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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No Call of Duty; No Assassin's Creed

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - No justice; no peace.

Continuing our week of negative events happening, we have two very-close-together stories: Ubisoft is dropping Assassin's Creed titles on the Wii U (along with other M-rated titles), and Activision is dropping Call of Duty titles from the Wii U. This is right after talking about Electronic Arts and their continued mockery of Nintendo consoles. Do third parties just hate (console-side) Nintendo now? Is the Wii U only going to be first-party exclusives? (Note that those alone still make up a much better library than the Wii U's competitors' consoles.) Even third-party partners that appeared to have backed Nintendo, like Platinum Games, have left.

With the exception of SUDA 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture, none of these really bug me. 

(What a sweet pun.)

Let's address Ubisoft, though. We got an entire interview to analyze. Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, talked a bit about his company's strategy.
"What we see is that this year is still fine for the PS3 and 360, but next year because they are selling very quickly, we’ll move to the new hardware. After 2015, it will be hard for us to create games for those systems."
Basically, Ubisoft is going to stop porting stuff to PS3 and Xbox 360 starting in late 2015/2016. Compare to EA's policy.
“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.”
He later states that WATCH_DOGS is the only M-rated game from now on that Ubisoft has planned for the Wii U. (So expect the average ESRB rating to lower.) He also has some thoughts on the pros and cons of different methods of digital distribution that are outside the scope of this article, but they're worth looking at.

Hey, if it sells...

For the most part, Ubisoft is right. Follow the money, and look where the revenue streams are coming from. If Nintendo fans aren't interested in your content, don't waste money bringing it over. We call it "shovelware" when they do that. People like to say, "Oh, so-and-so system has a lot of games, but they're all shovelware!" They say it as a negative against a console.

Isn't a working definition of "shovelware" "content that people do not actually want"? Could you equate it to, say, filler? (Or filler articles?) Are these third-party games that are mass-market on other consoles shovelware on Nintendo's?

Where Ubisoft is wrong is that The Division is not coming to Nintendo consoles. I wrote an article on why that's wrong. I get excited over seeing The Division footage. Not that I look for it, but the times we saw it at E3 last year and this year? Great stuff. (If you actually read those live reaction logs and skip to just reading the Tom Clancy's The Division parts, you can see I'm a tad more excited for it than just "great stuff" but...) It would clearly do well on the Wii U.

Tom Clancy's The Division Wii U cover. (Fake)

It even has a tablet (read: Wii U GamePad) drone strike mode using the Xbox One's Microsoft Surface. The story is basically what happens if Ebola hits a major city. The game is tailor-made to current events! And that's exciting.

At least we have Splatoon.

Ludwig will not have an opportunity to own Tom Clancy's The Division. Well, he could, but he wouldn't be able to play it as a Nintendo-only owner. Follow him on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas, and maybe you can play online Wii U games with him like Mario Kart 8 or Splatoon in the future. And Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.

Upon a closer inspection of reality, maybe The Division wouldn't be so good on Wii U.


  1. Hmm, I don't think it's fair to say Platinum Games and Grasshopper Manufacture have left Nintendo. Neither has been a longtime Nintendo-exclusive developer, so it's quite possible we'll see future Nintendo games from them.

    1. I mean, they both said they have no future plans for Nintendo.
      (Except, y'know, Bayonetta 2.)

      Which really makes me sad about Grasshopper since I want No More Heroes 3 and Travis in Smash. ...SUDA 51 wants those things too!


  2. *Relevant and insightful commentary*

  3. As an x box owner and a wii u owner I can say that 3rd party is obviously more pronounced on the One, but Nintendo deffinetelly has the platform for 3rd party, and it has gamers that are literaly CRAVING 3RD PARTY SUPPORT.
    I LOVE my wii u, i just am entertained by my x box, and Ill go out on a limb saying most feel that way about there nintendo compared to the latter.

    1. Hi Maddison! Thanks for your comment and welcome to KoopaTV. ♪

      Well, I don't know if most Wii U owners feel a special sort of love with their console (as opposed to mere entertainment) but it's a comforting thought.
      Am I right to say it's the kind of love one would have for their (hypothetical?) young son — sometimes they're annoying and make bad decisions, but you kind of intangibly love 'em anyway?

      As for the business case, even though Wii U owners are begging for third party support and the Xbox One is overflowing with it, I guess the game standing out and having its unique moment for the week doesn't make up for the user base differences.

      For example, Toto Temple Deluxe got to appear on the front page of the Nintendo eShop, while it got nothing on Sony's and Microsoft's platforms. The game still sold the least on Nintendo's platform.


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