wiiupro-controller

Nintendo Fans are Too Smart to Buy Third-Party AAA Games

This is a staff response piece to this week’s “Weekend Wondering” community poll question: “Weekend Wondering: Should Nintendo Change For Third Party Developers?” Feel free to share your own thoughts on the subject in the comments!

The relationship between third party developers and Nintendo has been kind of a tense one in recent years. No matter how many times people claim that Nintendo fans really do want “hardcore” experiences on Nintendo platforms, the sales never seem to stack up. The latest case study: Wii U.

Touted as the most third-party friendly Nintendo platform since the SNES, Wii U had a bunch of third-party games at launch. Sure, most of them were late ports, but as I’ve said before, most gamers (believe it or not) are actually single-console gamers. Opening up a new can of games that Nintendo fans have never had the chance to play should work like a charm, no?

So why didn’t these games sell on Wii U? Here’s a theory: what if it’s not about Nintendo fans not wanting to play anything that doesn’t come from Nintendo? What if it’s more about Nintendo fans being too smart to be duped by third-parties’ efforts to sell them on the same games that already failed to draw them to other platforms?

Those two statements may sound similar at first glance, but there’s a subtle difference. The first statement implies that Nintendo fans have no interest in anything that doesn’t have the Nintendo brand on it. However, it seems pretty clear that that’s not the case. Even Wii, which was heavily stigmatized for its apparent lack of third-party successes, actually saw more third-party game sales than competing consoles in its first 18 months on sale.

Meanwhile, Nintendo DS has always managed a fairly high ratio of third-party sales versus first-party sales, and the best-selling Wii games of 2010, 2011, and 2012 weren’t even first-party. They were the last three entries in the Just Dance franchise.

So it’s not that third-party stuff can’t sell on Nintendo platforms. The problem has to lie somewhere else. Let’s look back at some of the best-selling third-party games on other Nintendo consoles and see if we can determine any kind of pattern.

The NES Era: Arcade-Style and RPGs

mega-man-2NES sales figures often don’t seem impressive in hindsight, as very few games managed to break even three million copies. One has to remember, however, that in the NES era, the gaming audience was much smaller than it is now. Games were just breaking out in popularity, and even the best-known games of the time weren’t nearly as well-known as the brands of today.

The NES carved itself out as a home console that brought the fun of the arcades into your living room. Early games for the system actually included a strong lineup of arcade ports, including Donkey Kong, the original Mario Bros., Ghosts’n Goblins, Xevious, and others. Even the standout originals like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid carried over a strong arcade-like feeling.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the best and best-selling games on the system were the games that delivered on that arcade-like style. Best-sellers included Tetris (published by Nintendo), the Mega Man series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Duck Tales, and Bomberman. This era also saw the rise of console RPGs following the success of The Legend of Zelda, including the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games.

The SNES Era: The Arcade Evolves

Of all Nintendo’s historical game consoles, SNES was the one whose image stuck closest to its predecessor. SNES worked hard to continue the arcade-style legacy of the NES, albeit with higher-powered graphics and more possibilities for gameplay thanks to added buttons for its controller. Because it worked hard to establish itself as an upgrade system for NES owners, it emphasized arcade values in a similar fashion.

Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, and the Donkey Kong Country franchise carried on the legacy of Super Mario Bros.; The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past aimed to return to the standard top-down style established by the first game; Star Fox represented Nintendo’s entry into the on-rails space shooter genre.

And, as one might expect, the third parties followed. Capcom brought its arcade Street Fighter franchise and created a Ghosts’n Goblins sequel, while Rare supplemented the same crowd with the breakout Killer Instinct series. For the RPG niche, Square and Enix continued to pump out Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy titles and developed new games like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana to supplement the genre with new experiences.

The N64 Era: The Dawn of 3D

The main characteristic of the Nintendo 64 era was its use of powerful 3D visuals and worlds. While many third-party companies fled to PlayStation to make use of the more PC-like architecture and expanded possibilities offered by the switch to CD format, our previous pattern remains true: third-party publishers were successful as long as they embraced the needs and wants of the Nintendo 64 audience.

b-k-n64For N64, that meant games that were pioneers in the world of 3D gaming. Super Mario 64 was seen as revolutionary, and Rare quickly tried to capture the same magic with Banjo-Kazooie. We even saw some of the 3D platformers emerging on PlayStation emulate Super Mario 64‘s approach, including Spyro the Dragon and the more linear Crash Bandicoot, and Nintendo lost a bunch of its market share as would-be fans migrated to its competitor to play these games.

Other N64 success stories include GoldenEye 007 and later Perfect Dark, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and the new Turok franchise.

The GameCube Era: No Love for Nintendo

There’s not a whole lot to say about the GameCube era. Nintendo seemed to realize that many of their potential customers had chosen PlayStation the generation before, and so they worked hard to change their image to attract the PlayStation crowd. That meant trying to come off as “innovative” and “up-to-date” with the trendiest technologies, including dual-analog sticks, analog triggers, and fancy disc-based media and memory cards, as well as shifts in many of their franchise’s images, including Mario, Zelda, and Metroid.

Most of these shifts wound up taking an unfavorable turn for Nintendo. The GameCube controller, while popular among fans, saw lots of criticism, as did the console’s portable “lunchbox” design. Mini-discs were seen as inferior to the larger, more standardized DVD format. And most of Nintendo’s “innovative” gameplay and visual experiments, bar Metroid Prime, didn’t do anything to invigorate sales.

Interestingly enough, however, the third parties who signed on to Nintendo’s “capture the PlayStation audience” strategy actually did quite well, specifically GameCube’s plentiful Resident Evil installments as well as Soulcalibur II. Of course, since Nintendo’s strategy wound up failing, GameCube sales lagged behind their PS2 counterparts.

The Wii Era: Revolutionizing Play

When Wii was first announced, it was called the “Revolution.” And what was the revolution, exactly? Satoru Iwata was famously quoted as saying, “The game has changed, … and the way the game is played has to be changed.” What was game-changing about Wii was that it changed the image of video games from simply sitting in front of a TV with a controller and pressing buttons to getting up off the couch and playing together.

SkylandersA lot of people characterized the revolution as drawing a line in the sand between “casual” and “hardcore” players – terminology that’s since stuck – but I don’t think that’s totally accurate. There were plenty of “hardcore” gamers who rushed out to buy Wii. Where do you think all those Twilight Princess Wii sales came from? No, Wii was more about breaking barriers and bringing games to more people.

And it seems to have worked! Wii Sports is the best-selling game of all time. Wii Fit turned gaming from a hobby into a potentially life-enhancing activity. Mario Kart is healthier than it’s ever been. Even more traditional games like Mario, Zelda, and Super Smash Bros. have seen popularity boosts over last-gen.

What about third parties, though? Well, the games that sold the most copies on Wii all had one thing in common: they either embraced the “get off the couch” revolution or fell in line with the less “gritty,” more “universal” appeal offered by Nintendo’s own catalog.

  • Just Dance (franchise)
  • Zumba Fitness
  • LEGO (series)
  • Guitar Hero III
  • Epic Mickey
  • Sonic & the Secret Rings
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Many may look at this list and say, “Where are all the AAA games?” And it’s true. There isn’t really anything on this list that today would be considered “hardcore.” But to publishers, that should be irrelevant. Many of these games performed better on Wii alone than today’s multi-platform AAA games do altogether. Why? Because Nintendo’s audience is one of the most powerful audiences out there.

Dismantling the Third-Party Myth

The problem with third-party games on Nintendo consoles is not that they can’t sell to Nintendo’s audience. That’s a myth. Our look back at Nintendo’s legacy shows that many of the games that put third parties on the map in the first place appeared on Nintendo systems.

