E3 2014: Ubisoft Waiting for Better Wii U Sales to Launch Some New Games
Ubisoft has been sitting on a finished Wii U game for six months.
Ubisoft is deliberately holding back more than one game for Wii U until the system's install base has grown to acceptable levels, according to CEO Yves Gullemot.
"We did adapt the number of products to the level of quantities that the machine did," he said in an interview with Polygon. "So we will have Just Dance again which is well suited for the machine. We'll have Watch Dogs. We have another couple of products that we are waiting to launch, specifically we have one game that we wait for the machine to be more mass market to launch."
He described one of these games it has on the back burner as having "been done for six months. It's on the shelf, waiting for more families to have the console."
Watch Dogs was released last month on almost every relevant non-handheld platform on the market today, save for Wii U. The open-world game has long been confirmed for release on Nintendo's newest system, but Ubisoft has avoided giving an exact release date for it. This has left us to describe its release vaguely as coming sometime in the future.
"We have another couple of products that we are waiting to launch, specifically we have one game that we wait for the machine to be more mass market to launch." --Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot
Guillemot went on to say there isn't a specific number of Wii U systems that have to sell before it begins releasing these games. He would only say Ubisoft needs "the sales to increase so it becomes more and more mass market then we will have the volume that will justify massive marketing and TV marketing."
This news may come as a surprise, given Ubisoft's strong support of Nintendo platforms--including the Wii U--in the past. However, it may not be the first time it's altered its plans based on sales of the Wii U: Rayman Legends was originally set to be an exclusive to the console before it was delayed to go multiplatform despite reportedly being complete.
Guillemot expressed some hope that Nintendo could turn things around, saying sales could improve "with the right price and very good games." (Nintendo itself has said it hopes games like Mario Kart 8 will be a catalyst for hardware sales.) As for how long Ubisoft's willing to wait, he said, "I think we have to wait for Smash Bros. to come." The game is scheduled for release this coming winter.
Wii U has struggled to gain a foothold in the market so far, having sold only 6.17 million systems worldwide, as of March 31. Mario Kart 8 recently became the system's fastest-selling game with 1.2 million units sold during its first weekend of availability, but it's unclear as of yet how that factors into Nintendo's expectation to sell 3.6 million systems in the year ending March 31, 2015.
Nintendo's E3 press conference is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning at 9 AM Pacific. You'll be able to watch it here on GameSpot. Ubisoft's press conference, meanwhile, wrapped up not long ago, having revealed Rainbow Six: Siege and offered a look at the opening of Far Cry 4.
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