Yesterday, Electronic Arts CEO John Ricitiello pointed to a downward turn in game sales this summer as a prime culprit in what he called a "discouraging" August kickoff for one of the "highest-rated and best-marketed Madden titles in years." Still, that didn't explain the 42 percent decline in sales for the franchise on Nintendo's console. So, we spoke with Jesse Divnich, games market analyst at EEDAR, to get his thoughts on the fairly "oh, wow"-worthy revelation.
More than anything, Divnich believes that gamers' experience with last year's game on Wii influenced their decision to not give the franchise a second shot on the system. "I believe many diehard Madden fans, who transitioned from the PS2 to the Wii, made their yearly Madden purchase in 2008 and realized that the Wii could not offer the same experience they have grown accustom to (online play, realistic graphics, in-depth team management)," he told Joystiq.
The game's motion control gameplay features -- versus the familiar DualShock 2 -- might also have been a turn-off, Divnich said, likening it to the slow acceptance of console controllers for use in first-person shooters. "Anyone introduced to the FPS category through the keyboard/mouse combination even still today refuses to accept the analog controllers as a legitimate FPS controller," he remarked.
Ultimately, though, Divnich came back to the PS2-to-Wii user's experience with last year's Madden. "Avid Madden fans have the curse of knowledge ... and they know that Madden cannot offer the same experience on the Wii as it did for the PS2."