Nintendo Wii: Sims Creator Believes ‘Wii Belongs In Toy Market’

Will Wright, the successful games developer behind the renowned Sims franchise has spoken openly about the Wii’s place in the video game market and publishers difficulties on the platform at GDC 10.

“I think the Wii is a very unique platform, and that’s kind of its core value. That’s why it’s been so successful – because it’s pretty clearly different than the Xbox or the PlayStation. I think the Wii provides very fun experiences for the most part, but it’s kind of a different level of experience; it’s not like these 40-hour involved RPG games as much as it is like these fun toys to pick up and start playing in five minutes. And it’s really fun with a group of people sitting around… It really is more into what I would call the toy market, because most of the Wii games I’ve enjoyed felt more like toys than like games.”

Wright continued, talking about the now clearly longer console cycle the industry is in: “But in a broader sense, I think that whole model [has changed]. We’ve gotten very predictable in terms of when the next console generation is coming along – it was usually on a 4-year cycle and then it was in a transition cycle… but that’s been shattered. I don’t think this will necessarily be the last console generation we’ll see, but I don’t think it’s going to be this clockwork-like, predictable business that it had been. I think the fact that people are struggling on the Wii in a business sense isn’t necessarily indicative of the Wii. What we’ll be seeing going forward is that the console businesses will each have a very specifically defined niche. And Nintendo is just about the only manufacturer that invests in much as software as they do in hardware – or probably even more in software than hardware actually. So it’s always been a very unique platform in that sense because the biggest competitor as soon as you go into that market is always going to be Nintendo.”

We followed up by asking Wright about developers or publishers feeling somewhat limited in making Wii games if they can’t build core experiences on the console. He responded, “I think it’s the direction that Nintendo chose to go down. I think if you have a hardcore gamer that’s 22 years old and he wants to play a first-person shooter, he’s going to go buy an Xbox to play Halo. Microsoft has done a great job of covering that market. So Nintendo said, ‘Ok, we’re not going to go head-to-head with that.’ So Nintendo decided to lean younger and they took the industry in a really interesting direction, where we have games appearing on the Wii that people never would have dreamed of five years ago. And that broadened the market in really interesting ways. I think it’s kind of cool that they decided to go off and find a different sandbox to play in; I think it’s been very good for the industry.”

– Will Wright, game designer and co-founder of  EA Maxis



  1. He makes good points, but he fails to see all the really successful hardcore Wii games. I think he should try to make a good game on the Wii, and show developers that it’s not a toy.

    1. Yeah, everyone knows a 10 year old kid likes to bang hookers in GTA and blow peoples heads off in Battlefield…

  2. haha halo is old news, if they want a shooter, they’d go for bioshock or some Modern Warfare/COD game.

    Games are toys….. Toys are things that entertain you or educate you. I didn’t think games were made for other reasons.

    Also, coming from the head of a cheap ripoff video games company, it’s just as bad as that other guy saying Nintendo sucks.

    Seriously, why even bother complaining? It just shows desperateness.

  3. Alright guys, lemme start off by saying I’ve only owned Nintendo products since the SNES & purchased each new console/handheld. So I support Nintendo.

    I do say, however, if it weren’t for Fire Emblem & Mario/Mario Kart, I most likely would buy a 360
    Why, you ask? Although the Wii does do what it does rather well, it’s not well enough.
    With Nintendo constantly shelling out poor excuses for games like ‘Wii Music’ & ‘Wii Fit’ (games more like toys that you pick up only now & then) it’s hard for a hardcore gamer to keep interested.
    I don’t buy a 360 simply bcause I don’t have the money.
    I think a lot of you fanboys are rather closed minded & need to at least admit that there is some truth to the Wii being casual

  4. What is wrong with Wii being a casual console? I think what most you “fanboys” or “hardcore gamers” fail to see is that if we cant get people who are “casual” gamers to pick up a video game, we will be stuck with a generation of gamers that will eventually die out. Bringing in casual gamers expands the game industry and attracts the new generation of kids and adults who are too frighten to pick up a console such as the PS3 or 360 because they think they wouldnt know how to play the game.

    And just so you know, Nintendo has always insisted that their consoles are “toys” from a game designer stand point; Nintendo has succeeded in what we all failed to do; create a new generation of gamers for the future.

    1. If your main focus is ‘casual’ then more power to you, but if that’s Nintendo’s goal (I want proof of Nintendo saying their consoles are toys, too. I think you pulled that out of your ass) then, imo, they could do better at it.
      Unless Nintendo steps up & picks a side, casual or hardcore, then my loyalty is inevitably going to shift

  5. -1 respect


    Dear Will, please find someone to give you the money to create the real Spore. And stop talking about consoles.

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