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Thread: Data Design Interactive - Taking Shovelware to the Extreme

  1. #1
    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Default Data Design Interactive - Taking Shovelware to the Extreme

    Okay, so this one's kind of borderline on Classic and Modern Gaming. This company got its greatest infamy on the Wii, but it's been about 13 years now and the company itself has been out of business for over 8 years.

    Apparently, this company published dozens of Wii games around 2007-2008, a May 27, 2008 article stated that they'd published 62 Wii games in less than a year - that's more than one a week. They were founded in 1983 and seem to have been a respectable developer in the '80s and '90s, but in their last years were a company that made games so bad and so numerous that they made LJN look like a master game developer who put lots of care and thought into their games. DDI's games weren't "a mixed bag", they weren't "mediocre", these were games that almost invariably got 0's, 1's, 2's, and maybe a lucky 3 on occasion on 0-10 scales. Think Superman 64 bad.

    Their most well-known take a Wii is Ninjabread Man, launched in fall 2007, and if it looked several years old when it hit store shelves, it was: it started life as a PS2 game that looked bad even by the standards of that console. And they copied it. A lot. And that's how DDI made its business. Make one shitty game that takes less than an hour to beat, and put a few different coats of paint on it. BAM! A few different games. I've never seen another company try to do this, at least to nearly the scale DDI did.

    I'm lucky that my mom never got ripped off by DDI. She has an eye for quality and prefers paying more for something good, and hates cheap junk. So, I never got DDI games, though I did get a Wii the first Christmas it was out. I was also a teenager when DDI was crapping all over the Wii library, and many of their games were marketed to kids. So, people a few years younger than me, born in the late '90s and early '00s, probably got it worst in regards to DDI. I'd love to hear from them.

    Please, watch Rerez's video over DDI, it's hilarious and very informative.

    Rerez' video on DDI:
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

  2. #2
    Alex (Level 15) Custom rank graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    I've never seen another company try to do this, at least to nearly the scale DDI did.
    Color Dreams comes to mind, sort of when they rereleased a few of their games on the NES with altered graphics under the new name Wisdom Tree.

    I remember seeing Ninjabread Man in stores back when the Wii was still current, it was always a budget title in discount bins of giant retailers so there was no way of mistaking it as a hidden gem or top quality game. Most people would have known what they were buying, basically a cheap discount game to give their young kids to play. It really gave a "this name is cool but I'm sure it's crap" type of vibe.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    Color Dreams comes to mind, sort of when they rereleased a few of their games on the NES with altered graphics under the new name Wisdom Tree.
    I give them a little bit of a pass since at least they were rebranding their games for a totally new market -- almost like localizing them differently for different countries, as with the Crazy Castle series and so forth.

    Another example of cynical shovelware is that series of racing games on the PS1, each of which was actually 1/4 of a Nuon game split into 4 different titles. I own Miracle Space Race, haven't tried the others.

    That Rerez video was amusing! I don't normally gravitate to that in-your-face style but it works quite well for the subject, and is done well here.

    I wonder at what point reskinning a game and selling it under a different name constitutes fraud? Seems like DDI avoided that line as there are differences in level design and so forth, but if you put out the exact same game with a different skin, I wonder if you could get in trouble.

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