Wii

Lilt Line Sales Disappoint

by Andy Goergen - March 14, 2011, 12:41 pm PDT
Total comments: 21 Source: (Different Cloth), http://www.differentcloth.com/explicit-reveal-of-s...

The line-guiding rhythm game hasn't sold well on WiiWare or iOS.

Lilt Line sales have proved disappointing, according to sales figures released by the developer of the original iOS version, Different Cloth. The game was ported to WiiWare by Gaijin Games. Since its release on WiiWare in December 2010, the game has sold just over 3,700 copies on the service. Different Cloth noted that in order for Nintendo to pay anything back to the developer of the game, sales would need to be more than twice that figure.

The WiiWare release of the game did, however, prompt a bump in sales for the iOS version of the game which is priced at $2.99. Sales for the iOS game in December jumped to around 200 purchases, double the amount from November. 

A demo of Lilt Line was released recently on WiiWare. No indication was given as to how much that helped promote sales of the game.

Talkback

TurdFurgyMarch 14, 2011

3,700 copies sounds like a lot to me, but I've never developed a videogame before so my knowledge is lacking...

Mop it upMarch 14, 2011

I tried the demo and the game wasn't for me. It seems to have similar appeal as the Bit.Trip series, and I can't help but wonder if it would have sold better had it had the Bit.Trip name (Bit.Trip.LINE?).

broodwarsMarch 14, 2011

I played the demo purely because it was being published by the makers of the Bit.Trip games, and I found the game pretty lame and nowhere near the quality of the B.T. series.  I'm not particularly bothered by the fact it didn't sell well.  There's too much crap on WiiWare as it is, so developers need to bring their "A" game if they want it to be noticed.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 14, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

I played the demo purely because it was being published by the makers of the Bit.Trip games, and I found the game pretty lame and nowhere near the quality of the B.T. series.  I'm not particularly bothered by the fact it didn't sell well.  There's too much crap on WiiWare as it is, so developers need to bring their "A" game if they want it to be noticed.

Here's the thing. Even if developers bring their quadruple A titles to the service there is still no guarantee that the game will sell on WiiWare. Out of the three downloadable game services, WiiWare has the lowest "hits". There have been cases where highly regarded titles underperform severely, even with hype and advertisements behind them. Meanwhile, titles like "My Aquarium" never leave the top ten.

Nintendo gives developers a week of advertisement on their channel. And now with the demos, their availability is very limited to the number of downloads. That's why the BIT TRIP and AYIM guys had to promote the demos of their respective games just so Nintendo could give them another week or so. It's PATHETIC that a developer has to promote a demo just so the company can have it on their service for a few more days.

Yes, quality of the game is important, but that isn't even a guarantee anymore, especially when it comes to WiiWare.

broodwarsMarch 14, 2011

Quote from: NWR_pap64

Here's the thing. Even if developers bring their quadruple A titles to the service there is still no guarantee that the game will sell on WiiWare. Out of the three downloadable game services, WiiWare has the lowest "hits". There have been cases where highly regarded titles underperform severely, even with hype and advertisements behind them. Meanwhile, titles like "My Aquarium" never leave the top ten.

Nintendo gives developers a week of advertisement on their channel. And now with the demos, their availability is very limited to the number of downloads. That's why the BIT TRIP and AYIM guys had to promote the demos of their respective games just so Nintendo could give them another week or so. It's PATHETIC that a developer has to promote a demo just so the company can have it on their service for a few more days.

Yes, quality of the game is important, but that isn't even a guarantee anymore, especially when it comes to WiiWare.

I don't disagree with you.  Nintendo's support for developers on WiiWare (as far as giving exposure is concerned) is pitiful, especially considering that both Sony and Microsoft put a much larger spotlight on their titles every week with blogs, notices on the stores, a pretty high frequency of demos, and frequent sales.  However, because Nintendo allowed WiiWare to become overrun with crap with a relative handful of notable titles (that never gets sale prices, btw), it's easy and completely understandable for people to ignore WiiWare in general.  That leaves the only thing that developers have control over is the quality of their titles, and I'm sorry but Lilt Line just does not stack up against the better titles on the service like the B.Trip games, World of Goo, or Fluidity.

AVMarch 14, 2011

i downloaded the demo and had no clue how to play the game. No tutorial, nothing but pretty graphics and nice audio. When I finally figured out how to play this game I thought it was clunky to control, and overall NOT fun. The bit trip games are fairly strait forward and fun and have cool graphics and audio, this only had 2 of the 3.


