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GN Podcast #504

Parents Play: SM64

EoD - Splatoon quiet

XSEED on Wii support, The Last Story success, Pandora's Tower, no chance for Retro Game Challenge 2

A portion of a DigitalTrends interview with XSEED's Ken Berry...

DT: Xseed has been one of the more adventurous Wii publishers in the United States, pushing games like Fragile Dreams, Sky Crawlers, and others that didn’t enjoy big Internet followings like The Last Story. Why has Xseed stuck by the platform?

KB: We have to be platform neutral and willing to publish the best games available to us, no matter what the platform. With that said, we’re especially proud of the titles we’ve published on Wii since so many of them are category leaders or significant in some way—Victorious Boxers: Revolution was the first boxing-dedicated game, Sky Crawlers was the best flight sim, Fishing Resort was the best fishing game, Little King’s Story was arguably the best strategy game (or whatever hybrid genre it would classify as), Rune Factory: Frontier was one of the top ten most played games on the system for a very long time. Ju-on: The Grudge was… well, let’s not talk about that one.

DT: Why are publishers so reticent to continue publishing on platforms like PSP and Wii so quickly when those machines have huge, established audiences? What makes a platform “dead” in your eyes?

KB: It’s a combination of retailers not wanting to stock software for older platforms as they reallocate what precious little shelf space they have to software for new hardware, lower anticipated sales volume and lower sales price for each unit sold. All the excitement, and higher price points and profit margins, are with the new hardware so focus shifts quickly for both retailers and publishers. A platform isn’t truly dead until all new software ceases to release on it, which in this day of digital distribution could take a very long time.

DT: Why do you think The Last Story for Nintendo Wii was so successful for Xseed? Do you think Pandora’s Tower will match its sales?

KB: I think it was successful mainly because it was a fantastic game with a great pedigree of [Final Fantasy creator Hironobu] Sakaguchi-san and Nintendo behind the development. Informed gamers had been tracking it since its first public appearance in Japan and knew that this was a gem to add to their gaming collection. We do not expect Pandora’s Tower to match its sales as we will be even farther along the Wii’s lifecycle by the time it releases, but we do still expect a strong showing thanks to the great support from the fanbase for these JRPGs on Wii.

DT: Are there are any other Wii games that Xseed is considering publishing before leaving the system behind? Please say Captain Rainbow.

KB: I think I’ve said this before in a previous interview, but I really mean it this time when I say that I think this will be the last Wii title we publish. Of course things could change if a great Wii title were to fall upon our lap or digital distribution for that platform took off, but as of right now Pandora’s Tower will probably be our final Wii title.

DT: So… how about a localized Retro Game Challenge 2 on eShop? Please? PLEASE?!

KB: I think you’re asking the wrong people. We loved the original game so much that we really went way above our comfort zone on the investment it took to bring the game over here. It was an incredibly expensive project due to multiple IP owners and the extensive localization programming necessary as it was never intended to be sold outside of Japan. Our love for the game blinded our business reasoning as it was about three times as expensive to license as a typical DS game at the time, and it came back to bite us in the end when sales didn’t live up to our expectations. Even if the IP holder was open to us licensing the sequel, we can’t go into a project knowing that we’re going to lose money, no matter how much the gamer inside us wants to.

Full interview here

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7 total comments (View all)
User avatar
28 Jan 2013 14:01

People (some gamers) forget that it is a business. But at least these business people did not forget they are gamers. And if they can find a way to make the numbers work, sounds like they want to publish things. That is a lot better than some larger, main-line publishers.

Mike from Morgantown
User avatar
28 Jan 2013 14:02

I don't think Pandora's Tower will sell that well. It's a new IP on a dead console without any pedigree behind it and its not being published by Nintendo. Hell, it hardly got any coverage from the press and it bombed in Europe. I'm glad it's coming over though but I expect mediocre sales
User avatar
28 Jan 2013 14:17

Xseed does well walking the line between gamer and business.
No Avatar
28 Jan 2013 15:30

I originally picked up Fragile and Sky Crawlers because they looked interesting, and Little King's story because it was so heavily recommended. I'm glad I did.These are overall fantastic games. I didn't really pay attention to the publisher, but once O:R hit and XSeed became a name I was familiar with, I became a staunch fan. I picked up Fishing Resort simply because it was an Xseed title and I knew it would be a lot of fun. Seriously, don't let the name throw you off,there is so much to do and explore in this game, it's like a fishing RPG, not a casual party game title at all. I'm actually considering buying the plastic reel attachment, that's how immersive this game is. The time and effort required to port Xenoblade, The Last Story, and now Pandora's tower is greatly appreciated, and I can't express enough gratitude towards the guys and ladies of Xseed and the hard work they've put in to place amazing Wii titles on store shelves in NA.
Thank you Xseed, you've got a lifetime supporter.
User avatar
28 Jan 2013 15:51

LegendofSantiago wrote:I don't think Pandora's Tower will sell that well. It's a new IP on a dead console without any pedigree behind it and its not being published by Nintendo. Hell, it hardly got any coverage from the press and it bombed in Europe. I'm glad it's coming over though but I expect mediocre sales

Even if i want the game to sell really well (and i'm already prepare to get my copy as soon as it is release), i agree with Santiago here. I don't think this game will sell that well.

But, there is some little hope with the Wii U users, since the console can actually play Wii games. But it will also be a really small percentage from the total. All in all, i hope the game does well enough to get XSEED at least the money they invested on the localization.
User avatar
28 Jan 2013 16:11

- No more Wii games
- Hardcore Gamers are to blame for no Retro Game Challenge 2!
User avatar
30 Jan 2013 19:33

That was such a great read. I'm glad I finally got around to this one. Love XSeed.

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