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Let's talk intelligently: Is the Wii done as far as third parties go?

Mar 10, 2005
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Disclaimer: A year or so back, Amir0x started a thread asking the question "Do game journalists hate the Wii?" He presented his argument, other people presented theirs, and there was relatively no trolling and most of the posts were pretty well thought-out. I'm not a mod, so I can't threaten a ban for those things here, but maybe we can self-regulate and try and get that kind of discourse without fear of punishment, just fear of looking stupid. Sound good? Cool.

So this hasn't exactly been a banner year for Wii and third parties. Hell, this hasn't even been a good week for Wii and third parties.

Early in the year, Capcom's Chris Kramer expressed complete bafflement about what the Wii audience wants. EA is porting their (bombed) Dead Space Extraction to the PS3, they're taking the former Wii exclusive that is not even out yet, NBA Jam, and releasing a different (not chopped down, different) version relegated to a pack-in bonus on the HD systems. Capcom's Sengoku Basara 3 sold better on the PS3 than the Wii to the tune of a 5:1 ratio in Japan this past week.

These are not isolated examples. Look at the 2010-2011 list for the PS3 and 360, take note of how many third party games are in development, and look at the same list for the Wii. We're looking at token support from Sega in the form of a Sonic game and a Conduit sequel. A Raving Rabbids game that Ubisoft will not actually explain what it is. Right now a person with a MacBook Pro has more AAA games from major third parties to look forward to than a Wii owner does.

This is not to disparage Wii owners - I am one, that little white box has brought me a lot of fun. But consider this: the biggest PS3/360 third party release this summer? Take your pick: Red Dead Redemption, Splinter Cell, Lost Planet 2, etc. The biggest third party Wii games? Trauma Team (one of my GOTYs) and Arc Rise Fantasia. I italicized that so you can let that sink in.

The one third party game to get excited about that also might not completely bomb is Epic Mickey. That's the ballgame. And win or lose, third parties will still be incredibly done with the system. Maybe Nintendo is okay with that. Third parties are attacked to the 3DS like remora on a whale and Nintendo seems okay with letting them do that.

For all the comments of "Who buys Nintendo systems for third party games?" (which I promise you are coming, even from people who read this exact line), the fact of the matter is, they are the market leader and could not wrangle third parties in to their stable. Is it pointless for Nintendo to continue fighting this losing battle or should they keep trying even knowing it's fruitless?
 

Aeana

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Jul 10, 2006
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I don't have a lot to contribute to this discussion except to say that it does seem like third parties, in general, are abandoning the system. Dragon Quest 10 is still a Wii game, though, so there's that.
 

Beth Cyra

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Nov 7, 2009
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It's not dead yet.

Wii is still getting what will probably be the biggest console game this generation outside of NSMB Wii in Japan when Dragon Quest X ships.

Otherwise, eh who knows. I think we have some more games then you listed coming down the pipe, but not a whole lot and none I believe will light up sales charts outside of DQ.
 

Linkhero1

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Sep 2, 2006
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I hope not, but from what I've seen so far it doesn't seem to be getting as much attention as 360 and PS3 in terms of third parties. I thought it would have changed over these past few months but it hasn't and I'm unsure about the Wii's third party support now.
 
May 14, 2008
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Aeana said:
I don't have a lot to contribute to this discussion except to say that it does seem like third parties, in general, are abandoning the system. Dragon Quest 10 is still a Wii game, though, so there's that.
Dragon Quest is Dragon Quest and will sell bazillions no matter what system it appears on. It'll have neither a positive nor negative effect on future 3rd party titles to release, and it's releasing so late in the console's lifetime that it wouldn't matter anyways.
 

Faxanadu

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Jan 6, 2010
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IMO it's basically done.

I don't see 3rd party failure on the Wii as a problem for Nintendo as much as it is a problem for the industry. No one expected Nintendo to "win". The people spoke and said they wanted decent graphics at an affordable price & fun. The industry didn't listen. They are too busy chasing the HD Graphic Clowns.

When something doesn't adapt to change what happens? Ask the Dinosaurs.

This is, in part, why the industry is failing....
 

