Ubisoft’s CEO says that Nintendo needs to sell more units of the Wii U. Although Yves Guillemot did not indicate what could happen if Wii U sales failed to pick up, one has to assume that the consequence could involve Ubisoft (and other game developers) deciding against developing software for the new console.
In a recent interview with MCV, Guillemot said that Nintendo’s latest console “is a great machine” but that “it just has to sell more.”
Taking a look at the numbers, it’s clear the Wii U is already in trouble. While Nintendo sold 3 million Wii Us during the holiday shopping season, U.S. sales dipped to just 57,000 units in the month of January. To put that into context, the Xbox 360 — which launched in November 2005 — sold nearly 300,000 units that same month.
So, what’s the problem?
One explanation could be that Nintendo is struggling to establish business ties with major publishers. Recently, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli noted that a fractured relationship with Nintendo resulted in Crysis 3 never making its way to the Wii U.
“We did have Crysis 3 running on the Wii U,” Yerli said. “We were very close to launching it. But there was a lack of business support between Nintendo and EA on that. Since we as a company couldn’t launch on the Wii U ourselves–we don’t have a publishing license — Crysis 3 on Wii U had to die.”
It’s not known what caused the rift between EA and Nintendo, but it was most certainly a costly one. Although Crysis 3 has received somewhat middling reviews, it represents one of the winter season’s biggest console releases. There’s no doubt that millions of Xbox 360, PS3, and PC gamers will eventually play the good-looking game.