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Wii U Excuses Have to Stop

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When the concept of this little article
initially popped in my head it was a rather one-sided affair. I
wanted to address excuses the industry may likely be rationalizing
themselves with in order to not properly show support for the Wii U.
However, as I was gathering some information to create this piece I
came upon a rather interesting revelation: The Wii U fans need to
stop creating excuses as well.

As a long time Nintendo fan I am well
aware of how the industry has generally treated our ilk. I am aware
that popular analysts like Michael Pachter have often predicted some
not-so-great things for Nintendo and often times Nintendo tends to
prove those predictions wrong. I am aware that when you go around to
most general purpose gaming news sites, you can see a clashing of
multiple fanboyisms, in particular to loyalty on console brands.

The Sony and Microsoft fans tend to be
the most common frequenters of these sorts of sites, but that makes a
lot of sense when you consider the fact that both companies have been dabbling in
the online community for many years with Xbox Live and the
PlayStation Network. Only recently has Nintendo tried to get involved
itself with the Nintendo Network, and it may take a few years before
you see more Nintendo fans crawling into those same sites.

Still, a common trend is to put down
Nintendo and write them off. They had the Wii, which was a kiddy
console. They had the DS, whose most popular games are enjoyed by
kids. Yet, while many educated Nintendo fans know neither of these
factoids are true, it works the other way around. Often times we
Nintendo fans think we’re superior—that Sony and Microsoft fans are
mindless drones, graphic whores, and any other number of hate
speeches we wish to toss their way as we try to defend “our way”
of gaming.

The fact is, we’re all gamers. Gaming
is a such a wide spectrum that includes everything from FarmVille on
Facebook, Words With Friends on iPhones, and Wii Sports to games like
Uncharted, Gears of War, Halo, and even The Legend of Zelda. There is
no right or wrong way to game and no game that is superior to
another’s personal taste. We all game because it entertains us in
some way, and who are we to put down another who enjoys something
that we may not? Sure, we can argue that maybe they aren’t
looking at it in the right light, but we can’t dictate what everyone
should enjoy on their own personal level.

This leads into the entire debate about
the Wii U. Right now, the sales are dwindling, we haven’t had any
notable new content since November 18th, and the first of
what was supposed to be a consistent monthly release of quality
content with Rayman Legends was delayed for porting.
We’ve heard that developers who attended D.I.C.E. have canceled a
slew of Wii U projects likely because they don’t see a market there
yet, while many of these same developers supported the PlayStation 3 when it
had worse sales in its first year, supposing it would eventually find
a market.

Logically we could say that Nintendo
has been at this for over 25 years, so the only for sure thing you
can state is that they can and will prevail. So why not support the
only system you know won’t go away? Saying this as fans makes a lot
of sense to us. We’re frustrated at the lack of content, and for some,
the lack of compelling reasons to buy the console. Many won’t see one
until the next Zelda game arrives.

This ignores the other side of the
spectrum. It ignores the rift Nintendo has made with 3rd
parties dating back to the N64 era. That isn’t to say other companies
necessarily treat third parties any better today, but none of those
companies have a history of turning their backs on them for as long
as Nintendo does.

It ignores the fact that some companies
have tried to sell their games on Nintendo platforms even as recently
as the Wii. Games like Madworld seemed rather brilliant, but
its abysmal sales have lead to it being a one and done game. The
fact they didn’t try to bring it to other consoles could simply be an
indicator that they lost too much money on it to afford such an
endeavor.

Dead Space: Extraction was a
fantastic on-rails arcade style shooter. It fit perfectly with the
Wii and the controls were near flawless. A quality experience. Why
didn’t it sell? Many fans claim because it wasn’t a true Dead
Space
game. Is that really the excuse? Would Dead Space 2
sell any better? Could it just be that Nintendo gamers have a
different taste in games than those on the 360 and PS3?

While many will state they played
Assassins Creed III and really wanted Rayman Legends,
the numbers say that we’re really the minority of the Wii U’s
consumer base, not the majority. Most Wii U owners have one of two
games, if not both: Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros.
U
. ZombiU has sold 330,000 copies and is the most
successful non-Nintendo game on the platform. It’s a respectable
number when there are only roughly 3 million Wii U owners in the
world.

