Editor’s note: This project was initially presented on January 27, 2010 and finalized on April 4, 2010 somewhere in Former Nintendo Fan Report Planet (FNFRP). FNFRP staff said its community was being too “positive” about Wii and Nintendo in general, so we decided to deliver some fresh, steaming negativity. “Why do you hate 3rd Parties so much?” they asked. “Did you not read the damn post at all?” I pondered.
Visitors making the pilgrimage for the first time: Read The Text, or you will miss the context – this difference easily exposes the internet morons in your community. The specific order of the box arts and items in the text don’t match 100%; it was meant to read casually and maybe quickly, so the idea is what counts. This WAS just an overblown forum post on some fansite, after all. Caution: contains language most foul and intense 3rd Party imagery; some graphics are known to cause birth defects, depending on the laws in your country/state/community. Kids, ask your government’s permission before buying 3rd Party software.
You might be thinking of the Vietnam Memorial, or the stars of the World War II memorial, or the wall of fallen operatives at CIA headquarters — THIS IS NOT THAT KIND OF WALL. This wall has its own significance, and its name below is exactly what it recognizes.
=== TRAITORS ===
~ Ubisoft ~
Congratulations on making this far. This isn’t some test or a trip down memory lane, this is real-life shopping in the MODERN WORLD. Imagine visiting Wal-Mart and seeing ^all this^ — SCRATCH THAT — you’ve been there and YOU HAVE seen this, and it doesn’t even include the *exclusives* Europe and Australia were blessed [shat upon] with. What on earth does it mean? It means these are the products you see taking up shelf space at retailers from this generation alone (if shelves were large and strong enough to withstand all this). “Sorry, we don’t carry [decent traditional game from smaller 3rd party]. May we interest you in `Vacation Sports` instead?”
If your spine is still intact, scroll back up and try to spot the gems where Ubi put some *real* effort. It’s like a word search, but with ground beef pressing your eyes shut. I’ll even make it easier for you: games they localized from Japan don’t count, cuz Ubi wasn’t responsible for making them (meaning: in-house idea, in-house effort).
My aim was to provide a ballpark majority snapshot of “what has this company done?” after 3 holiday seasons (plus a couple pseudo-confirmed near-future titles). The company is the object of shame, not the titles per se (you’ll certainly pass judgement on your own). If Ubi had a hand in publishing it, it went up. I’m not being strict with region specifics. Likewise, we will not detail every 3rd Party publisher, only the major offenders many of us are familiar with.
The individual collections are evidence that help illustrate the cumulative Wii history of the particular company. You, Wii Gamer, will see the balance of Right and Wrong, various qualitative and quantitative relationships among the software, and their relationship with YOU. YOU will reflect. You might not like it.
I purposely arranged/scattered the box arts as an introductory game, asking You, the Wii Customer, to find instances of quality gaming and/or sincere game production. With your eyes assaulted from various angles, there had to be some discomfort and difficulty in trying to identify obvious “winners” hidden in a crowd of duds (I’ll be easier on everyone next time).
- ANALOGY: in front of you is a barrel labeled `Ubi` filled with uniformly round, dry manure. In this merry barrel are a bunch of “quarter machine” capsule toys (the prizes), with similar size/shape/texture as the manure clumps (obviously, they SMELL the same too, like a common company logo). The volume ratio of capsule toys to the manure is basically the same as the ratio of “decent” games versus “awful” games you derived from looking at the box art collection. Your objective, Honored Contestant (a gambler, in a sense), is to stick your hand into this barrel and successfully retrieve the capsule toys BLINDFOLDED and without respiratory aides….. your trial is over, and you manage to retrieve some toys. (to be clear, this is a simulation of the random, average, less-informed Wii Customer browsing a Wal-Mart or similar store, trying to pick out a new title by confronting The Wall)
- THE LESSON: You remind yourself that this barrel is full of shit. The prized toys, while of some value to you, were surrounded and buried in shit. Now comes the question, Dear Wii Customer, “will you do that again?” (judging by game sales, some customers said “yes” while many said “AW HELL NAW”; thru experience, they learned what `Ubi` smells like)
These exhibits serve as illustrative examples as to why 3rd Party complaints against the “Wii audience” are complete bullshit. For all this talk of them dedicating “effort” to the Wii platform (and achieving “Nintendo quality,” oh boy), they really haven’t done much (and post-E3-2010, most will do nothing more). Believe it or not, THIS IS ONLY AN APPETIZER. THE MAIN COURSE IS YET TO COME. AND SIDE DISHES. AND DESSERT. Please come hungry, and leave violated.
