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Okami was released on the wrong console at the wrong time

Okami producer on why it flopped

Okami is one of the best games on the Wii but it was a flop when it was originally released on PlayStation 2. With Okamiden just a few months away, Capcom producer Motohide Eshiro has told Official Nintendo Magazine why such a critically acclaimed game didn't do the business.

According to Eshiro, launching the game when the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were announcing new consoles may have been a mistake.

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"I can't comment officially but, personally speaking, I think it had a lot to do with the announcements for new consoles," said Eshiro. "That was overshadowing any other game news at the time."

Hopefully more people will buy Okamiden. It certainly deserves a huge audience. As we said in our Okamiden preview in the new issue of Official Nintendo Magazine, "If this doesn't sell, there's something incurably wrong with the world."

You can read the full Okamiden preview and Motohide Eshiro interview in the February issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. Click here to buy a copy and get it delivered direct to your door, or even better, subscribe and get Monster Hunter Tri.

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  1. SoulSilver IV Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 10:19

    See, I really want to buy Okamiden, but with the 3DS and Pokemon White on the way, I simply can't afford it. :(

  2. Kooper Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 10:27

    According to Eshiro, launching the game when the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were announcing new consoles may have been a mistake.


    And with PSP2 being announced next week they're doing the exact same thing for Okamiden - even down to it being a handheld game...

  3. ChrisONM Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 10:51

    According to Eshiro, launching the game when the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were announcing new consoles may have been a mistake.


    And with PSP2 being announced next week they're doing the exact same thing for Okamiden - even down to it being a handheld game...


    3DS says hello :wink:

  4. bananaoomarang Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 10:56

    Th PSP2 is supposed to be announced this week, then the 3DS is out the same month. They've made the same mistake then...

  5. Imperfect_Dark Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 11:14

    It seems stupid to me - talking about releasing the original at the wrong time and then releasing the sequel in the same month as the 3DS!

    As much as it saddens me to say it, I can't help feeling Okamiden is doomed to follow in Okami's footsteps...

    Still, that's not gonna stop me from buying it! :D

  6. Kooper Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 11:59

    According to Eshiro, launching the game when the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo were announcing new consoles may have been a mistake.


    And with PSP2 being announced next week they're doing the exact same thing for Okamiden - even down to it being a handheld game...


    3DS says hello :wink:


    Sure, I just assumed it was a prerequisite for anyone being on this forum that they knew 3DS was coming!

  7. imbusydoctorwho Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 13:18

    I'd would have like to get Okami for the Wii but it was hard to buy so that's why I'm putting this straight and getting Okamiden.
    And it's rather strange how they put it on the PS2 at the wrong time when the 3ds is on the horizon it makes you wonder .

  8. fisher2007 Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 13:36

    haven't play Okami wii but i may get Okamiden DS.

  9. Raien Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 14:32

    Two points:

    1) Okami was a flop on the Wii too, during the height of the Wii's success.

    2) The Minecraft alpha alone has far outsold Okami without any commercial advertising whatsoever.

    The developer's argument is clearly wrong, and I'm surprised that ONM are carrying water for it when even Kotaku, who also love the game, were quick to point out the logic flaws in it.

    There's a much more simple reason why Okami flopped; nobody wanted to play a game about a wolf with a disk floating on its back and a magic paintbrush.

    There are concepts so powerful that they endure the test of time, like knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. Okami advertises none of those concepts; there is nothing obvious about the game that appeals to the imagination at all.

    Okamiden has those same problems, but it also adds some new ones, like the increased cuteness, forced touch screen controls and a moving 3D camera that always makes things difficult on handhelds.

    I know ONM want this game to succeed because they liked Okami, but please don't kid yourself. It's probably going to sell worse than Okami.

  10. Mart2006 Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 18:45

    Ironic.

  11. wombat samurai Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 19:26

    Okami was indeed released at the wrong time. That is to say that if it had been out ten years earlier it might have been interesting.

  12. Bonampak Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 19:57

    Two points:

    1) Okami was a flop on the Wii too, during the height of the Wii's success.

    2) The Minecraft alpha alone has far outsold Okami without any commercial advertising whatsoever.

    Okami was never truly advertised. Capcom relied on the 'word-of-mouth' strategy. Sven from Capcom said it himself.

    Basically, Capcom thought it was a good idea to do the whole "Minecraft Alpha" strategy. But alas, games sold at RETAIL STORES are a different ball game. If you don't advertise the game, you can't complain because it fails to sell.

    On the Wii, you simply cannot do that. Less so because you got a user base that is so diverse in their taste and less predictable than the user base that the PS3 or 360 has (mostly core).

    There's a much more simple reason why Okami flopped; nobody wanted to play a game about a wolf with a disk floating on its back and a magic paintbrush.

    No, the problem with Okami (speaking as someone that actually played it), was that it was so painfully slow. There was a TON of text to read. Any action require you to go through a lot of text dialogue boxes. I mean, the game sure is beautiful. But the gameplay just drains the fun away.

  13. Mmmyeah Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 21:02

    I'd would have like to get Okami for the Wii but it was hard to buy so that's why I'm putting this straight and getting Okamiden.
    And it's rather strange how they put it on the PS2 at the wrong time when the 3ds is on the horizon it makes you wonder .

    i am guessing from your profile picture you have played okami on the ps2. BRILLIANT isnt it? i would definately recommend the wii one though. it is my 3rd favourite wii game, behind the two galaxy games.

    i don't think i will be able to afford a 3ds, but i will probably get okamiden. behind skyward sword it is my second most anticipated game.

  14. EdDeRs1 Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 21:35

    Two points:

    1) Okami was a flop on the Wii too, during the height of the Wii's success.

    2) The Minecraft alpha alone has far outsold Okami without any commercial advertising whatsoever.

