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Wii

High Voltage on The Conduit Sales and On-Rails Shooters

by Pedro Hernandez - June 29, 2009, 10:25 am PDT
Total comments: 52 Source: IGN

IGN talks to Eric Nofsinger of High Voltage Software about The Conduit sales, motion control pressure, and on-rails shooters.

Last week marked the release of the highly-anticipated Wii first-person shooter The Conduit from High Voltage Software. In celebration of the game's release, IGN sat down with Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger and talked about what they expect of this major release.

One of the most important topics of discussion was The Conduit's sales.

After being asked if High Voltage feels any pressure and if they have any expectations, Nofsinger explained that "[they] want people to play the game because we think that anyone who does is going to enjoy the experience. As to sales estimates, we humbly hope it outsells every game ever made. [laughs] Seriously, we sincerely hope we have earned Wii owner's support in our efforts. The more support we receive, the more we will funnel those profits into even better original games for them."

The topic of sales has been much debated as of late due to the low sales of MadWorld on the Wii. The Conduit hopes to find a successful core audience on the system. Regarding motion controls, IGN asked Nofsinger if they felt any pressure to continue making games that feature motion controls.

"Not implicitly," said Nofsinger, "but we do feel the pressure to continue to make great games."

Another interesting topic is that of on-rail shooters on the Wii. With both EA's Dead Space: Extraction and Capcom's Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles on the horizon, IGN asked for the company's thoughts on these recent developments.

Nofsinger explained that this isn't a bad way to make games "it’s just a different way" that allows developers to focus on the things on screen.

As far as High Voltage's decision to go with the first-person shooter genre and not the on-rails one, "we wanted to create the best first-person gaming experience on the platform and we felt that the only way to do it was to allow gamers to control their movement."

Nofsinger added, "Having said that, we do earnestly believe that the Wii is capable of far more than gamers have played to date."

Talkback

KDR_11kJune 29, 2009

Considering The Conduit has been reportedly hard to find I wonder what sales numbers they're getting.

walkingdeadJune 29, 2009

has it been hard to find? i hope so, i went in to game stop the day after it came out and bought it and got a copy of the special edition.  the one you were only supposed to get if you reserved the game.  i wonder if there first shipment was just all spec ed's.

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

Special Edition is supposedly a GameStop exclusive. All copies bought from GS would be SE.

EnnerJune 29, 2009

I was at a Best Buy on sunday and I didn't see any copies on the shelves. The game was advertised in the sunday ad as well. Maybe this means the game is selling very well for its first week! Or that few copies were shipped out.

Scarcity does not necessarily point to good sales. It could mean that retailers didn't order many copies, or that Sega only printed a limited first run to watch the sales trends before distributing more.

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

A GS employee tried to tell me they didn't get many copies in in when I went it to get mine, and that every copy they had was most likely to cover pre-orders. She told me to hold on while she checked to see if they had any extra copies as she reached down in a stack of of cases and pulled out The Conduit.

To me it looked like the stack had atleast 8-10 copies from what I saw, and she didn't really check to see how many of the copies she had were pre-ordered, she just handed me on from the middle of the stack.

So if I were to believe the GS employee, there weren't that many copies shipped out, but going by what I saw in the store, they had a decent amount of copies for a game with little name recognition. & if BB were to put it in a Sunday Ad, then you know they had plenty of copies to go around.

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Special Edition is supposedly a GameStop exclusive. All copies bought from GS would be SE.

I picked the game up at GS after work on friday (closes retailer to work) and i got the "so ugly its awesome" cover from them with no mention of a SE at all. Perhaps those just ran out? I don't care either way, i'd probably lose the art book that came with the game anyway lol

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

All copies pre-ordered from GS would've been SE, not just any.

kraken613June 29, 2009

My Walmart sold out of 20 copies in 3 hours on Tuesday.

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

All copies pre-ordered from GS would've been SE, not just any.

I didn't pre-order at all, guess I just got lucky.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

You know what that means?  Your community lacks non-casual Wii gamers.  Sad.

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

All copies pre-ordered from GS would've been SE, not just any.

Thats what i figured, but BnM said otherwise. Doesn't matter to me though. I didn't see where the clerk pulled it out from so i couldn't tell ya if they had a lot of copies or not.

When i tried to buy it last Thursday, Best Buy didn't seem to have it at all. I checked the wii aisle, i checked the customer service desk and i didn't see it. No i didn't ask anyone, cuz i dont like deailng with their staff.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

They stink of attitude?

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

They stink of attitude?

some attitude, some stupidity, some just stink.

