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"The name Wii U is abysmal" - Nintendo's former Indie guru ungagged

Jonathan Lester
Nintendo, Wii U

"The name Wii U is abysmal" - Nintendo's former Indie guru ungagged

"That cut sales in half right there"

Dan Adelman spent nine years courting indie developers for Nintendo, but his common sense controversial views on their region locking policy and marketing caused the company to effectively gag him on social networks.

Now he's decided to leave, and has a few home truths for the company.

Known as a forthright and active proponent of indie gaming as well as an A&R man (responsible for bringing the likes of Cave Story and World Of Goo to Nintendo platforms as a basic example), Adelman frequently weighed in on Nintendo's sillier policies. However, when he admitted that "I feel your pain," to an irate fan sick of 3DS region-locking on Twitter, Nintendo effectively ordered him to refrain from posting... anything... on social networks. After his Twitter account stopped dead last October, he eventually resurfaced to announce a new working relationship with the Big N.

"Happy to announce I reached an arrangement w/ @NintendoAmerica whereby I can tweet again," reads the missive. "Arrangement includes my not working there anymore."

"First they had me do interviews with someone from PR or marketing," he later followed up with Kotaku. "Later they just decided that I shouldn't be in the press at all anymore."

Though leaving the company on good terms to become an indie gaming business consultant, believing that Nintendo is "in good hands," Adelman has been keen to exercise his newfound freedom of expression.  During a Q&A session on ask.fm, Adelman discussed the recent sluggish sales of the Wii U and offered a potential reason for it.

"Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to, he said. “It has a lot to offer with great games you can’t get anywhere else. The value of the GamePad hasn’t been justified. But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there.”

A common criticism, and one we agree with as part of the wider issue of confusion and muddled identity surrounding the Wii U brand. The initial reveals left even us gaming hacks confused about what they'd just announced (a Wii tablet peripheral? A new console? What?!), whereas many consumers still labour under the misconception that the Wii U is just some sort of Wii Upgrade. Mind you, I'm not convinced that "Xbox One" is necessarily a better name, and it's certainly not the only factor holding back Nintendo's console. A shame to say the least, since it's a great bit of kit with fantastic game collection.

And rampant region-locking. Adelman was definitely onto something there.

Tell us, what do you make of the Wii U's monicker, and did it actively confuse you or deter you from a purchase? Or are other factors to blame for Nintendo's lovely yet somewhat floundering console? Let us know in the comments!

Add a comment4 comments
TheChappy  Aug. 7, 2014 at 14:55

Its a console for children, isnt it? Dont have a go at me, thats just how i think of it. So if thats not true then they havent done a good job of making me aware of what it really is.

Zeipher  Aug. 7, 2014 at 16:09

Yay! Someone else! As I said before, a friend of mine thought the Wii U was the name of the GamePad, and that it was an expansion for the Wii, not a stand alone console. He thought £200+ for just the gamepad was an awful price.

Breadster  Aug. 7, 2014 at 16:21

It is a dumb name. I can see it being confusing to the majority of people, especially casual gamers, which are the majority of the Wii user base. Why couldn't they just call it Wii 2? It's almost identical to say, but wouldn't cause any confusion.

Xbox One is a dumb name too.

I've never really thought about it before but is Playstation the only series of consoles that are actually just numbered? I can't think of any others off the top of my head.

MikeBeaver  Aug. 7, 2014 at 21:05

If you were following the Nintendo reveal and seeing what their next console would be, of course you knew it was a new console and not just a Wii upgrade, but for the average gamer and Joe Bloggs in the street, I can see where it could be confusing.

Some decent marketing and maybe calling it "Wii 2" would have been a better idea, but it's a little bit late now.

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