~ Activision ~
Wii Gamer, are you familiar with Dante’s Inferno? Descending across Activision’s top layers, you find no hope, only pain and darkness. Reaching the bottom, you bear witness to structures of fiendish design. What you find is wrong, unjust, unnatural, and destructive to all you hold sacred — and it suddenly pains you the world has been taking this for granted.
Browsing this collection is like being accompanied by the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come: your stomach turns, you’re filled with regret, then you ask, “How did it come to this? SPIRIT! Take me back! I can make this better! Really, I can!“
You are too late, Wii Gamer.
Just keep thinking in your head as you peruse these titles:
“This is Nintendo’s fault”
“This is my fault”
“The reason these games flopped is because I chose not to be fooled by knockoffs”
“The reason these games flopped is because all the casual gamers are hardcore Nintendo fans”
“Nintendo pointed a gun at the 3rd Party CEO’s head and forced them to make these games”
“Nintendo never gave them a chance”
“Nintendo should’ve marketed these games, supported these games; the public deserved to know”
“Publishers are totally justified in insulting me for these games not selling”
“I wanted these games”
“This is all my fault”
If you need more time to reflect, take it. You are responsible for your own penance. When you’re finished, you may proceed below.
Here is the Progression of Events of 3rd Party Excuses (PE3PE). Study it well, and this knowledge will be your sword.
2006 – Nintendo included a free game with their console! Our rip-offs won’t sell now! Boo!
2007 – This Wii is just a fad. People only bought it for Nintendo games and casual games.
2008 – Nintendo makes too many games! How can we compete against Mario Kart, Smash Bros., Wii Fit…
2009 – Nintendo doesn’t make enough games! (We need examples to rip-off of!) Hardware sales are down! (We need fresh victims to buy our rip-offs!)
2010 – Wii shattered sales records thru the 2009 Holidays. Wii is not a viable platform for our casual games (or any games).
~ Electronic Arts ~
After looking at so much box art, so much SHAME, I’m beginning to see a uh, uhh… a PATTERN creeping throughout these 3rd Party libraries.
Some select quotes:
[EA] “We polled Core Gamers about Dead Space Extraction…”
[Core Gamers] “Don’t make a Rail Shooter. We hate rail shooters. Make a rail shooter and die.”
[EA] “And we’ve found they said the words ‘rail shooter’ 1,239 times!”
[EA] “We understand the Wii audience and we know what Wii gamers want! This is why we’ve been able to create such a diverse line-up*! This line-up is targeted specifically to the Wii audience and the Wii audience that isn’t exactly part of the Wii audience!”
Is there anything more that needs to be said?
~ Zoo Games ~
^This^ is what Zoo Games does. They can’t help it; that’s their nature. But all the other publishers on The Wall know better, are better, and can be better. Why do 3rd Party libraries look more like ^this^? Don’t they WANT to make good games? Laziness is bad (so I hear).
(Edit: by this point in the project, Pro Daisy had a headache)
~ THQ ~
THQ, you’ve gone thru some tough times… NOW I CAN SEE WHY. You are oh-so-dependent on your licenses; the rest your efforts (and lack of) can be summed up as “make-believe,” or “wishful thinking.” Should’ve been making things happen instead of dreaming?