I didn't pre-order it but I got the Special Edition.

StratosJune 29, 2009

I got the SE but it was the last copy. I had to drive two cities away to find a store that had it. Most places either hadn't gotten their shipments yet or ran out. I'm convinced my local GS ordered a low number to force people to pre-order. The way the guy chided me to 'pre-order next time' sounded like he was trying to make it be a lesson to encourage people to pre-order.

Appropriate considering on the podcast they were saying how much bull it was that companies were 'making games tailored to the Wii's uses' and making on-rails shooters.

KDR_11kJune 29, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Scarcity does not necessarily point to good sales. It could mean that retailers didn't order many copies, or that Sega only printed a limited first run to watch the sales trends before distributing more.

It does mean it's outperforming expectations though, whether those are retailer or publisher expectations.

StratosJune 29, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Scarcity does not necessarily point to good sales. It could mean that retailers didn't order many copies, or that Sega only printed a limited first run to watch the sales trends before distributing more.

It does mean it's outperforming expectations though, whether those are retailer or publisher expectations.

Plus the demand caused could make more people want to run out and buy it.

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

I got the SE but it was the last copy. I had to drive two cities away to find a store that had it. Most places either hadn't gotten their shipments yet or ran out. I'm convinced my local GS ordered a low number to force people to pre-order. The way the guy chided me to 'pre-order next time' sounded like he was trying to make it be a lesson to encourage people to pre-order.

Appropriate considering on the podcast they were saying how much bull it was that companies were 'making games tailored to the Wii's uses' and making on-rails shooters.

I made a right outta my jobs parking lot, drove down the block and made a right at the light. As i pulled into the shopping plaza driveway i made a left at the stop sign, then made a slight left and parked directly in front of Game Stop. I undid my seatbelt, opened the door and locked my car up behind me then continued to walk in and wait at the counter. A young man asked if he could help me, i told him i was looking for the Conduit on Wii and he rang me up. I exchanged money for the goods i was recieving, got some change back with my receipt and walked back to the car.

If they didnt have it i would've walked outta the store, turned right and walked a few yards to Kmart.

How did everyone have so much trouble finding it?

StratosJune 29, 2009

It probably depends on how big the stores are. I had to go to a larger city to find a store that had a copy. Plus my Wal-Mart, Target, FredMeyer, Hollywood Video/Game Crazy and local indy store GameBreakers had not yet gotten shipments. The only one that didn't even order any was the Hollywood, and they aren't really a full blown GameCrazy, they just have a single glass shelf/case with new current gen games and accessories.

All signs point to a lot of places just not getting the game right away. At least in my area.

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

I got the SE but it was the last copy. I had to drive two cities away to find a store that had it. Most places either hadn't gotten their shipments yet or ran out. I'm convinced my local GS ordered a low number to force people to pre-order. The way the guy chided me to 'pre-order next time' sounded like he was trying to make it be a lesson to encourage people to pre-order.

Appropriate considering on the podcast they were saying how much bull it was that companies were 'making games tailored to the Wii's uses' and making on-rails shooters.

The girl at the GS I went to all but dropped to her knees to beg me to pre-order, like the whole store is gonna go out of business if I don't reserve a copy of the  games or something.

It was kinda pathetic and I felt bad for her. Should I feel sorry if her store closes because they didn't pre-order enough copies of the games to have a few extra to sell to customers that just happen to wander in looking for a game.

StratosJune 29, 2009

No. I think her manager is using scare tactics to get them to sell pre-orders. I've never worked for a game store before, but I am wondering if pre-orders have become the game retailer equivalent to referalls in the banking world. My sister used to work for a bank and they required you to make a certain number of referrals and get a number of them to turn into actual deals to stay employed and it is even tied to your performance appraisals. Maybe the manager is threatening layingoff the employees with the least amount of pre-orders made.

kraken613June 29, 2009

I walked into GameStop Wednesday morning and got the SE.

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

No. I think her manager is using scare tactics to get them to sell pre-orders. I've never worked for a game store before, but I am wondering if pre-orders have become the game retailer equivalent to referrals in the banking world. My sister used to work for a bank and they required you to make a certain number of referrals and get a number of them to turn into actual deals to stay employed and it is even tied to your performance appraisals. Maybe the manager is threatening layingoff the employees with the least amount of pre-orders made.

I believe I've heard testimonials from GS employees (maybe even on THIS forum) stating that this really is the case. Not so much from the store managers but the corporate bosses enforcing the managers to do so.

