Chinatown Wars’ slow sales due to piracy

Take-Two CEO Ben Feder recently commented on the slow sales that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has been suffering from. Given that Chinatown Wars is the most popular M-rated game on the Nintendo DS — representing 50 per cent of all M-rated game sales in the US since February — and the Nintendo DS being the most popular handheld console, it should have been a match made in heaven. However, in these cases, one question often pops up, and that’s whether or not M-rated games are made for success on the DS.

But Feder sees it from a different angle, and attributes the slow sales of the game to piracy. “The handheld market is currently challenged by weak demand and by piracy. Piracy is a real and present danger for our industry and must be addressed, especially in the handheld market. The commercial performance of Chinatown Wars has certainly suffered at the hands of piracy.”

While the Chinatown Wars’ lackluster performance on handhelds has been noted, the game has been a marvelous success on the iPhone and iPod Touch since its recent release, becoming the top grossing game on the App Store faster than you can do the Lance Vance Dance.