It hasn’t been a good week for Nintendo, to say the least. To add to their misery today, it has been reported that the WiiU version of Watch Dogs has been cancelled.
Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, which looks set to be one of the biggest triple-A titles of the year is a mature, action-focused sandbox game – exactly the sort of title you want on your platform if you: a) Want users to have games to play and b) Want to make a statement about how your console is for grown-ups too. Unfortunately, it looks like it has been canned, with an Italian store pulling pre-orders because it says the game has been cancelled.
This comes hot on the heels of two other pieces of bad news for Nintendo. As you may have seen earlier this week, it was announced that they had made a $1.2 billion loss – which is a loss for the third year running. Why? Essentially because the WiiU has been massively under performing – with the company now forecasting sales in the region of 2.8 million instead of… umm… 9 million. Hey, everyone makes mistakes, right?
The resulting fallout from this loss has led to calls from industry commentators and no doubt Nintendo’s investors to do something dramatic – such as start publishing games on mobile platforms, or get rid of CEO Satoru Iwata.
Following this, to make Iwata even more miserable, reports did the rounds of an unnamed EA source saying (according to CVG) “Nintendo was dead to us very quickly” followed by “It became a kids IP platform and we don’t really make games for kids. That was pretty true across the other labels too. Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort, could never do big business, and EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises”.
Ouch. Though this latter news has been denied on Twitter by EA’s Peter Moore:
Don’t trust "anonymous sources". Nintendo's a great partner. They never have been, and never will be, ‘dead’ to EA… @EA .
— Peter Moore (@petermooreEA) January 23, 2014
This would perhaps be heartening to Nintendo if EA didn’t have a big fat zero games in the pipeline for Nintendo.
So it has been a bit of a terrible week for Nintendo, all things considered – with the Watch Dogs news simply the dog poo on the cake. Can they turn the WiiU around? Or should they abandon ship? Let us know what you think in the comments.