Ubisoft has grown into one of the largest independent game makers in the world and offered the Nintendo Wii U third-party support out of the box at debut. Since then, Wii U has struggled as a system and has brought the third-party publisher to a point regretting that commitment and all but halted their support. Even as Nintendo begins to find their audience and sales are up 60 percent from last year so far, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemont himself has revealed the company has a certain preconception about their Wii U audience.
In an interview, Guillemont revealed that the company has found that Wii U owners “don’t buy Assassin’s Creed,” and that their audience is interested in more Just Dance and “other kinds of games.” He assures that the company is focusing on games that sell on Wii U and not abandoning the system. As of the end of the fiscal year in March, sales on Nintendo consoles have only accounted for three percent of total sales, almost all on the Wii U and none on 3DS, for the French development company. This was down from only four percent the previous year while the original Wii, now no longer being made or distributed by Nintendo, accounted for 11 percent over this past year and 13 percent the year before.
Ubisoft, as a company, has boxed in Wii U owners who are looking for new properties from the famed company. Guillemont stated months ago that the company is sitting on finished, ready-to-ship products that are waiting for the Wii U to be in the hands of more consumers. The aforementioned Just Dance was one of the named games, but most of the rest remained nameless in his comments. “We have a game that has been done for six months,” he continued back in June.
We need the sales to increase so we will have the volume that will justify massive marketing and TV marketing.
A title that has been teased for Wii U owners for quite a while now is Watch Dogs, which came to other consoles on the market with smaller install bases earlier this year. The CEO confirmed that Watch Dogs is still coming to the system this fall and added that this will be “the only mature game we publish on it.” That means titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 4, and Tom Clancy’s The Division will not be coming to any Nintendo console unless there is a drastic change on one side or the other.
Ubisoft, after looking over their financial reports, have boxed Wii U owners into a certain demographic that includes Just Dance and other casual titles. Nintendo had many of their games launch at or near the Wii U launch window including ZombiU, Assassin’s Creed III, and ESPN Sports Connection with the highest seller among them being ZombiU at 700,000 units sold worldwide. There is no official word on the release date of the Wii U version of Watch Dogs Ubisoft while Just Dance 15 will be released Oct. 21 of this year.
By Myles Gann