Why Tomb Raider skipped Wii U

Creative director says upcoming action game not coming to Nintendo system due to ambition to deliver same experience across platforms.

Crystal Dynamics has explained why Tomb Raider is not coming to the Wii U. Creative director Noah Hughes told TrueGaming that the system's unique interface did not align with the company's goal to deliver the same experience across all versions.

"I'm always a fan of the Nintendo systems, in particular they really push interface design, and from a game design perspective it's fun to play with new interfaces," Hughes said. "Having said that, it's something that I think we would want to tailor the experience to if we were going to do it."

"All three [other console and PC versions] are really trying to deliver roughly the same experience, but delivered best on each platform, and I think something like the Wii U often asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface," Hughes added. "That's something as a gamer I love, but it's something you don't want to do half-heartedly as a developer."

Tomb Raider is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC March 5. It is the first entry in the long-running franchise to feature a multiplayer component, which will include various game modes. No online pass, downloadable content season pass, or demo will be offered for the game.

Tomb Raider's main character--Lara Croft--is voiced by Camilla Luddington, whose previous credits include Californication and True Blood, among other shows. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Tomb Raider.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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392 comments
BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Just having a menu and artifact interaction would have been just fine. It doesn't have to be some complex gimmick.

ttttttbrown
ttttttbrown

Dude,  the WiiU is Awesome.

The only Excuse is just politics.

The Controller works just like any game controller, so all those arguments are BS.

I'm waiting for 2 things from Nintendo.

1st Hi-Def Pokémon fighting game where you have an actual pokedex in your hand (the WiiU Touch Screen Controller).  That's gonna just be sick.

2nd,  a Hi-Def Super Smash Bros. Network Game.  The regular wii super smash bros. was one of the best games I ever played.  The New WiiU version would be epic.

And of course more Split Screen Sports Games.

I think Sony and Microsoft know they missed the boat a second time and are giving the game delevopers an ultimatium that it's either them or Nintendo.

They always copy all of Nintendo's ideas anyway.  Nintendo just does it first and does it better.

CowboyMac3
CowboyMac3

That really sucks! The Wii U can deliver the same experience as the other systems using the Wii U Pro Controller.  While I laud the developer's desire to fully utilize the GamePad, I'd rather they half-ass it and give the Wii U owners these top-tier games than to just skip the system altogether.  Next they'll say the Wii U underperforms and undersells and wonder why.  Why?  It's because a great system without great games isn't all that great.

blkgsr
blkgsr

Man i came close to buying a wii u have all the other current systems and a gaming pc, but there's not a damn game i want to play Mario is ok but ive seen it before zombie u looked cool until the reviews started coming out. Maybe when a new zelda or metroid or even a new mario galaxy comes out, but once the ps4 and 720 hit the market  nobody will want the weakest system with the least amount of media function and games

dz99ls
dz99ls

Lulz, you clearly have it backwards.

silvergol
silvergol

Why is almost everybody skipping nintendo?

silvergol
silvergol


Translation: game size is not support by Wii u.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

This is a dumb reason as the game could easily just be played without the added Wii U options. Simply play the game using the Gamepad as a controller and nothing else,  or use the Wii U Pro Controller. Problem solved. A developer does not have to take advantage of system options. That's why they are called options.

AzatiS
AzatiS

the only decent 2D castlevania , after the first games which were awesome ,was the one for PSone. After than..too generic

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

The problem is is that not everybody owns the gamepad controller. So about 3 million people own WiiU's? Okay, now reduce that to a few hundred thousand that own that one controller. They have to make the game work with the touchscreen because everyone owns that controller. 

slainta
slainta

Basically he said: we love the Wii U gamepad, but we can't bother to waste extra resources making Tomb Raider compatible with it. I imagine this could happen. Pray God Sony sticks with the DualShock!

tgwolf
tgwolf

Well even though the purported reason had nothing to do with sparing the younger audience the Tomb Raider 'experience' I guess they are safe by default so it works out in the end...

Romangelo
Romangelo

Wow, I love this guy's opinion... yes, if they made the Wii U version better than other versions, it will be unfair for users of the other platforms.

Shame on you! Nintendo! Wii U controller is unnecessary and it cost you a Tomb Rider game!!