Mop it upJune 29, 2009

Sounds like a mess out there, I'm glad I'm waiting until day 192 to buy the game. By then it'll probably be on sale too.

D_AverageJune 29, 2009

My prediction is 30k + than Madworld sales.

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Quote from: D_Average

My prediction is 30k + than Madworld sales.

I could see that happening since this is a more accessible game, with online multiplayer in one of the most mainstream genres of the video game industry.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

Yeah the pre-order thing is outright dirty.

Like what happened to Overlord: Dark Legend.  No one pre-ordered it at my store.  Thus, the store only asked for 1 copy.  I end up buying their would-be empty-box display copy.

No pre-orders = No games + No employees

WTF

I guess it's more shelf space for Wii shovelware.

Ian SaneJune 29, 2009

The "tests" to see if core games sell on the Wii have been pretty, well, shitty tests.  What sort of test was Madworld?  It's like an arthouse game with over-the-top violence and practically black & white graphics.  The game would have sold just as poorly on any other console.  It would have sold just as poorly last gen on the PS2.  To look at that and say "hey this sold like balls.  I guess the Wii usebase doesn't want core games." is like the Wii losing a rigged game.

And it would be the same thing with The Conduit.  The Conduit is getting considerable flack from reviewers for being very generic.  It's a big fish in a small pond.  If it doesn't sell all that great that proves nothing.  So a generic "me too" game bombs?  Big deal.  Happens all the time.  If it would have been lost in the crowd on the other consoles then it should not be expected to meet higher expectations on the Wii.  You want to do a real test?  You make an exclusive core game that compares to Nintendo's first party efforts in quality and marketability and see how THAT does.  That bombs and you can declare the Wii a dead zone for third party core games.  But these?  These aren't fair tests.

Though if the opposite occurs it proves the viability of core games.  If The Conduit is a huge success, if anything, it's a BETTER indicator that Wii gamers want core games because they were so desperate for some that they were rushing out to buy something that's decent but unexceptional.  These games can prove core game viability on the Wii but they aren't good enough to disprove it.  It's like a sports franchise: a losing team with a low attendance does not prove that the market isn't viable but a winning team with low attendance does just as a losing team with high attendance would prove a market IS viable.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

From what I hear Conduit is polished.  It's generic, but in the sense that's it's 110% old-skool, and polished around that.  True generic would be all the 007 console games since Perfect Dark, and they're awful-forgettable.  And then there's Today's Generic which includes faceless/bald Space Marines and their HD brown settings fighting HD brown enemies.

So why is generic bad when the market happens to LOVE generic?  Or is generic just a useless word that reviewers and posters default to when they fail at describing things?

Since the Conduit is "generic," that makes it just as marketable as Nintendo games, especially to casuals cuz casuals love generic games and Nintendo games.

And since Conduit as a whole compares favorably to Mario Kart (shit graphics, good online), Brawl (good graphics, shit online), and Wii Music (excellent software for a nonexistant Wii market), then YES Conduit is comparable to Nintendo's first party efforts as well!  (Conduit's controls also tops MP3's, framerate aside)

Conduit set out to be the Wii's definitive classical FPS experience, not space marine experience, not high brown gaming experience, but not a last generation gamepad experience.  The Conduit is to GoldenDarkPerfectEye as Punch-Out!! is to Mike Tyson's Punch Out, hasn't anyone figured this out yet?

The Conduit is THE GAME for the 3rd Excuse Maker DO OR DIE TEST!

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

Quote from: D_Average

My prediction is 30k + than Madworld sales.

I predict 135k in sales for NPD June & a Top 5 spot in the NPD Wii charts

EasyCureJune 29, 2009

Generic-ness comes with flowing in the mainstream too long.

Exhibit A

StratosJune 29, 2009

Quote from: EasyCure

Generic-ness comes with flowing in the mainstream too long.

Exhibit A

Wasn't there already a movie like this with a similar premise?

Also, I predict around 180k. I'm going to go for a higher number.

Ian SaneJune 29, 2009

Quote:

The Conduit is THE GAME for the 3rd Excuse Maker DO OR DIE TEST!

And what if it flops?  And then third parties forever point to that as their proof the core games shouldn't be released on the Wii?  What if it becomes their excuse?

Will you still defend it or point to it's review scores and say it's not a fair test?  Will you flip-flop and say that it's low sales were deserving?

I'm saying we need a better test.  It would be beneficial to have a better test so as to hedge our bets and not have future core game or future third party support hanging on games that would not stand out on another console.

