Bethesda, the developer of the critically acclaimed Elder Scrolls series, has admitted that it is not yet ready to develop for the Wii U, saying that Nintendo’s new console does not “fit into” its plans.
In the latest issue of MCV, Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines says that Bethesda’s approach “has always been to put our games out on all of the platforms that will support them. So far the Wii hasn’t fitted into that, whether the Wii U does down the road is TBD”.
Although he doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of producing games for the Wii U, or any other next-generation console for that matter, he also comments about how there is “still plenty able to do” on the current generation of consoles, and how the PS3 and Xbox 360 are not “holding them back.”
Hines, however, believes that the leap to next-gen could lead to a number of “problems”:
“For me the problems with new consoles are two-fold”, he continued. “The developers are trying to hit a moving technical target, because the platforms are being built. A new console doesn’t just show up a year before launch and is exactly what it will be when it comes out.”
His other concern stems from the fact that a new generation always starts with an install base of zero.
“The second point is that your install base always starts at zero. Then it comes out and suddenly a certain number of people buy it but it won’t be the same number as the current gen. So you have divided your audience. It’s then a case of: Are we just making it for the next gen? Or next gen and current gen? And how many people from the current gen that I’m targeting have moved over to the next gen? It does complicate things a little bit.
Then it comes out and suddenly a certain number of people buy it but it won’t be the same number as the current gen. So you have divided your audience.”
I feel as though this will be an issue for the Wii U over its first year or two, before the launch of the new systems from Sony and Microsoft. From what we’ve seen so far, the Wii U doesn’t offer that huge technical leap over the PS3 and the 360 that would persuade developers to create triple-A games for the system, because their rewards will never be as great as they would be with releasing those games for current generation hardware.
Exclusive games like ZombiU, Project P-100 and Rayman Legends suggest that some developers are embracing the Wii U, but whether or not that will continue in the months and years after the launch of the system is yet to be seen.