I have noticed an interesting trend in relation to Nintendo exclusivity and Nintendo's successful little white box. The Nintendo Wii may have been rough on some third party developers but the more dedicated developers/publishers saw some success on the machine but often undid this success with subsequent releases on competing machines. The problem comes when the publisher gets greedy and betrays the audience it cultivated during the games initial release. With this in mind, we are going to look at some instances where being Wii exclusive helped a particular game and the fallout of the game's sequel or re-release/port on other systems.
PORT: Goldeneye 007: Reloaded (PS3/XB360)
The original Goldeneye for the N64 is intrinsically tied to Nintendo and feels as much of a Nintendo exclusive as Mario which is why the well designed Wii exclusive just felt right. Nintendo even got behind the game to help hype the title and the release felt like a nostalgic nod to the 1997 original. Unfortunately, much like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk and (insert milked franchise here), Goldeneye 007: Reloaded felt like Activision making their typical quick cash grab and it rightfully backfired on them. While not a bad game, Reloaded was based off of a game designed with a more conservative approach to the FPS (like the N64 original) and just didn't mesh as well with audiences accustomed to the bombastic Call of Duty series which dominates the PS3 and 360.
SEQUEL: De Blob 2 (Wii/PS3/XB360)
De Blob was a fantastic and original title built on an indie game with a style that felt right at home on Nintendo's little white box. Hell, the game would've felt right at home within Nintendo's own first party catalog. While De Blob garnered positive attention and proved to be a hit, publisher THQ thought they could turn it into a multi-platform franchise which was a huge mistake. While the sequel did well on Wii, the PS3 and 360 versions were huge bombs largely because the game didn't fit with the demographic on those two systems who preferred the FPS, fighter and sports game genres. This one is a real shame because it could have been a huge franchises in the platformer genre which has fallen on hard times outside of the Mario series.
PORT: The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut (PS3)
House of the Dead: Overkill was developed by the talented Headstrong Games and felt like a perfect fit for the Wii's pointer/motion controls. Even with the extreme language/sex/violence, it managed to find a following which made the game a big success for Sega. With Sony's ill received PS Move, a blatant Wii Remote knockoff, Sega saw a chance for a quick cash in. I really can't fault them for this because they actually tried to enhance the already great original. Unfortunately, the extreme price barrier and fact that most who wanted to play it already did by the time of it's PS3 release nearly 3 years later didn't help matters.
PORT: No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise (PS3)
This game was built from the ground up for the Wii and it shows. Suda 51's crazy game made the Wii Remote feel like a real part of the experience without turning into the dreaded "waggle fest" which plagued many Wii titles from lazy developers. The game struggled to find an audience in Japan but did quite well in North America and Europe. While Heroes' Paradise port featured PS Move support and was PS3 exclusive in North America, the game proved to too expensive with the required hardware to properly experience to game and offered little new to player's who had already experienced it 3 years earlier.
PORT: Resident Evil Chronicles HD (PS3)
Much like The House of the Dead: Overkill, the Chronicles series for Resident Evil fit like a glove with the Wii Remote and was a great way to revisit the series lore and history while offering a different take on the franchise that was greatly enhanced with a great multiplayer option. While official numbers are tough to nail down due to its PSN digital release outside of Japan, the general complaints seems to be the same as House of the Dead which include PS Move cost, no real enhancement and extreme dates between release (5 years for Umbrella Chronicles and 3 years since Darkside Chronicles) which once again meant that most who wanted to play it already did.
SEQUEL: Epic Mickey: The Power Of Two (Wii/Wii U/XB360/PS3)
Despite its many flaws, Epic Mickey was a pretty big hit on the Wii. It conjured memories of Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie while being built around the Wii Remote controls which made it feel like a natural fit for Nintendo's little white box. Greed and complete oversight of the games audience led to the sequel hit every system under the sun. Much like De Blob, the original game just felt at home on the Wii but anyone could see that the games style didn't fit on the PS3 or 360 and it was just to early for Wii U. If the team had the opportunity to focus on just the Wii version for the 2 year development cycle, we may have had an epic title to join other successful Wii swan songs Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story. Unfortunately, this games failure has resulted in yet another company biting the dust with the games developer Junction Point officially closed down.
WII ORIGINAL: uDraw Studio
SEQUEL/PORT: uDraw Studio: Instant Artist (Wii/XB360/PS3)
Oh THQ, you are the kings of bad decisions. Once again, THQ released the original uDraw Studio for the Wii and it proved to be a big hit and yet again thought it wise to go for a multi-platform franchise. The big difference this time is that they did it with a costly piece of required hardware which was a factor that helped put the company out of business. If they had simply built on the original's success by staying on Wii and focused on releasing quality software for the established audience, they could have been one of the huge Wii success stories like UbiSoft and their Just Dance series. Instead, people were buying the entire hardware + game for a mere $10 this last Christmas.
While I'm sure to have missed a few titles, the point remains that being Nintendo exclusive has merit and when handled correctly results in some impressive sales numbers but publishers need to manage their expectations and think before whoring out a game to systems where it doesn't belong. This lesson will be very important as we enter the Wii U, a console that literally gives developers a boatload of development options and will be cheaper to develop for than the competition. To all the developers and publishers out there, every game does not need to be on every system. What do you think, should these types of games be on all systems? Please comment below and be sure to follow Treon's Realm on Twitter.