Many studios and publishers are shunning Wii U, Nintendo’s new console, simply because it’s not powerful enough. Crytek and DICE, both of whom engineer high-tech game engines, have stated outright that their games won’t be released on the console. You can now add Avalanche Studios to that list, but not for the same reason though.
Speaking to Press Fire (translated by The Escapist), studio founder Christofer Sundberg said that the platform’s low user base and poor communication on Nintendo’s part is causing them to forego developing for Wii U. “It’s a bit sad because we wanted to do something,” he said. “I think it’s a cool platform, but right now… we want the game to reach as many [gamers] as possible.”
Sundberg also talked about communicating with Nintendo, noting that the company has always been “difficult to reach.” He pointed out Sony’s approach, stating that their communication with studios has been clear and efficient and that their enthusiasm for the new console is palpable. Simply put, the same cannot be said for Nintendo.
I would have felt bad for Nintendo if the company wasn’t so resistant to change. Their online offering on the Wii was poor at best when compared to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. They also thrive on gamers’ nostalgias by baking the same or same-ish games based on their past franchises. Also, the success of the Wii was based on a gimmick, which people are now becoming wary of.
Satoru Iwata, the company’s global president, has acknowledged the problem of Wii U sales, blaming it on consumer’s misconception of the new console as a peripheral for the Wii. He also said that the period of time between first-party game releases has been much longer than they expected.
Nintendo now faces an uphill battle when it comes to marketing the Wii U. I don’t know how they’re going to compete in the face of true next-generation hardware from Sony and Microsoft. I hope they survive because competition is always good for the industry. And also because I’d love to play more Mario!