Cry me a river about bad sales, I thought it was a bad game.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 15, 2011

Perhaps I'm not the best one to comment on this, since I'm all boycotting Nintendo downloads for the time being, but I played the demo and... well... I probably wouldn't pay 200 points for it - even considering I'd get the 10 club Nintendo coins...

...and I downloaded the Mario Calculator for the DSi.

In any case, it sucks that you have to sell a certain number to get anything back. I don't know the monetary specifics, but I can't imagine that quality control and bandwidth (and anything else?) are worth the cost equivalent of that threshold. If we assume 8,000 downloads at $5, that's $40,000. It also doesn't help that WiiWare versions of titles are usually higher than on other platforms, this one included (of course, Nintendo very much does not want to reduce prices).

broodwarsMarch 15, 2011

Quote from: UncleBob

Perhaps I'm not the best one to comment on this, since I'm all boycotting Nintendo downloads for the time being...

What are you boycotting Nintendo downloads regarding?

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 15, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: UncleBob

Perhaps I'm not the best one to comment on this, since I'm all boycotting Nintendo downloads for the time being...

What are you boycotting Nintendo downloads regarding?

Horribly restrictive DRM.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 15, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: NWR_pap64

Here's the thing. Even if developers bring their quadruple A titles to the service there is still no guarantee that the game will sell on WiiWare. Out of the three downloadable game services, WiiWare has the lowest "hits". There have been cases where highly regarded titles underperform severely, even with hype and advertisements behind them. Meanwhile, titles like "My Aquarium" never leave the top ten.

Nintendo gives developers a week of advertisement on their channel. And now with the demos, their availability is very limited to the number of downloads. That's why the BIT TRIP and AYIM guys had to promote the demos of their respective games just so Nintendo could give them another week or so. It's PATHETIC that a developer has to promote a demo just so the company can have it on their service for a few more days.

Yes, quality of the game is important, but that isn't even a guarantee anymore, especially when it comes to WiiWare.

I don't disagree with you.  Nintendo's support for developers on WiiWare (as far as giving exposure is concerned) is pitiful, especially considering that both Sony and Microsoft put a much larger spotlight on their titles every week with blogs, notices on the stores, a pretty high frequency of demos, and frequent sales.  However, because Nintendo allowed WiiWare to become overrun with crap with a relative handful of notable titles (that never gets sale prices, btw), it's easy and completely understandable for people to ignore WiiWare in general.  That leaves the only thing that developers have control over is the quality of their titles, and I'm sorry but Lilt Line just does not stack up against the better titles on the service like the B.Trip games, World of Goo, or Fluidity.

I agree that more quality control should have been at hand. But I think this is because Nintendo wanted to sell WiiWare as the indie developer's paradise where any quirky idea would be accepted and released cheaply over the service. In the end they never cared and thus are spending more time in venues that generate profit (the Wii and 3DS now) than a supplementary service.

Regarding Lilt Line, I only played the demo, so I can't speak about its quality, but it never struck me as a really awful game. Far worse games have been on the service. I basically stated that on WiiWare anything goes, and considering that My Aquarium is a best seller, that should tell you how bad the service is.

ShyGuyMarch 15, 2011

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: UncleBob

Perhaps I'm not the best one to comment on this, since I'm all boycotting Nintendo downloads for the time being...

What are you boycotting Nintendo downloads regarding?

Horribly restrictive DRM.

You should take it to the next level and smash every Nintendo thing you own.

KDR_11kMarch 15, 2011

All the advertising in the world can't save you if your game is about something that people don't care about. People don't care about abstract lines.

LittleIrvesMarch 15, 2011

I was excited about this game.  Then I played the demo...  and actually, I was still pretty excited.  The fluid movement and abstract colors were really quite striking, and I was digging the dub-step music.  And I could see how the later levels would prove quite challenging.  But for some reason, I never downloaded it.  I'd heard it was quite short, and didn't see much replayability. Too bad it didn't sell better, 'cause I think it's an intriguing product that many would like.


Unfortunately, this feels like exactly the problem Iwata is concerned about with the rise of the $0.99 game on App Store.  People get used to paying a buck, and anything above that "feels" expensive, especially for a short, experimental game like this.  If it was a buck, I'm sure I would've bought it. But that's crazy--I pay $3.50 for a coffee and muffin three times a week at Dunkin Donuts and don't even think about it.  It's a slippery slope, and a shame that devs like Different Cloth lose just for trying something different.