The problem is that the third parties of today aren’t correctly responding to the needs and wants of Nintendo’s market. They incorrectly measured Wii’s success as being owed to “casual gamers,” and that those “casual gamers” can only play easy games that don’t use buttons. That is, they assumed that “casuals” are dumb and so the games they present to casuals should also be dumb.

black-ops-wiiWhen they did create less “casual” experiences on Wii, they were often either crappy ports of multi-platform games (see: most Call of Duty games on Wii) or extraordinarily niche (No More Heroes, MadWorld). They weren’t designed to appeal to the more old-school fans that hopped back on board with New Super Mario Bros. Wii (and if they were, they were usually released as low-value episodic WiiWare titles) or aimed at capturing the depth and mass appeal of Nintendo’s first-party catalog, including Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, and others.

As time went on, it became clear that the games that third parties actually cared about marketing to the correct audience were the “hardcore” AAA games on Xbox 360 and PS3. Making games for the Wii audience was beneath them. No wonder they had an easier time on PS3 and Xbox!

Contrary to their beliefs, however, the Nintendo audience isn’t dumb. They’re actually quite savvy. They aren’t just going to buy whatever crappy games get put out because they’re on Nintendo platforms. They’re even willing to say no to Nintendo when Nintendo’s aims aren’t in line with their needs. That’s why they largely abandoned Nintendo in the 64 and GameCube eras. That’s why they came back en masse when Wii tossed aside the quirkiness of Nintendo 64 and GameCube in favor of getting back to the fun of play.

And that’s why they’re hesitating right now with Wii U.

They aren’t just going to eat up any Mario game that comes their way. The Wii Sports phenomenon wasn’t about drawing people in with superfluous gimmicks, but about a paradigm shift. And Nintendo customers are unforgiving when they know they’re being burned.

If we see Wii U as Nintendo’s effort to get in bed with hardcore gamers, the tepid response to Wii U seems to suggest that the Nintendo audience is diametrically opposed to hardcore gaming, no matter how hard the game industry tries to convince them. They are too smart to fall for it. If developers don’t deliver the kinds of rich play-oriented experiences they crave – and that includes both Nintendo and third parties – they have no problem holding onto their money.

Where many people see Nintendo fans as blind sheep that only buy what Nintendo puts out, I see a very different story. I think the Nintendo fan could teach the hardcore gamer a thing or two about voting with their wallet.

  • Gaseous Snake

    Every third party developer must read this article.

    • DarthDiggler

      What so they can relive nostalgia when Nintendo used to be profitable for 3rd Parties?

      This is a very well written article but largely misses the point, the trip down memory lane is nice but doesn’t seem to recognize present realities and competition that is on the horizon.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/FerguliosoFilms Nettaly

        Crappy ports still exist.

        • DarthDiggler

          They will likely never go away, but it certainly helps if you aren’t porting to crappy hardware. :) HAHAHAHAHA (Ducks for Cover)

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        Nintendo consoles remain the easiest consoles to be profitable on because the profit thresholds are lowest (cheapest consoles to make games for). Just Dance 3 was probably more profitable on a per-unit basis for Ubisoft than any other Ubisoft game period. Why? Because it focused on audience needs, not on impressing through sheer production expense.

        • ghirahimhunter

          Quick question: Do you run the site? I see you in the comments and as the author in about every article.

          • http://gengame.net/ Kyle “rigs” Wrigley

            WordPress runs this site. Kappa

            • ghirahimhunter

              OK, I hadn’t heard of WordPress, so I didn’t know. Thanks.

              • Twister27

                In case you didn’t get his joke (I can’t read sarcasm well), WordPress is basically what they use to make new posts and format the site.

                • ghirahimhunter

                  Ohhhh… I feel like a complete idiot now. Just asking an innocent question and I get trolled.

                  • Twilord

                    I don’t think he meant to troll you, so much as didn’t realize you might not know that… once knowledge feels like second nature to you its easy to forget others don’t know.

                    • ghirahimhunter

                      OK.

              • http://www.triforcetalk9.blogspot.com/ Linkfan99

                Ok… I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic too, or if….

                • ghirahimhunter

                  No, I’m not.

        • DarthDiggler

          You are suggesting that Just Dance has the production quality of Battlefield 3?

          Of course Just Dance was cheap to make, Ubisoft already got stung trying to release typical video games for Wii, so they went cheap and did something that frankly was a cop-out.

          • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

            I am suggesting that Just Dance spent its money in a way that’s designed specifically to increase sales, and did so successfully. That’s not a cop-out; that is the CORRECT business model.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000859375827 Miles Metts

        You, DID read the article right? There was nothing about Nostalgia in there (No pun intended, I still need to find a copy of Nostalgia)
        Alex was stating the NUMBERS say that what Nintendo was trying to do is make “Games for everyone” or “New games not the same old thing with re-hashed graphics” A-la New super mario.
        And the gamers, who like this system and the games for it, believe that’s the way to go, by BUYING the games.
        Gaseous Snake(Great name BTW, I love the pun) Was stating the third parties need to know, “You can sell very well on a Nintendo console, just not with your ‘make the same game again’ BS”

        • DarthDiggler

          Funny those games for everyone just look like Wii U renditions of previous games.

      • Matthew Wesley

        No, so that they realize that they can’t just give us crap compared to the other consoles. It used to not be like this, back in the snes / genesis days, multiplats were reasonably developed to be either similar to each other or so radically different that they were like different player experiences (both were good, just different). A case in point is Mortal Kombat, on the genesis there was blood, on the snes, there wasn’t: it was essentially the same game aside from ascetic choices. Another example would be Shadow Run, on the snes it was a rpg, on the genesis it was an isometric shooter type game: most hardcore fans liked the snes version because it stayed truer to the source material but both games were well developed. Developers (EA & Others) now think they can just slap some garbage together and put it on the Wii U and we’ll take it (we may have been spoiled, no western developer makes Nintendo quality games), well, no, we won’t.

        • DarthDiggler

          Do you own other consoles?

          What is this crap you refer to? Movie cash ins? License cash ins? You mean to tell me that the Xbox and PlayStation gamer can’t smell that crap a mile away?

          The reason the AAA titles don’t sell well on Wii U is that the hardware isn’t that spectacular so you are left with last gen ports. Has ANY developer talked about how stoked they are to be programming on this machine?

          Not that I am aware of, now contrast that with the level of enthusiasm from developers for the next gen systems.

          • Matthew Wesley

            I own all generations of Nintendo consoles, traditional and handheld, ps2 & 3, Dreamcast, Turbo Fx, and finally, the NeoGeo. I’ve played many games, some good and some bad, and I’m saying that Nintendo makes some of the best first party games in existence; the proof is in the attach rate and replayability of the games. Who is still playing Halo 1? How about Gears of War? God of war 2? A truly good game is still playable 10 or even 15 years down the line. If you’re only playing a game for 3 months and never look at it again, I can only call that game what it is… crap. It was designed to grab the interests of the consumer for a brief amount of time and then be cast aside. Look at old school games like FF7 or FF6,Super Mario World or even Actraiser; These games are still considered by many to still be very good and playable games; Hand these games to a 2nd or 3rd grader and they can figure out what to do shortly. If other console owners didn’t continue to buy crap, then these developers would quit making it. Year after year Call of Duty is released. I don’t even know what Ghosts story is but I guess the premise is some guy running around shooting people with slightly prettier graphics and a dog… woooooooooo (sarcasm), Halo: a guy in a fancy suit of space armor going around shooting crap.

