50+ indie games cancelled and still on for Wii U, in limbo, moved to Switch
Posted on May 27, 2017 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in Features, Switch eShop, Wii U eShop
Wii U is in an interesting position right now. Although Switch is the hot new thing, Nintendo’s older console still exists, and games continue to come out for the old console each week via the eShop. Just a couple of days ago for example, The Girl and the Robot finally hit Wii U after a nearly four-year wait.
Throughout Wii U’s lifespan, many indie games were announced for the platform. Many came out, but plenty never actually made it to the console. Since Wii U is starting to wind down at this point, we’ve attempted to investigate as many noteworthy, unreleased indie titles as possible to see if they’re still planned.
Our full findings are included below. Note that we’ve left out certain games that were reconfirmed for Wii U within the past few months, such as Hive Jump, Soul Saga, and Lobodestroyo.
The Wii U version of 7Nights has been officially cancelled. With its best days now gone, “putting efforts to bring project to the system is not an option now.” However, the team has interest in Switch, “and in the event we have the opportunity to work in this system 7Nights would be developed for the console.”
Developer Matt Hackett informed us that getting A Wizard’s Lizard on Wii U was more of a stretch goal on Kickstarter rather than an absolute certainty. Due to it not performing too well outside of its initial few months, he and the rest of the team “haven’t been able to work on it for some time.”
As for Switch, Hacket believes that it “looks great” and he’d “love to launch a game on Nintendo hardware.” That being said, he’s “only interested in working on consoles with the full publishing support of the platform, which hasn’t been in the cards for us.”
Because of disappointing sales on Steam, Suppressive Fire Games founder Frank Washburn felt that a Wii U port wouldn’t make sense, “especially with lackluster Wii U sales.” There’s a possibility that the situation will change with Switch, but the indie developer is taking a wait-and-see approach. “A lot of people voiced interest in a full single player campaign for Blood Alloy (which was the intent all along, really), so we’re trying to see what we can do,” Washburn explained.
Sadly, Churbles was more or less cancelled entirely last year. We stumbled upon this Kickstarter update from the end of last year:
“In the end we put too much focus on art and animation, and not enough on programming and development skills. The project went way over time, way over budget, and one by one we lost key team members until the skeleton crew we had left was not enough to finish the project.
What should have happened? Ideally we should have developed the entire game, the engine, combat systems, voice over systems, everything really before ever contacting artists and animators. Additionally we should have avoided crowd funding, as the money we acquired from the Kickstarter was very quickly allocated to licensing, contractors, and additional programming & art assets. Crowdfunding also added additional complications with content bloat, as we made several mistakes during the campaign of over promising bigger and better assets.
What happened to the team? The majority of the contributors on the Churbles project have gone on to find industry jobs, partners, babies, the works. In this way the project was a very good thing. It helped a lot of very talented people build up their skills and confidence and enter the professional sector.
So, is Churbles dead? As conceived by this team and developed with the help of this Kickstarter campaign, unfortunately, yes. But the assets live on, and if they some day rise from the ashes to find life in another concept or adventure, you will be the first to hear it.”
According to developer Lars Doucet, work on Defenders Quest for Wii U ended “when Nintendo abruptly dropped support for the platform.” Doucet wouldn’t announce anything regarding Switch, but did note that he is “talking to some people at Nintendo and crossing my fingers”.
Abstraction Games was working on adaptations of Devil’s Dare, and had nearly finished its work. However, “at some point we decided to not publish the game and give the console adaptation rights back to the original developer due to diminishing returns on publishing activities involving old PC IP. We’ve archived our work and shared it with the original developer.”
Abstraction now appears to be moving on to Switch. We’ve been told that the company is preparing an unannounced game for the system.
Go Go Electric Samurai has been canned on Wii U, though we weren’t given a specific reason. While the studio says a Switch port would “be nice”, there are currently no plans on that system either.