Mop it upMarch 15, 2011

I just assumed that Lilt Line didn't appeal to me which is why I didn't like it, since I also was bored by Bit.Trip.BEAT which most people praised, but I guess in this case it may be because it wasn't a good game, considering that even people who like the Bit.Trip series are saying it's no good.

Quote from: broodwars

I'm sorry but Lilt Line just does not stack up against the better titles on the service like the B.Trip games, World of Goo, or Fluidity.

There's also the problem that quality is subjective. I, personally, wouldn't point to the Bit.Trip series and World of Goo as some of the best on the service; the former has appeal only to retro game fanatics and the latter has such awful execution that it's terribly overpriced. That said, those games don't feel like they were hastily thrown together to try to make a quick buck as most WiiWare titles do, so they're a cut above, but still not worth it, at least, in my view.

Ian SaneMarch 15, 2011

Quote:

Nintendo gives developers a week of advertisement on their channel. And now with the demos, their availability is very limited to the number of downloads. That's why the BIT TRIP and AYIM guys had to promote the demos of their respective games just so Nintendo could give them another week or so. It's PATHETIC that a developer has to promote a demo just so the company can have it on their service for a few more days.


Is it at all surprising that the company that has had a poor relationship with third parties for so long would have the most restrictive and unappealing service for downloadable games as well?  Nintendo treats third party developers as rival companies to exploit and take advantage of.

I don't know what the quality of Lilt Line was like since I didn't try it.  I find because of Nintendo's limitations regarding demos that I never really think to browse the Wii store for demos.  Or I mean to try one but don't get around to it and then it disappears.  For downloadable games I typically hear about the good ones through word of mouth on videogame forums.  WiiWare just does not seem to come up very much unless the game is also available through other services.  That might be reflective of WiiWare's quality but it might also be simply that online I'm typically encountering core gamers, for which the Wii usually takes a backseat to the other systems.

I do get the weekly email from Nintendo about new downloads and the WiiWare titles shown usually look pretty meh in the screenshots.  The thing is though the Wii has so much shovelware trash that I pretty much make the assumption that Wii third party titles are not worth looking into.  That's perhaps unfair to devs making decent stuff but the Wii "earned" this image.  The Wii is for first party Nintendo titles and that includes WiiWare.  I also feel that celebrating mediocrity became an annoying part of Wii culture in the early years when fanboys felt the need to defend the system by standing up for all sorts of weak titles.  As a result I am very suspicious of the praise from people who only own a Wii.  If they say such-and-such WiiWare game is great I instinctively assume it's some mediocre title.  Again, that isn't really fair to the devs but it's all part of the negative image of the Wii.  The apologists pissed away their credibility by associating themselves with weak titles.  So some sort of "neutral" party that owns the other consoles as well needs to praise WiiWare games to catch my attention.

Image is very important with videogame systems.  First there was the "kiddy" image and now it's the "casual shovelware" image.  If you let your system get associated with a certain negative image it becomes self-fulfilling.  Third parties will not create titles that buck the trend because they assume the audience isn't there.  And then that legitimately drives that very audience away.  WiiWare was doomed to be associated with shovelware because the Wii itself is associated with shovelware.

What classic WiiWare game has Nintendo made?  Why should anyone care about WiiWare when Nintendo themselvs doesn't feel it's worth supporting?

Mop it upMarch 17, 2011

Quote from: Ian

What classic WiiWare game has Nintendo made?

The Art Style series of games are pretty good, despite their issues. Beyond that, all Nintendo have released on the service are a few updates to old games (Dr. Mario Online RX, ExciteBike World Rally) and overpriced spinoffs (Pokémon Rumble).

OblivionMarch 17, 2011

Hate to be a fanboy here, but I'd say the Bit.Trip series is quite the classic series now. Well, to me, at least.

TJ SpykeMarch 17, 2011

True, but it's not a Nintendo series. The Bit.Trip games were developed by Gajin Games and published by Aksys Games. Most of them are great games though.

OblivionMarch 17, 2011

Oh, he meant actually MADE by Nintendo...oops.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 18, 2011

I wouldn't call Rumble overpriced.  It's a great game, the only thing it really needs is on-line play and, perhaps, a 4-player mode.

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