InsaneZero

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Jul 25, 2008
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It's far, far, far too late in the video game development cycle to start anything meaningful on the Wii, and there's been nothing coming down the pipes as far as third parties go save for DQX.

They're done with the system. Nintendo says that it means to extend the Wii's lifespan more somehow, but even they probably realize how badly they need a hardware refresh. The Wii Vitality Sensor will be its last major release before they move on.
 

wazoo

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Jun 10, 2004
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I do not see a lot announced for 2011. Even the first half pre-E3 seems empty.
 

Boney

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Jan 6, 2010
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I'd have to say yes, at least in the traditional manner. You're not gonna get games that will get us excited from third parties, but instead, we'll be seeing a lot more of Just Dance type of games.

As we all know, this has been a self fulfilling prophecy with 3rd parties chasing down the mythical "Wii audience" by dumbing down their core franchises, that really, only interest the core.

If Wii2 isn't out by holiday 2011, I expect Nintendo to make more of Other M/Last Story type of deals to keep the system afloat. But really, it is exceptional they've basically kept the system alive all by themselves.
 

Rich!

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Dec 16, 2009
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Faxanadu said:
When something doesn't adapt to change what happens? Ask the Dinosaurs.

This is, in part, why the industry is failing....
Because it's going to get wiped out by a giant meteorite?

Either way, I do honestly think the Wii has a year left. Just like with the gamecube, I think Zelda is going to be the console's last hurrah. But I'm most likely wrong.
 

Grimmy

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Sep 8, 2005
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If you look at the Wii lineup in Famitsu every week, you'll know that the support dried up quite a while ago. Maybe someone with previous Famitsu content tables can pinpoint more concretely exactly when did the support start shriveling up.
 

Pureauthor

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Jun 11, 2006
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The Wii as it stands is a horrible environment for third parties of the traditional stripe, and there's relatively little anyone can do to change that.

Third parties refused to build up a base during the system's early years, and Nintendo apparently did not do enough (or anything) to try to win them over. So that's where we stand now, and from a business perspective I'd be hard pressed to claim that putting more 3rd party games on the system is a good choice.

Of course the Wii is a relatively healthier choice for the people seeking places to put their expanded audience games, but I have a feeling this thread isn't talking about those.
 

Beth Cyra

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InsaneZero said:
It's far, far, far too late in the video game development cycle to start anything meaningful on the Wii, and there's been nothing coming down the pipes as far as third parties go save for DQX.

They're done with the system. Nintendo says that it means to extend the Wii's lifespan more somehow, but even they probably realize how badly they need a hardware refresh. The Wii Vitality Sensor will be its last major release before they move on.
This is simply not true.

As said it isn't a whole lot and the splash they will make is going to be pretty small all things considered but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Wii still has the game by one of the Street Fighter II creators (sorry I can't remember the name but we have a thread here on Gaf for it.) Goldeneye Remake, and The Last Story (It is funded by Nintendo but I don't think that will help it sell sadly.) as well as some multiplatform games.
 

GhaleonQ

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Aug 24, 2006
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Yeah, I'm "watching" Flip's Twisted World. Lost In Shadow was moved to 2011. Everything worthwhile to me (i.e., not downloadable) except for Trauma Team was left over from 2009. 2011 has MAYBE 1 game per quarter.

...So, yeah. That said, this is hardly a tragedy. Western developers pandered and Japanese developers made better games for the PSP and DS/3DS.
 

ipukespiders

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Oct 9, 2006
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As disappointing as the 3rd party support is for the Wii, I'm more wondering how this will affect the Wii's successor.
 

Faxanadu

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richisawesome said:
Because it's going to get wiped out by a giant meteorite?

Either way, I do honestly think the Wii has a year left. Just like with the gamecube, I think Zelda is going to be the console's last hurrah. But I'm most likely wrong.
The meteorite(s) being individual 3rd party companies themselves.
 

rollingstart

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Dec 12, 2006
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I think I might be the only one who doesn't care about a wii successor or anything. The Nintendo series of games on more powerful hardware would be nice, but now that they have a handheld that can do decent 3D gaming, I'd like them to treat it as their main platform.
 
