So it looks like the big Wii U game Square-Enix decided to bring over is Deus Ex: Human Revolution – a reach for the hardcore crowd if I’ve ever seen one. I do remember there being a strong campaign for Deus Ex on Nintendo platforms back in the day, but let’s face it: Nintendo fans don’t buy those kinds of hardcore games.
You know what kinds of games Nintendo fans do buy, though? Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts – both of which incidentally have HD remasters on the way. Why isn’t Square-Enix working on giving Wii U fans the experiences that Nintendo fans have already proven they love?
Final Fantasy Shares Nintendo’s DNA
Square owes its existence today to Nintendo. Had Final Fantasy not performed the way that it did when it released on NES all those years ago, the company would never have survived the 80s. Of course, they repeated that performance again in 1997 with Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation, but it’s safe to say nonetheless that Square – and Final Fantasy in particular – once had a deep connection with Nintendo. Almost half of the mainline Final Fantasy games first saw life on Nintendo platforms.
In recent years, however, most of the mainline Final Fantasy titles have been Sony-only, with the exception of the Final Fantasy XIII line, which has spanned both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Sure, a lot of this has to do with publishing agreements, but now that it’s clear that Sony-exclusivity isn’t a necessity, we still haven’t seen Square reach back out to Nintendo in the ways that matter – updating the Nintendo catalog with all the games those fans have missed out on over the years as they did for PlayStation. Instead they’ve just thrown a few bones in the form of spin-offs.
If Square-Enix wants to repair its relationship with Nintendo fans, it’d be better to start with the bread-and-butter stuff – Final Fantasy titles – not the stuff that Eidos dragged in. Why not kick off the Final Fantasy revival with the HD remake of Final Fantasy X?
Kingdom Hearts is Perfect for Nintendo’s Demographic
I never understood why Kingdom Hearts debuted on Sony platforms instead of on Nintendo. Okay, that’s actually untrue – PlayStation 2 vastly outselling GameCube is definitely the reason. But I never understood why Square-Enix limited the main console games to PS2 without at least releasing them on GameCube also – Nintendo is practically the Disney of video games, and its focus on the family-friendly market would have made Kingdom Hearts right at home on the platform.
Since the first game, however, four Kingdom Hearts titles have seen release on Nintendo platforms: Chain of Memories, 358/2 Days, re:Coded, and Dream Drop Distance – that’s over half the series. Two of those are exclusives. Yet when Square-Enix announced Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix, the perfect opportunity to introduce the main series to a wider audience on Wii U and unite Sony and Nintendo Kingdom Hearts fans for the future of the franchise, the series went right back to being a Sony exclusive… bringing much of the previously Nintendo-based story content with it.
The elephant in the room, of course, is that Kingdom Hearts hasn’t been a Sony exclusive franchise in years. Because Nintendo now has an HD platform, you’d think an HD remaster would be a no-brainer for Nintendo platforms. Guess not – Square’s passing on the chance to bring 1.5 HD Remix to Wii U, and giving us Deus Ex instead.
Nintendo Fans Will Treat You the Same Way You Treat Them
It’s as I said in my other article: if you don’t know how to treat Nintendo fans right, they’ll burn you in an instant. We’ve seen it with the Rayman Legends debacle. We’ve seen it with the massive flops of most of the late ports that made it to Wii U (while current ports managed to do pretty well by comparison). And we’ve even seen it when Nintendo fails to deliver on what fans really want from even the most prestigious titles like Zelda and Metroid.
The sad thing is, if third-parties just treated Nintendo fans the way they want to be treated instead of trying to shove the same titles they’ve rejected time and again down their throats, I think they’d find massive success. And, in the case of Wii U, Nintendo wants in on future Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts titles first and foremost.