Product recognition is more important to consumers of Wii software than game quality, according to analyst Michael Pachter.
The Wedbush Morgan analyst told Gamasutra that the Wii consumer doesn’t care how games compare to those on other systems, and is willing to buy games based on the brand name alone. “The Wii audience isn’t sophisticated enough to know whether the game they’re buying compares favourably to, say, Gears of War or LittleBigPlanet, because they probably don’t own an Xbox 360 or a PS3,” he said.
So, is he saying that Wii gamers dont know the difference between a crappy game and an awesome one?
“They buy the Wii games that they buy for the same reason that people go to McDonald’s. McDonald’s doesn’t win a lot of restaurant critic awards but they are approachable, they’re consistent, and you know what they’re going to serve you.”
“Nintendo has become the fast food machine. Sony is very much the high-end restaurant. And Microsoft is somewhere in between,” he added.
If a game’s cover, name or concept is readily apparent, that can be enough to convince a consumer to pay out for the title, Pachter said.
“If the concept is right, if the recognition factor is there, if you ‘get it’ from what’s on the box, sometimes the game doesn’t even have to be that good in order for it to sell.”