I'm saying that if The Conduit doesn't sell all that well and third parties use that as an excuse to continue ignoring the Wii then that's not right.  Same with Madworld.  It's only fair if comparisons are made at equal footing: any game that is to be a "test" of the Wii core market must be a game that would considered a big deal on the PS3 or X360.

And realistically you could go the other way to0.  If non-games that are not on par with Nintendo's Wii ____ series bombed on the other consoles what would that prove?  Nothing.  If Project Natal bombs because it sucks that would be no indication of whether or not non-games would fly on an Xbox console.  But if it's awesome but gets ignored then we have something.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

"And what if it flops?"

What if?  So what?  Do while?  If then, else?

If it flops, 3rd Excuse Makers continue their path of self-destruction for not stepping up to the Wii plate, which is fine by me and makes no difference to you.  I want to see fresh 3rd party blood (as in "newborn" plus "recently gored"), and you only buy a Nintendo game every 2 years.  Life is good.

Wii isn't hurting, but the rest of the companies that believe they comprise the remainder of the industry are.  Wii's 3rd Excuse prosperity isn't going to ride on Conduit's success/failure, it's going to ride on those companies financial pulses.  They have to make the choice to commit, and that doesn't depend on Conduit's hypothetical success cuz that would only invite a bigger supply of generic copycat shooters and shooter ports with shoehorned Wii controls.

You already know what happened when MINIWAGGLE compilations were seen as THE Wii successes and became the 3rd partie's Sacred Cow.  That ISN'T support and this is what 3rd parties are poised to do after witnessing any supposed Sales Idol.

What they must do to commit is bring products that flexes their muscles as a company that is unique from Nintendo.  That is support.  And it's something that's probably too late for them to do, BUT visions like Grand Slam Tennis+ and Tiger Woods+ provide glimmers of hope -- the path must be walked to reach the destination, and has little to with non-casuals, hard graphics based on underpowered brownware, ConWorlds, and Maduits.

THE PATH.

WALK IT.

broodwarsJune 29, 2009

Given Pro's history (according to GP) of promoting games that are completely mediocre, should I take it as a deterrent to my intention to buy this game that Pro is championing it so much in his usual half-trolling manner?  :rolleyes:

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

Don't buy it, you don't want to play wai-fai with other Wii owners.

It's so unsophisticated and last-last-generation.  You're better off with Doom 3: Cave Marine on Xbox with 4 players and better textures.

And Lindy gave it an 8.5, so the product totally misses the quality boat.  Anything below 8.7 on NWR is an automatic "wait for $10 amazon deal."

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusJune 29, 2009

It's strange that, while Pro and Ian are arguing, I find that I agree with them both.

Ian is 100% correct that third parties seems to make crappy, weird, or otherwise unserious games on purpose and use those as an all-inclusive metric for Wii support, when they don't do this for... say... the 360 (Ask Capcom about what Bionic Commando means for the future of 360 support).  Until they make stuff that want to screen near an open flame, they shouldn't be talking about "what Wii owners really want."

But Pro is also correct that the third parties requirement for some sort of pre-existing success is flawed, and considering their collectively massive losses, they might want to reconsider making Clapping Party on the Wii cuz obviously that's not working.  The ought to really be ashamed of themselves that they are using Conduit as some sort of metric.  High Voltage Studios are a bunch of nobodies.  They should have been able to squash them long ago.

broodwarsJune 29, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

Don't buy it, you don't want to play wai-fai with other Wii owners.

It's so unsophisticated and last-last-generation.  You're better off with Doom 3: Cave Marine on Xbox with 4 players and better textures.

And Lindy gave it an 8.5, so the product totally misses the quality boat.  Anything below 8.7 on NWR is an automatic "wait for $10 amazon deal."

You know, if you're going to try and troll me you should at least use PS3 terms and games in your argument.  ;)

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 29, 2009

I can't make a PS3 comparison cuz Wii isn't even in that league.  So I'll describe it with successful consoles you're familiar with.

BlackNMild2k1June 29, 2009

It's OFFICIAL
Anything less than an 8.7 here = N.W.R.

Not Worth Retail

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusJune 29, 2009

Brood, I don't think Pro is trying to troll you.  In fact your first post in this thread implies Pro has crappy taste in games, which doesn't really have anything to with the subject of the thread, so it really appears like you are trying to troll him.

Glass houses, rocks.  Figure it out.

broodwarsJune 29, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

I can't make a PS3 comparison cuz Wii isn't even in that league.  So I'll describe it with successful consoles you're familiar with.