            • chuck greenwood

              you just stated the problem with the wii u, its better than a ps3 or 360. it should be as good as a ps4 or an xbox one. people seem to miss this fact because they came out a year early and were competing with the previous gen for a year. they are supposed to compete with next gen and they arent going to be able to, the developers knew it. nintedo fans dont buy crap and developers dont want to develop for crap. i agree with all your other points, and i hope the future where the developers change more than graphics comes very soon. as a kid my favorite system to play was the nintendo 64. i went from that to ps2, although i wouldnt have minded gamecube and did play it a bit although most of what i liked on that were nintendo games. i really want to get a wii u because i still like nintendo games but i also want third party games, so wii u is an extra system that i would only play nintendo games on. also nintendo lost me with motion controls. i hope they go back to normal controllers next gen, heck they can even do it with the wii u if they want to. also its sad that the third party developers arent making unique games for the wii and wii u that will actaully play well on them, but at the same time that would make the wii u game a first party title, and these are people that make third party games. its nintendos mistake for making a console with last gen power, a mistake that they have made twice now. and they are doing in order to not lose money making the consoles. they are the only company out of the big 3 that doesnt lose money on the initial sell of their console. everyone else makes money off of software. nintendo needs to go all in or they will never be as big as they used to be.

              • Matthew Wesley

                Actually, you sir, miss the point. Selling gimped ports (when the system can handle more optimized settings) is garbage. I refuse to buy half assed developed games. This is why I no longer purchase Bethesda titles. I’ll be damned before I give my money to a developer who can’t even be bothered to test their games, then charge me full price for it. Hell no.

                • chuck greenwood

                  i agree charging you full price for the ports is wrong, even if they arent gimped, simply because they are late. but if youre going to blame the developers for the part about the ports being gimped, then you have to blame nintendo for half assing there system. for the last two generations they have made the cheapest systems they possibly can. they are the only company worried about making profit on their actaul system. both of the other companies make their money off of software. this key difference allows sony and microsoft to make a system that is literally a generation ahead of nintendos system. i love nintendo, the only system theyve ever made that i refused to buy is the wii because i didnt like motion controls. i will almost definitely buy a wii u since theyve because i feel like i can use the gamepad and pro controller and still have the same fun i used to have with nintendo. possibly even better fun. at the same time it wont be my only system so i wont have to worry about gimped ports. but the fact is, you cant blame the 3rd party companies without also blaming nintendo. its not necesarrily nintendos fault that they have to half ass their system though, the other companies dont have anywhere near as much stake in how big a success their system is because they have other areas they can make the money back in if they dont manage to at least break even in videogames while nintendo doesnt have that luxury which also means the opposite is true and that nintendo has more at stake. but a full generation gap between you and your competitors isnt acceptable. if it wasnt nintendo i wouldnt buy the system that had this flaw.

      • jedidethfreak

        It doesn’t “miss the point” at all. You can’t sell months-old games for full price on a new system that perform worse than the on other platforms, then bitch at the playerbase when the sub-par ports don’t sell.

        You can’t put ME3 out, not allow DLC on it, then sell the entire trilogy the next week with ALL DLC available for the exact same price on every other system then wonder why ME3 didn’t sell.

        You can’t put NFS out four months later on the Wii U without DLC for full price, then wonder why it doesn’t sell.

        You can’t put Call of Duty out with no DLC on a brand-new system a week after it launched everywhere else with DLC and wonder why it didn’t sell.

        The fact is, as this article pointed out (very clearly, I might add), you can’t put sub-par ports on a console and then wonder why it doesn’t sell on said console.

        Wii U owners would LOVE to buy third-party games. IF THEY’RE ACTUALLY WORTH BUYING! ME3 isn’t worth buying on the Wii U, since you can get the Trilogy everywhere else for the same price – if not even less – and have access to any and all DLC available. NFS isn’t worth buying for the exact same reason, even though the game looks better on the Wii U than on any other console. Arkham City has its own problems, too – namely, THE GAME CAME OUT A YEAR BEFOREHAND!

        Basically, if third-party publishers and developers are content with treating an entire playerbase without respect, why should that playerbase respect them?

    • yarinoma

      Agreed.

  • Terrak

    Look all Wii U needs is momentum and I’m pretty sure Nintendo knows this especially with the next consoles on the way so i think they are going to go for a blitz this E3 to make the Wii U, well that’s what I’m hoping for

    • DarthDiggler

      We shall see, I really feel like Nintendo painted themselves into a corner here. Within a year there will likely be Tablets that match or exceed Wii U specs. The Ouya could very well seep into Nintendo’s backyard.

      • Twister27

        The Wii U might not have the most powerful hardware, but in actuality that should not matter. It is more than powerful enough to handle playing most (if not all) games that are currently being made. Having a slightly higher processor speed or a slightly better graphics card would not make a big difference. In fact, this way it can be cheaper at release than consoles like the PS3 were multiple years ago (even at today’s prices it’s not much more expensive than the nearly seven year old PS3).

        • DarthDiggler

          3 cores CPU vs 8 core CPU isn’t a slightly higher amount, It’s more than double.

          550Mhz GPU vs. 800Mhz GPU isn’t a slightly higher amount, it’s nearly double.

          1GB RAM (2GB total 1GB available for games) vs. 6-7.5GB of RAM isn’t slightly higher amount, it’s 6-7 times that amount.

          You guys aren’t really being fair to the consoles that are about to release. It all boils down to games, but the next gen consoles give the devs a much larger canvas.

          • Twister27

            Even if it is a much greater amount, does that really amount to much in terms of what games can be made for/played on the Wii U versus on other devices? Maybe some devices do have 7.5 GB RAM, but is that amount really necessary?

      • Terrak

        You havent got a clue when your talking about specs. The Gamepad ‘tablet’ doesnt have any ‘specs’ its merely streaming video off the Wii U Console via a specialized wireless device. The actual hardware of the Wii U (the actual console) is alot more powerful then any tablet now and the forseeable future. People gotta get a clue that just because tablets are sporting dual or quad cores they are still mobile processors, and mobile processors are constrained by battery life and cooling capacity, something home consoles (and desktop processors) are not. Quadcore tablet/handheld processor DOES NOT equal console/desktop processor and never will (maybe a few generations down the track but not of the same generation). Please understand this before making silly comments like ‘tablets will match or exceed Wii u specs’ That is NOT going to happen.

        Also Nintendo arent painted into a corner they are simply slow in bringing out their system selling titles. They still enjoy a 1 year headstart, and will probably be the cheaper console this gen, plus a new gaming element too. Not to mention their strong first party developers which i was hoping was making more titles to keep Wii u sales going consistently (which unfortunately has not happened).

        • Twister27

          I get what you are saying, but the gamepad is more than just a screen for the Wii U.

          • Terrak

            Of course its more its basically an all in one Controller (standard control, touch screen, motion control, camera, NFC)

        • DarthDiggler

          Terrak

          “You havent got a clue when your talking about specs”

          Funny the people that pay me each week seem to think I know what I am talking about in terms of technical know-how.

          “The Gamepad ‘tablet’ doesnt have any ‘specs’ its merely streaming video off the Wii U Console via a specialized wireless device.”

          First off — I never said that the Game Pad tablet had any specs to begin with. Nice try though! :)

          “The actual hardware of the Wii U (the actual console) is alot more powerful then any tablet now and the forseeable future.”

          The combined power of the CPU and GPU you are correct there isn’t anything on the marketplace today that can outpace the Wii U for that price point. If you wanted to get a tablet more powerful than the Wii U today you would have to pay about $1000 but it would be more powerful than the Wii U. The Razer Edge pro exceeds the Wii U specs in almost every manner.

          “People gotta get a clue that just because tablets are sporting dual or quad cores they are still mobile processors, and mobile processors are constrained by battery life and cooling capacity, something home consoles (and desktop processors) are not. Quadcore tablet/handheld processor DOES NOT equal console/desktop processor and never will (maybe a few generations down the track but not of the same generation).”

