There's no questioning that Metroid: Other M was a good game, but sometimes quality doesn't add up to game sales. Having been released on the verge of September, its had a few months to attract fans and generate sales across the globe. However, the previously mentioned globe only managed to generate about half the sales Nintendo had been expecting! When this happens to one of your biggest title franchises, it gets people worried.
According to Nintendo, they expected the title to have over a million copies sold by the Christmas season. According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, they're on the verge of breaching about 500,000 units sold. There's no need to crunch the numbers there - it looks like they've missed their expected target by a huge percentage, but nobody seems to know why. In an interview this morning, he took a few minutes to contemplate the lack of love for the armor-clad heroine:
"We believe that it could be, should be a million unit title. We're not going to get there, not through the holiday. And we are doing a lot of thinking as to why. Because it's a great game. The consumer reaction because of the quality has been strong. We're doing a lot of thinking about why we didn't get there. I think the marketing was strong, advertising was very good, the social media we did was very positive."
With such a driving force pushing the game, it really is a good head-scratcher as to why the sales just never built up. Was it the different portrayal of Samus which drove away the die-heard fans? Had the hiatus of a strong Metroid game released for the Wii slowed the interest in a majority of gamers?
The news of a game-breaking glitch might have hindered potential buyers, as Nintendo isn't known for actively patching their releases. It's interesting to note that Other M's sales in the United States are now behind the likes of Minecraft, which breached 600,000 today. Reggie himself made it clear he wasn't blaming the development team for the lackluster sales,
"First off, [I have] nothing but the greatest respect for the development team. Mr. Sakamoto [co-creator of Metroid] did a wonderful job. His partnership with us in promoting the game was stellar. Team Ninja [is] absolutely fabulous. I'm not going to sit here and criticize a style of the game, but have I read the same feedback that said, broadly, that the portrayal of Samus felt different than how the player in the past had internalized the character? I've heard and read the same feedback. Do I think it's warranted or not? I'm not quite sure yet... I don't yet believe that that is the driving factor to the performance of the game."
It's a really surprising statistic, and one there's no obvious answer for. We're asking you, Ranters - what are your theories on the relative flop of Metroid: Other M? Have you purchased the game? If not, why not?