Guns, Gore & Cannoli was scrapped for Wii U due to “technical reasons.” However, Crazy Monkey Studios actually ordered Switch dev kits in April. The team is now exploring the possibility of bringing both Guns, Gore & Cannoli games to the console.
Hush is no longer planned for Wii U. But we were told by developer Rogério Ribeiro that the company has new games in the works, “and we hope to bring them to Nintendo Switch.”
After creating a demo for Illo, Raylight Games pitched the game to several publishers, but was unable to obtain a contract to fund the full project. Apparently, “Nintendo itself refused after many discussions” and a meeting at the company’s European headquarters. Raylight did end up releasing three ports on Wii U under the Ensena software label.
Regarding Switch, the developer certainly has interest and could “start a project soon.” It might be a port though since “funding original ideas and/or brand new projects is becoming more and more difficult”.
Izle has been cancelled not just on Wii U, but all platforms. It’s possible that work on the project could resume in the future, but certainly not anytime soon.
Kiki’s Koi Koi was nearly finished, though it ultimately looks like it won’t be releasing. Christopher David Yudichak from How Seven! Informed us that after development finished, the studio came across “some performance issues that we weren’t able to get to the bottom of.” This is what’s holding up Kiki’s Koi Koi currently. With Wii U starting to phase out, How Seven! Is unsure if they’ll “find the answer in time. It’s still possible, but I’d guess it won’t happen.”
Kiki’s Koi Koi likely won’t be ported to Switch as the game took advantage of Wii U’s two-screen setup. Even though How Seven! does have interest in the platform, there’s nothing specific in the works as of yet.
Mobot Studios closed its doors earlier in the year, and the game is now seeing a smaller initial release. There is also this Kickstarter update from February:
“In all honesty a Wii U release probably wont happen. I (mobot) have even cracked the Wii U eShop top 10 and it just wasn’t worth while. It would make nice side money as a hobby but, there just wasn’t enough money to even pay rent after taxes and expenses. Again, this is not 100% for sure but, I just want to be as up front as possible. Also, when Mobot closed all the WIi U games were turned over to Crescent Moon Games. So, if you own any of those, they are still available for download.”
Poi for Wii U is now on hold, with Paul Ewers from PolyKid telling us that they are now switching gears and exploring other options. For the time being, the studio isn’t announcing anything official about future plans.
For now, Rift Frigate is unlikely to hit any Nintendo console. While it originally started as “very restricted arcadey space shooter,” developer SpiritTactic noted to us that “it’s evolved into a full 6DOF combat sim, and we’re currently making a modular structure editor for it, it’s a whole different thing.”
With Rift Frigate only playing properly on PC as of now, that platform has become the team’s focus. Hardware requirements as well as the workload on PC are roadblocks in porting the game to a Nintendo console.
Technical and market reasons led to the cancellation of Signal to Noise on Wii U. That brings us to Switch. Solanimus president David Klingler mentioned that the company is very interested in Switch… but that interest comes with a caveat.
Solanimus is hard at work on ports of Signal to Noise. But as far as Switch is concerned, it’s “not planned to be our first port even if it’s decided for sure to release on that platform. We are presently working through multiple projects at the moment, so the porting of Signal to Noise at the moment is not the top priority for the company, however I personally dedicate time to it.”
Plans to have Super Cordon Bleu on Wii U have been essentially scrapped at this point. The game’s one-man developer now intends to focus on PC and mobile with console versions in the future, including Switch potentially.
Moving Player’s Philippe Longere confirmed to us that Triboo was killed off quite a long time ago. The developer does have interest in Switch though. If we were to guess, they’ll probably be supporting the platform down the road.
Wheels of Aurelia was running on Wii U at one point, but MixedBag co-founder Mauro Fanelli explained that the performance wasn’t up to snuff and “would require a lot of work.” Although this title probably won’t hit Switch, MixedBag recently announced plans that they’re working on the platform.