Aug 14, 2006
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It's finished, doesn't matter if Epic Mickey or Goldeneye are successful or not. There isn't really enough time to develop any big major games for the system anyway since the Wii's successor will probably be announced at E3 next year and released late 2011/early 2012.

If Nintendo are smart, they'll be shopping around for their next console right about now.
 
Oct 14, 2006
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I've said this in the Media Create thread already - third parties created a situation on Wii where their games will not sell. They mostly did this by not building up a userbase for their games when they had the chance to.

When a system launches, its audience is almost uniformly made up of core gamers. This audience is starved of software and doesn't have a lot of options. This is a great chance for a publisher to release new IP or to expand the audience for existing IP - people will buy your game through lack of options and if your game is good, they'll also buy the sequel you release a year or so later.

The key then is to follow up on the launch window with a steady stream of releases so that you're cultivating the audience every time they're done with your last release. At the end, there's little need for esoteric market research to find out what the audience on a console wants - you've built the audience yourself and cultivated it from launch.

Thing is, prolonged release droughts will kill that audience. If you're not providing content to keep them excited, eventually, they will move on. This is what happened with Capcom and Ubisoft with the Wii. They hit the ground running with RE4 Wii and Red Steel. Both sold gangbusters and established an audience for their kind of title. Neither were followed up in a timely manner, however (in RE4's case, light gun spinoffs were not what the audience wanted and Red Steel 2 came far too late).

Nintendo, on the other hand, kept releasing games (with a few gaps - 2009 anyone?) and the Nintendo audience on the system is as strong as ever.

There was an audience for third party games on Wii. Third parties killed it.
 

InsaneZero

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Jul 25, 2008
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TruePrime said:
This is simply not true.

As said it isn't a whole lot and the splash they will make is going to be pretty small all things considered but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Wii still has the game by one of the Street Fighter II creators (sorry I can't remember the name but we have a thread here on Gaf for it.) Goldeneye Remake, and The Last Story (It is funded by Nintendo but I don't think that will help it sell sadly.) as well as some multiplatform games.
How would multiplatform games help Wii's momentum here, seriously? If it exists on another current-generation console, people will buy that instead.

The Last Story will sell, but like Xenoblade, it won't move units. It won't bring people to the system. That opportunity has long passed.

The main point here is that most of the audience that these games are made for just aren't there, and have already entrenched in their other consoles. This will be the downfall of the Goldeneye remake, and for anything else less profile than DQX that I already mentioned.
 

flyinpiranha

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Faxanadu said:
The meteorite(s) being individual 3rd party companies themselves.
You mean those companies that are putting out some of the best games I've ever played on the HD "Graphics Clowns"?
 

Platy

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Lost in Shadow,Goldeneye, Flip's Twisted World, Nba Jam, Epic Mickey, Xenoblade, Last Story, Dragon Quest ....

and wiiware !!!! WIIWARE !!!

Retro City Rampage, Bit.Trip.5 and 6, Explodemon, Ivy the Kiwi, Super Meat Boy, versions of La Mulana, Noitu Love 2, Descent .... even capcom suport of arcade games for Virtual Console ...

I may be insanely optimistic ... but ...
 

Linkhero1

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Platy said:
Lost in Shadow,Goldeneye, Flip's Twisted World, Nba Jam, Epic Mickey, Xenoblade, Last Story, Dragon Quest ....

and wiiware !!!! WIIWARE !!!

Retro City Rampage, Bit.Trip.5 and 6, Explodemon, Ivy the Kiwi, Super Meat Boy, versions of La Mulana, Noitu Love 2, Descent .... even capcom suport of arcade games for Virtual Console ...

I may be insanely optimistic ... but ...
Last Story and Xenoblade are third party now?
 

InsaneZero

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flyinpiranha said:
You mean those companies that are putting out some of the best games I've ever played on the HD "Graphics Clowns"?
Well, and those other companies that have either gone into the deep red or complete bankruptcy.

You know, like about 80% of the industry?

EDIT: Actually, it's more around 95% now that I think about it.
 

