THQ says core audience isn't on Wii, de Blob sequel on multiple platforms, Wii brand extensions coming at E3, lack of Wii online support explained
A portion of an IGN interview with Brian Farrell, CEO of THQ…
IGN: All right, let’s switch focus a bit. THQ was one of the first and biggest third-party backers of Wii and you guys gambled with original licenses like de Blob and Deadly Creatures. The latter was a T-rated game that flopped. Why do you think T and M-rated titles like these haven’t found an audience on Nintendo’s platform?
Brian Farrell: Yeah, it’s the audience. I’m glad we made the experience. Deadly Creatures was a fun experience. Critically well-reviewed. Didn’t find much of an audience and I think more of the core-gaming audience is on 360 and PS3. I know Nintendo doesn’t like that message. I’m a huge fan of Nintendo personally, but that’s just not where the audience is or the audience there is fairly limited. The old guys like me and maybe you will still play the core stuff — all the stuff we love about Nintendo on the Wii. But we don’t branch out and play some of the core experiences on the Wii. If we do, we go HD and play on PS3 or 360.
I think that’s the dynamic that’s going on. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s plenty of audience on the Wii. We’ve been concentrating more on our kids, family and casual stuff there and there is a viable business on the Wii for that stuff. It’s just not the core experiences.
IGN: So it’s safe to assume we won’t ever be seeing a version of Darksiders or anything like that on Wii?
Brian Farrell: Yeah, I won’t rule anything out. There are things that we can do. At E3, we’ll be unveiling a few things around Wii that are some brand extensions and you go, “Okay, that makes sense on Wii.” I can get that audience on the Wii. I don’t want to front-run our PR department on some things. I don’t want to rule out those things. You have to be smart about what you put on Wii from a core gamer’s standpoint. But if you look at what’s selling on Wii, it’s Nintendo’s stuff and it’s kids, family and casual. Our kids, family and casual gained a lot of share this year on the Wii with things like The Biggest Loser and Marvel Super Hero Squad, and those type of products. And that’s where the Wii consumer is.
IGN: You did announce a de Blob sequel, though. Is that coming to Wii?
Brian Farrell: Well, de Blob started its life on Wii. We’ve not announced anything yet, but obviously with a great brand like that — people love that character — taking it to other platforms, the game mechanic can be done. Actually, I prefer it on a normal controller. We’ll be branching it out to other platforms — that’s a great brand to build.
IGN: Great. So we will see it across the board then.
Brian Farrell: Absolutely.
IGN: You mention every major online platform except Wii. Why is that?
Brian Farrell: Well, we just need to have a better understanding of Nintendo’s digital strategy. If they have a robust environment for connecting for consumers, we’d be all over it, because eventually everybody is going to be connected that way. We’re not trying to ignore our partners at Nintendo — as you know, we’ve been very Nintendo friendly for years. But it’s just a matter of understanding how we can fit into their online ecosystem.