Capcom director talks about the company's difficulty in understanding the Wii marketplace, and reveals poor sales numbers for Zack & Wiki.
When Capcom released Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure in late 2007, the adventure game received a great deal of critical acclaim and was highly promoted by the gaming media. Even with the positive word of mouth at launch, Chris Kramer, Capcom's senior director of communications, recently said that Zack & Wiki still "sold abysmally."
In total, 126,000 copies of Zack & Wiki have been sold in North America since the game's release 26 months ago. Capcom isn't exactly sure why the game sold so few copies, but Kramer has a few ideas. He described the Wii as having "a very tough market to crack," and believes that for third-party developers it seems that "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 further cited the Wii market as "extremely scattered and chaotic," because "for any sort of solid statement you want to make about the platform or the audience," there are plentiful amounts of evidence that totally contradict them. For example, party games were extremely successful soon after the Wii launched; however, the market has now been saturated by that style of game. Overall, "third-party publishers are having a hard time determining who the Wii audience is," said Kramer.
Capcom Product Manager Colin Ferris said in an interview in March 2009 that he was willing to place some of the fault for Zack & Wiki's poor sales on the art design for the game's main character. Ferris said, "Well, you know, Zack and Wiki…Another one in a long line of very highly-rated Capcom games that unfortunately did not sell very well. We can take a part of the blame on ourselves by having it star a shirtless boy pirate. That is actually a personal favorite of a lot of people in Capcom, so don’t be surprised if you see it again but we have nothing in the works at the moment."