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.

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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.

See more coverage of E3 2014 →

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DrZaloski

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So, they're going to make decisions that will obviously hurt Wii U sales in hopes for improving Wii U sales, and it will literally benefit no one, as they have already spent resources developing these games that they are withholding.


The video game industry has officially gone completely batshit insane. This is Catch 22 levels of ridiculousness.

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rhysdives

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Console producers (Nintendo/MS/Sony) take a fee for every copy of a game sold on their platform. Nintendo could write that fee off and im pretty sure that Ubisoft would go ahead and sell the game on the platform. I blame Nintendo here. No software house is obliged to produce software for a console. They are obliged to make profits. If Ubisoft dont see enough profit in it why should they bother. Nintendo need to add more incentive to 3rd party devs.

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gouldjw

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Doesn't pass the smell test, since they released it for XBox1, despite abysmal sales of that console, far below that of the Wii U. Something else is going on here...

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rokketdawg

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"The beatings will continue until morale improves!" - Yves Gullemot, Ubisoft

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HighPitcairn

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You ruined my day, Ubisoft

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MG_SORA

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They aren't saying they won't release it, they are just saying they're waiting for market conditions to be more favorable. Just like you would wait 20 minutes before leaving to see if rain stops.

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nami_the_mage

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This is a pretty stupid tactic. Why would they even develop the game in the first place if this was their intention? Whatever, I'm fine with Nintendo first party games.

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MichaelGair

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First party games are enough to sustain the Wii u and i'm content with that, i would rather play fifa, cod and other games as such on my Xbox One but currently i'm enjoying Mario Kart 8 big time.

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Antelow

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I've been playing Watch Dogs for PS3 since it's launch, and it's a very good game. And as a "Nintendist" I'm planning to buy a WiiU and when that happens I would surely buy Watch Dogs again, just to play it all over again and see what new features will come alongside the GamePad... Ubisoft should rethink their strategy and like << LINK REMOVED >> said: "A game sitting on your shelf means no profit either way."

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Turbojacket

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I bought my Wii U to play Nintendo first party titles. I don't really care about the 3rd party offerings at this point. I've got a high end PC (actually, it's a badass iMac with dual boot), a One, a PS4, and the Wii U. Bought it because there was nothing to play on the One and PS4. So, actually, I bought the Wii U for the games out now. It's almost like everyone is busting Nintendo's balls and not letting up without even looking at how amazing DK: Tropical Freeze is, or Mario 3D World, or Pikmin 3, or Child of Light (not exclusive, but a great game none-the-less), and even Mario Bros. U is really, really fun. Top that off with Mario Kart 8 that I've played to death every single day since launch and I've got one dusty, idle PS4 and the Xbox One hasn't been powered on in months, except to do an update to nix the Kinect nag icon the other day. If people aren't willing to buy a Wii U to play some great games then it's their own fault. They are missing out. Nintendo does need to launch more games, but hell, they all do. 2014/2015 look great across all plats though so far.

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daikkenaurora12

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A game sitting on your shelf means no profit either way. Ubisoft should know that.

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Foppe

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So they wont release the already finished game until more people buys a Wii U, and people wont buy a Wii U until it got more games...

Catch 22.

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corrus

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<< LINK REMOVED >> even they to release their games on WII u nobody will buy them cos they not Mario and Zelda

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rokketdawg

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This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard from a game company. Not releasing a game for the Wii U because it doesn't have enough installed base, yet they have no problem catering to the Xbox One with only 2/3 the lifetime sales at this point. This is only another in the long line of companies snubbing Nintendo.

And please don't argue that it costs so much to go from production to retail. The point here being that if the game is finished, you have absolutely ZERO chance of recovering the cost of producing that game if it never sees the light of day. My guess is they aren't as supremely confident in their product as they would like people to believe, otherwise, this story never would exist!

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bunchanumbers

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Make Zombi 2 Ubisoft. I know its not family friendly but it would be exactly what Wii U and You need. You'll be filling a niche that isn't on Wii U all that much.

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theblackfrog

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oh yeah, with better wii u sales just dance will sell enormously....yves/ubisof/publisher are like politcians...cut off from reality *rolleyes

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GH05T-666

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Silly Ubisoft, they should just release the games they are 'sitting on' and see if they sell on Wii U. Im sure they will.

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jon_bone

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@GH05T-666 I can't make sense of holding back a completed game, but we do have to keep in mind this is Ubisoft who delayed the completed Rayman Legends. They just don't seem to use logic.

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jon_bone

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Xbox One has lower install base than Wii U yet you don't see Ubisoft pulling this crap on them, screw you Ubisoft.