          I do understand all of that and more :) Mobile processors have certain things left out of them for efficiency. While we have pretty much hit a limit at 3-4 Ghz (Air Cooled) for CPU speed there is a great deal of innovation in mobile processors so much so that the mobile processors are getting much closer to the capabilities of the desktop processors (this goes for GPU and CPU).

          “Please understand this before making silly comments like ‘tablets will match or exceed Wii u specs’ That is NOT going to happen.”

          The whole problem with this statement is for $1000 you are 100% WRONG.

          http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-edge-pro

          How you like them apples brah? :)

          • Terrak

            Wait you cant tell me that you can include tablets well over 3 times the price of the Wii U as direct competition? Im talking within the same price bracket of course. I mean There are even laptops that exceed the Wii U and possibly the other next gen consoles specs but they are well outside the price range (10 to 20 times more expensive). Why talk about devices that wont compete directly?

        • chuck greenwood

          the nvidia shield is already about as powerful as an xbox 360. thats not far off from the wii u, “a next gen console”

      • zdog

        Crappy android games on Ouya will never match the kind of gaming experience you can get on a Nintendo console.

    • GaySkull

      They had E3 2011 and E3 2012 and they still did not deliver. Well this time I hope they get it.

  • Aiddon

    I think what really got me was how lazy 3rd parties were with the Wii. They didn’t put much effort into their titles and thought they had the right to throw a hissy fit when stuff failed. They were pissed that they couldn’t have their cake and eat it

    • DarthDiggler

      No they are pissed because largely the Nintendo audience doesn’t buy games unless it stars an elf or Italian plumber. It’s not being lazy it’s only putting the amount of work in that will be financially supported by the audience.

      • Aiddon

        …and how many of those 3rd parties even TRIED to do something on the Wii? How many of them actually tried to do something original and worked to the strengths of the Wii-mote? And that’s before I get into marketing and advertising for them, which tended to amount to next to nothing because publishers forgot to put EFFORT into it. It is not Nintendo’s fault that 3rd parties halfassed things.

        • DarthDiggler

          The problem with the Wii Mote is Nintendo showed capabilities when they first revealed the Wii Mote that were not available at launch and requires the add-on for better precision.

          Also Nintendo had the luxury of developing the Wii Mote in house so they had a good head start on developing for it.

          None of that changes the fact that most games could be operated by just shaking the controller around randomly. How much time would you put into tuning your game if the play tester just sits there shakes the controller in any fashion to complete the tasks?

          It is Nintendo’s fault that they did not provide adequate tools to code the Wii with. It’s the same reason PlayStation paid so dearly when it was released, the development tools were crap and the early PS3 games showed that.

          Stop being apologist for crap you don’t understand. Nintendo isn’t pure as the driven snow. I know game developers an they work 50+ hours a week. Suggesting that these people are lazy is offensive and only showcases your ignorance as to what goes into creating games.

          • Aiddon

            so, still pissed Nintendo beat you up and stole your lunch money, eh?

            • DarthDiggler

              Do you really think Nintendo needs to take anyone’s lunch money?

              I am just trying to be a bit of a reality check here. Although most of the audience would prefer to stay in the dark it seems. :)

              I am pissed that you call game developers lazy. You have no freaking idea what you are talking about. Do you work 50-60 hours a week?

              • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

                Its a skewed reality check man. Its like a stereotype a kernel smidgen of truth.

          • Matthew Wesley

            So the mass effect 3 port and madden ports with no dlc weren’t lazy ports?

      • awsomeMrlink

        “It’s no being lazy it’s only putting the amount of work in that will be financially supported by the audience.” Think about your statement for a second. Developers can put 5 seconds into a game, and no one would bye it. It would still apply to your logic.

        • DarthDiggler

          Effort is driven by return. I am sure there were early efforts for Wii that were not heavy sellers.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            When the markets are shifting constantly that is no longer a valid excuse. Its called being blind to opportunity

      • Terrak

        Thats not true at all, the Wii has sold more software units then ps3 or 360, although it required a larger install base to do it i grant you, however it didnt not do it with the full support of thirdparty developers either so all things considered the Wii still sold well software wise.

        Problem is with the Wii that the GC was seen as a failure and had already seen developers losing faith in Nintendo. All had pretty much hedged their bets on playstation and xbox so the Wii was always going to have it tough. This time round the support is still lacking but its improving leaps and bounds over the kind of support that Wii got which is encouraging. Watch dogs, Assassins Creed Resident evil, Bayonetta etc, just a few games that you wouldnt see on a Nintendo home console 5 years ago are making their way to the console. And its just the start. Im sure theres more to come

        3rd parties HAVE normal controls on the Wii U, the Gamepad is a NORMAL controller with a touchscreen added (plus a few other things). They DONT have to use the touch screen but obviously its BETTER if they use it. It may be more work but not more then the massive cost of making a graphically brilliant AAA block buster that the ps4 and 720 are expecting to sell their consoles. Many developers are saying the cost of improving graphics and creating those 10x improved games is getting to the point where they have to sell unrealistic quantities of a game to break even.

        • DarthDiggler

          “Thats not true at all, the Wii has sold more software units then ps3 or 360, although it required a larger install base to do it i grant you, however it didnt not do it with the full support of thirdparty developers either so all things considered the Wii still sold well software wise.”

          I am not sure what you mean here.

          I never said the Wii didn’t have a large install base. When the Wii was first released though 3rd parties had a very hard time with the platform. There is a reason there are so many “fitness” games on Wii, its because other games didn’t sell as well so developers adapted to what the audience wanted.

          By and large core games have failed on the Wii. I don’t hear people bragging about how many Kill Streaks they got in COD on Nintendo. Has Battlefield even made it to a Nintendo platform? While COD and BF are not the end all be all of the game industry it is that kind of success that many developers are after. Not just a commercial success, but a community success that only comes from an online enabled game. Wii U has made great strides here, but by the time this holiday rolls around they will be completely in the back seat in terms of feature sets. While not a complete deal-breaker lacking features is a disadvantage in this industry.

          “3rd parties HAVE normal controls on the Wii U, the Gamepad is a NORMAL controller with a touchscreen added (plus a few other things).”

          My friend has a Wii U, he tells me the analog sticks don’t really seem analog, also the controller is so large I don’t see anyone putting hours into a gaming session. Even if it is light weight for its size there is no way it is lighter weight than a typical controller. Also that touchscreen is not Multi-Touch.

          If the Wii U is just as good as a “normal” controller why did developers and publishers insist that Nintendo create the Pro GamePad?

          http://www.blogcdn.com/www.joystiq.com/media/2012/06/wiiupro530pxheaderimg513513.jpg

          “Many developers are saying the cost of improving graphics and creating those 10x improved games is getting to the point where they have to sell unrealistic quantities of a game to break even.”

          Depends on the developer and publisher. If the developer had a little bit of forward vision they would have been fashioning assets for the next generation for sometime now. Since the PS4 and Xbox Next will be shooting for 1080p resolution the leap to the next gen won’t require as much of resources. In many respects some things will be cheaper to develop. Developers will not have to have such a small hardware budget to work with and thus not have to toy around as much just to get things working. Working with 8GB of RAM vs 512MB of RAM is a HUGE leap. Developing on the PS4 will be much cheaper than the PS3.

          • Twister27

            Your idea that “core” 3rd party games will all fail on Nintendo consoles based on the performance of CoD is exactly what this article is trying to disprove. CoD didn’t fail on the Wii because Nintendo fans only buy from Nintendo. If it failed, it was because people who would be interested in playing it would most likely have it on PS3 or Xbox 360, since they have more popular online play and more standard controls.

            However, if a core 3rd party title like Ni no Kuni were to come out for the Wii or Wii U, I am confident that it would have great success.

