Apr 19, 2012

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Reasons Behind Why Baldur’s Gate: Enchanced Edition Won’t Be Available On Wii U, Consoles

Reasons Behind Why Baldur’s Gate: Enchanced Edition Won’t Be Available On Wii U, Consoles

It was recently announced that Overhaul Games was working on an iOS version of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, along with planned PC and Mac ones. This news had some hopeful that they would be able to see the title on their home consoles. But a recent tweet from Overhaul’s Trent Oster squashed those hopes.

“We don’t do Nintendo development. Our previous experience with Nintendo was enough to ensure there will not be another.”

The experience mentioned is the one for WiiWare version of MDK2, a first-person shooter. Oster evens says that this port was “probably the best version of that game on any console.” This is thanks to the integration of the Wii remote. However, the process of working with Nintendo has left a sour taste in Oster’s mouth and made the developer very wary from working in the console space in general.

Given the large sales numbers of the Wii, Overhaul had high hopes that the Wii port of MDK2 would be successful. Despite the large numbers of Wii owners, most purchased the console for titles such as Wii Fit and not invested in any third party titles. This makes it hard for third party developers to see any profit from their titles as Nintendo has a system set that third party developers don’t see any profit from their submitted titles until they sell at least 6,000 copies. Another rule by Nintendo is the size of the game file has to be at the very most 40MB. Oster recalled the struggle to downsize the nearly 400MB title by “trimming everywhere we could” which included the removal of some music tracks and cutting down the level data.

And getting the title certified by Nintendo proved to be a long process. In what could have been done in under a month took nine months with Nintendo dragging out bug reports. This made Oster feel as if the company put them at a low priority.

Even if Nintendo remedies this process with the Wii U, Oster is still down on bringing Baldur’s Gate: Enchanced Edition to consoles. He feels that not only would it be “interface and inventory hell” with a standard controller but also the fact that he feels that console distribution isn’t compatible with how he wants to make games. He remarked:

“Everyone stepped away from PC because there was the perception that PC was making no money, that all the money was in consoles. But suddenly now we have this resurgence of digital distribution platforms like Steam and GoG and you see this big success on the PC.”

“I see the competition in the console space, and I see the $20 to $30 million budgets and the massive teams that take horrible horrible pains to create the quality level that’s over there, and I don’t think that’s a place we can play in and do well on. I think we need to pick a spot where we can be much smarter with our efforts.”

“Our goal is to stay a small team, to focus on making great games and never have an HR department… and that’s not compatible with the console space, it just really isn’t.”

[Source: ars technica]