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Jestersmiles

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Your better off just releasing it on better consoles lol. No point making games for the crap Wiiu

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Turbojacket

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Says everyone who's never played one of Nintendo's titles on it.

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vlahoti12

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At least it's doing better with mario kart 8. Xbox one sucks even more because it has no good games.

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jon_bone

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Better how?

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Dedatox

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THis is the way I see it, if I want to play games like watch dog I'll play it on the PC. If I want to play with a group of people or just couple ppl around the TV. I grab my Nintendo. I own a Wii U, don't even intend to buy a 3rd party triple title game for it either.

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VenkmanPHD

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I think it's so strange that developers in general feel that Mario Kart is a bigger system seller than Smash Bros.

I don't know about anyone else, but that's EXACTLY why I bought a wii U. Its also why I bought a Wii, and it's also why I bought a gamecube (Ok luigi's mansion was a big part of that one...)

It's ALSO why I bought a 3DS.

Smash bros is the most fun you can have on a nintendo system hands down, so I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, Mario Kart is fun... but compared to Smash Bros? ... It's not even in the same league of entertaining.

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eelektrik

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@VenkmanPHD Because Mario Kart by far sells more than Smash Bros. Just look at the Wii.


Mario Kart Wii: 35.53 million

Super Smash Bros. Brawl: 12.14 million

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VenkmanPHD

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

Well you can't argue with numbers I suppose, but it still seems wrong.

Seriously... I don't know anyone that really cares about Mario Kart, but everyone loses their mind over Smash Bros.

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THCpariah

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>I've never really cared to play Smash Bros at all.
I have played nearly all Mario Kart games.

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Dedatox

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I like Mario Kart. Since the first one they release back in 92. I personally don't care for smash bro either.

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buddhafied

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I can't believe how so many people complaining in the comment section seem to have little understanding of how supply and demand, and how market works.

I'll give you a similar example. If you have a killer lemonade recipe figured out, you are planning to sell it on a street that said to be busy soon. Will you spend all your money and time in setting up the lemonade booth before the street has enough street traffic? Or you will just launch your lemonade booth despite the street traffic is still not ideal for you to worth your time and resource?

I love Nintendo. I have every console and handheld other than Vitual Boy since my red and white Famicon, but business is business, you can't ask a company to ignore risks and just throw something out there to an less than ideal install base.

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Tiwill44

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Oh, Ubisoft. You won't stop with your Uplay bullshit DRM on PC, you keep making the same uninspired shooters and casualized action games year after year, your E3 conference was absolutely terrible this year, and now you stop supporting Nintendo?

Yep, I'm pretty sure that's the last straw. On the blacklist it goes, with EA and Bioware.

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VenkmanPHD

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<< LINK REMOVED >> lol good, means I won't run into you while playing one of their amazing new games. Watchdogs AC5, or Rainbow Six to name a few.

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nami_the_mage

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I liked the part where you said "amazing" and then named Watchdogs.

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VenkmanPHD

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Yes, because the new assassin's creed climbing mechanics look like a LOT of fun, and with how densely populated the world is and how many walk-in-buildings there will be... I'd call that amazing.

As for watchdogs, yeah it's amazing how much fun that game is, I'm loving it.

Just because it doesn't make you crap your pants in awe doesn't mean it's not amazing. It just has to be fun enough to warrant a 60$ purchase.

JFC

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windscar26

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I like the part where you said "amazing" and then named AC

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Megavideogamer

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With Watch Dogs for Wii U and Just Dance 2014 completed for the Wii U. I wonder what this third mystery game that is completed and waiting for more "family's" to buy the Wii U is?

Another Rayman Rabbid's party game? or Something else. Maybe they are going to release Killer Freaks from outer space, Before that game inspired Zombie U?

Why doesn't Ubisoft release this third finished game anyways. Unless it is a game that uses 2 Gamepad tablet controllers. Then I could see them wanting to wait for the install base to grow.

Other Wii U games have been just plain scrapped, Like Aliens Colonial Marines from Sega, and Metro last light. Given that this is a family type game Ubisoft is holding up. Maybe it is not worth worrying too much about.

Just release it and be done with it Ubisoft Nintendo Wii U seems to be headed for a 10-12 million lifetime sales number. Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, NEC PC engine/Turbographx/TurboDuo/Supergraphx family lifetime numbers

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axaznguitony27

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<< LINK REMOVED >> you mean just dance 2015, just dance 2014 came out last year for wii and wiiu as well

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VenkmanPHD

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I hate seeing the Wii U compared to the dreamcast.

That system was amazing... the Wii U is so... so... toy-like.

Still, it's got the marios and the zeldas, and god willing the metroids.

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