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How Big N gets Into Trouble

Articles / Gamecube/Nintendo
Date: Jan 14, 2014 - 07:38 AM
Eurogamer's got quite the story - the Secret Developers have taken a look into the pitfalls of developing for the WiiU, because apparently there are still programmers with enough of a masochist streak to do so.

But what about the rest of the world? How had other development studios faired? The story of what happened next is pretty well documented in the gaming press, but I'd like to highlight some interesting points that have been on my mind recently. Firstly, third-party support. Do you remember all the hype surrounding the Wii U launch? All those third parties showing videos of existing games that they were going to bring to the Wii U? Whatever happened to a lot of those games?

After the initial flurry of game titles a lot of the studios quietly backed away from their initial statements and announced, with minimal press, that they were in fact not going to make a Wii U version. The reasons behind a particular title not appearing on the Wii U are all pure speculation, but I personally think that a combination of:

Previous development experience using the toolchain and hardware put off development teams from making another title on Wii U.

  • The technical and feature support from Nintendo were lacking for third-party studios. There was a feeling internally that if you weren't a first-party development studio, you were largely ignored by Nintendo, as we were superficial to their profits. Internally developed titles would save Nintendo and we were just there to add depth to the games catalogue.

  • The sales figures for the Wii U console were not looking that good soon after launch. There was a lot of confusion in the general population around the launch as most people thought that the Wii U was some kind of add-on to the Wii, they didn't know that it was a new console. This lack of awareness probably contributed to the console not getting off to the start that Nintendo would have hoped and put off studio from developing on the hardware.

  • Same old Nintendo - you'd think they would learn something from previous console launches and their previous third-party exodus problems...

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