Nintendo’s Wii U was one of the most sought after hands-on experiences on this year’s E3 show floor. Despite the mounting hype, and the fact that Nintendo’s Wii launch is quite possibly years ahead of Sony and Microsoft’s next generation console, the list of third-party titles for the Wii U remains short.
In the 1980s, Nintendo dominated the video game market with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Essentially responsible for the proliferation of video games in North America, the dominance of the NES turned Nintendo into a video game industry juggernaut. It was at this time that Nintendo gained its reputation for not playing nice with third-party developers. However, it looks as though Nintendo is attempting to change that with the Wii U as rumors circulate regarding talks with Activision and Treyarch.
According an investment analyst for Sterne Agee, Arvind Bhatia, Call of Duty: Black Ops may be coming to the Wii U as early as this holiday season, claiming it would “contribute to incremental sales of the title and also the Wii U console.”
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of the Activision Publishing division, told GamesIndustry International “We take our time to get our ducks in a row before pulling any trigger. We don’t have announcements today but we will be supporting Wii U.” Although he would not admit to any talks between Nintendo and Activision regarding Black Ops II, he did go on to say “we were there with second screen enhancements with Call of Duty Elite last year and one of the primary uses we’re finding comes through the tablet and through the smartphone.”
Mark Lamia, head of Treyarch Studios, was slightly more forthcoming with GamesIndustry International, but continued to dance around the subject. “I think it’s interesting to think about all the platforms. Just in general, that’s part of my job as a studio head, working with Activision on assessing where our creative can live. How can people experience it? We obviously have been a Nintendo developer for many years and have created many Call of Duty games on the Nintendo platform. [Wii U] is clearly a more powerful platform than its predecessor and… they have obviously a unique controller and interface.”
Lamia continued to hint towards Black Ops II’s appearance on the Wii U as he went on to discuss the Wii U’s Pro Controller, insisting that it “appears to be a controller that would be really good for first person shooter games.” He followed up with “It just so happens that’s what we specialize in. So that’s an interesting development and then they have that touch display device and you think about the kinds of things you might be able to do and – without getting into specifics – I absolutely have given it consideration and thought. We’re game developers and it’s a new piece of hardware and technology, so we’re always thinking about that stuff.”
Although nothing has been officially announced, Call of Duty: Black Ops II for the Wii U may be under a few Christmas trees this winter.