I think I was a bit generous with ^this^ Wall piece, though I’m unable to articulate how it is so. By now I believe we’ve established a template for generating a 3rd Party Wii game library. Such is herein as follows per justice:
1. Start off with Zoo Games’ Wii library.
2. Add a handful of “major” “licenses.”
3. Add at least one “major” semi-”original” “brand” or “property.”
4. Microwave on HIGH for 9 minutes.
5. Let stand in microwave for 1 minute. Be careful when handling, turds may be steaming hot.
TA-DA!! 3RD PARTY SUPPORT!
~ Majesco ~
I’d like to think of Majesco as an “underdog” company, but their library makes them look like any other 3rd party, just on a smaller scale.
Can you find the needle in this haystack?
Will the pain stop?
~ Sega ~
HRMMMMMMMMMMM… The least bad of the worst, if that’s anything to brag about. Sega tries, yet they don’t. Their most successful title(s) are actually Wii Sports derivatives. Huh.
~ Konami ~
Got your bread & butter song & dance titles, plus some footsie ball. While Namco turned Soul Calibur into a Waggle Adventure, Konami turned Castlevania into a Waggle Fighter. buh?
Beyond those, Konami wants to be known for Wii Sports knockoffs, intentionally kiddie titles, and TARGET TERRORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. The plan was to make more of that stuff in case any of them succeeded, apparently. Typically. Unsurprisingly. As usual. Dammit, 3rd Parties.
This is the family Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was born into?
~ Take-Two ~
Way to go, relying on sports license abuse that competes with EA’s own. The rest are largely visitors from the PLANET MEH. Do any games seem to be worth working on or nurturing without those Grand Theft Auto-sized budgets? Hmm?
~ Namco-Bandai ~
Despite hitting the ground running with a WAGGLE SPINOFF, it’s suprising they haven’t done much nor localized much. They’re sorta all over the place without specializing in anything (is Zoo Games the undisputed KING of Wii racing games?). A peculiar kind of lazy. (Edit: Winter 2010: there’s no surprise anymore; we’ve all accepted that the company just looks useless)
~ Capcom ~
good port, rail shooter, bad port, old port, old port, rail shooter, stuffffff, old port, stuffity stuffffff… my gosh, is Capcom lazier than NAMCO?
~ Square Enix ~
1. An on-rails spinoff Nintendo [HELPED MAKE] FOR THEM
2. Some other spinoff
3. A DEE-ESS PORT OF A SPINOFF
4. A too-little-too-late spinoff of a SPINOFF
It’s obvious that Square-Enix… DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT?
The games, by themselves, not bad. But also consider how the publisher behaved; how are they treating the projects and the products?
DQ Swords — S-E borrowed a Nintendo developer to make it (was the project not good enough for their in-house teams?)
Chocobo — nothing wrong here, it just exists
Echoes of Time — the ugly side of connectivity: it’s a DS game, but on a disc. Is it a sub-standard Wii game or a DS game being bought for the second time? Who’s it REALLY for? Wii gamers or DS gamers? Who are they trying to convince to buy it, and are they trying?
The Crystal Bearers — Rad game, but like Silent Hill, it’s a victim of scheduling and marketing SABOTAGE. What happened to the marketing push leading to its release? Why get smothered into obscurity after SANTA DAY? Is it just another title quietly sent to the shelf (accompanied by a short-lived ho-hum Amerikan TV campaign that I could not believe they had a budget for at first) that the publisher doesn’t believe in?
And moving from one title to the latter, how well was S-E’s [Wii] brand strength holding up by the time we got to Crystal Bearers? The fact they’ve only published 4 disc games total, despite their age/history and prestige, makes them an oddity worth mentioning.
THIS CONCLUDES THE 3RD PARTY WALL OF SHAME. CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETE. LOOK UP IN AWE OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.
The Wall of Shame isn’t concerned with projecting our anecdotes on the climate. We know what the 3rd Parties did, we know how the consumers responded, and we know how the 3rd Parties “responded” to that. I believe we know enough to see what adds up, what doesn’t, and when 3rd Parties are serving up Soft-Serve Ass Cream in retail and the press. 3rd Parties will not, cannot escape responsibility and accountability while the Wall of Shame stands.