Rush2thestart

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ShockingAlberto said:
This is not to disparage Wii owners - I am one, that little white box has brought me a lot of fun. But consider this: the biggest PS3/360 third party release this summer? Take your pick: Red Dead Redemption, Splinter Cell, Lost Planet 2, etc. The biggest third party Wii games? Trauma Team (one of my GOTYs) and Arc Rise Fantasia. I italicized that so you can let that sink in.
None of those HD games came out during the summer...

Anyway, yeah, I think it's over as far as 3rd party games. We'll still get Epic Mickey, Goldeneye, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Sonic NBA Jam, Dragon Quest 9, Earth Seeker and other games. But that's about it. They're all moving to 3DS.

Perhaps if 3rd parties hadn't poisoned the market, the Wii would've been doing much better in software than it is now. As I see it, Nintendo will be forced to play their Wii 2 hand in 2011.

What's there for 2011 on Wii period? Here's what I came up with:

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Mario Sports Mix
Ghost Recon: Future
Dragon Quest X
The Last Story (maybe)
Xenoblade (maybe)
Pikmin 3 (maybe)
Earth Seeker

Overall, things are not looking good and Nintendo needs to jump off the sinking ship.
 

Dragmire

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There will be the odd third party hit here and there, but for the most part, third parties killed the market for certain types of games on the Wii. Several markets, like the FPS market, were starved on the Wii and when FPSs finally came out, they were second or third-rate, neglected down-ports and the like. And everyone blames Nintendo, but I think they definitely courted third parties and got some games we wouldn't have seen otherwise (DQX, MH3, Fatal Frame IV, probably some of the big western games like Call of Duty and some EA franchises). They also released many hardcore games themselves, like Zelda, Disaster, the Galaxy games, Smash Bros, Fire Emblem, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and Punchout. And getting a Sin and Punishment sequel is practically a miracle, come on.

I think some Japanese developers will continue to put some good software on the Wii, but as far as sales, there probably won't be a lot outside of Japan. The market has been saturated with clones, and there's long been consumer confusion. Just looking at the shelves, even casuals can often see the bargain bin efforts and they don't know what to trust outside of the biggest brands. It's become a battered market where only certain types of games will well.
 

Beth Cyra

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InsaneZero said:
How would multiplatform games help Wii's momentum here, seriously? If it exists on another current-generation console, people will buy that instead.

The Last Story will sell, but like Xenoblade, it won't move units. It won't bring people to the system. That opportunity has long passed.

The main point here is that most of the audience that these games are made for just aren't there, and have already entrenched in their other consoles. This will be the downfall of the Goldeneye remake, and for anything else less profile than DQX that I already mentioned.
The point wasn't that they would change the tide, in fact I said I didn't think they would.

But the fact is third party games are coming down the pipe, which you claimed wasn't true.

Not only that but we have even more games that are coming down the Pipe that I have mentioned.

Like Sonic Colors not to mention Sonic games have performed equal to better then the HD Platforms so Sonic 4 on Wii is another good thing.

Is it over for third parties? Pretty much, but there is still exclusive content coming and there for it has not completely died yet.
 

Fantastical

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May 3, 2008
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Platy said:
Lost in Shadow,Goldeneye, Flip's Twisted World, Nba Jam, Epic Mickey, Xenoblade, Last Story, Dragon Quest ....

and wiiware !!!! WIIWARE !!!

Retro City Rampage, Bit.Trip.5 and 6, Explodemon, Ivy the Kiwi, Super Meat Boy, versions of La Mulana, Noitu Love 2, Descent .... even capcom suport of arcade games for Virtual Console ...

I may be insanely optimistic ... but ...
Xenoblade and The Last Story are both published by Nintendo, and yes, you are being insanely optimistic. We're talking about ALL titles that we know of for the Wii.

And NBA Jam isn't exclusive if you are speaking about exclusives.
 

flyinpiranha

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Aug 25, 2009
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Platy said:
Lost in Shadow,Goldeneye, Flip's Twisted World, Nba Jam, Epic Mickey, Xenoblade, Last Story, Dragon Quest ....

and wiiware !!!! WIIWARE !!!

Retro City Rampage, Bit.Trip.5 and 6, Explodemon, Ivy the Kiwi, Super Meat Boy, versions of La Mulana, Noitu Love 2, Descent .... even capcom suport of arcade games for Virtual Console ...

