Wii Fanboy Interview: Hudson's Mike Samachisa on Deca Sports

As you all know, we've had our eye on Deca Sports for quite some time. It really looks like a fun compilation of sports. But, to sway any doubt about the game's excellence that we may have had lingering around in our mind, Mike Samachisa, the head of Hudson Entertainment's console division, answered some of our questions regarding the game.

Why wasn't Wi-Fi support added? What made them go with this collection of sports? What sports did they have to cut? Which is better: Wii Sports or Deca Sports?

Head on past the break to get a better idea for what the present and future holds for Hudson's Deca Sports game.


Why localize to North America? Did you feel the product would be more successful in North America or Japan? Which audience do you think is better suited to the game?

Actually, Deca Sports is launching worldwide and it's perfect for a global release since the sports in the game are played around the world. Of the ten sports in the game, five are in the Summer Olympics, three are in the Winter Olympics, and two are X–Games-like events. Through our focus groups in all three territories we found that the sports included were not only fun and easy to pick up and play, but also in some instances, rare. Sports such as badminton, curling, figure skating, and archery were surprising favorites.

The parallels have already been drawn between your game and Wii Sports. Do you feel one offers something the other doesn't? Would you find your product superior to Nintendo's sports collection?

Everyone is a big fan of Wii Sports at Hudson. But what we found is that the game left many people hungry for more. Going back to those early focus groups we found that fans of Wii Sports wanted more sports and a greater single player component. We focused on building upon the fun of Wii Sports multiplayer and delivering to that demand.

Do you hope this will topple Wii Sports as the go-to sports collection, or go-to game overall, on the Wii?

We'd be very happy to be placed next to Wii Sports on a consumer's shelf.

Another game that Deca Sports is compared to is Mario Kart. Why did you decide to include the kart racing in your game and do you think it compares to Nintendo's game?

Man, you keep bringing up all these great games! Besides being insanely fun to play, Kart Racing balances Deca Sports out. Let me explain. Deca Sports revolves around team events. There are eight teams inside the game that are composed of five players, each with their own attributes. Some players do better in power sports such as Basketball and Volleyball, others are better at speed sports like Supercross and Kart Racing. Having events like Kart Racing really adds to the variety and overall decathlon experience you're getting in the game.

What other sports did they originally consider but didn't make the cut? How many total sports are in Deca Sports?

Wow, if I could only tell you the list. I'd love to talk about these more but we're already thinking about the possibility of a sequel in which we might include some of those sports.

What different control methods did you test out for Football (Soccer)? What was the biggest challenge there?

Soccer is one of three sports inside Deca that require the nunchuk and Wii Remote. We found that players needed the second peripheral to really be able to control the players on the field, on the court for Basketball, and on the ice for Figure Skating. With two controllers in your hand, you have complete command over your players as they move around and, in sports such as Soccer and Basketball, it makes it very easy to switch back and forth between players on your team.

Due to the competitive nature of sports in general, why didn't you include Nintendo Wi-Fi support for competition online? Wouldn't stat-tracking and playing games with your friends and strangers online be the perfect fit for Deca Sports?

We completely agree! At the time of development, this option was not open to us. Be sure to look for this in any future iterations of the game.

Finally, what is your favorite sport in Deca Sports and why?

I hope my friends don't read this. It's a toss up between Figure Skating and Curling. Figure Skating is really fun because you get to skate around, do spins, axels, etc. to music, and not have to worry about falling down on the cold, hard ice, which I would totally do in real life. Curling is an awesome party game to have friends over and play. The controls, like the other sports in Deca, reflect what people do when actually playing the sport. Bowlers and sweepers react very nicely and intuitively to the controls of the Wii Remote. I was surprised at how much I liked both of these games, though I don't think you'll see me out on the ice doing flips or sliding giant granite stones anytime soon.

Thanks for your time, Mike!

For exclusive screens of Deca Sports, be sure to visit our gallery. For more information on Deca Sports, try the archives or Hudson's official website.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.