Winter: the survival-horror Wii title that was canned for not being a kid's game

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wii-winter-awesome.jpgDo you ever wonder why every Wii game takes about ten minutes to play? It’s because long-session, more mature, games can’t find publishers for the console. With very few exceptions (Twilight Princess springs to mind, but there are few others) the console’s games are all short-play affairs that focus on bright colours and cutesie avatars.

Well, IGN has an extensive look at a very promising game called “Winter” that never made it, thanks simply to its more ‘adult’ nature. Despite being a hit with publishers, the sales and marketing departments found the idea of a ‘survival horror’ game on the Wii to be “simply too big a leap for them, regardless of the enthusiastic support of the PD department and the Wii’s total domination in the marketplace.”

The full story is a sad tale of shortsightedness among marketers, especially considering how well the game was looking like it would land with critics and how much it would stand out compared to the “flood of crap” that the console currently offers.

winter-creepy-enemy.jpgThe game is set in a midwestern town hit by a snowstorm, and looks like it was influenced by the early Resident Evil and Silent Hill games. It’s also been tailor-made for the wii, with people opening doors using the remote and nunchuk, and having to “hit” the flashlight to get it working again when it starts to flicker.

The player is forced to shelter from temperature, and cope with a rising level of snow which would block lower doors, but allow access over time to previously inaccessible second-floor windows.

Seeing “Winter” in action makes me very sad indeed, because it looks incredible. The company still wants to release if it can find a publisher for the game, but there’s part of me that suspects that taking the game direct to journalists is simply to get build up pressure from excited gamers.

There’s another part of me, though, that doesn’t mind being used as a pawn in videogame politics one bit – if it means that we’re going to see more innovative, exciting, darker, games on the console that is undisputedly the king of its generation, and resides in millions of living rooms worldwide.

IGN (via Kotaku)

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Duncan Geere