Wii U game fans received somewhat disappointing news yesterday when Ubisoft announced it was pulling the Know Your Friends party/quiz game before even releasing it to the public, according to GameSpot.
The move to cancel the game comes courtesy of lagging sales suffered by both the Wii U console and Ubisoft’s other titles on the platform.
According to EuroGamer, Unseen 64, a service that keeps track of all beta, canceled, and otherwise unreleased games for all sorts of video gaming consoles, said it thought Ubisoft would release Know Your Friends when the Wii U was “more popular.”
According to Nintendo World Report, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke about the game at E3 2014 in June of last year, and confirmed that the company was sitting on the game after finishing its development at Ubisoft Montreal in 2014.
Guillemot said as follows.
“[It] has been done for six months. It’s on the shelf, waiting for more families to have the console.”
The news of Ubisoft’s canceled Wii U game comes just as Game Informer sat down with industry leader Michael Pachter at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, February, 2014, to speak about the various issues facing game publishers and console makers this year.
Better known as the star of Patch Attack and managing director of Wedbush Securities, Pachter said not a single nice thing about Nintendo — or the Wii U — during the interview.
According to Game Informer, Pachter thought the Wii and Wii U names were “dumb.” When asked about first and third party gaming ecosystem for the Wii and Wii U, and whether Nintendo needed to release a new console to survive this year, Pachter said as follows.
“I think that they are not a particularly introspective bunch. I think that they are still in denial about the Wii U failure. You keep seeing this stat so we’re up 82 percent – yeah, 40,000 units went to 70,000 units. Who cares? You’re still trailing the other guys by a mile.”
He added that Nintendo did a bad job with the Wii and an “abysmal job” with the Wii U, noting specifically that, “I don’t think third parties would come back for a new console.”
According to a Nintendo press release, Wii U sold 29 percent better in December, 2014, over December, 2013, but did not release actual sales in units. In contrast to the Wii U’s sales, PlayStation 4 sold just over 4 million consoles during the 2014 holiday season alone, and just over 18 million worldwide total as of this January, according to Ars Technica.
According to Game Informer, Pachter believes the Wii and Wii U failure are because of bad leadership, placing blame on Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, saying he is “not a good leader.”
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) February 3, 2015
Iwata is positive about the “fate of the Wii U and the potential of smartphone games within the company’s catalog,” according to Nikkei. Citing the upcoming lineup, and the fact that “Japanese markets differ from other international audiences,” Iwata believes Nintendo will grow.
According to Game Informer, Pachter said that Ubisoft got burned by making dedicated titles like the ZombiU for Wii U. This is one of the titles with “lagging sales” that caused Ubisoft to sit on the Know Your Friends game. Pachter doesn’t think any software provider would make titles for Wii or Wii U in the future, even though Iwata intends to “pursue a variety of options,” according to Nikkei.
On the other hand, that fans will never see the canceled Know Your Friends Wii U game might be a blessing, according to Gaming Bolt, which called the Wii U game the “definition of Ubisoft shovelware.”
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Know Your Friends a “T” for teens, even though the game contains explicit sexual questions, and other “socially awkward” questions. Accompanying those questions are equally explicit photos, such as of a whip, a woman’s cleavage, and similar photos.
All Nintendo games by Ubisoft are on sale until February 16, including Wii U games, and buyers can save up to 75 percent off original prices. A coincidence?
Do you think photos of a whip or women’s cleavage are appropriate for inclusion in a game made for teens who might possibly be as young as 13?
Do you think Ubisoft should have released the game? Why or why not?
[Photo via Nintendo/Wii U]