Speaking to Gamasutra, members of Microsoft’s in-house development team Rare have spoken out concerning the lack of marketing Viva PiÃ±ata received on its release late last year. That’s not to say sales of the title have been catastrophic.
“I suppose we knew from the start that we were going out to the limit there, because we were going to do something different to the usual game for the 360, obviously. I don’t know if it worked out badly for us – we’ve got close to half a million sales now, so that isn’t a terrible debut for a game,” said Viva PiÃ±ata designer Justin Cook.
James Thomas, a key programmer on the title, points out that the game’s marketing budget, or lack of it, hampered sales.
“Most interestingly I think from our point of view, it was interesting to see how the marketing budget was split last Christmas, because obviously everyone knew that Microsoft were publishing Gears of War and Viva PiÃ±ata. Yet, so much of the money went towards Gears of War, which is going to sell millions anyway,” explained Thomas. “It was a bit of like, “What about the other franchise?” I think we got left in the wake somewhat.”
Microsoft certainly hasn’t abandoned the franchise, with Party Animals due out later this year on Xbox 360, alongside a PC version of Viva PiÃ±ata. Rare is also hard at work on a DS version, sure to appeal to children who have been enjoying the successful animated series.