          • Terrak

            There wasnt many ‘Other’ because the third party support just wasnt there for the Wii. Bragging about killstreak wtf? Is that your idea of evidence? The COD games on Wii were always dumbed down ports. The had to be because the Wii was weak. No Nintendo doesnt yet have a battlefield game but there is evidence that BF4 is going to hit the Wii U, its a rumor though

            http://wiiudaily.com/2012/08/battlefield-3-on-wii-u/

            I dont care what your ‘friend’ says, those sticks on the gamepad are analog. It is large and takes a little getting used to but i agree it is heavy and you wont be able to play as long with a gamepad and i wished the grips were bigger, although i waiting for a case that will give enlarged grips. Of course a controller is more comfortable and lighter to use, but you dont get the functionality of the gamepad

            As for development cost, The Makers of Mass Effect said that to make a 10x leap in graphics over the previous generation (Like the ps3 and 360 were to the ps2 and xbox1 respectively) you would have to sell 20-30 million games (thats roughly what he said) to BREAK EVEN. Thats not any developer too but
            Also Alex Plant reported that EA themselves said that for the next generation development costs will automatically rise 10%. Go research it on this website if you dont believe me. Where is your evidence that development costs will fall for the ps4?

    • GaySkull

      Sorry, that is very wrong. They said that about the PS3 but it isn’t true.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        There is no third-party game that I can think of that even tried to come close to Nintendo’s first-party games in quality and scope, bar perhaps Monster Hunter Tri (which oddly enough actually surpassed Nintendo’s own RPGs in sales).

  • The_Hyphenator

    This is a really good piece. I’ll have to share this one around…

    • GaySkull

      Oh please don’t spread the idiocy.

  • DarthDiggler

    Fans must be too smart to buy the Wii U too. :)

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Correct. Fans know that NSMBU is just a rehash, that the GamePad isn’t a Wii Remote successor, and that nothing we’ve seen or gotten so far is anything approaching revolutionary for gaming. It may not be a bad console, but it isn’t a follow-up to the things that made them buy a Wii.

      • Terrak

        What is revolutionary about the ps4?

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          PS4 doesn’t have to be revolutionary for Wii U to not be revolutionary.

          But if you have to go there: PS4 has games. The evidence suggests it has LOTS of games. Compared to Wii U in its current state, PS4′s lineup is a revolution…because it exists.

          • zdog

            I’m glad we went there.

          • Terrak

            Alot of those ps4 games will still be on ps3, 360 or PC (and Wii U) so its hardly revolutionary, so ports of games is revolutionary now? Of course Wii was revolutionary but to expect the Wii U to be revolutionary is ridiculous. No one expected the Wii to be a success, it just was. I mean look back at the Wii launch and look at what all the analysts were saying, i can pretty much guarantee you that there was none saying the Wii would be a massive success or that it would come first.

            The 3DS didnt do anything revolutionary over the DS and yet its selling well. All that is needed is compelling software.

            One thing you are correct is the Wii U struggling for third party support but its improving, well above what the Wii got and as time progresses im sure it will improve even more. You seem to have written it off already before we even got a glimpse of the console in full flight well thats your perogative but it doesnt make you right, after all the ps3 and 360 had poor starts and went on to sell well (not profit but thats a different story). Of course it would be nice for Wii u to get all the games that playstation and xbox consoles enjoy, but give it time and im sure things will improve dramatically. E3 will be important for Nintendo this time, they need to get third party support (not all but a fraction would be nice) and push more first party console sellers to get the momentum that has clearly stalled (ATM).

            • DarthDiggler

              “Alot of those ps4 games will still be on ps3, 360 or PC (and Wii U) so
              its hardly revolutionary, so ports of games is revolutionary now?”

              No how the games look and play will determine how “revolutionary” they are. By and large most games that come out are mostly remixes of stuff that has come before it. There are very few unique and brand new games out there these days. Mario still eats mushrooms and Zelda is generally after a princess (or some other fantastic quest). The newer generations of consoles allows developers to execute differently on each system, as well as expand their ambitions to suit the hardware.

              The problem is the overall vision is hard to stuff into lower grade hardware so concessions have to be made. So while PS3/Xbox 360/Wii U will share some games with PS4 and Xbox Next there will be stark differences between them.

              “The 3DS didnt do anything revolutionary over the DS and yet its selling well. All that is needed is compelling software.”

              The 3DS is the 3D version of the DS. I would mark that as a significant evolution and point out that perhaps revolution (largely a political term) isn’t quite the best terminology in this debate.

              “One thing you are correct is the Wii U struggling for third party
              support but its improving, well above what the Wii got and as time
              progresses im sure it will improve even more.”

              If I am not mistaken originally the Wii had people lining up to make games for it. It took a few years for 3rd parties to start to shy away from it. The install base alone was a huge attraction to any developer. I would bet most 3rd parties are just kind of waiting to see what happens this holiday before they start really committing big projects to any console.

              “You seem to have written it off already before we even got a glimpse of
              the console in full flight well thats your perogative but it doesnt make
              you right, after all the ps3 and 360 had poor starts and went on to
              sell well (not profit but thats a different story).”

              Yeah but you are kind of asking for lightning to strike twice. Let me explain…

              Yes the PS3 and Xbox 360 struggled compared to the Wii during their initial years. Gamers were quiet enamored with the Wii Motes. Two to three years later the honeymoon was over. Even the most diehard Wii Evangelist had dust collecting on their Wii. Wii came out before the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets were a hot item. I believe many in the Wii audience has moved on to that form factor (what percentage, I am not sure). Considering the design of the Wii U, I would suggest that Nintendo is aware of this too.

              So far the Tablets haven’t really wooed the core gamer yet which is why I think there is still an ample marketplace for a PS4 but the Wii audience may have moved on to other pastures.

            • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

              The Wii also looked damn good as a console

        • Twister27

          Did he say that the PS4 was more revolutionary than the Wii U? All he said is that the Wii was more of a game-changer than the Wii U is.

        • DarthDiggler

          PS4 is more evolutionary than revolutionary.

          Basically Sony took the PC, the platform that all game development starts on. Removed all the nonsense and catered it to gamers. While you can build a PC that can out do it’s horsepower, you won’t be able to do it for less than the cost of the PS4, the APU and 8GB GRR5 design really gives developers a nice palette to play on. Sony’s dev kit for the VITA has received very high praise, so it will be interesting what developers do with the platform.

          I am not saying that Nintendo doesn’t make a good console, they are just woefully underpowered compared to what I am accustomed to. Also I have never been a big fan of the Wii Mote, I bought the PS Move and while it was better in terms of precision, I still mostly use the regular controller.

      • Quicksilver88

        Have to sort of agree and disagree…..I think that gamepad is a very cool controller that can provide a lot if utilzed corrrctly…..it has all the functions of a modern dual analogue (sadly minus the analogue triggers) but also has touch, microphone, stereo speakers, cameras, very adanced gyro….this far exceeds anyhings any other controller has integrated. I also really like off tv play option and don’t know why more people don’t like that. For me a depthful game like ME3 or NBA2k13 is awesome off tv because it allows me to play it while keeping ane eye on a sports and news show. Where I agree is NSMB was a rehash and Nintendo should have had a major 3D HD title ready at launch to show the system off. I think its time will come xmas 2013 when we will have a variety of good titles ans it will be priced significantly less than the competition

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Having “all the functions” is EXACTLY why the GamePad isn’t a good Wii Remote successor. Wii Remote was designed to trim away the extra buttons and sticks and replace them with motions, which don’t require gaming familiarity to understand.

