One of the things that makes the Wii U different from its predecessor is Nintendo's newfound love of third-party publishers. Sure, third parties haven’t exactly been absent from Nintendo's systems, but the success of the console has never relied on outside development. They've always focused their efforts most heavily on in-house titles like Mario, Metroid, and Zelda. However, with the Wii U specs slightly outpacing the current generation of consoles, Nintendo is obviously trying to woo outside developers. And it's working.
More big-name third-party titles have been in the Wii U's launch lineup than any of its predecessors, but let's not forget that there's a huge difference between a console's launch and its legacy.
The thing is, large developers aren't really interested in creating games for such proprietary hardware. Maybe when Microsoft's SmartGlass and the Vita's crossplay functions become more well established we'll see a slew of tablet-based console titles. But until then, developing for the Wii U means that they're forced to focus their efforts into a single tiny market, which isn't exactly an efficient use of time.
Also, BioWare recently announced that any future DLC for Mass Effect 3 would not be released on the Wii U. They didn't cite any specific reasoning for the decisions, but I'm wondering if it's due to the console's limited scope and lack of commercial hype.
Obviously, there's no need to sound the alarm bells just yet, considering that only one publisher has yanked their content, but the fact that it happened less than 48 hours after the system's release seems like a bad omen for the Wii U.
However, let’s not forget that Nintendo hasn't ever let third-party developers decide the fate of their consoles. Their back catalog is large enough that, should they ever become worried about their sales figures, we'll see another classical character be re-imagined for the GamePad's hardware.
After all, they managed to rescue the 3Ds, the DS, and the GameCube from disaster. So, it's probably safe to put a little faith in Nintendo's ability (as long as we forget about the Virtual Boy).
Plus, we didn't want to buy Mass Effect on the Wii U anyway, did we?
Date: November 19, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*