Well, the writing is certainly on the wall isn’t it? Most fellow Nintendo gamers would surely ask me to hold off this gloom and doom report until next year, but I think the possibilities of reverse this trend are increasingly inescapable.
This post is a reaction to Emily Rogers excellently written article on the business relationships of Nintendo and Ubisoft, together with other North American and European gaming companies. She certainly proves the point categorically that there is a problem. I might criticise only that somehow her model of building an elaborate, nuanced gaming library excludes how things used to be done in the classical age of gaming, but holding out that point of resistance seems to miss the obvious point.
Ubisoft cannot profit on the WiiU as things stand right now. Their profits from the Wii are diminishing, and they are not getting any better off. One of Nintendo’s last, strongest holdouts of support for its consoles is no doubt feeling the pain, and failing a large turnaround, will surely pull up stakes early in the new year. As it stands, many of its Mature rated games are already not being designed for multiplatform including the WiiU, and as such will come (if ever) as lackluster, delayed ports. The writing is on the wall, folks. So, who’s up for a rousing game of “Whose fault is it anyway?”
I can’t shake the sense of blame centered on me. I love Nintendo and cannot see value in a purchase that takes me further away from Nintendo’s brilliant game designers. I enjoy Ubisoft games, and I will define myself in that list of interested, eager gamers who would of put money toward Splinter Cell: Blacklist, if only it didn’t come with a hefty $300 buy-in price. I should be exactly the sort of gamer both companies need to make their little partnership work. So why can’t they motivate me?
In a word, sustenance. The archtypical first world problem, the first and most terrifying, is to be surrounded by choices and have to weigh each against my long term well being. Sucks to be unemployed, then, I guess, but I wasn’t any better off last year when working full time. Then I had a minimum wage income, from which I derived skillful savings on which I survive now. But then, I had no free time! I have lots now, but every expenditure that can’t be defined as “essential” feels like food from my mouth! Then I could spare an expenditure here or there, but however shall I benefit from this when I have to hurry up and go to work and never return?
Well, I obviously returned once I was unemployed…
As much as I would like to make Nintendo and Ubisoft’s problem my own, I really cannot afford it! I can’t shake the feeling that there are lots of people just like me, too. Nintendo falls who want to help, Ubisoft fans eager to make the purchase, but circumstances are just not working out for us. For whatever reason, the other platforms are not held back by these challenges, and Sony and Microsoft are able to find non-deadbeat players to sustain their army of video game partners.
Well, I’m just not going to make this my problem, Nintendo, Ubisoft. You’ll just have to do what it takes to balance your own houses.
Things do look bad for the WiiU. It now competes directly with both the PS4 and Xbox One, and indirectly with a great number of other worthy competitors, like the Steam machines, like the Mobile market, like the 3DS family. Initial rumors of the 2DS proclaim the standout hit of the year, far outstripping even the lofty hardware numbers of the HD twin consoles by a country mile. Nobody wants to say it, well, I’ll say it. I gotta say it:
The 3DS is all the console that I really need.
GameCube levels of power? Check! Stand up library of classics? Check! Backwards compatibility with the DS library, and all of its great hits? Check! It is by far the better deal than anything else on the market right now. Unless you want HD, which I still can’t see the value of. Or how about shooter arenas? There aren’t too many shooters on the 3DS! Yeah, I’ve sworn off shooters – angries up the blood, you know.
Maybe you want BIGGER experiences? Ha, trollololololol. Like there is even one experience on PS4 or Xbox One that answers Fire Emblem Awakening for sheer volume. Big experiences are efficient with their resources; wasteful experiences with lots of flash and no substance do not faze me. This point of view works all the better for my artistic appreciation of sprite art, which seems to be a dying art form among the Triple A game makers these days.
Child of Light by Ubisoft looks fantastic, and I would love to support it.
*Sigh* Looks at favored copy of Beyond Good and Evil on the GameCube. Just the way things go I guess. There are winds of change, and I can’t really blame Ubisoft for taking the actions that they need to in order to survive.