It comes as no surprise that Game Developers are out to make the quick buck at times. So when they develop a game on one platform and plan to bring it to others, there are naturally snags in the development cycle because each platform is slightly different in design. Apparently, in a massive conversation IGN had with a bunch of developers about the next generation of consoles - not only did 63% of them say that the Wii U is the hardest to develop games for, one had the audacity to say they wont work with it at all because it’s complexities.
This, despite the fact the entirety of Darksiders 2 was up and running on the Wii U in a mere 30 days. This, despite the fact the game worked with the controller after adding two simple lines of code. If THQ and Vigil, who are definitely not small time developers but certainly on the ropes, could convert a game designed entirely for other consoles to the Wii U in just a month’s worth of effort… why can’t everyone else? Oh that’s right - developers are lazy. So lazy in fact, that I bet of that 63% of developers that said the Wii U is the hardest to develop for… 80% of them likely haven’t even attempted to put a single game on the platform. They see the Wii U Tablet controller and gawk. It’s different, so it must be hard.
Never mind the fact that the tablet portion is optional. You don’t even have to do anything with it if you don’t want, and the streaming functionality is literally two lines of code to let the consumer switch it up. If that’s how lazy you want to be… you can leave your game at just that. The exact same game you get on the PS3/4 Xbox 360/720… just with the ability to switch screens. That’s it. That’s how simple it really is. Yet, you can’t even do that because the Wii U is too complex?
It’s so complex Ubisoft has converted all of their major titles to the platform rather quickly right? Hell, they added Wii U specific functionality at a record pace. Yet, it’s hard to develop for? When you take what developers who have actually worked with the platform say, and compare it to those who say they wont even bother… it’s a stark contrast in ideals. Now, I don’t know if the Wii U is hard to develop for - but I do know it has a very strong 3rd party lineup out the gate - many of these games that were already really far along or almost complete at the time they brought them to the Wii U… and it took almost no effort for any of those developers to bring the games to the new Nintendo platform. So, if that’s the case, why is it so much harder for others? My guess: Because they don’t even want to give it a try.
Nintendo is not considered a company that has a fan base that “their games will sell too”, despite the fact that in the past really good games have sold well, and that Nintendo is trying to lure more than their usual crowd this time around. Some developers see that tablet and go “here we go again”, and they hop ship without even giving it a second thought. They don’t care to notice that the tablet controller, for all intents and purposes, is the exact same controller the competition has. They see the screen and they run away. They don’t see potential for success, they see “more work, so thus, it is too hard to port games to, or port games from”. All that without actually giving it a try.
This is pretty common in the industry, and it’s a mentality that we always tell every day friends to break. Don’t knock something until you try it, and if you have tried it… prove it. No one is going to believe you when all these big boy companies like Ubisoft and EA are walking around telling a completely different story. Fact remains this: Of the people we know who have actually tried to make games for the Wii U… they are excited, have found it to be a lot easier than they thought it would be, and are looking forward to supporting the platform in the future. What we know from anonymous developers? They don’t like it, and may not support it, because it’s “too complex”. In a world where everyone is saying the exact opposite. Who do we believe?
I think the bevy of ports and cross platform games appearing on the Wii U at launch and beyond should be a big enough testament in this regard. The Wii U is not so complex it’s hard to develop for. In fact, it’s one of the easiest to develop for platforms there is, which is why it can have such a unique feature yet still be able to port games from other consoles so easily. Who are we kidding, we can’t make developers give Nintendo a chance can we? Of course not, that requires balls. Oh, and the willingness to stop making up excuses for their own laziness. It’s not Nintendo’s fault you wont support them this time folks.