Here is another article lamenting of the poor sales of Zak and Wiki on the Wii, courtesy of Blend Games.
Since many here at Videolamer have also advocated everyone to buy the game, I appreciate Blend’s promotion, as well as their warning that the game is starting to vanish from some shelves already. But now I am here to tell you that I did not buy Zak and Wiki yet, and I do not feel very bad about it. Or rather, I am not sure if I should.
You see, supporting the best of the lesser known releases during a year is a responsibility I take a little too seriously, often buying a game just for the initial sales number regardless of how much I may like it. Last year alone I picked up Odin Sphere, The Red Star, King of Fighters XI, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, and Persona 3, none of which sold nearly as well as they should have, but have all turned out to be very good games in their own ways.
But when Zak and Wiki rolled around, I had no job, and couldn’t afford it. Then a job came, and I had bills to pay. Then the bills were semi-cleared, and the holidays rolled around with a boatload of good games to try out. Zak and Wiki had one glimmer of hope of being bought in ’07, and it was squashed once KOF XI got a concrete release in November. Now it is early ’08 and I have no reason to be buying new games for a very long time. Zak and Wiki will have to wait much longer, possibly until it is too late.
It is asinine to feel bad about not buying a game, and yet that is how I feel. Did I really have to support a bumbling company like SNK twice in a year? Did I really have to buy Odin Sphere just because its 2d graphics were pretty? Most importantly, why the hell did the guy who dislikes Final Fantasy spend thirty bucks on FF12 in a tin case? The answers to these questions all boil down to one principle; Capcom could not meet me halfway. I knew what I was getting from SNK’s games. I knew that Red Star would be a good old school game. Hell, I even figured out that Odin Sphere might have an interesting combat system when it got a few glances by the mainstream gaming press. As for FF12, I am afraid that anything blessed by the hands on Matsuno becomes a must buy for me.
With Zak and Wiki, I knew nothing. Hell, I didn’t even know of its existence until two weeks before the release. I didn’t know just how much of an adventure game it was until reading this article from Blend Games. Capcom put no weight behind this game, which is criminal considering they had the means to do so. Instead I had to rely on my favorite indie sites and word of mouth among friends to learn anything about the game, which is not a bad thing, but isn’t always reliable or timely (I know most of the VL writers were busy as hell in the year’s final stretch). If Capcom did more to make me want this game, I am positive it would be in my library.
No matter what, we should do our best to spread the word about this game, and I can at least ride on the coattails of others (“I didn’t buy it but my friends did”). At the same time we should continue to pursue the games we want most, while also realizing that, for now, one small budget game’s failure will not be the catalyst for the Wii minigame rush. Supporting smaller games is a great way to help the industry and stay entertained, but we cannot place the full burden on each of our selves.