          • Quicksilver88

            I agree but if we are discussing Nintendo and innovation then I would say the gamepad is quite an innovation and it is really up to Nintendo, its partners and the unruly 3rd parties to provide us unique or interesting uses for it. Lets not forget that Wii-U fully supports Wii accesories (something no other manufacturer usually does) so that if someone wants to make an HD new experience for Wii-U and still use WiiMote as the the primary input that is an option. Indeed many games are supporting Wiimote as a primary or secondary control option. I think patience is the required here as things will improve….I for one would love to see some DS VC bringing things like Prof Layton and the Castlevania games from DS to Wii-U (no reason as TV acts as top screen/gamepad as bottom) and also some of the GC greats like Eternal Darkness, Metroid prime 1/2, Starfox adventures on VC that allow you to play them on the gamepad (which would be easily possible as all these games were dev for 480i/p which is what the gamepad resolution is). One thing I find funny is Vita (which I own) had a horrible release, has sold like poo, and has had very little 3rd party support (minus a few ports/remakes like MGS and Persona 4) and yet no hand wringing, yet when Nintendo struggles with U it is the end of the world.

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              I think the most untapped feature of Wii U is the ability to handle basically any kind of control. It’s not so much that developers aren’t using it, but it’s not being marketed to its full potential.

              • Quicksilver88

                I agree with you bro…….I think Nintendo will get it turned around….they have proven in the past that they can turn things around, and that in general when their AAA IPs start hitting their systems so sell better. I think the Indys are going to do some interesting things with it seeing how easy it will be to bring PC and Tablet games to it. In the end I just don’t think we will see all the big 3rd party that M$/$ony will have but like I your article points out a lot of that is due to the fact if you like those games you will buy those systems…..I buy them all and like all kinds of games, accept I am not really much of an online FPS fan. That said I do like single player FPS like Dues EX and particularly some of the Bond shooters. I played the 007 reboot on Wii just because it was out first and I had nestogia for the old Goldeneye. Missed Dues Ex on ps3/x360 so looking forward to it on Wii-U as the devs say that the grafx will be improved, the boss battles tweaked and the gamepad utilized innovatively. That and W101 are the two things I am looking forward to in the near term and then end of year will really stress the wallet but will likely hold off on ps4 purchase until 2014.

  • Elijah Marino

    This article says exactly what I was thinking when the “Nintendo fans voted with their wallets” quote was made. I didn’t not buy a copy of Black Ops II because I dont actually want great 3rd party games. In fact I did it for the exact oposite reason. I want great third party games and COD is not one that I would like to see. I did vote. I voted for quality games, not games that just do the same thing over and over again. I am highly excited for the other 3rd party games(ie. Bayonetta, Watch Dogs, Need for Speed: Most wanted and Lego City) Seriously there is no reason to bash on Nintendo fans just because you gave us “the best port” of a game that most of us dont care about.

  • http://assassinorder.net/ Keith Richards

    I am the first person to agree that third party companies do a poor job at handling Nintendo and releasing ports onto Nintendo consoles, but this is why gamers such as myself turned to Microsoft and Sony. It’s a cheap trick they did, yes, but I’ve found a great number of series on those systems. Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, and plenty of others are games that will stick with me as long as the Legend of Zelda will.

    That being said, I think this article should be shown to third party developers as an idea of how to cater to Nintendo fans. I would say that if they were to port games onto Nintendo consoles more often, and do so with as much attention as they did when putting them on Xbox, PS3 and PC, then they would have better sales on these consoles.

    This title was misleading, and I was ready to rant, but the content was what stopped me from doing so. It raises interesting points that I never considered. I consider myself a hardcore gamer, and I think that this gave me further appreciation for Nintendo.

    Also, Madworld wasn’t that bad of a title. I’ve played it at least 7 times.

    • trippytriforce

      The pc gamer side of me laughed at your implication that developers put attention into the pc ports (some do). jokes aside, the problem is that there is a cycle of devs not making good ports followed by those ports not selling well resulting in the devs not willing to put alot of time into the next port. sadly, I dont see this changing soon based on how many wiiu ports have been canceled.

      • MagoIichi

        Yeah, I dabble in PC gaming myself, and they do get their fair share of crappy ports, even with all that power PC has.

    • GaySkull

      All consoles have crappy games and the irony is you can find more of them on the best selling ones.

    • http://www.facebook.com/blake.wigert Blake Wigert

      All Wii ask for is U to give us competent ports that the other systems get not to single us out by denying us or giving us a product that make raw sewage look good.

      • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Go play Deus Ex

  • http://www.facebook.com/HOrangejello Epic Markell Joshua

    Amazing article this is how it is. Not all nintendo fans are sheep they make smart choices with their wallet.

  • awsomeMrlink

    I wish they brought more RPGs to third party development, not stupid shooters (Only good shooter in my opinion is the Borderlands series, because it has RPG elements and does not try to do anything realistically, and has a creative art style, and you can say screw the main story and spend hours upon hours of just doing side quests with HILARIOUS DIALOGUE.) I miss title like Final fantasy 5, and hope they will go back to games that make you think. Also 3rd parties thinking Nintendo’s audience is dumb? That is pretty much the pot calling the sprite bottle black( I messed up the idiom on purpose). Overall, I just wish 3rd parties would make and port titles like Ni No Kuni to the Wii U, not Call of Duty.

  • wiiu4life

    So here’s the real test. If the next games that come out get rated highly ( looking at you NFS) and sell well what will they say?

    I can honestly say that I refuse to support a year old port from a lessor system that cost more and were not getting proper DLC.

    Here’s my example- Mass effect 3 for the PS3, 360 and PC $19.99 @ walmart

    Mass effect 3 for the WII U $ 59.99

    Mass effect trilogy for 360,ps3 $59.99 and they get DLC they said the WII U would not.

    So me as a consumer I don’t think because it’s the first time the game is on my system of choice I should get the shaft.

    Look at what cryterion is doing new everything they will get my money and I hope the fans vote with there wallets like I will.

  • Axe99

    This is an incredibly parochial article – Batman: Arkham City: Armoured edition is possibly the best version of one of the best games of the generation. It’s an incredibly enjoyable game, with rich traversal, combat, exploration and a wonderfully presented and acted (voice and animation) story. Yet it’s struggled on the Wii U. Same story with Black Ops 2 – the best, most fully-featured version of the game, and barely moved the dial. This doesn’t suggest Ninty fans are smart at all, but neither does it suggest they are dumb.

    In my experience, Ninty ‘faithful’ – people that play Ninty consoles and that’s all they play – are different. This doesn’t make them better, nor does it make them worse. Rather than move with the times, Ninty fans prefer to stick with N-64 era gameplay and styles, and enjoy them. Ninty has kept producting these – Ninty make money, fans have fun, everyone’s happy. But when third parties take across games based on more recent gameplay innovations, the Ninty faithful tend not to be interested. When playing Ninty’s games on the Wii, they felt like N-64 and Gamecube games, and that’s what the Ninty audience want, but many gamers have grown to enjoy the advances (be they in AI, camera control, progression or what-have you), and this creates a gap between many modern games, and what Ninty fans want. I wouldn’t say this makes them smarter, though, and it could be argued it makes them narrower and more parochial.

    • Terrak

      Batman Arkham City was almost a year old before it hit the Wii U, im sure gamers that were interested in the game had already purchased it on other platforms(ps3, pc 360) instead of waiting almost a year to buy a console (Wii U) and the game to play it on. I have it by the way, had it on PC first but got the Wii u version and the Wii U version hands down the best version (thanks to the gamepad intergration which is fantastic). Had there been a simultaneous launch im sure the game would have been much better recieved on the Wii U. Black Ops (which i also have) is a good port but still doesnt use the gamepad (when compared to Batman Arkham City) im not sure how well it sold though i havent researched that.

