According to Ubisoft, the Wii U's unique features and gameplay opportunities are incredibly exciting, but actually explaining it to consumers is an absolute swine. Leaving games like ZombiU high and dry.
Xavier Poix, managing director of Ubisoft Annecy, Montpellier and Paris, suggested that ZombiU's disastrous sales performance is due to the difficulty in conveying features like asymmetrical multiplayer and MiiVerse to potential customers. Whereas the Wii's motion control gimmick was easy to market, the Wii U's unique draw is almost impossible to understand without trying it first hand, let alone advertise effectively.
“ZombiU was designed to be a game for core players launching with a new Nintendo console,” Poix explained to Gamespot. “We should have communicated better in this respect to let people know what kind of experience to expect. It wasn’t obvious enough that there would be a new controller and new gameplay and a new skill set to develop.”
“The depth of what you can do with that console is really hard to get across unless you play with it."
“It’s different from the Wii, where seeing was believing," Poix concluded. "With the Wii U, people really need to experience it. The whole idea of the asymmetrical gameplay and using two screens to do two very different things is not simple to explain to people.”
We've raised similar concerns over the last few months, suggesting that the Wii U's unique selling points are bafflingly esoteric compared to swinging a WiiMote around to make the tennis racket move. With luck, Nintendo will find a way to market their new console to a wider audience before third-party studios start to lose faith in the platform.
Especially since ZombiU, which is currently tanking hard in terms of sales, happened to be a moody and miserable masterpiece. We rated it 9/10 in our full review.