OseiWar
OseiWar

I wish companies would take a chance but hey money is money

samedizombie
samedizombie

The reason is simple folks. The Wii U control system is too advanced for the game to cope with.

kisado87
kisado87

Say what you will about Nintendo, but if they bite the dust it'll be a real sad day for gaming.

danusty
danusty

if they really wanted this game to be on the wii u they could have used the hardcore gamer controller (or whatever it's called). he should have blatantly said: we did not feel like wasting money porting this game for the wii u, money we won't get back.

braqoon
braqoon

Well somehow Mass Effect 3 had no issues with porting. I bet it sold loads on WiiU with little changes . BLOBS 2 would not do a straight port if they thought it will not sell ? This is just a bs answer.

ArataWata
ArataWata

I'd laugh to the point of my sides splitting if this AAA port that Square Enix's planning on bringing to the WII U actually turned out to be Final Fantasy XIII Versus and it was turned to be an exclusive to WII U.

swamptick
swamptick

I can answer this without a long article:

Q: Why Tomb Raider skipped the WiiU

A: Because it sucks 

(Please note, I never read responses to my posts. Obsess away.)

Mortz_88
Mortz_88

Kick in the teeth for Nintendo

martindosantos
martindosantos

The fact is wii u does not support a single porting. You have to develop some functions to the gamepad (I have the pro controller, but the main controller is the wii u gamepad) So, they have to make something with the gamepad and they dont make any ideas for that screen. 

Thats the main reason.

itchyflop
itchyflop

all joking aside and not having a wii u, do you HAVE to use the ipad look a like controller ??? cant u just use the nun chucks???

tlaranjo
tlaranjo

I completely agree with DarkReign2552 think sometimes developers forget to keep it simple when tailoring a specific game to a console like the Wii U and end up making additions to the game that feel tacked on, gimmicky or poorly constructed. If they wanted to develop this game it should be the same as any other console with the exception of having the controller screen act as a map and weapon selection menu. Or  for onscreen buttons.

itchyflop
itchyflop

ahaha another "quality" piece of software dodging the digital "bullet" of the curse that is so far wii u !! man i had massive reasons to buy one, hurry up Nintendo b4 its too late and the big boys are here to play and watering gamers mouths into emptying their pockets of hard earned currency !!!

DarkReign2552
DarkReign2552

While I would normally agree with him that unique consoles deserve unique games, and I still do, in the particular case of the Wii and Wii U, they already have so much trouble getting 3rd party support as it is that it would be a financially smart move just to release anything at all. With the Wii U launch consisting of ZombiU, a bunch of games that have already been out on other consoles for over a year, and a bunch of crap like Jeopardy, fans will take that same experience and apply it to their Wii U. All they would really have to do is add a map to the Wii U's Gamepad screen and the ability to swap between the two screens. In fact, I find the primary strength in the Wii U is going to be NOT using the Gamepad controller for special features so that players can pop it onto the controller on a whim and wander their house with it (It's a great replacement for the iPhone/Android for restroom breaks.)

Araknie
Araknie

I'm actually glad the Wii U is skipping a lot of games, it's cutting all the bullshit. I've played really all the Tomb Raiders and i can already tell this is no TR.

I wouldn't buy the game even if the Wii U didn't existed for what matters.

cubachino
cubachino

Are developers aware that the LCD controller can be used as a regular controller? Function of the LCD is not needed. The controller has as many button as any other controller on the market. So game creators can be lazy. They don't have to come up with any creative uses for the LCD screen nor do they have to tack on any use of the LCD. I thought development teams have to be smart? I guess now-a-days carrying an Iphone is good enough to make you genius.

Triton
Triton

Can't blame them, I skipped this system too.

Crouteru
Crouteru

A weak excuse. If they don't want to use the Wii U Gamepad, Nintendo released the Pro Controller for situations like these.

darksongbird
darksongbird

I agree with some of your comments here guys, but the first thing I thought was that this was just a poor excuse not to bring it to the Wii U.