    The developer's argument is clearly wrong, and I'm surprised that ONM are carrying water for it when even Kotaku, who also love the game, were quick to point out the logic flaws in it.

    There's a much more simple reason why Okami flopped; nobody wanted to play a game about a wolf with a disk floating on its back and a magic paintbrush.

    There are concepts so powerful that they endure the test of time, like knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. Okami advertises none of those concepts; there is nothing obvious about the game that appeals to the imagination at all.

    Okamiden has those same problems, but it also adds some new ones, like the increased cuteness, forced touch screen controls and a moving 3D camera that always makes things difficult on handhelds.

    I know ONM want this game to succeed because they liked Okami, but please don't kid yourself. It's probably going to sell worse than Okami.


    have u ever noticed that your a bit of, what us in the buisness call, a mainstreme jerk

  15. smashbrosrox Monday 24th Jan 2011 at 22:04

    Hasn't Okamiden done decently in Japan?

    I bought Okami Wii for full price and didn't touch it for a while, I did love the game but I can't see myself picking up Okamiden right away. Although, I do want it...I'm just fairly poor.

  16. imbusydoctorwho Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 00:05

    I'd would have like to get Okami for the Wii but it was hard to buy so that's why I'm putting this straight and getting Okamiden.
    And it's rather strange how they put it on the PS2 at the wrong time when the 3ds is on the horizon it makes you wonder .

    i am guessing from your profile picture you have played okami on the ps2. BRILLIANT isnt it? i would definately recommend the wii one though. it is my 3rd favourite wii game, behind the two galaxy games.

    i don't think i will be able to afford a 3ds, but i will probably get okamiden. behind skyward sword it is my second most anticipated game.


    I haven't played it :oops: still been trying to get it on Wii but it's hard to find.
    But Okamiden is one of my most hyped games of the year so that's why the avatar.

  17. dizzy boy Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 00:16

    okami is boring, that`s why it didn`t sell.
    just goes to prove that good graphics can`t sell games after all.

  18. Raien Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 12:34

    Basically, Capcom thought it was a good idea to do the whole "Minecraft Alpha" strategy. But alas, games sold at RETAIL STORES are a different ball game. If you don't advertise the game, you can't complain because it fails to sell.

    Wait, why are games sold at retail stores a different ball game? The nature of word-of-mouth advertising isn't affected by it.

    No, the problem with Okami (speaking as someone that actually played it), was that it was so painfully slow. There was a TON of text to read. Any action require you to go through a lot of text dialogue boxes. I mean, the game sure is beautiful. But the gameplay just drains the fun away.

    I've played Okami too and I agree with this. Certainly anyone who watched gameplay videos or played a friend's game would have seen these problems. The reason why I focused on the game's concept/world is that this is often what people look at to decide their purchases. Think about how many people said they refused to play Zelda Wind Waker because of the cutesy graphic style alone; the nature of the virtual world is vital to a player's experience.

    have u ever noticed that your a bit of, what us in the buisness call, a mainstreme jerk

    If Okami fans don't care about what the mainstream thinks, then why do they go on and on about the game not selling? Why do they have to make up bad excuses for it? If you're going to keep making up reasons why Okami didn't sell, you're going to keep inviting people like me to tell you, "No, Okami flopped because it wasn't fun."

  19. Butler Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 14:13

    The original Okami was an amazing game, the plot was interesting and the whole game oozed imagination.

    It hooked me from beginning to end - great plot, fantastic characters/locations and innovative gameplay. I can't believe poeple found it boring - please give the developer some well-deserved positive feedback! To say it lacked imagination is insulting and not true!

    I personally would love to buy the sequel if it is released on the Wii. I won't buy a DS just to play the game.

  20. Kirby8 Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 17:46

    Agree. They made the same mistake.

  21. sciqueen Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 19:52

    Argh, why is it being released at the same time as Pokemon and 3DS then?! I would gladly wait a few months more when everyone has a 3DS and realise they can play DS games on it. I really want Okamiden to do well because I don't want the series to stop.

    I love Okami. The drawing was awkward at first (Mr.Orange's Blossom Dance!!!) but you got used to it and then it felt natural. So much love and care was put into what I think is an excellent game and it deserves commercial success so we can have more sequels. You're right that playing as a wolf god isn't obviously attention-grabbing but I think it worked well. I for one am glad that someone went down the original route for a change because I can't think of many adventure games where the protagonist is an animal and you get sucked into their world and really care about saving it.

  22. Phoenix Wright Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 21:52

    okami is boring, that`s why it didn`t sell.
    just goes to prove that good graphics can`t sell games after all.

    Nope, you're wrong. :P

  23. SunnyIsland Tuesday 25th Jan 2011 at 22:53

    The original okami was extremely hard to get into because of the long-winded introduction. The game is most suited to those who are patient enough to get past around 40 minutes of boring cutscenes and gameplay, and that's why I think it wasn't a success.

    I'm not sure how different or similar okami wii and okamiden are to the original, but if the introduction is as painful as the first then I'm not sure that they will do well either. And as many people rightly said, with the likes of PSP2, Pokemon and 3DS coming out it'll be a very competitive market.

  24. dizzy boy Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 at 03:39

    okami is boring, that`s why it didn`t sell.
    just goes to prove that good graphics can`t sell games after all.

    Nope, you're wrong. :P


    Nope, I find that my first statement was 100% corect to beggin with.
    I've played the game, therefore, I know what I said was true.
    After reading through the above comments, it seems most people tend to agree.

  25. Golden Knight Wednesday 26th Jan 2011 at 20:02

    "Okami didn't sell because of announcements for new consoles and other game news"

    Logically then, Okamiden is released at the same time as the 3DS.

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