WHY RCR ISN'T COMING TO Wii U
For those holding out hope, I unfortunately need to be forthcoming and completely clear: Retro City Rampage won't be coming to Wii U. You can already purchase and play the WiiWare version in Wii mode, so if you've been holding out, please pick that up instead.
WiiWare received the DX update last month, so it's still packed with the latest features.
PORTING THROUGH RELEASE ISN'T TRIVIAL
Unfortunately, Wii U is a completely different system from Wii. Wii code cannot be simply put on Wii U with the push of a button. It's different architecture, a different SDK/API, with different platform requirements. Developers must deal with game ratings (PEGI, ESRB, etc.), business/paperwork/production, e-manuals, icons, store assets, localization, testing, certification, a new round of marketing, etc. -- it wouldn't be trivial and would take months from start to finish. In the end, it would be 95% identical to the WiiWare version.
No more ports are planned, but if for some reason new ports were made, I would choose completely new platforms which reach completely new audiences. Because the Wii U is backwards compatible, it does not make sense to pour months of time (and the costs) into doing it for a system that can already play the game. Again, months of work -> a 5% different product.
While some of you have complained that Wii mode takes time to start up, keep in mind that the game itself has no load times. With the Wii mode startup included, you're still probably faced with less waiting than most other games.
While off-TV play on Wii U with WiiWare games requires a separate controller, it still already works. The game also supports not just Wii Remotes, but Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Game Cube controllers.
While the Wii isn't HD, the game itself is 240p anyway. It doesn't really matter if it's on Wii in 480p or Wii U in 1080p -- the pixels are simply enlarged either way.
Further more, the Wii version still hasn't made me a cent due to the threshold requirement. I get more requests for a Wii U version each week than actual WiiWare sales. I really would hope more of you would show your support and purchase it via Wii mode. It would be win-win.
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.
Developers and publishers were attacked with virtual pitchforks for cancelling WiiWare games, but you can now see why they did it. Retro City Rampage has been a massive success (Nintendo 3DS version included), selling 400K paid copies to date, but the WiiWare version was a massive failure. It's clear that it's not the game, not the audience, but rather, the platform.
It was incredibly disheartening as Wii fans attacked me throughout the development of the game. Spreading rumors that the game was cancelled when it was not, even defacing the wikipedia page with such lies. Over a year after it released on WiiWare, people were still telling me "What? I thought it was cancelled! I never knew it was actually available on WiiWare". People yelled at, trolled and harassed developers for not supporting their desired platform, yet simultaneously sabotaged the launches.
EXCLUSIVITY (THERE NEVER WAS ANY)
The game was never a Wii exclusive. I was in talks with all three consoles the entire time. Wii was simply the first one I was able to announce. I had the Xbox 360 version, for example, fully playable and ready to demo that very first PAX, the very first time the game was playable by the public. However Microsoft policies prevented it from actually being shown or announced yet. Press incorrectly reported that it was Wii exclusive and no matter how many times I corrected everyone, some people got it in their heads, made up their own minds and wouldn't listen. People called me a liar for not "keeping [my] word", a word that I never made in the first place.
The reality of it all is that if it had been a WiiWare exclusive, even released in 2010 when the game was first announced, it still wouldn't have been financially successful. I would be in a cubicle right now working for someone else. I wouldn't have been able to fund new games, or do these past two years of free game updates. In fact, it was PlayStation and Steam revenue which subsidized the WiiWare version, which incurred over $20K in costs that were never recouped due to the WiiWare threshold policy. Game exclusivity is very risky without a guarantee from the platform to get behind your game with strong force, and without a healthy eco-system (and indeed, Wii's ecosystem was incredibly unhealthy due to the ease of soft-modding and rampant WAD sharing). In fact, even if it were an Xbox 360 exclusive, I still would be in a cubicle working for someone else now. I still would've made less from the game than I could've earned working for someone else as a mere computer programmer. Most of its success has come from PlayStation, Steam and 3DS. Having your eggs all in one basket is a huge risk, especially when it's your job and not a hobby.
THE Wii U IS A BETTER PLATFORM... NOW
The Wii U eShop is a much better storefront and provides much more visibility and opportunities to promote games, and therefore opens the door for much greater success. However, the Wii version was already almost done by the time it even became an option. It would've meant scrapping everything and creating a brand new port from square one. Not only that, but during the Wii U launch period and small installbase, Wii U eShop games weren't actually doing gangbusters either. It wouldn't have been a huge success on there either at the time. I can't stress this enough. Both options were poor options at the time!
I also physically couldn't do the Wii U port then. I had been working seven days a week for over six years to finish the game (while also working a full time job the first three of those), and my health was incredibly poor by the end of it all. I hadn't had a break yet, and tacking on a whole new port from the ground up would've nearly killed me. It's why it took me so long to get my strength back to actually commit to doing a 3DS version. Even after the 3DS version, I had to take even more time off to continue getting better as I still hadn't fully recovered in the first place.
When we look at the support, if I were to assume that a mere 2% of those potential Wii U customers bite the bullet and buy the WiiWare version through Wii mode, it still doesn't convince me that the porting costs and time involved would be well recouped. The WiiWare version's already deep into the red. The investment involved in reaching such an overlapping customer base doesn't have a strong ROI written on it. Wii/Wii U fans are very passionate and very supportive on social media, but that passion doesn't always translate to actual sales. I wish it did! I'll get 60 retweets on Twitter or 250 "Yeah!"s on Miiverse about the WiiWare version, yet still see zero Wii sales that day. It's hard to believe, but it's true.
AGAIN, THERE'S MORE TO IT...
Despite porting RCR to eight platforms (and several more which were never released), I must admit that it's not fun to do ports. I'd much rather be making new games than porting one repeatedly. There's much more involved than most realize (especially in the case of consoles). The paperwork and certification tacks on months of lead time alone, in most cases. It's not just about getting something up and running on the screen.
I apologize to those of you who've been holding out hoping for a Wii U version, but I needed to be outright clear that it's not happening, and why. I've explained all of this to many of you one by one already, and most of you are understanding and "get it". Those of you which aren't and don't, I'm sorry, but there's not much else I can say.
RETRO CITY RAMPAGE, the game, characters and all related elements are trademarks of Vblank Entertainment Inc. ©2012 All Rights Reserved.
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