I may be insanely optimistic ... but ...
This just kind of shows that it's probably not dead ... but the Wii has completely lost touch with me. I was all for it when it launched and I was playing SMG and Z:TP ... but after so many years into this generation a lot of the games do show their age. I might be a graphics whore (even though I've been playing my DS more than anything this last couple weeks) but I just don't get excited over Wii list-wars as much as I use to.

I'm wondering if the nostalgia disconnect I'm having is affecting the determination of developers or if the limitations of the hardware keep some away.

InsaneZero said:
Well, and those other companies that have either gone into the deep red or complete bankruptcy.

You know, like about 80% of the industry?

EDIT: Actually, it's more around 95% now that I think about it.
How is different than any other industry? If they make a product worth buying, people will buy it. It's the first generation to have 3 healthy, developed systems last this long. Is the economy in the shitter? Sure. Are gaming companies falling to the wayside? Sure, unless the make something worthwhile (which is not really subjective - consumers decide what is 'worthwhile', not the select few who 'think it's a gem').

I just don't see anything happening to the gaming industry that isn't happening to almost all the others. It's not some special industry that gets a free pass.
 

Poyunch

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Dec 29, 2009
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Outside of Wiiware support third parties are dead. If you hear about a new, big announcement it would be pretty safe to say it's not going to be for the Wii.
 

Rush2thestart

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Mar 10, 2009
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InsaneZero said:
This will be the downfall of the Goldeneye remake, and for anything else less profile than DQX that I already mentioned.
No the downfall of Goldeneye is the fact that there hasn't been a good Bond game in years; public opinion is not very high at all. There's also the fact that it will get completely overshadowed by Black Ops. Black Ops Wii will probably outsell Goldeneye by a large amount.
 

Celine

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Pureauthor said:
The Wii as it stands is a horrible environment for third parties of the traditional stripe, and there's relatively little anyone can do to change that.

Third parties refused to build up a base during the system's early years
, and Nintendo apparently did not do enough (or anything) to try to win them over. So that's where we stand now, and from a business perspective I'd be hard pressed to claim that putting more 3rd party games on the system is a good choice.

Of course the Wii is a relatively healthier choice for the people seeking places to put their expanded audience games, but I have a feeling this thread isn't talking about those.
Yep.
 

ShinNL

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May 2, 2006
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Quotes by Iwata during the E3 press conference I'd like to point out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzDf5IGNyBg#t=16m54s
"It been 6 years since we launched Nintendo DS. So while we now added 3D, we also made improvement to the graphics capability of this hardware itself. Something tells me alone might cause a lot of enthusiasm in the development community."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CJdbnA475M#t=07m45s
"To all of you developers and publishers I want you to know that I'm truly grateful for the support you all provide. Thank you very much."

It seems that Nintendo knows quite well how many developers stayed away from their platforms because of a lack of processing power. But instead of forcing companies with deals or buyouts, they embrace just whatever they do get. There are many third party games given a lot of attention by Nintendo whereas most people would say "meh" to (GoldenEye comes to mind). As a web programmer (I choose to be a web one), I think it's more challenging to program on limited processing power because creativity gets you really far (and beyond people's expectations). The Wii would require creative programmers to really make a game special and unfortunately that's the most expensive kind of developers. Regular outsourced programmers won't do any amazing tricks and that's why a lot of games seem to have that plain look to them. So if you don't have the programmers to do it, only the creative (art, concept) people get to choose and they obviously want everything they imagine to be realized. Hence why most games end up on the 360 or PS3. Technical people think it's easier to get what they want, creative people think it's easier to get what they want. The Wii has just been limiting to them (so in most cases those people will think: a game can't even be realized on the Wii). It's kind of like selling a HD 3D blockbuster movie on a non-3D SD-resolution DVD. Sure you can make a lower quality version just to get more mass appeal, but you don't really want people looking at that if they don't have to. And they don't have to.
 

Busaiku

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Even with 3rd parties being done with it (which I believe is true), I still don't see a Wii successor as soon as some do.
Both hardware and software are still relatively healthy, with Nintendo's only down region being Europe.

Nintendo's driving it by themselves, but it's still going.
 

