Another day, another company changing their support for the Wii U.
I can understand why companies may be changing their tone and support on the Wii U. The console has been out for 7 months and it really hasn’t made a dent in the public and gaming eye. With an unclear marketing campaign for the casual market, a lack of power to the gaming market, it hasn’t been going well for Nintendo on the Wii U side. I personally love my Wii U and am looking forward to not only the new releases such as Wind Waker HD, Bayonetta 2 and more on the console, but I still enjoy the games I own already. It’s a great system, but what’s going on with the third parties?
With E3, it was a big chance for Nintendo to come out and say “Hey, we know it’s been slow, but here’s our own games along with a boatload of games from other companies!”. And they did do that…to an extent. We had a small video reel in the Nintendo Direct showing off games from Eidos/Square Enix, Ubisoft, SEGA and Warner Bros. The games shown are of a high caliber, including Deus Ex, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed 4 and the next Batman and I’m happy to see these games on the system. But the next few hours after the Direct, we learnt that the once exclusive Deus Ex Directors Cut was now being released on all other consoles. It came as no surprise to me, but I was still disappointed. A few hours later, we learnt that the new Call of Duty game, Ghosts, was in fact after much speculation and rumours being released on the Wii U. When questioned about why we hadn’t heard much about the game on Wii U until now, the response was “We’re not actually talking about the Wii U yet. Because we want to keep it mysterious. That’s PR guys, that’s not my fault.” Even later on, Ubisoft said they were cutting back support and that Nintendo needs to sell more consoles to garner more support.
The punches just kept coming one after the other.
It was heartbreaking to see, I don’t want to see the system fail and I love what is on it. While I feel Nintendo may not have done the best job to really sell the console in these opening months, it hasn’t helped when third party stuff doesn’t even show up on it. We did have a fair few games from the likes of EA with Need For Speed and Mass Effect, Activision with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Zombi U from Ubisoft and more, but the problem with most of those launch games were that they were ports. Mass Effect 3 had already been out for almost a year. Call of Duty had been out for a few weeks on other consoles. Both EA and Activision stated that they weren’t happy with the results of these games on the system.
But what did they expect to happen when they launched? Most people would have already bought these games on other systems, so why buy it again? What incentive did they give us to even consider it? It just doesn’t make sense. EA even stated publicly that they had no games in development for the Wii U, with an EA Sports rep taking to Twitter, slamming the system. A few days later, they redacted their statements, claiming that they did have games in development for the system. So what is it? What did they hope to achieve by flip flopping? Their sports games that got released on the Wii U, such as Madden and FIFA had the same problem that they just didn’t sell. It was for the same reasons that Call of Duty didn’t sell. And with the announcement of FIFA 14, it’s coming to everything under the sun, including the Wii AND the PS2. THE PS2! It’s insane.
I understand that with Nintendo consoles, the problem can be that most people are just buying it for Nintendo games. I do, but if there’s a third party game that’s released on a Nintendo console, I’ll usually buy it there. I’m a fan of what comes out on there. As a Nintendo Fanboy it’s disheartening to see how the system is going right now. The Nintendo Direct helped filled me with confidence and the games coming look great, but they need to be released sooner rather than later. I really want to see not only Nintendo succeed on the Wii U but third parties. It’s not only beneficial for them, but for us as gamers. The more the merrier right?