One of Andrew Eisen's latest videos (has been busy in the last week or so) points out that Ubisoft's latest move - to delay the Wii version of Watch Dogs to an undetermined date well after the Spring release of the game on other platforms - ensures that that version of the game will have crappy sales.
Some would say that Ubisoft is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by doing this, giving other publishers an example to point to when they abandon development of their top properties for Wii U.
Ubisoft confirmed during its earning call today that the Wii U version of Watch Dogs has been delayed significantly, coming out well after the game releases on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Those versions of the game will release this spring (the period between April and June), according to Ubisoft, but Watch Dogs for the Wii U will not be released until much later. How much later? Ubisoft was pretty coy about an exact date, saying only that it would be released at "a later date" after the release of other versions of the game.
Warner Bros. has cancelled the planned downloadable content for the Wii U game Arkham Origins and refunded customers who purchased the DLC-associated Season Pass.
Nintendo said that the DLC was canceled because demand for it was "low." Obviously fans who bought the Season Pass would disagree. Wii U owners who purchased a season pass for the Arkham Origins DLC will be refunded with eShop credit, Nintendo said.
During an investor briefing Wednesday night Nintendo president Satoru Iwata laid out the company's plans for 2014, which he hopes will turn things around for the company. Iwata laid out plans for the Wii U in 2014 including new marketing initiatives, new game releases and technology, and a focus on making sure that consumers understand that the Wii U's Gamepad is not just an add-on to the original Wii.
As it released financial results for the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, and sales figures for the Wii U and 3DS (and associated software), Nintendo also announced that its key executives would take pay cuts from February to June of this year. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that he will take a 50 percent pay cut in response to the company's continued financial problems, while Shigeru Miyamoto and Genyo Takeda will both take a 30 percent cut in pay. Seven other members of the company's board will also take a 20 percent pay cut.
Update: Apparently a system error is being blamed for the disappearance of pre-orders for the Wii U version of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs at GameStop. A spokesperson for the retailer tells Kotaku that the error has been corrected and that pre-orders for the game will be available again soon.
Update: EA COO Peter Moore took to Twitter to say that one should not trust anonymous sources:
" Don’t trust 'anonymous sources.' Nintendo's a great partner. They never have been, and never will be, ‘dead’ to EA..."
The author of the CVG story, Rob Crossely, had a brief exchange with Moore, noting that the "anonymous source" was an "EA one."
Andrew Eisen is a bit of a Nintendo fanboy (see his ongoing list of games "not on Wii U"), so his latest video in the midst of all the bad news about Nintendo's Wii U sales during Christmas and its subsequent walking back of Wii U and 3DS sales estimate for the fiscal year is not surprising at all.
Here's the lead-in from Andrew's YouTube channel:
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll (SimCity's offline mode), the plastic surgery game that got booted off Apple App store and Google Play store, the changes made to the Steam Controller, and Nintendo's ongoing financial woes due to poor Wii U sales. Download Episode 84 now: SuperPAC Episode 84 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 83.3 MB.
On Friday Nintendo projected that it would take a $240 million net loss for the fiscal year ending in March on weak holiday sales of its Wii U console and related software, and scaled back its sales projections for its home console and its 3DS hand-held. This morning the company is seeing the effects of that news in its stock price, according to this BBC report.
Nintendo has revised its forecasts for the fiscal year to a net loss of $240 million (25 billion yen) due to weak sales of the Wii U during the holiday shopping season, according to a syndicated Bloomberg report. The company described its year-end sales of Wii U consoles and software as "far below expectations."
Nintendo has acquired the patents of IA Labs following a legal victory in court over the company related to patents - but the company secured them outside a courtroom, sort of. Nintendo announced that it secured the patents officially on January 7, during a sheriff's sale in Montgomery County, Maryland. The company sued Nintendo in 2010, claiming that it violated several of its patents in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. Nintendo successfully defended against the lawsuit and obtained judgment in its favor in February 2012.
China has officially lifted the ban on selling consoles, though the measure is temporary it seems, according to the BBC. China banned the sale of home video game consoles in 2000, saying that it did so because it had an adverse affect on the mental health of the country's youth.
Nintendo has apologized for outages over the Christmas holiday period on its eShop. The company said that these outages were mostly due to high volumes of traffic. As a result of these problems Nintendo also said that it was forced to delay the Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter apps, which were originally due to go live on December 27.
