Wii U GamePad

‘Abysmal’ Wii U Name Cut Sales In Half, Says Former Nintendo Indie Head

Nintendo’s financial situation isn’t looking so hot right now despite blistering Mario Kart 8 sales for the Wii U. The console itself has been a significant drag to the company’s bottom line, and former Nintendo Indie Publishing Head Dan Adelman thinks he knows why it has lost half of its potential sales.

“Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to,” Adelman said in response to a fan question on ask.fm. “It has a lot to offer with great games you can’t get anywhere else. The value of the GamePad hasn’t been justified. But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there.”

Adelman announced his departure from Nintendo earlier this week after being publicly silent for over a year. The outspoken evangelist brought popular indie franchises like Mutant Mudds, Cave Story, and Shovel Knight to the platform, but comments about 3DS region-locking and the Nintendo’s reluctance towards The Binding of Isaac ran him afoul of the company’s executives.

Still, it’s not hard to disagree with the Adelman’s comments about the Wii U name because they’ve been lamented by gaming enthusiasts ever since it was first announced. Nintendo was attempting to build off the explosive success of the Wii console by maintaining part of the original name. However, interest in the original console with motion controls was waning by that point, and the simple addition of a “U” to the end of the name caused confusion among consumers and the press. The new touchscreen controller was reported and advertised as an add-on to the original console, which has clearly cost Nintendo sales and support.

All of the major third-party publishers – Activision, EA, 2K Games, and Ubisoft – have abandoned creating games for the Wii U after dreadful sales performance in the first year. Nintendo finally got gamers interested in the console with an impressive E3 showing of first and second-party titles this past June, plus the release of Mario Kart 8.

Unfortunately, the company also suffered a $97 million operating loss during the quarter ending June 30, 2014, and that is after coming off of yet another annual loss.

As for Adelman, he is apparently going to be even more careful with his words following the “abysmal” comment.

Adelman is still working within the indie industry. In fact, he just gave the following presentation during an IGDA webinar covering the basics of the indie game development basics.

What do you think of Adelman’s comments about the Wii U? Do you agree or disagree. Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Nintendo]

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