      • Axe99

        Aye – but I’m just rolling with the contention made in the article that Wii U owners generally don’t own other consoles. I’m not sure either way how the stats pan out, as I deffo know a few who’ve got a Wii U to go with their PS3 or 360). If most Wii U owners also own other consoles, then Wii U is likely to struggle with multiplats once the next Playstation and Xbox are out, as it’ll likely struggle to compete with them on specs (not having a go at the Wii U – the newer consoles will be both newer and more expensive – they’d be failing hard not to support better graphics, AI, physics and whatnot).

        Black Ops 2 was pretty close to simultaneous, though, and from what I’ve read is the best version of the game (not by much, but it’s not a shoddy port like a couple of Wii U’s multiplat games), and from what I’ve heard it didn’t do so well. While it was a shooter, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the first great console shooter was an N-64 exclusive – ie, Ninty fans play shooters, or at least did fifteen years ago.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Batman Arkham City and Black Ops II may be great games, but they’re the wrong games to be selling to the Nintendo crowd. It doesn’t matter how well-executed they are – third-parties are not going to win by force-feeding the Nintendo crowd games that are incompatible with their wants.

      • Axe99

        Aye, that’s my point as well – just for different reasons. But I’m also partly responding to your contention that “most gamers (believe it or not) are actually single-console gamers.” By saying that everyone who wants to play Batman (a rich, play-oriented experience if there ever was one) has already migrated, it undermines that point. The point I make, on the other hand, is not that Ninty fans are looking for rich, play-oriented experiences, per se (your contention), but that they’re looking for rich, play-oriented experiences embedded in the design orthodoxies of the late 1990s (something most Ninty exclusives, particularly the high-selling ones, still are – the last ‘modern’ product Ninty made was Metroid Prime, around a decade ago).

        Accordingly, as most third-party games are based on more recent design mechanics and ideas, they often don’t gel with the ‘Ninty faithful’. This is probably also the same reason why Ninty-only gamers see Ninty do something new and call it an innovation, when it’s often been done better years earlier (Super Mario Galaxy, for example).

        • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          The problem is most people who will buy those games dont have a Wii U yet

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.bronson23 Bill Ginzburg Bronson

    but unlike the other console generations now i can wait a few months and buy third party games for half the price on steam while they still sell for $80 to $90 on consoles hear in Australia. But yes so far for the wii u the ports and games from third parties have been crap and i haven’t even bothered to buy them on pc except for ME3 i got that one for $20 (not on steam) before it even came out on wii u. So tell me EA why would i pay $90 for a game on wii u when i can get it on pc for $20?

  • yarinoma

    I agree with this article. I would say that developers have more of a love affair with power versus ingenuity. And if you look at the timeline that was given, it wasnt until Playstation came along to challange that you saw developers leaving Nintendo. Up to that point Nintendo was the place for inventiveness and power as well as bringing home those beloved arcade games we all used to play.

    I personally enjoyed the N64 and the GameCube, but by this time, you began to see the transition of gamers. Older gamers who’s tastes were changing, and a new generation of gamers coming up in the Playstation era which produced more adult themed gaming. I mean which would you choose? The nudie magazine or the bra section of the Sears catalog? It was pretty obvious what gamers chose during that era.

    On the other side, you could say the same thing with the devs. Young devs embraced the PS for its sexiness as well as change in media delivery. You could say Sony followed the change in culture more closely than Nintendo which contributed to their success. As such, developers may have felt like they finally had an avenue to express themselves without the restriction of keeping it family friendly.

    As a game designer and developer (not me personally) it just comes down to how talented you are and your interests. Some enjoy the challenge of attempting to make an enjoyable game with a limited tool set. Others enjoy the ease and grace of powerful tool sets that allow them to cookie cut every aspect of the game and have fighter jets and ridiculous guns and shaders and sun flares and all the ultra graphical complications that inflate a games budget.

    An average cook will make a dish from pre-made ingredients. a great cook will make everything from scratch and love.

  • Terrak

    Its kinda pathetic this website has concentrated on poor sales of Wii u with out putting it into context. The reason is CLEAR but they like to peddle some BS and hide the truth under the carpet to get hits which is sad. I liked this website but their focus on one poor aspect of the Wii U
    makes me see them as the same as everyone else.

    Let me make it CLEAR. Wii U had PLENTY of stock (Nintendo promised to be well stocked
    during launch), UNLIKE ps3 and 360 when the launched (and the Wii but it was in high demand, demand they could not meet till 3 years after lanuch), with BOTH those consoles (ps3 and 360) TRICKLING stock to give the impression that demand was still there, when in reality they were merely doing this to say they were SELLING OUT. Had they had enough stock to fulfil demand during launch the sales numbers would have been WORSE then the Wii U is now. Its a clever ploy thats fooled alot of people including some on this website. However in the end they only sold 5.7 million consoles in ONE YEAR (ps3 and 360 each during their first year). Wii U, which Nintendo had promised to properly stock has sold almost 3 million in THREE MONTHS. Compare the situations and you will see the Wii U is doing pretty good all things considered. I dont know where this website comes off saying the Wii U is selling poorly, when you look at the circumstances and compare it to the competition its actually doing well.

    The Thirdparty front is struggling i grant you but it is Improving. Slower then i liked but progress i being made. Its a whole lot better then what the Wii got thats for sure and its only the beginning.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      The fact that PS3 and Xbox 360 would have done worse isn’t an excuse for Wii U lagging behind expectations.

      • Terrak

        Thats nonsense. Of course one has to compare with its competition. Your simply saying sales are bad and thats that. But thats wrong. Its behind expectations sure, Nintendo was ambitious and failed to hit expectations but this is common:

        http://gamer.blorge.com/2007/12/04/sony-admits-ps3-failed-in-first-year-against-wii-and-xbox-360/

        So why make a big deal of Nintendo failing to hit expectations?

        Nintendo is in direct competition with sony and microsoft so its only fair to compare launches to gauge how well its going.

        But the only reason you guys have kicked up a stink is because Wii U sales have dropped to as low as roughly 50k in the last month. My point is Nintendo kept supply high to ensure everyone got one (with the current games library). When you compare sales PER MONTH the Wii U is well ahead of the competition.

        3million in 3 months equals 1 million console per month (roughly) for the Wii U

        5.7 million in 12 months equals 475,000 consoles per month (roughtly) for ps3 and 360

        If the ps3 and 360 had enough stock for the first 3 months im pretty sure you would have seen sales as low (if not lower) as the Wii U so the fact that your making a big deal out of this is purely ridiculous. Nintendo could have easily constrained supply to keep sales looking like a sell out for months to come but they decided to keep store shelves stocked.

        Wii U not selling like the Wii doesnt make it a failure as much as the ps3 or the 360.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Here’s the thing, though: Wii U isn’t just not selling like the Wii.

          Wii U is selling like the GameCube.

          • Terrak

            Ha! so it things can change for the Wii U like i said a NON revolutionary slow selling launch like the 3DS eventually started to sell strongly after more compelling software launched for the console. Things changed also for ps3 and 360 when they got games 1 year later, also Wii U is getting a crap load more third party support then either the Wii or GC so its doing a damn lot better in that department which means the Wii u should also fair alot better when that support actually hits the console.

        • Ray

          I appreciate and acknowledge everything you’ve said.

          However, that’s sales from PS3 and 360. Considering the amount of marketing and hype and the supposed reasonable cost for gamers Sony is promising, then who’s to say they don’t sell 3 million units in one month? We really have to wait for the other players to come on the field to let them strut their stuff too.

          But yeah, I don’t like them calling something a failure because it’s not met certain benchmarks they set. I’m pretty sure 5 years from now, if the Wii U manages to sell units on par with PS4 and “Infinity”, then people’s tune would be, “Oh, it was a success.” and forget that 5 years prior, they were crying Nintendoom.

