This is the second of a five part series. Click here to read part 1!
So Nintendo is showing off the Skylanders Superchargers Donkey Kong/Bowser characters and that sums up many things that are wrong with Nintendo and 3rd parties right now…
Now let me first say that I actually think this collab is a good idea. It just is half-assed. The amiibo Skylanders are a good idea, and it is half-assed. 3rd party support on Wii U would be a good idea, but every support there is, is half-assed. See a theme here?
Now Spike, I hear you say, what would you do any better? Well, first of all I would have announced new Mario Kart DLC that is free and specifically uses those Skylanders amiibo. Basically, if you scan those, you unlock the vehicle parts for the vehicles Donkey Kong and Bowser use in the Skylanders game as well as their alternative skins. This is what Nintendo should have done. This way you get so much more content out of your toys without paying extra cash and you give people who never heard or cared about Skylanders an incentive to at least check out the videos.
I sometimes say that there are cases where no 3rd party support is better than bad one, and the Wii U is such a case. Let’s take Assassin’s Creed for example. Nintendo fans never had a chance to build a relationship with the franchise on a Nintendo console. When Part 3 (actually 5, actually 8) was released on Wii U, of course nobody bought it on that system. There was no fanbase, and those who knew the game already bought it for the machine they bought the others for. The fact that the Wii U port was a shody mess certainly did not help, neither did the fact that half of the DLC was missing.
Ubisoft could have just released the Heritage Collection for the system, like it did on any other system around that time to give Nintendo fans an idea what it was all about. But they didn’t. They then ported AC4 to Wii U, another bad port and lo and behold that one didn’t sell either so Ubisoft stopped supporting the franchise for Wii U, not releasing Liberation HD and Rogue either. Now, is it Ubisoft’s fault that things went down the way they did? A bit, yes, since their ports were shoddy and they never grew an audience for those games on Nintendo systems. But Nintendo is also at fault here since they clearly did not support Ubisoft with their ports at all.
What Nintendo should have done, and to an extend still should do, is talk to Ubisoft and ask them to bring the Heritage Collection with all DLC over to Wii U. Nintendo could have used some of their cash to help foot the bill or provie support for this, but no such thing ever happened. Ubisoft already had the engine for AC3 set up for Wii U so a port of the older games in that engine would have helped them make the work quicker, easier and best of all, better looking since the AC3 engine supports more features than the older one. Not only would Nintendo have the best version of the Heritage Collection, it would also have the best looking version of those games on any console. This is how you build a fanbase.
Similar things happened with Konami and EA, both companies released games on Wii U and 3DS that were the last part of a trilogy without porting the other parts over while at the same time releasing said trilogies on other systems in a complete package for the same price as that one shoddy port on a Nintendo System. Both cases have only hurt Nintendo and both cases sold abyssmal, not surprisingly. Again, Nintendo could have approached those publishers and helped them with porting the other games over, something they clearly did with Bayonetta 1 when they funded the sequel – two incredibly great games who sold less than they should have I might add.
So what is Nintendo supposed to do, you ask? Well how about actually going out talking to publishers? How come the new Tomb Raider comes for PS3 and XBox 360 but not Wii U? Why did the 2013 reboot not come for Wii U? Nintendo could clearly benefit from such a game and yet there is none. If Square Enix doesn’t want to foot the bill, Nintendo should have.
Why do they think there are so many exclusives from 3rd parties for PS4 or XBox One? Bloodbourne for example. Because Sony and Microsoft pay for those. So how come Nintendo isn’t doing the same, or at least pay for a port over to your system? Why isn’t there a Ninja Gaiden Trilogy on Wii U? Port Sigma 1 and 2 over and put it in a trilogy package with Razor’s Edge. Again, nobody bought Razor’s Edge on Wii U since it was clearly the third part of a trilogy on a system that never got the first two. There is that half-assed theme again. It may not be the best action game but it still would have sold better if Nintendo fans had access to the other two.
Perhaps Nintendo will learn with the NX. I personally doubt it but maybe I am wrong. This may be a question of leadership or it may be a question of false expectations. Perhaps there is a problem with internal messaging. Whatever it is, it has to change, otherwise Nintendo could deliver the highest spec console on the market and still nobody would care.
Oh and end region locking.
This is the second of a five part series. Click here to read part 3!