Is there any sign of hope? Maybe. Certainly not on this wall.
“Iwata was able to change more than the course of a console war. He changed the entire course of gaming history. Is it wrong to hold on to that kind of hope?” -3rd Party
“I have not come for what you hoped to do. I’ve come for what you did.” -R
“A wall is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, tearing down a wall can change the world.” -R
Selected responses to The 3rd Party Wall of Shame:
“I had no idea that stuff came from a well known developer. I always assumed Fashion Party and Party Babyz (with a z yes, because thats how the cool spell it) were from super no-named nobodies who were working inside their garages. Man I’d like to throw up right now.”
“Maybe Nintendo was onto something when they used to force third parties to only make 5 games a year.”
“And this is why my boycott is justified. It’s one thing to ignore the system. It’s another to flood it with garbage and sabotage the perception of the platform. Ubisoft started the whole meme of ‘put shovelware on Wii and put your real efforts on the HD consoles.’ “
“Sure, there are a few good games on the wall of shame. A few. But most are the sort of shovelware the likes of which even God has never seen.
Pro’s talking about brand mistrust and why your discerning Wii gamer will stick to Nintendo. If he made a `Nintendo Wall of Glory` you’d see most of their games aren’t ‘garbage’ even when they are low budget. Nintendo’s games aren’t ’90% crap.’ Some may not be your cup of tea, but none of them were foisted onto Wii owners like ‘Space Camp‘ or another Wii Sports rip-off as late as October 2009.
Also it shows that because the titles released earlier in the generation from third parties got more sales than their later ones, initially the Wii gamer was trusting of third parties until they started getting real garbage dumped on them. Then they rejected and rebuffed their games outright, even if they were good (Sega felt this) simply because of a ruined first impression. It’s cause and effect, a consequence of treating your customer like an idiot, and entirely their own fault. Maybe if they had tried harder in 2006, 2007, and 2008 they wouldn’t have felt the sting of people’s disinterest. But instead, they blame me, you, Nintendo, the economy, etc.; everybody except themselves and their shoddy development, poor marketing, and ruined brand name for the majority of gamers.
And really, who could side with the third parties here? Who looks at this list and says ‘That’s a great effort! That totally matches Nintendo’s 40 or so games.’ Considering both the sales AND Gamerankings AND Amazon reviews AND professional critics would disagree, anybody who would would be in the vast minority and look like an apologist or a shill.”
“I think what [Pro] is trying to say is that, sure, we own the good games and are happy with them; but picture yourself as a soccer mom with a red cart and bag of popcorn at Target facing that wall in the game aisle. How can she/you possibly choose a quality title? After making a couple wrong and expensive choices, aren’t you going to be a tad disenchanted with gaming in general and stick to only buying games with good word of mouth?”
“They’ve treated Wii owners like schmucks, marks, fools, idiots, and lab rats. When the Wii owners plead ‘no mas,’ ‘non plus,’ and ‘dame yo!’ they kept on churning out shovelware. When the retailers (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.) told them after 3 years that mini-game collections and casual Wii games do not sell (!!!) and that they would order no more, the third parties were looking for an excuse. They scrambled for ass-cover as they blamed you, me, Nintendo, the economy, Martians, etc. They accuse Nintendo of making too many games. They accuse Nintendo of not making enough games. They accuse you of being a blind Nintendo fanboy for having the audacity to choose New Super Mario Brothers Wii over Dancing with the Stars. All because their plan of ‘milking casuals’ with a bunch of awful games backfired when the people they thought were idiots proved otherwise.
No longer. Every time a third party game fails on Wii, they shall look to the Wall and wonder ‘Could things have been different? Could I have made good games instead of shovelware? Could my name be trusted by 70 million people if I didn’t insult them from day one? Could my game have sold better if my brand name wasn’t tarnished by my own actions? Why doesn’t Nintendo have my problems?’
And ask yourself one final question. ‘Who deserves to sell the most Wii games?’ The answer to that is the point of this thread.”
Futher discussion can be found BELOW. (There’s nothing to see in the old ruins.)