  • plsburydoughboy

    As a Nintendo fan, I have to disagree with this. It ignores Sony’s own history, and how it was able to entice devs away from Nintendo, with the likes of Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy being practical case studies on the subject.

    While there is some merit to the argument that 3rd parties have a bigger presence in the Wii than nonWii owners were willing to acknowledge, it does Nintendo no good to keep hiding in that ivory tower. Maybe there’s some merit to 3rd party devs underestimating the core Nintendo audience, but for many companies, the boundary that kept them from developing for the Wii has been a heady mix of restrictive policies, tech, and stiff competition from Nintendo’s own games. Nintendo itself also has to work to help 3rd parties sell their games on Nintendo platforms. Crossing that gap to reach true parity with other platforms is a sure path for the Wii U’s success.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I did kind of allude to Nintendo’s core audience getting chipped away by PSone and PS2 in the article, didn’t I? And I think it’s because large groups – including both platformer fans and RPG fans – were enticed by games like Spyro and Crash and the Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest series jumping ship. I probably could have done into more detail about the extent to which Sony was involved in getting exclusives on PlayStation platforms, though…

      Also, enticed by PlayStation having a lot more games to begin with… hence one of my other comments above about how PS4′s lineup seems to be a lot better than Wii U’s simply because it’s at least focused on satisfying Sony’s current audience.

      • plsburydoughboy

        Much respect, Alex. Another aspect I feel you could have touched on, which I know is hard to swallow for Nintendo fans, is that Nintendo management used to be very restrictive towards 3rd parties, as far back as the NES/Famicom days. The Seal of Quality, limiting the number of games released per company – one could argue many of these measures were meant to safeguard the NES’s success vs the Atari 2600, but devs were not happy with them. Let’s also remember the strongarm tactics Nintendo took vs Tengen (which was admittedly secretly Atari) and other devs to get what they want. I want to make the distinction that this was particularly during the era Hiroshi Yamauchi was president and Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln were handling the US division. The company has genuinely taken a different turn when they gave CEO duties to a developer, Satoru Iwata, and US leadership to a marketing man in Reggie Fils-Aime.

        You could hypothesize Nintendo has always had a tenuous relationship with 3rd parties, and this was where Sony was smart in how they enticed them away.

        Not to be entirely down on Nintendo though, they’ve taken bold steps now with the Wii U. Opening up the console to indies the way they have, publishing games like Lego City Undercover and Bayonetta 2, partnering with Namco on Smash Bros. These are the things Nintendo is doing to get 3rd parties interested in working with them, and these are great steps forward. It’s just that they’re not enough to

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Yep, I understand and agree with everything you’ve just said. Nintendo’s restrictions in the NES era helped third parties produce some quality games, but later on it’s easy to see why the lack of restrictions plus Sony doing more reaching across the aisle gave third parties even more of an edge on and incentive to develop for PlayStation. Thus, the massive rise of third parties during those years.

  • zdog

    Well that perfectly sums up my outlook on gaming. Great great article. 3rd parties don’t just throw F words, mindless violence, and trashy females at me expecting me to open up my wallet. It won’t happen. I want a deep experience, but use your head to get me there, not the “hardcore” gimmicks.

  • MagoIichi

    This article was so on point I’m going to save it and spread it.

  • dafuzz

    Meh. I find it funny the effort nintendo fans go to to justify that 3rd party games sell well on nintendo consoles. I dont necessarily know if what you have said is correct or not – you may very well be right. But I dont care as I am not a nintendo gamer. And chances are 3rd party devs wont either – the games industry is all about perception and current scuttlebutt says that 3rd party games will not sell well on nintendo CONSOLES (not handhelds) unless they are casual.. Until a 3rd party AAA western game does really well on the Wii U (and possibly sells more than on the ps4 or xbox 720) and nintendo can then point a righteous finger at devs saying “third party games SELL” then chances are developers will be reluctant to put their games on the console. Especially since porting to the Wii U will be more complicated due to the controller and the lower specs (compared with next-gen consoles).

  • GaySkull

    This is really the dumbest article I have ever read this weak. Its as dumb as that doom and gloom article “Nintendo is the new Sega” from Forbes.

    Mr. Plant obviously have no practical knowledge who patronizes Nintendo products then and now; their purchasing habits through the years that affected Nintendo platforms ups and down.

    Do you pro and anti Nintendo bloggers do your homework and research in search of the truth and real solutions to the problems or just for clicks?

    It really doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.

    No wonder the real answers evade you.

    Take off your cool glasses. Open your eyes and see.

    • DarthDiggler

      AMEN! Tired of hearing about Lazy developers who work 50+ hours a week. Laziness is never the reason for a poor port. Bad management, bad director, developers not up to spec on their craft are all valid concerns. Laziness just doesn’t belong in this discussion.

      • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        They say laziness, but they mean lack of perspective

      • Nintendofreak

        i say its not devs but more the publishers like ea for example

    • Twister27

      “It really doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.”

      Figure what out?!? The only critique you gave in this post was that people shouldn’t blame the developers, something that Alex Plant did not do in the article.

  • Jdrm03

    lol! Title should really be: Nintendo Fans Too Dumb For Continuing To Fall For Their Stupid Gimmicks and Decade Old Hardware lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Felipe-Teixeira/100000325035727 Felipe Teixeira

    So in summary, a third party would need to do a Exclusive on their on risk, because what sell on PSXbox don’t sell on Wii and vice-versa… so you can expect no third party support for Wii U, because with the low sales of the system no third party would do it without backing from Nintendo.

  • cusman

    “while Rare supplemented the same crowd with the breakout Mortal Kombat series”

    Wait who what? Stops reading as content has lost all credibility.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Oh man. I meant Killer Instinct. Typed Mortal Kombat. How embarrassing – thanks for noticing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blake.wigert Blake Wigert

    We’re too smart to buy the “AAA” titles because they are crap when on Nintendo consoles, compared to the “almighty PS and XBOX” and that is when we actually get a 3rd party game. Usually we don’t get them. Developers must analyze the systems limitations and give the best game they can. As much as I hate stroking CoD’s ego, Black Ops 2 is the first competent major 3rd party I’ve seen on a Nintendo console, (I define major as a game that most everyone wants which is what Nintendo fans are often denied) it’s not watered down the graphics are great the only thing I despise about this otherwise stellar game is the online connectivity, it is always failing can’t even play a round of Zombies sans a system link connection and multiplayer on the off chance it works you can only play a handful of consecutive games if your lucky and only play Team Deathmatch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blake.wigert Blake Wigert

    Nintendo fans do like “hardcore” games, just recite a list of XBOX or PS 3rd parties to Nintendo gamers and ask them to say Yes or No to whether they want it or not and again to whether Nintendo’s systems got any of those games, and a third time to whether the games Nintendo got were/are of comperable value, gameplay, graphics wise, to “The almighty XBOX and PS” versions
    I see a lot of no’s in my little mock up here regarding whether we even get a game and if it is of comparable value, often when we get a 3rd party it is sub par to “The almighty XBOX and PS” versions, which makes us not want to buy them, which in turn causes 3rd parties to not develop for Nintendo. Is it any wonder Nintendo doesn’t do 3rd parties when they make their console look weak or inferior or “kiddy” oriented. There is already a pungent climate of anti-Nintendo hate, people dissing their system, wanting them to go software only, etc. I believe that if the 3rd parties were willing to stick their neck out with a game Nintendo fans vocally call for they would have a successful selleras long as it was done with Nintendo’s limitations in mind, but, limitations of the system should not limit the gameplay experience

  • Nintendofreak

    i actually liked no more heroes , and madworld especially nmh2