Game Eaters

Saturday, January 14, 2006


If you did not get Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney before Christmas, and you still want it, get ready to pay double. The game has been discontinued all over the world. That means, it's no longer being distributed. Your only chance of getting it is by buying it second hand, and those copies are going for $50+ already.

Why the hell did Capcom discontinue a game that has been both critically and commercially successful, after less than three months in the market? The shops we asked were sold out, and have not received any more copies; it's not that copies were covering in dust and they decided to pull them out. Whatever the reason, it's the first uber-stupid decision of the videogame market of the year.

I have to say I was suprised it was released outside Japan, but I just can't understand why Capcom decided to pull it out of the market. Is it that they think people are not going to play games that do not require button-smashing? One of the coolest things about the DS is that there are really original and different games for it, unlike the other next-gen consoles released last year. If publishers are going to bet for the games they think people want to play, that is, sports simulators and FPS, then the videogame market is going to be extremely boring. Academic-wise, yours truly would rather go back to her Shakespeare, rather than studying Halo 35, if that's what the future of videogames will be like :'(


  • Capcom does have other DS games in the pipeline, and while Phoenix Wright seems to have done well, I think it's fair to recognize that it was an experimental release for a niche title. My guess is that they had a limited print/duplication run with Phoenix Wright and simply never devoted the budget to start a second duplication run after the title passed its predicted lifespan, thus freeing up resources for printing and promoting newer Capcom DS games. It's probably rather expensive to start another duplication run for an old title, and you only do it if you're confident that most of the copies of the second run will sell through to retail.

    Even if all the existing copies sold out, if sale rates were starting to fall off as the last copies left the shelves, Capcom may not have that sort of confidence in a second batch. However, hopefully Capcom has noticed that there is a larger market for a Phoenix Wright sequel, and will adjust their future print quotas accordingly.

    Alternatively, it's possible that Phoenix Wright is doing so incredibly well that the game is seen as hurting the revenues of other, more development-costly Capcom games like Viewtiful Joe, but I don't think this really makes sense from a shareholder point of view.

    By Blogger Philip, at 4:38 AM  

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