ElFly

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Sep 3, 2006
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Who's buying all those WiiWare games, anyway?

I guess they are cheaper to make, so it probably can survive on a smaller market, but certainly seems a steady stream of releases.
 

Boney

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Jan 6, 2010
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flyinpiranha said:
This just kind of shows that it's probably not dead ... but the Wii has completely lost touch with me. I was all for it when it launched and I was playing SMG and Z:TP ... but after so many years into this generation a lot of the games do show their age. I might be a graphics whore (even though I've been playing my DS more than anything this last couple weeks) but I just don't get excited over Wii list-wars as much as I use to.

I'm wondering if the nostalgia disconnect I'm having is affecting the determination of developers or if the limitations of the hardware keep some away.
Epic Mickey, Xenoblade, Last Story, Dragon Quest and maybe Jam are the only ones that interest me.. and you know, my only console is a Wii. No need to blame "nostalgia disconnect".
 

InsaneZero

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Busaiku said:
Even with 3rd parties being done with it (which I believe is true), I still don't see a Wii successor as soon as some do.
Both hardware and software are still relatively healthy, with Nintendo's only down region being Europe.

Nintendo's driving it by themselves, but it's still going.
There is literally weeks of NOTHING coming out for the Wii in Japan, and software sales have tanked considerably. Hardware sales are just barely passable. Development and sales-wise, Nintendo's home ground has been purged with salt when it comes to consoles.
 

Beth Cyra

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InsaneZero said:
There is literally weeks of NOTHING coming out for the Wii in Japan, and software sales have tanked considerably. Hardware sales are just barely passable. Development and sales-wise, Nintendo's home ground has been purged with salt when it comes to consoles.
I really don't see why this should be leveled at Wii, considering PS3 and Wii are neck and neck in hardware sales this year while Wii still has a huge LTD lead.

This is best left to Software which is where the real problem lies.
 

Man God

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It's pretty funny that this is the third generation in a row where the third party support has fallen off a cliff in the past two years, and all three were done for different reasons.

N64 Gen- Expensive, too small carts, not the market leader. Cheaper development on PSX.

GCN Gen- Low sales on lots of third party efforts, but mainly a perception issue that 3rd party games don't sell well which fed into it. Early on just about every 3rd party game got a chance, and some of them did really well on the GCN like Soul Calibur 2, PoP:SoT, and surprisingly, MK:Deception.

Wii - Mainly the expense of HD development. The added expense of having a secondary team making a worse looking game that will probably sell peanuts compared to the secondary and tertiary consoles this gen despite being the market leader. Failed attempt after failed attempt to make new or more market friendy franchises by the main third parties.

Wii will still get a shit ton of shovelware and enough good games to keep the core Nintendo fan satisfied, but I think outside of DQ X were pretty much done with blockbuster third party games on the system. Not that the Wii got many of those to start with. Tons of games just weren't the massive effort of porting them to the system where they couldn't guarantee a market.

I'm still frankly amazed at some decisions.

Not bringing the casual nostalgia based hit SF IV to the Wii in any fashion.

Not porting SC IV to the Wii when SC 2's best platform is the GCN.

Tales of Graces. ToS and ToS2 are 2 of the three best selling Tales games in the states. Of course ToG's Japanese sales and the combined sales of the DS games have basically convinced them off Nintendo platforms for the rest of the gen.

All of the major third parties never gave an honest effort to bring over AAA quality games built from the ground up on the Wii, save one. Why bother when the other two are so similar and easy to port to?

The one holdout who actually made a ton of money on Wii and honestly gave an effort to make unique games for the system?

Sega. :lol

That basically sums it up right there.
 

Poyunch

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Thankfully next year, unlike many years before, Nintendo is carrying its own console rather than relying on third parties. It may just be wishful thinking but I'm hoping this will be part of the last couple years of life for the Wii. Judging from how the DS to 3DS was handled it's probably false hope.
 

Faxanadu

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flyinpiranha said:
You mean those companies that are putting out some of the best games I've ever played on the HD "Graphics Clowns"?
There's nothing wrong with going all out making games in HD. Problem is that's all western devs seem to care about. "Graphics Clowns" wasn't a reference to the HD systems.