Grand Theft Auto 5 has become one of the biggest video games in history, breaking multiple commercial records and selling over 40 million copies worldwide as of February. Not only that, but the title has gained an army of fans, and was a huge critical smash. The title’s success continued into the new console generation, with Xbox One and PS4 ports giving another batch of gamers the chance to play through Michael, Franklin and Trevor’s story.
It’s not all been fun and games, however. Rockstar has faced scorn from gamers over the slow development of new content for the title, with long delays over the Heist update suffering criticism until its release this month. Meanwhile, fans are still frustrated over the lack of movement on a PC release. Although the PC version is certain to come, delays have pushed back the port multiple times, with the latest PC release date set for April 14.
It looks like Grand Theft Auto 5 once stood to make the move to another platform, however, as rumor grows that Rockstar was briefly working on a prototype for the Wii U. The news was revealed by Liam Robertson from Unseen64, a website that is in-the-know when it comes to cancelled and unreleased games. Robertson took to Twitter to state that a reliable source once gave him a tip that Rockstar had worked with Nintendo’s console.
Received a tip a while back that GTA was prototyped for Wii U briefly. A reliable source, who will probably have me killed for saying this.— Tamaki (@Doctor_Cupcakes) March 27, 2015
Apparently the company was designing an earlier build of Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Wii U, but Robertson is unable to give a specific timeframe for when this work took place. However, the rumor fits with previous news. In 2012, Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime spoke about how impressed Rockstar was with the Wii U, continuing to state that Nintendo wanted to “create an environment where teams like Rockstar can bring their very best content to our platform.” Rockstar, too, has previously stated that PC and Wii U releases of the game were up for consideration.
Rockstar’s bestselling crime IP, which has sold a grand total of 185 million games worldwide since the franchise began, has rarely appeared on Nintendo platforms. The main series has never made its way onto a Nintendo home console, although spin-off titles and handheld ports have had better luck. Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 2, GTA Advance and Chinatown Wars have all made their way into the handheld market via Nintendo consoles.
It would have been interesting to see how Grand Theft Auto 5 would have worked on the Wii U, and whether Rockstar could have devised a way to use the gamepad touchscreen in an innovative way. As it stands, Wii U owners still have a number of more ‘adult’ game ports to contend with, but the granddaddy of them all will likely never be seen. We’ll have to wait and see if Nintendo’s next offering, the Nintendo NX, will offer up a Grand Theft Auto title when the time comes.