Wii Bundle the Best Razorblades

Bundled games entertain, mislead.
Calling Wii Play one of the best-selling games of the past two years is a huge disservice to the public. True, it's sat in the top ten list, but this is primarily a fault of the list makers. Bundled software really shouldn't count. People aren't buying Wii Play. They're buying a second controller or the console itself. The Wii just happens to ship with some playable tech demos.

Super Mario Bros. sold like gangbusters -- because it shipped with every single NES. How many sold on their own? A number very, very close to zero. Even today, "triple-A" titles like the PS3's Motorstorm sold primarly for a single overwhelming reason: bundling. Are they decent games? Sure. Would they be strong enough to stand on their own at the top of the charts? Doubtful.

Anyone who thinks bundled titles play on equal ground would have to admit this: Minesweeper is the bestselling game of all time. Is it the best game of all time? More than likely not. Is it the reason why people buy Windows? More than likely not. Do some people spend a significant amount of their time on Windows playing Minesweeper? Sure. Would Minesweeper score above, say, 70 on Metacritic? Definitely not. How many copies of Minesweeper sold on its own? A number very, very close to zero.

The argument could be made that scores don't matter. Reviews don't matter. What matters is what people play. In that case, I would say, for bundled titles, the game itself doesn't matter either. Bundled with the game platform? Sure, I'll give it a whirl. I already paid for it, apparently. I'll play anything if it's the only game I own. Minesweeper has probably been played by more people than every Super Mario Game combined. Does it mean that Minesweeper should be influencing game design and development? Probably not.

I'm waiting for the bundled shovelware games to come down for the iPhone, Android, and Kindle.

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