorite console or gaming company. 
     Though we may enjoy the games and consoles, I would say gamers don’t always agree with every decision a gaming company makes, or sometimes with what a representative may say.  Instead of enjoying the companies flying high, we prefer to roast them with our words, like many turkeys on Thanksgiving are roasted in ovens, when the gaming companies do or say something we don’t agree with.
    So, what’s all this turkey talk?  The Gaming Turkey Award!  
    The Gaming Turkey Award goes to either a gaming company or a person within the gaming industry, that through actions or words have caused uproars and have been roasted/baked/fried by the community of gamers.
The 2009 Gaming Turkey Award goes to…
 (click photo to enlarge)
…Robert “Bobby” Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
Why does Bobby Kotick get the 2009 Gaming Turkey Award? 
Kotick seems to be the man in the gaming world that was roasted more than any other, and mostly because of things he has said.
Two Famous 2009 Bobby Kotick phrases:
When questioned during a conference call: “…if you don’t mind, just your comfort level regarding pricing of some of your new games that have some expensive controllers and any feedback that you had from retail as we move through the holidays. Thanks, guys.”
Bobby Kotick’s reply: “And Tony, you know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further.
A Kotaku.com article said this, “Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco yesterday, Kotick said, “The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.

Do you agree or disagree with this choice?  Leave a comment and let me know who you would choose!

Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data: EA Sports Active, Punch-Out!!, The Conduit, Wii Sports Resort

November 25, 2009
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data for EA Sports Active, Punch-Out!!, The Conduit,Wii Sports Resort:
Nintendo Channel Updated on Monday, November 23, 2009 
(Click photo to enlarge)

Numbers:
EA Sports Active had 42,281 players report data on the Nintendo Channel, an increase of 918 players from the previous week.
Punch-Out!! had 67,089 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 1,493 players from last week.
The Conduit had 41,213 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 938 players from last week.
Wii Sports Resort had 143,690 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 6,346 players from last week.
As the picture shows, Wii Sports Resort crossed 2.5 million total game-play hours reported on the Nintendo Channel and The Conduit crossed 900,000 total game-play hours reported on the Nintendo Channel.
Thoughts:
I was surprised that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] that was released on November 10, didn’t debut this week on the Nintendo Channel.  The Conduit and Wii Sports Resort both had data show up on the Nintendo Channel within about two weeks of their releases, but so far, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] is a no show.
Also, New Super Mario Bros. Wii debuted this week with data on the Nintendo Channel, and it looks like it’ll move up quickly, but I don’t think it’ll be a long burner with data, due to the short length of the game.
Questions:
Is anybody still playing Wii Sports Resort that bought it on release day?  If anybody that has played or is still playing The Conduit, do you think it will cross 1 million total game-play hours before the end of the year?

Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data: EA Sports Active, Punch-Out!!, The Conduit, Wii Sports Resort

November 25, 2009
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data for EA Sports Active, Punch-Out!!, The Conduit,Wii Sports Resort:
Nintendo Channel Updated on Monday, November 23, 2009 
(Click photo to enlarge)

Numbers:
EA Sports Active had 42,281 players report data on the Nintendo Channel, an increase of 918 players from the previous week.
Punch-Out!! had 67,089 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 1,493 players from last week.
The Conduit had 41,213 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 938 players from last week.
Wii Sports Resort had 143,690 players report data on the Nintendo Channel this week, an increase of 6,346 players from last week.
As the picture shows, Wii Sports Resort crossed 2.5 million total game-play hours reported on the Nintendo Channel and The Conduit crossed 900,000 total game-play hours reported on the Nintendo Channel.
Thoughts:
I was surprised that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] that was released on November 10, didn’t debut this week on the Nintendo Channel.  The Conduit and Wii Sports Resort both had data show up on the Nintendo Channel within about two weeks of their releases, but so far, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [Reflex] is a no show.
Also, New Super Mario Bros. Wii debuted this week with data on the Nintendo Channel, and it looks like it’ll move up quickly, but I don’t think it’ll be a long burner with data, due to the short length of the game.
Questions:
Is anybody still playing Wii Sports Resort that bought it on release day?  If anybody that has played or is still playing The Conduit, do you think it will cross 1 million total game-play hours before the end of the year?

How Much Would Mario Make In A Week?

November 24, 2009
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data: New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s Debut
Do you want to be a plumber?
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
     In the first week since New Super Mario Bros. Wii released, 13,359 players have reported data on the Nintendo Channel.
     82,335 total game-play hours have been reported.  If you were a plumber, working just 40 hours in a week, it would take you 39.5 years to complete the 82,335 hours of work!
     In the first week, players accumulated more than 9 years of game-play hours.
     If Mario charged for the hours played(his hours worked), and he is charging $50-$100 per hour like the typical plumber, in the last week, Mario would have made:
$4,116,750 if he charged only $50 per hour
$8,233,500 if he charged $100 per hour(look out Bobby Kotick!)
Thoughts:
     I think it will be interesting to see how New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s game-play hours continue, especially after Christmas, because I think it’ll be a big “gift” under a lot of gamers’ Christmas trees this year.
     New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the fastest game I’ve seen debut on the Nintendo Channel with data, since I’ve been collecting the data.  As the picture shows, New Super Mario Bros. Wii was released on Sunday, November 15, 2009, and the data was captured on Monday, November 23, 2009.  That’s only 8 days after the game released, and not all eight days have game-play data reported.
     I also find interesting the total hours “Per Person” to be at 6 Hours 10 Min., I wonder if most people beat the game, and haven’t picked it up for a second play-through yet, or if they’re still working they’re way through the game.
Questions:
     Have you purchased New Super Mario Bros. Wii already?  If so, have you beaten the game and how long did it take you?  If you haven’t purchased it, why haven’t you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Did I purchase the game?  Check the comments to find out.

