“Wii U Games Were Delayed Because Projects Were Understaffed”- Nintendo

Nintendo has it’s own explanations for delaying the release of Wii U games, saying that the company had intended to release a few titles in the first few months of this year, but they had miscalculated the development resources that would actually be needed to finish them at the expected time.

According to the President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, the company believed that it would be better to delay the release of the Wii U games rather than being hasty and rushing them to the market, as it might have damaged key brands.

“We originally planned to release a few first-party titles for Wii U during the first-half of this year, but no big titles are scheduled for release before Pikmin 3 in July (in Japan) because we decided to take time to add the final touches to ensure that consumers fully feel that they are valuable titles. The brand of a franchise would be completely degraded without consumer satisfaction.”

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“The reason for the delayed release of our first-party titles was the fact that completing the Wii U games released at the same time as the launch of Wii U required more development resources than expected, so some staff members from development teams working on other titles had to help complete them. In short, the development teams of Pikmin 3 and other future games were understaffed during that period.”

According to him, software development is also becoming more difficult, because consumers are more fussy about the purchases they make these days.

“It is true that it is becoming increasingly challenging to meet the expectations of consumers who are willing to pay $50-$60 for a game, and it is difficult to break even unless a huge number of units are sold all over the world, so it cannot be denied that software development is becoming more challenging.”

“Among such packaged software, however, the sales of popular games are much larger than in the past. Therefore, if we create more hit games, the software development business can still be very profitable. All games break even if they sell millions of copies worldwide, so we will continue to do our best to develop games which have high sales potential.”

AT the end of March, Wii U’s software sales were at 13.42 million units. Iwata said that the absence of first party games have had quite a negative impact on the hardware sales. The total Wii U sales were 3.45 million (at the end of Nintendo’s financial year, that is) and it had sold only 450,000 units in the first three months of this year. He also mentioned Nintendo’s apparent ‘inability’ to solidly communicate the product value of Wii U, branding it as the reason behind weak hardware sales.

“Some have the misunderstanding that Wii U is just Wii with a pad for games, and others even consider Wii U GamePad as a peripheral device connectible to Wii,” said Iwata. “We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product.” Now, we just have to wait and see just how successful the launch of the first party Wii U games are going to be, and whether it’ll help the company in any way.

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