VBlank Explains Why Retro City Rampage Isn’t Coming to Wii U

Besides, it’s already there. Sort of.

Recently, the Vancouver-based game developer VBlank Entertainment announced that the latest version of its inaugural title, Retro City Rampage DX, had arrived or was coming soon to virtually every platform imaginable: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Steam for PC and Macintosh, Xbox 360, and WiiWare– but not the Xbox One or Wii U. (It was already on the Nintendo 3DS, in case you were wondering– you can find my review here.

While the Xbox One remains up in the air, VBlank founder Brian Provinciano did come forward on his webpage to explain not only that the Wii U would not be receiving its own version of Retro City Rampage DX, but also why. Among the reasons (summed up in my own words):

  • Too much work with too little payoff. That is, for both developer and consumer alike. Porting the game to the Wii U would be a massive undertaking with too little to show for it. “…it would take months from start to finish. In the end, it would be 95% identical to the WiiWare version.”
  • It’s already playable on Wii U. On that note, the game is already there– sort of– via the Wii U’s Wii mode. You can purchase and play the game through the Wii Shop Channel, and even use Off-TV Play, although you have to use a separate controller from the Wii U GamePad. Plus, there is no perk in terms of the difference in power between the machines– the game features no load times, and high resolution isn’t going to make much difference in a game that’s already set in a low resolution of 240p anyway (versus the Wii’s 480p and the Wii U’s 1080p).

Of further interest is “the Wii version still hasn’t made me a cent due to the threshold requirement,” and Provinciano notes that he receives more requests each week for a Wii U version than there are WiiWare sales. “I had mountains of requests for the WiiWare version, but in the end very few have actually purchased the game on there. It accounts for just 1% of the game’s sales.”

Admittedly, that’s not very encouraging.

Provinciano goes into greater detail about the rigors of getting everything together, how there was never any platform exclusivity, and how people even managed to sabotage his efforts (whether deliberately or not) by saying that the game was cancelled when it never was, leading to interested parties being unaware when it did finally come out. Plus, in the end, he’s ready to take on a new challenge instead of continuing to make ports of the finished game.

You can read all about it here, and if you’d like to play a fun game and support a Canadian developer, be sure to give it a shot.


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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.