With Sledgehammer Games taking over the reins for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as it marks the franchise’s first entry designed specifically for next-gen systems, it’s been known for some time that Activision wouldn’t be leaving the Xbox 360 or PS3 out of the fun. While those ports of the game will be handled by High Moon Studios, the developer has confirmed that Advanced Warfare will be skipping the Nintendo Wii U altogether.
That writing has been on the wall long before now, with Nintendo’s latest console noticeably absent from the confirmed platforms. It’s no secret that the Wii U has been far from a leading platform for recent Call of Duty titles, but have been supported more often than not – with Treyarch working on Wii U version of both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Black Ops 2.
But Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condry let the hammer fall (forgive us) on Twitter, when asked pointedly if and when the Wii U version would be detailed. It isn’t the news that Nintendo fans have hoped for, but it leaves little suspense from here on out:
@1422644 no, no WiiU. That was an Activision decision. We are focused on XboxOne, PS4, and PC.— Michael Condrey (@MichaelCondrey) August 20, 2014
With this announcement following hot on the heels of Ubisoft’s explanation that no more Assassin’s Creed games will be released on the Wii U, it’s clear Nintendo is not having a terrific week. The fact that Activision chose to make the decision while also boasting that the three-team development cycle – led by Infinity Ward, Treyarch and now Sledgehammer – allows them more freedom than ever to take risks.
Despite that, it seems that supporting the Wii U’s community of CoD fans isn’t worth the trouble or cost from the publisher’s point of view; just as Ubisoft claimed that only a small portion of the Wii U player base is interested in ‘mature’ games. The obvious conclusion (assuming that Activision hasn’t suddenly ruled that the overall sales of Wii U are too low to support) is that like AC, Wii U owners simply aren’t as interested in Call of Duty as they need to be.
That in itself isn’t shocking; the best games on the platform – and those which brought a boost in sales – were developed by Nintendo’s first party studios. But if more third party publishers continue to rule that the Wii U isn’t a part of their audience, those disappointed by announcements like these have some hard questions to ask themselves.
Are you Wii U owners saddened by this news, or does this seem like an inevitable shift given the success of next-gen consoles and the Wii U’s modest growth? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.