Activision Pledges Continued Wii U Support
In spite of Nintendo's big push, the Wii U hasn't wowed gamers.
Nintendo's Wii U console has been struggling in a changing gaming landscape, but at least one third-party publisher intends to invest some time and money in the device. Activision has confirmed six new Wii U titles, including its upcoming cash cow, "Call of Duty: Ghosts."
"As we have said before, we're committed to doing everything we can to support the Wii U," said Eric Hirshberg, Activision's CEO, in a statement. "We're excited to be bringing some of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world to the platform this year."
Hirshberg is telling the truth: Although Activision's six upcoming Wii U titles will, for the most part, not delight the hardcore crowd, they represent mighty names in entertainment. Before the end of the year, "Skylanders SWAP Force," "Angry Birds Trilogy," "Angry Birds Star Wars," "SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge" and "Wipeout Create & Crash" will join "Call of Duty" in the Wii U's library.
The games represent fairly diverse genres: "Skylanders SWAP Force" is a toy-based action role-playing game. The two "Angry Birds" games are, of course, casual physics puzzle games that have already seen overwhelming success on mobile platforms and other consoles. "Plankton's Robotic Revenge" is a kid-focused action game, while "Wipeout Create & Crash" is a TV tie-in racing game. "Call of Duty: Ghosts," like previous series entries, is a first-person shooter with a focus on realistic weapons and competitive multiplayer.
While Activision's support of the Wii U is encouraging for Nintendo, which has had considerable trouble attracting outside publishers to its quirky console, these six titles are unlikely to provide the "killer app" that the system needs. All six games are available for other systems, and for competitive games like "Call of Duty: Ghosts," the more robust online communities on the Xbox 360 and PS3 (and, potentially, on the Xbox One and PS4 as well) might make a Wii U purchase counterintuitive. [See also: 10 Great Wii U Games]
Even so, Activision has still proven a better friend to Nintendo than competing publisher Electronic Arts. At first, EA pledged considerable support for the Wii U, but after its game sales on the console floundered, it changed its tune. EA currently has no Wii U titles planned, and short of a turnaround in the console's fortunes, may stand its ground.
Nintendo has a number of its own titles in the works from its mainstay series, including "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda." If these titles spark additional console sales, Activision may shift some units, but there's a reason why Activision's six upcoming titles are all multi-platform releases.