The Wii U has had a few dark days with no companions. Many third-parties have abandoned the platform, such as Electronic Arts, a publisher that has no games coming for the system in 2013. However, other third parties are sticking it out. Ubisoft is offering a slew of Wii U titles throughout the remainder of 2013. Why did third-parties go away? According to Satoru Iwata, many of the launch titles for the Wii U did not sell well, as many of them were ports of year-old games on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
“Admittedly, there are currently a small number of announcements of new games by third-party software developers for Wii U. The attitude of Japanese developers and overseas developers are a bit different, and for overseas developers, some certainly announced that they would not release their key titles for Wii U, but other big publishers have made all of their main titles available for the platform. In this sense, we can say that this is not a universal trend but each software developer has its own thoughts. Naturally, it is desirable that many developers support Wii U and release a lot of games for the platform as soon as possible, and we think there are two things we must do right away.
One is to seamlessly release our first-party titles starting from next month to improve the momentum of Wii U. As third-party software developers do business for their own profits, they tend to avoid investing in a platform with little presence. We would therefore like them to see Wii U as a platform with which they feel they can make profits from an economical perspective. However, if we tried to do nothing but buying our way to create such a good condition for developers, our own business could collapse. Accordingly, we will give more momentum to Wii U through our software. This is one thing we need to do.
To explain the second point, let me show you a slide which shows some examples of Wii U games that had been announced by third-party developers at the time of E3. I am not in a position to discuss the software to be launched by the third-party developers in detail, but there are more key titles to be announced by them. The other important thing is to have a hit from such third-party titles. There were so many games released by third party publishers for Wii U during the launch period, but most of them were converted from other platforms and therefore could not enjoy brisk sales. As a result, some software developers have become pessimistic about Wii U. However, the time will come when some third-party games for Wii U and for other platforms are released at the same time this year. It is important to have given much momentum to Wii U around that period. If the number of consumers who prefer the Wii U version’s unique entertainment value, such as the ability to play games only with the Wii U GamePad (while the rest of the family is watching TV), increases to a certain extent where third-party publishers notice unexpected hit Wii U titles from other publishers and realize this system’s business potential, its momentum will be improved. Even if these publishers did not have any concrete plans to develop Wii U software, they will swiftly change their minds when they see the successful examples from others. By giving sales momentum to Wii U through our first-party software in the short run and seeing success from third-party software within this year, we would like to dramatically change the situation of Wii U next year and beyond. Thank you.”
I really do hope Nintendo can get some third party support on Wii U in the future. The lack of other publishers is one of the public’s main complaints about the system. Abolishing that would make the Wii U’s image that much better.