For the first time in a very long time, third-party support will be a major factor on a Nintendo console. With big name games such as Mass Effect 3, Darksiders 2, and Assassin’s Creed 3 all arriving on the platform at launch, it seems (at least for the time being) that the Big N has finally mended the software gap that it faced with its competitors during the Wii era.
While the third-party support is beginning to lineup, one major developer, Bethesda, has admitted that it still isn’t on board with the Wii U hardware just yet.
Bethesda’s Pete Hines has revealed that the next-gen Nintendo console currently doesn’t fit in with their plans. While speaking with MCV, Hines went into detail about why the console isn’t something his company is currently looking at, but didn’t rule out supporting the system eventually — claiming that future Wii U projects are to be decided.
“So far the Wii hasn’t fitted into that. Whether Wii U does down the road is TBD.”
Hines went into greater detail, though, making clear that Bethesda wasn’t opting to not produce content on the format due to a lack of power — or anything of that nature for that matter. Simply, the studio just doesn’t want to invest in a console that is still without a concrete user base, and that’s completely understandable from a developmental perspective.
“For me the problems with new consoles are two-fold. The developers are trying to hit a moving technical target, because the platforms are being built. A new console doesn’t just show up a year before launch and is exactly what it will be when it comes out. It moves and iterates along the way. And introducing something like that to games that are in development is always a bit tricky. And that is obviously an element of risk.”
“The second point is that your install base always starts at zero. Then it comes out and suddenly a certain number of people buy it but it won’t be the same number as the current gen. So you have divided your audience. It’s then a case of: Are we just making it for the next gen? Or next gen and current gen? And how many people from the current gen that I’m targeting have moved over to the next gen? It does complicate things a little bit.”
Despite reports that Bethesda was considering porting Skyrim to the Wii U, it’s obvious that there are no current plans to support the hardware. Regardless, the Elder Scrolls dev isn’t withholding content for any other reason than to wait and see how well the Wii U performs at the marketplace. If it does well, then Bethesda’s current stance on the system will likely change.
That being said, it wouldn’t require much man-power or funds to port Skyrim over to the Wii U (in comparison to developing a new title from the ground up), and the potential to glance down at the GamePad and find where you’re located on a map is a rather tempting premise.
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