When the Wii U launched in November 2012, Ubisoft was a staunch supporter of Nintendo’s newest console. As time has gone on however, Ubisoft’s support for the console has waned. The release date of Watch Dogs on the Wii U has been pushed back to November, and the new Assassin’s Creed: Unity won’t be making it’s way to Nintendo’s console at all. What gives?
In an interview with Polygon, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke about this very topic, and revealed another interesting bit of information: Ubisoft is currently sitting on a finished game, and refuses to release it until the Wii U has sold more consoles. “We did adapt the number of products to the level of quantities that the machine did,” Guillemot stated. “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.”
Mr. Guillemot refused to give a concrete number of consoles that needed to be sold for Ubisoft to further support the console.”We don’t have a number” he says, but reported that the company needed “the sales to increase so it becomes more and more mass market.” When this happens, the company will be able to justify marketing expenses.
“We have one game that we wait for the machine to be more mass market to launch.”
He goes on to comment on the sluggish sales of the Wii U launch title ZombiU. Due to its weak sales, the franchise seems unlikely to see a new installment, even on other consoles. “I think it was so adapted to the Wii U so (bringing it to another platform) would be difficult to do. Maybe it will come to other platforms, but not as a full game.” Mr. Guillemot also argued that the game couldn’t be ported to any other platform, as “It was really developed for [the Wii U].”
The CEO was hopeful that the console’s sales would pick up, however, and remains a bit optimistic that the Wii U can turn its sluggish sales around. If the sales of the Wii U don’t pick up, Mr. Guillemot expressed the possibility of the game coming out on another format, likely referring to another console altogether.
“We need the sales to increase so it becomes more and more mass market.”
Finally, Polygon pressed Mr. Guillemot on how long Ubisoft was willing to wait, and he responded with a fairly straightforward answer. “I think we have to wait for Smash Bros. to come.” He stresses that the franchise is “a big, big property for Nintendo and for gamers,” and is aware that it will attract a large audience.
You can find the full interview with Mr. Guillemot at Polygon.
According to Nintendo Everything, Mr. Guillemot also spoke with Geoff Keighly for Spike’s E3 All Access Show, and shed some light on Ubisoft’s unreleased game:
“What we have this year is two games. We have as you said Watch Dogs but we also have Just Dance. And we have another one we didn’t speak about yet. It will come. Just for Wii U… but it’s more for families, families and friends.”