Nintendo of America expects Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars sales to pick up over its lifespan, despite relatively low first-month US sales.
"Chinatown Wars is performing in line with AAA titles that have come to our platform like Spore or LEGO Star Wars," Nintendo's third-party relations man Steve Singer told MTV. "Those games went on to have very different life-to-date sales numbers."
The DS-exclusive action game reviewed extremely well but only notched up around 89,000 US sales in the second half of March following launch, according to NPD figures.
SEGA also ran into problems with MadWorld, which did around 66,000 US sales on the Wii, although the publisher bullishly told VentureBeat that the data was "very encouraging".
Singer pointed out to MTV that DS games often sell in odd patterns, most notably with Brain Training, which has been a continuous success, and that slow early sales are "the result of having only a limited number of M-rated games on the platform". He also brought up Call of Duty 4, which sold poorly in its first month on DS and went on to do over 500,000 units.
"I think strategically, [GTA] is a very important game because it helps send the message that great M-rated content can come to the platform and will find a home," he added.