Despite one disappointing development after another, many Wii U owners remain happy with their console purchase - since a handful of first party games are still pushing sales for Nintendo's new system. Yet, while titles like Super Mario 3D World are receiving rave reviews, third party support for Wii U has completely fallen off a cliff - with one publisher after another abandoning proposed projects and shutting out Nintendo (even on multi platform releases).
Now, we're getting word of a new victim in Nintendo's ongoing struggle against third-party number crunching - as Warner Bros. Interactive has cancelled plans to develop Batman: Arkham Origins DLC for the Wii U. Meaning, those who chose to support Nintendo's system are actually shut-out of story content that PS3, PC, and Xbox 360 owners will get to enjoy.
In an official statement, Warner Bros. Interactive passes the blame on to Nintendo - claiming the lack of demand for DLC on the console made producing further Arkham Origins Wii U content unfeasible.
Here's the full statement from the publisher (courtesy of VG24/7):
"Based on demand for DLC content on the system, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has made the decision to remove its offering of the upcoming all-new story campaign for Wii U."
It's unclear, at this point, if Warner Bros.' lack of demand for DLC claim is due to the Wii U's small install base (relative to its current-generation colleagues) or the result of a casual consumer culture that is less informed about post-release DLC add-ons. No doubt, there are plenty of savvy gamers who own Wii U consoles but it's also likely that a significant chunk of owners are parents (purchasing the console for their family) - who assume that every piece of game content is on the physical disc.
After all, DLC and game patches were a (mostly) foreign concept on Nintendo home consoles prior to the Wii U - so it's not shocking that a good chunk of Wii U owners might not be up on the system's digital download features.
Regardless, in the era of DLC "Season Passes," canceling unreleased content isn't as simple as saying, "we're sorry," it also means returning any money that gamers had already shelled out - under the assumption that Warner Bros. Interactive would actually release the promised (and pre-ordered) DLC add-ons. Fortunately, Nintendo is being proactive, ensuring that everyone who purchased the Arkham Origins season pass will get their money back:
From Nintendo Support:
Thanks so much for your support of Batman: Arkham Origins on Wii U. We are contacting you today because you purchased the Batman: Arkham Origins Season Pass for Wii U. We hope you’ve been enjoying the content that has been delivered thus far. Based on demand for Downloadable Content on the system, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has made the decision to remove its offering of the upcoming new story campaign for Wii U. As a result, we will be crediting the entire $19.99+tax cost of the Season Pass back to your Nintendo eShop account. You will still be able to enjoy the content already released thus far. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your support of the game.
The good news (as indicated above): Wii U gamers will get to keep any content that did make it to the console free of charge - specifically the Initiation challenge maps and pre-order costume packs. The bad news: of all the planned DLC, the upcoming story campaign add-on was likely the main reason that gamers would have purchased a season pass in the first place.
Still, players shouldn't be entirely surprised by the development - given that Warner Bros. Interactive had previously backed out of supporting their other DC Comics title, Injustice: Gods Among Us, post launch - with only select pieces of content delivered through the Nintendo eShop. Furthermore, this isn't even the first time that Nintendo Arkham Origins players have had to settle for missing features - given that the Wii U version didn't even include the title's multiplayer mode (and never will).
In the end, it's another disconcerting blow to Nintendo, who has struggled to attract third-party publishers ever since the Wii U launch - and had to face the music this past month when they recalculated hardware projections, and worst of all, revealed significant losses to investors.
Batman: Arkham Origins is available on PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360.
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