Yet 1,520,000 copies of New Super
Mario Bros. U
have sold, which is an attach rate of 50%.
Nintendo Land‘s attach rate is even higher, coming in at
1,620,000 copies sold. When the next best non-Nintendo game from
launch stands at a mere 330,000 in comparison, it’s a rather ugly
trend. It only further proves the stigma that only Nintendo games sell to
Nintendo gamers.

Now, the only way to break this stigma
of course is to continue to give Nintendo gamers a steady stream of
content they aren’t use to getting. Maybe Assassins Creed III
only moved 100,000 copies on the Wii U, but wouldn’t those numbers
start to grow if future installments arrived? You would think so, as
Nintendo consumers start to become more aware of these games and
start to wonder what they are all about.

Fact remains, it is hard to get a 3rd
party developer to take that risk when they haven’t had much success
in the past decade on Nintendo consoles. If it wasn’t for the fact
that Call of Duty traditionally still moved a million units on
the Wii, you could argue we wouldn’t get that title either.

We as Nintendo fans have to respect the
fact that it hasn’t been easy going for 3rd parties on the
Wii U, and while they are partially responsible for this trend, they
aren’t wholly to blame. We may rage over Rayman Legends, but
the actual intent to buy crowd probably doesn’t even break the 50,000
mark, which only further proves the point that the games aren’t
selling.

Maybe people dislike what Pachter has
to say, but when has he ever directly attacked Nintendo’s games? He
has consistently said that Nintendo produces top notch software –
it’s really the sole reason Nintendo has remained relevant. Their
software is some of the best in the industry. Without something like
Wii Sports, how do we even know if the Wii would sell?

The fact remains that blame lies with
all of the above. We as fans need to be a bit more humble towards
other fan bases and other non-Nintendo related publishers. On the
other hand, we need those publishers to not so easily abandon us and
allow a base to grow naturally from a girth of content Nintendo
gamers aren’t accustomed to. No one is taking away our Mario, our
Zelda, our Pokémon, Kart, or Pikmin. Rather, we just want to see
some good faith support that promises a better tomorrow. Platinum is
a nice start, but we would love to see more.

In the end, folks, let’s stop making
excuses for why the Wii U should get support. Us just saying we want
it isn’t going to cut it, or comparing the support of the PlayStation
3 to the Wii U just isn’t a fair comparison. Those games were already
selling on the previous version of their latest system—they
weren’t selling on our Wii or our GCN. They knew they had a fanbase
that would come—they don’t know as of yet if they have one with
Nintendo.

The third party publishers also need to
stop making excuses. They need to realize the potential of a market
they are missing out on—the potential of the fact that while sales
for a few years may be low and not covering costs, the profits off
other consoles should make up for it. The fact that doing this is
going to create a base of gamers on those consoles from which profits
can be made. Maybe you only get a game up to 2 million sold on the Wii
U, but handled correctly, that will turn a nice profit margin. Handled
incorrectly and you end up with unreal expectations. Can’t we all
just… get along?

P.S. – It should also be noted for
those 360, PS3, Vita, and PC fans out there that just because a
Nintendo fan may come at you or you disagree with something Nintendo
does, it doesn’t give you open season rights to degrade us as lesser
gamers. Many of us do own 360s and PS3s. We do play these games on
PCs because we don’t have another option. At the same time, we’re
aware the Wii sold well to families and the DS too. We in turn hope
to be equally respectful back, and only dish criticism when it’s
deserved.

All sales figures were based off listings at VGChartz.

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Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
I am the current Editor-in-Chief of Zelda Informer and have been running the show here since July 16th, 2008. I've actually been running Zelda Fan sites since 1998, so I've been in this "industry" for roughly 16 years. I'm 28 years old and have two kids, one biological, the other more of a step daughter (not legally yet, but practically). I live with my girlfriend and our two kids (Aiden, age 1 and half, Melody age 3 and half). I'm attending college to create video games web applications, and I naturally love Nintendo (I run a Zeld a website after all!). For those curious, I currently own a Wii U, Xbox One, 3DS, PlayStation 3, and a gaming PC (and a gaming capable laptop too!). I do plan to eventually get a PlayStation 4, likely when more comes out I am interested in playing on the system. I do play the Wii U more than any other system I own.

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