Hey, the latest Transformers movie sold over $400 million (making it reasonably "successful" in most people's eyes).  Didn't stop it from being completely ****.

And Deguello, my point was that Pro is fond of championing bad games so the fact that he's cheerleading the game isn't doing the game any favors for people who are on the fence about buying the game (like me).

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusJune 29, 2009

What, were you waiting for his opinion?  Think for yourself.  Buy it or don't.  Who cares what's on your playlist?

The topic of Pro's thoughts about games and their effects on fence-straddlers is over.

PeachylalaJune 29, 2009

Pro Daisy attacks are mostly directed toward Ian Sane, and crappy game reviewers/3rd Bankrupt houses.

Huggles.

KDR_11kJune 30, 2009

I don't think it's really an issue that The Conduit is generic, after all the Wii doesn't have even generic FPSes yet and if all FPSes made for it were some weirdo "innovative" ones with gimmicks that may not work out it might be a problem because people can't find a straight FPS then. Genericity worked for Halo after all. Other entries into the FPS genre can try to top The Conduit with new gimmicks but I think as a foundation TC should be generic.

Quote from: broodwars

Given Pro's history (according to GP) of promoting games that are completely mediocre, should I take it as a deterrent to my intention to buy this game that Pro is championing it so much in his usual half-trolling manner?  :rolleyes:

Is he really championing it?

Ian SaneJune 30, 2009

Quote:

If it flops, 3rd Excuse Makers continue their path of self-destruction for not stepping up to the Wii plate, which is fine by me and makes no difference to you.

Well it DOES make a difference to me.  I want the Wii to have good third party support since I, you know, own one and am not too fond of all the best third party games going to the other consoles when the Wii is the market leader (it's like they changed the rules once Nintendo became number one again).  And these are good third parties that make great games.  I don't want them to self-destruct.  I want them to be successful and be successful making great games.  I want third parties to die out if they make junk but not because they just have poor business sense.

KDR_11kJune 30, 2009

Let's see it like that... A game you can't play is no good for you, right? So for Wii-only gamers any non-Wii games are useless junk...

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 30, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

Let's see it like that... A game you can't play is no good for you, right? So for Wii-only gamers any non-Wii games are useless junk...

Well, the market is actually shaping to be that way, being dominated by expanded audience Wii-only owners and all...

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 30, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

I don't think it's really an issue that The Conduit is generic, after all the Wii doesn't have even generic FPSes yet and if all FPSes made for it were some weirdo "innovative" ones with gimmicks that may not work out it might be a problem because people can't find a straight FPS then. Genericity worked for Halo after all. Other entries into the FPS genre can try to top The Conduit with new gimmicks but I think as a foundation TC should be generic.

It only makes sense, doesn't it?

One way to start fresh is to go back to the beginning, start at the bottom of the bucket, and work your way up with a new approach, right?  The idea might not be desirable to some, but even Wii Sports followed a similar path by being a rebirth of Pong and other classic arcade ideals (and it was still huffed and puffed at).  I can even see Onslaught and Water Warfare sharing some roots in this belief.  Hell, Wii Sports is a foundation to Wii Sports Resort, which is a foundation for Wii Zelda, so fancy that.

Wii FPS products have fumbled about for the longest time.  These were modern (um, lol) shooters, by major publishers, that happened to have been released on Wii.  Multiple aspects were never nailed at once (control, graphics, hit detection, level design, etc), and rarely would one aspect get nailed at all (MoHH2, controls).  Despite the developers being 3rd string, these devs are still associated with very BIG NAME publishers, yet the products aren't doing the SIMPLE jobs customers asked for.  These modern products don't even stand up to a generic special agent alien-shooter from a no-name developer!  Something went wrong, and it was wrong product after product after product.  Can't these products do something RIGHT, at the most basic level closest to the point where the player turns on the machine, takes the first steps, and fires the first rounds?  It's like it's their first time playing Guitar Hero and went straight to "Hard."  SOMEONE, PLEASE, start over.

This bottom-up idea also applies to HVS as a software developer.  They're relatively young to big-big-project development, and they needed to build a foundation for themselves, cuz they planned to use it in the future (now).  Get these basics down cold then work your way up.  Might as well; most other 3rd parties are in no hurry to do so.

KDR_11kJune 30, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

I can even see Onslaught and Water Warfare sharing some roots in this belief.

I think that was less a case of belief and more about Japanese devs having zero experience with first person shooters and having to figure the basics out themselves.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 30, 2009

LOL I didn't realize they were Japanese.  That's a commendable job on their part.

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