Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS and MadWorld for the Nintendo Wii were two of the most hyped “hardcore” games titles for their platforms in recent months, but neither have set the sales charts alight since their release, selling dismally since launch in the US.
Newly released NPD sales figures for North America show that, despite analysts predicting first-month sales of anywhere between 200,000 and 450,000 units, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS sold a mere… 88,704 in March, according to Silicon Alley Insider. Ouch.
Rockstar Games, creators of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, aren’t the only ones failing to shift units, though. Sega, creators of MadWorld for the Nintendo Wii, a hyperviolent and hotly-anticipated stylised beat ‘em up, also got bad news. First month sales for MadWorld are below 70,000, according to NintendoEverything.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and MadWorld were aimed at traditional gamers (young men), so maybe it was the family-friendly nature of Nintendo’s massively-popular games machines that let them down. It seems only a tiny fraction of Nintendo’s audience opted for these titles – hardly surprising as most Nintendo gamers are not interested in drug-dealing, shooting and beating people with baseball bats as game experiences. But what is surprising is how tiny a fraction the “hardcore” gamers buying these titles are, despite glowing reviews.
What is certainly the case, is other games publishers going forward will be very reticent about bringing traditional non-family-friendly games onto Nintendo’s platforms. If MadWorld and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars can’t sell, what will?
Of course, it also means that those “hardcore” gamers who have bought the Nintendo Wii or DS can look forward to pretty much no grown-up gaming going forward.