Ubisoft pissed off a lot of Nintendo fanboys when they announced that the previously Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends was going multiplatform. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemont told Games Industry International today that the decision to bring Legends to Xbox 360 and PS3 was made after Ubisoft’s high profile Wii U launch title, ZombiU, failed to turn a profit.
According to Guillemont, Rayman Legends was turned into a multiplatform title to “ensure the creativity of those games could have a big enough audience.”
Unlike most other third party publishers, Ubisoft isn’t ready to give up on the Wii U just yet. “”We hope it will take off,” Guillemont said, adding “”At the moment, we’ve said, ‘Let’s do through Christmas and see where we are from there.'” Ubisoft will be releasing several Wii U games this holiday season, including Rayman Legends and a port of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
Ubisoft has been one of the few Western third parties to thrive on Nintendo platforms: while other publishers struggled to find an audience on the original Wii, Ubisoft managed to thrive on the platform thanks to casual hits like Just Dance and the Rayman Raving Rabbids series. Unfortunately, it seems like the company has been unable to replicate that success on the Wii U, as Guillemont revealed today that ZombiU was a bomb and the company has no plans to create a sequel for divisive Wii U launch title.
Several other major publishers and developers, most notably EA, have publicly stated that they have no plans to support of the Wii U this holiday season in light of the system’s poor sales since its launch late last year. Nintendo says they have no one to blame but themselves for the Wii U’s lackluster performance, but Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is confident that they’ll be able to turn their latest console’s fortunes around with a strong line-up of first party sequels this Fall.
It seems like every time the Wii U comes up it’s always in relation to bad news, and personally, I’m still surprised that Nintendo hasn’t simply dropped the price on the Wii U yet — a massive price drop managed to turn the 3DS from a flop into a success in a matter of months, and it’s weird that Nintendo isn’t using that proven strategy to save their ailing console. Perhaps they still think that the promise of Mario Kart and Smash Bros. in 2014 will be enough to move some systems this holiday season, but I have a hard time picturing anybody buying a Wii U when the deluxe package costs only $50 less than a PS4.
Earlier this year, Ubisoft exec Alan Corre stated that he thinks the Wii U needs a price drop before it can become a success.
I’m still hoping that Nintendo will announce a price drop at Tokyo Game Show, because I don’t see how the Wii U will remain relevant this holiday season without one — it’s a shame too, because I played a lot of fun and promising Wii U titles at E3 this year, and those games may get overlooked if Nintendo doesn’t re-evaluate the console’s situation soon.