ZombiU was Nintendo’s key argument that the Wii U was also for the hardcore gamer. So it’d be nice to hear it’ll get a followup at some point. Unfortunately, Ubisoft doesn’t intend anything of the sort.
Why? Well, hold onto your hats: A third-party exclusive for a modern Nintendo system bombed.
Yves Guillemot, Chairman and CEO of Ubisoft, is typically one of the biggest proponents of new systems, but betting big on the Wii U didn’t work out well for the company. ZombiU, one of the most popular launch titles for the system with players, was not profitable, he says. Not even close. As such, he says, there are no plans (or even desire) for a sequel.
Ouch. Apparently, this tanking was also instrumental in delaying Rayman Legends, as it was retooled into a multiplatform game. So what does this mean for the Wii U?
Well, there are two ways to look at it. The first is that this is the result of Nintendo being Nintendo; Ubisoft is far from the only publisher complaining about Nintendo’s refusal to, for example, build a more robust online system, or push any games that don’t come from Nintendo itself. And Nintendo has, since 2001, been less and less concerned about third-party games: Witness all the PS2 shovelware that got dumped onto the Wii.
It’s also easy to see Nintendo being the beneficiary of competitor mistakes. EA’s Peter Moore states that he feels that the Wii U is “out of sync” with EA’s vision of the future… but in light of EA’s recent stumbles, is that really such a bad thing? One could argue Nintendo serving as a check against publisher abuse of online connectivity is a good thing. Similarly, the Xbox One is going to make consumer rights a serious discussion when it comes to console sales this holiday season: Even with its DRM reversed, it still has a high-definition camera you can’t unplug. Expect a lot of news reports about how you’ll be bringing a camera into your home.
The second is that Nintendo’s luck might finally be running out. Of course, we said that with the Gamecube, and then look what happened. So we shouldn’t count Nintendo out yet.