MMO company Perfect World Entertainment is making a major push into the free-to-play market on video game consoles. The company announced that it has completed a company expansion by creating a console division targeting current and next-gen consoles. Planned console products expected include current and future games from Perfect World Entertainment’s suite of developers, the company said.
As the supposed console war kicks off, it looks like Sony has a slight edge over Microsoft. According to data released by retail research firm NPD Group, the PS4 edged out the Xbox One in sales, but Microsoft says it won a battle on a different front during the launch window for the next-gen consoles. More PS4 software was sold as well during the period, but more sales of PS4 consoles and software makes sense given that the system went on sale a week before the Xbox One did in North America.
Speaking at the Game Monetization USA Summit in San Francisco this week, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata should be fired for his handling of the Wii U and the company in general.
"I don't know why Iwata is still employed," Pachter said during his presentation, according to a GamesIndustry International report, adding that the Wii U’s commercial performance has been "underwhelming” and that he believed it was “possible but unlikely” that new titles could help the system to recover.
Rakuten, owner of the UK-based games retailer Play.com, claims that Nintendo’s Wii U has seen a 75 percent sales spike in October. The company predicts that Wii U and iPad will be more popular than Xbox One and PS4 amongst children during the holiday season. The company also cites a Twitter analysis that comes to the conclusion that its Wii U and iPad range are "the most talked about presents for children this Christmas."
Microsoft fared considerably better than Sony on Black Friday, according to data analysts InfoScout. The firm claims that Xbox One was the highest selling console during the period, comprising 31 percent of total hardware sales. The Xbox 360 also fared pretty well, grabbing a 30 percent share resulting in a joint Microsoft lead of 60 percent. Joint sales of the PS3 and PS4 amounted to 30 percent share in sales total, while sales of the Wii U and Wii combined was 7 percent.
Research firm IHS forecasts is suggesting that 34 percent of the money consumers spend on software for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be done in the digital space by 2017.
"A key driver for this digital transition will be publisher ambition to release most games digitally at the same time as boxed versions at retail outlets," said the report prepared by Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games.
Last week we asked our readers how they thought the Wii U would fare this holiday season. Around 355 total votes were cast, with a slight majority of participants saying that the Wii U will be ignored more so now that the PS4 and Xbox One are out.
A day late and a dollar short would be the best way to describe Episode 76. It was recorded a few days after Extra Life (which admittedly messed with our scheduling and mental stability in the early part of the week). Add to that some technical difficulties with editing the show and you have an episode that is a week late. Nevertheless the topics we talk about on the show are timeless enough that you'll still enjoy it.
Sit down and buckle in, friends, as I deliver the Understatement of the Week. Are you ready? Okay, here goes...
The Wii U ain't doin' so hot.
Nintendo's newest video game console launched just under a year ago, selling through its entire allotment in its first week on the shelf. By the end of the year, it had sold just over three million units. Not record breaking, not a sell-out like the Wii before it but respectable nonetheless.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted in a briefing for investors and analysts this week that the Wii U has - so far - failed as a worthy successor to the Wii. The Wii is currently outselling the Wii U, which has only managed to sell 3.9 million units to-date worldwide. Speaking during a briefing about its second quarter financial results, Iwata noted that the Wii U has only done one thing right - backwards compatibility with the Wii.
Nintendo says that it sold 460,000 Wii U units worldwide in the six month period that ended on September 30. The figure was revealed as part of the company's financial results for the last three months. In this quarter the company only sold 300,000, despite knocking $50 off the price tag of the system a few months ago. The company also had a number of high profile releases to go alongside that price cut including Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
As part of its release of financial results for the second fiscal quarter, Electronic Arts revealed that the Wii and Wii U account for a little over one percent of the company's total sales, while PC game sales are its top segment. EA said that Wii and Wii U games accounted for 1.3 percent of EA's software revenues in the last fiscal quarter. Of the $695 million in revenue earned from combined sales of console, mobile and PC software, about $9 million came from Wii and Wii U software.
The newest title in EA's long running action racing series will not be on Wii U or PS Vita, according to the game's Creative Director, Craig Sullivan. Speaking recently to Sixth Axis, Sullivan said that Need for Speed: Rivals will skip Vita and Wii U due to poor sales from the previous game, Need for Speed: Most Wanted.