In a heartfelt press conference, featuring Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo begged blockbuster publisher Ubisoft to keep making games for their languishing, largely unsupported console. Forgotten by Activision, ignored by Electronic Arts, Nintendo finds its lone third-party friend trying to ditch out, like the last person to leave a really lame party.
Iwata read a statement largely directed at Ubisoft before the press on Monday, following the news of Ubisoft’s new direction — a direction away from the WiiU. “I guess, just because we don’t have fancy new graphics like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, you think you’re too good for us. That’s fine, I don’t care. You know what, Ubisoft? You can’t stop making games for the WiiU because you’re already banned from making games for the WiiU.” After a taking a moment to collect himself after spewing his heated words, Iwata seemed to realize something. “Except for Watch Dogs, please give us the Watch Dogs you promised. Please leave the final build in our mailbox with the Al Green album I lent you, I’ll have an intern bring it to me.”
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s CEO met with reporters after Iwata’s statement and delivered his side of the story. “We have no ill will toward Nintendo. We just don’t like selling our games on little kid systems which is a delivery system for the latest Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Mario. It’s nothing personal, we just want what’s best for all parties. Nintendo was starting to feel a little distant, and Ubisoft needs someone who can take care of our players.”
Consulting the numbers we made up, it is true that selling Ubisoft games on Nintendo were not selling well. Assassin’s Creed III was the first Ubisoft game to make its way to the Nintendo platform and the title sold only 10 units, of which all 10 were returned within 12 months. Somehow, Watch Dogs is actually projected to sell a negative 15 units, meaning that Ubisoft will have to burn fifteen copies of their mediocre open-world hacking game.
“it’s no secret Ubisoft games don’t sell on the WiiU,” said David Richards, a Seattle area Gamestop owner. “Everyday I come in and spend the first few minutes removing cobwebs from the WiiU section. I mean, games like Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will get swept off the shelves. But the copy of display copy of Rayman Legends went so untouched it actually became a spider’s nest. Had to bug bomb the whole store last January.”
When asked about the trouble moving Ubisoft games on WiiU, Iwata placed the blame squarely on Ubisoft’s shoulders. “The WiiU is clearly the superior console in today’s market,” The Nintendo CEO said with confidence. “We have a gamepad that is gigantic and awesome. We can’t help it if Ubisoft can’t make software which takes advantage of it. And Miiverese, there’s no better way to play with friends than Miiverse.” When we brought up Rayman Legends, a game which heavily featured the WiiU gamepad, Iwata did not recall the product. “A Ray-Man game, you say? Seems to have slipped my mind.”
It had been a strange ride for Ubisoft and Nintendo. Back in 2012, the two signed a deal to bring Rayman Legends exclusively to the Nintendo platform, but the deal went south when not enough WiiUs were sold. The game was delayed and ported to all other consoles. “Some would call that the beginning of the end,” Guillemot reminisced, “And it occurred about a six months into the WiiU’s existence. Look, if we wanted to make games for last-gen hardware, we would make games for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but we don’t. We want to help move things along. Sorry, but I’m not sorry.”
When asked for his comment regarding the situation, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated, “Somehow this is Geoff Keighley’s fault. I’m gonna find that skinny bastard and punch him in his smug little face. Then I’m gonna fly to Canada and punch Ubisoft in their stupid faces!” Fils-Aime suddenly exploded into a giant, green monster and ran away, thirsty for vengeance.
Iwata had a different mood after the dust had settled. Sitting in his office, the Nintendo CEO was knee-deep in a bottle of Jack Daniels’ weeping softly as he read through press releases announcing Assassin’s Creed III and Rayman Legends on the WiiU. “That was back when we were happy,” the business man sobbed, before taking another sip of his mind-altering beverage. “I’m sorry we don’t have the GPU and processing power of next-gen. But we’re in HD!” He sniffled, looking at the bottom of his empty glass and repeated, “We’re in HD. What else do you want from me?”
It is sad to see Nintendo abandoned by all third-party publishers. High profile developers, like Platinum Games remain ever-faithful to the Nintendo platform, but after Ubisoft’s bailing, who knows what will come next. In any event, if you are one of the unfortunate souls who own a WiiU, you still have Watch Dogs, Bayonetta 2, and a Smash Brothers game to look forward to (someday). In the meantime it looks like it will be even slimmer pickings for the Nintendo console as it continue to exhaust its list of first-party titles.