CaesarIIII
CaesarIIII

This is not new, Nintendo have this problems before. ( Hint ; That is why they make their own games )

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Nintendo really should have included a standard gamepad with every console but that is not why crystal dynamics and squareenix (who still has some hard feelings toward Nintendo), did not port the game- they just cannot justify the development costs for porting over their IP to the wii u with their current install base, knowing that even if it came over alot of Wii U owners would probably not buy it. As most of wii u owners are big N fanboys who are only waiting for 1rst party games (gonna be a long wait) and the rest are kids who got a really sucky christmass gift from grandma, when what they really wanted was a xbox/ps3 with and an M rated shooter. 

Ah that last part was a little mean but still ... not that inaccurate. 

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

There is a controller accessory for this reason, isn't there?  Half hearted excuse. 

jhcho2
jhcho2

Well, a fair statement. A good analogy would be to say that a Kinect game requires a game with Kinect interface. A PC game requires say....a cursor interface. Making one game and forcing it to run on both the PC and the Kinect would be considered a half hearted effort.

However, if for example, three platforms out there use a cursor interface, and only one uses a Kinect interface, what makes the most economic sense? Yeah, you go for whatever the most number of platforms have in common, and ditch the odd one out.

wexorian
wexorian

Wii u will Sell good still, There will be a lot games and it will last long like wii did.

wexorian
wexorian

Also This game is Not worth For any console or PC, it's Not tomb raider for me.

sev2010
sev2010

why should i start the current gen for another 7 years?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Stating the obvious, but stated respectfully. I am now worried about Nintendo again. Not since the days before Pokemon have I been this concerned. I don't like the latest round of hardware (I loved GC) and the software support may be worse than the Wii.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

It's what Nintendo has done with its Wii consoles since day one, practically force exclusivity with a game to make the most of the tech, or half heartedly port something over with cursory wii-mote waggles or phoned in touch screen gimmickery.

Boat3600
Boat3600

This right here is the Wii U's problem pretty much summed up.

The thing with third party developers is, they want to make a game that a lot of people can buy with as little resources spent as possible. That's why you see so many 360/PS3 games are simply the 360 game ported onto the Blu-Ray disc, because it's easier to make games on the DVD than the Blu-Ray. But the PS3 game suffers as a result of stupid glitches and lighting problems, not to mention the full potential is never reached.

Expect many third party games on the Wii U to have the same issues. If they even make it to the system, they most likely won't make use of the controller, and if they do it'll be some tacked on gimmick.

And that's just for right now. When the PS4 and 720 come out, the Wil U will have even more trouble breaking into the third party market.

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

talk about double-meaning words....system is too unique to make the game 

gregrout
gregrout

The real reason I'm sure has to do with Nintendo's dismal scoresheet on the multiplayer front. Compared to the current PS3 & Xbox360 offerrings (nevermind the soon to be released Next Gen Sony and Microsoft consoles), Nintendo just hasn't put anything into it's hit and miss multiplayer services. Unless they start impressing developers by developing a decent multiplayer interface, they're going to get rejected over and over again by developers. That's the real dagger in all of this.  

super_voltron
super_voltron

No matter what they (fans or the designers)  say. Lara is still using sex to sell  (not saying thats bad). The gameplay...wellllll we will just have to wait for the reviews.

makoreactors
makoreactors

Good decision. Little tablet gimicks would have ruined it on wii u anyways

BestJinjo
BestJinjo

All these reasons of "We need to make a unique gaming experience for the Wii U" or the "game doesn't land itself well to the Wii U since we'd need to redesign it for the GamePad", etc. are all just a facade for the real reason: small install base of Wii U systems.

A small userbase means most of these ports are either not financially viable to make porting worthwhile or the studio won't hit its strategic profit margin percentage to satisfy investors or it didn't consider porting for the Wii U in the first place (which means starting to work on a port now for a concurrent system launch is pointless). Instead, most of the big developers choose to port to PS360 consoles with their 140 million+ userbase.

The Wii U could have come with a GTX690 and a 6-Core i7 and it wouldn't have made any difference. Nintendo simply mistimed the launch of the console. They should have waited 12 more months before the entire industry moved forward with PS4/720 and Wii U would have been right there. Those 12 extra months would have allowed Nintendo to build a stronger 6 months launch library and brought hardware to a more reasonable performance level, closer to PS4/720. I hope Nintendo's Wii U starts selling better but so far it's not looking promising.