     

How Much Would Mario Make In A Week?

November 24, 2009
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Game Data: New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s Debut
Do you want to be a plumber?
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
     In the first week since New Super Mario Bros. Wii released, 13,359 players have reported data on the Nintendo Channel.
     82,335 total game-play hours have been reported.  If you were a plumber, working just 40 hours in a week, it would take you 39.5 years to complete the 82,335 hours of work!
     In the first week, players accumulated more than 9 years of game-play hours.
     If Mario charged for the hours played(his hours worked), and he is charging $50-$100 per hour like the typical plumber, in the last week, Mario would have made:
$4,116,750 if he charged only $50 per hour
$8,233,500 if he charged $100 per hour(look out Bobby Kotick!)
Thoughts:
     I think it will be interesting to see how New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s game-play hours continue, especially after Christmas, because I think it’ll be a big “gift” under a lot of gamers’ Christmas trees this year.
     New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the fastest game I’ve seen debut on the Nintendo Channel with data, since I’ve been collecting the data.  As the picture shows, New Super Mario Bros. Wii was released on Sunday, November 15, 2009, and the data was captured on Monday, November 23, 2009.  That’s only 8 days after the game released, and not all eight days have game-play data reported.
     I also find interesting the total hours “Per Person” to be at 6 Hours 10 Min., I wonder if most people beat the game, and haven’t picked it up for a second play-through yet, or if they’re still working they’re way through the game.
Questions:
     Have you purchased New Super Mario Bros. Wii already?  If so, have you beaten the game and how long did it take you?  If you haven’t purchased it, why haven’t you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Did I purchase the game?  Check the comments to find out.

     

Wii’s Release Games, Three Years in the Making: Legend of Zelda, Excite Truck, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty

November 19, 2009
Three years ago today, on November 19, 2006, Nintendo released the Wii.  Since the Wii’s release, Nintendo has done several updates to the system, and one of the updates was the Nintendo Channel.  I’ve been posting the data for several games off the Nintendo Channel for several months now.  Today, I’ll be showing games that were released with or very close to the release of the Wii, and how those games have performed over the last three years.
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Data for:
  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Excite Truck, Call of Duty 3, and Need for Speed Carbon
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has had 932,842 players reporting game-play data.
Excite Truck has had 171,500 players reporting game-play data on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel.
Call of Duty 3 has had 220,751 players report game-play.
Need for Speed Carbon has had 144,593 players report game-play data in nearly the last three years since the Wii’s release.
Thoughts:
These were the only four games, other than Wii Sports, that I saw with game-play data showing on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel.  I was very surprised to not see Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids showing data, as I’m curious to know how Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids did game-play wise.
Questions:
What was the first Wii game(s) you purchased with your Wii?  Looking back, how do you think that game(s) would play now, if you haven’t played them in a while?
What were you playing three years ago, today?

So, how has Wii Sports done compared to these other games.  I know I posted some numbers for Wii Sports about two weeks ago, but you can have another look at the updated numbers for this week!

Wii’s Nintendo Channel Data for Wii Sports!
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
Wii Sports has had 2,790,530 players report game-play data on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel since it released three years ago.
Wii Sports is also currently the most played Wii game as of Total Hours reported played.
*It should be noted, that the data collected off the Nintendo Channel, is not updated on a daily basis, it is updated on a weekly basis.  The game-play shown, would probably be from Nov. 19, 2006, probably through Nov. 15, 2009.

Wii’s Release Games, Three Years in the Making: Legend of Zelda, Excite Truck, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty

November 19, 2009
Three years ago today, on November 19, 2006, Nintendo released the Wii.  Since the Wii’s release, Nintendo has done several updates to the system, and one of the updates was the Nintendo Channel.  I’ve been posting the data for several games off the Nintendo Channel for several months now.  Today, I’ll be showing games that were released with or very close to the release of the Wii, and how those games have performed over the last three years.
Wii’s Nintendo Channel Data for:
  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Excite Truck, Call of Duty 3, and Need for Speed Carbon
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has had 932,842 players reporting game-play data.
Excite Truck has had 171,500 players reporting game-play data on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel.
Call of Duty 3 has had 220,751 players report game-play.
Need for Speed Carbon has had 144,593 players report game-play data in nearly the last three years since the Wii’s release.
Thoughts:
These were the only four games, other than Wii Sports, that I saw with game-play data showing on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel.  I was very surprised to not see Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids showing data, as I’m curious to know how Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids did game-play wise.
Questions:
What was the first Wii game(s) you purchased with your Wii?  Looking back, how do you think that game(s) would play now, if you haven’t played them in a while?
What were you playing three years ago, today?

So, how has Wii Sports done compared to these other games.  I know I posted some numbers for Wii Sports about two weeks ago, but you can have another look at the updated numbers for this week!

Wii’s Nintendo Channel Data for Wii Sports!
(click photo to enlarge)
Numbers:
Wii Sports has had 2,790,530 players report game-play data on the Wii’s Nintendo Channel since it released three years ago.
Wii Sports is also currently the most played Wii game as of Total Hours reported played.
*It should be noted, that the data collected off the Nintendo Channel, is not updated on a daily basis, it is updated on a weekly basis.  The game-play shown, would probably be from Nov. 19, 2006, probably through Nov. 15, 2009.