Ubisoft Gives Up On WiiU

Posted by Simon on August 20, 2014
Games, News

Ubisoft WiiU

For anything that isn’t Just Dance, basically.

Ubisoft’s long-delayed port of Watch Dogs is almost ready for release on the WiiU, but the megapublisher has some bad news for Nintendo owners – it will be the last mature game they ever make for the system.

Speaking to Game Informer at Gamescom, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot addressed the matter of low sales in no uncertain terms:

What we see is that Nintendo customers don’t buy Assassin’s Creed. Last year, we sold in very small numbers. What we see is that they are very interested in Just Dance, very interested by other kinds of games…so what we are trying to do is to focus more on the types of games they are interested in.

 

And then the kicker:

Watch Dogs is coming to Wii U. It will be the only mature game we publish on it.

 

By “only’, what he really means is “last” – launch title ZombiU was a Ubisoft-published title but was, and still is, horribly overlooked. It’s a fantastic game that makes interesting use of the Gamepad, and if it had had “Resident” and “Evil” in its title everyone would consider it as important as Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately, it came out at a time where the WiiU was an impossible sell due to prohibitive cost, messy marketing and tiny software library, so it got forgotten.

However, Ubisoft is also partly to blame for the WiiU struggling so much. The highly-rated Rayman Legends was meant to be a WiiU exclusive, but the publisher got cold feet and held the finished product back so that it could be released at the same time as a multi-format version. Suddenly one of the key reasons to buy the machine got removed.

Recently though, the machine is fighting back thanks to a lower price and Nintendo doing what it does best – making beautiful slices of pure escapism featuring their characteristic personality and design. Maybe the reason Ubisoft can’t sell their titles on WiiU is that Nintendo fans want more than shooting, stabbing and murder; if they dared to vary their AAA output, they might see their WiiU sales improve. However, it looks like we won’t find out, as Ubisoft seem to have followed EA’s lead and completely turned their back on the whole machine. Hopefully the strengths of the WiiU will carry it through.

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