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Hoping for a Bayonetta 2 port? Don't

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Squeaky wheels don't always get the grease--sometimes, they're just annoying. Ask Platinum Games' JP Kellams, who recently complained about what he called "pedantic port-begging" for Bayonetta 2, the witchy shoot-'em-up coming exclusively to Wii U next year. "It's been over a year since we announced," tweeted Kellams. "We heard you. We get it." The subtext in Kellams' lamentations is pretty clear: Shut the hell up, guys. It's never going to happen.

Some gamers seem to have the notion that if they speak loudly and vehemently enough, their demands can effect change. Sometimes that's true, as with the Mass Effect 3 ending or Xbox One policies. Other times, all the whining in the world won't change one simple fact: publishers fund games to make money. And in this instance, Nintendo isn't about to squander any potential returns on their investment. The only way Bayonetta 2 will show up on anything other than the Wii U (and maybe the 3DS) is if Nintendo spontaneously feels like doing charity work for Sony and Microsoft. 

The role of any publisher is to provide finances, be it for development, manufacturing, or marketing of a given game. In the case of Bayonetta 2, Nintendo--and the relatively mad moolah it represents--is the sole reason this sequel was even possible. Atsushi Inaba, executive director at Platinum Games, put it (somewhat) plainly: "Would Bayonetta 2 not exist without Nintendo? The answer is yes." With Sega unable to cough up the necessary cash to make B2 a reality, Nintendo decided to front the bill. And when that happens, Nintendo-platform exclusivity is pretty much a lock.

Let's look at three fairly recent Nintendo-published, Wii U titles as evidence, shall we? First up, there's Sonic Lost World, which--along with Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and an as-yet unnamed project--was published by Nintendo in Europe and Australia. A deal's a deal: Nintendo helps with the cost of making this trio of Sonic games, Sega gives Nintendo three exclusives. Simple.

Prior to Sonic's latest romp, there was Lego City Undercover, the sandbox crime(fighting) game billed as GTA for kids. TT Games (which encompasses Traveller's Tales and TT Fusion) is the studio behind almost every mainstream Lego game since 2007, many of which have been multiplatform. But the Lego City games were primarily paid for by Nintendo, so it makes sense that it would keep the pair to itself.

That leaves Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge as the only exception--but it's not hard to see why. Razor's Edge wasn't built from scratch; Ninja Gaiden 3 had already released (and tanked) on 360 and PS3 months earlier. That means that the production of Razor's Edge required less capital from Nintendo, which published it as a timed exclusive on the Wii U. Because an inferior version of the game already existed in the wild on competing consoles, Nintendo had no reason to cling to Razor's Edge as an exclusive, subsequently handing the title off to Tecmo Koei for publishing on other consoles.

So if you held the purse strings at Nintendo, would you pay money for something that your competitors would profit from? Of course not. Nintendo took all the risk on making Bayonetta 2 a reality; as such, its gets to retain all the rewards. Will Bayonetta 2 be a Wii U system-seller? Probably not--but frankly, Nintendo has no reason to care if you're mad that Bayonetta's new pixie cut won't make an appearance in your Xbox One or PlayStation 4. 

It's not all ashes, and just because Nintendo has B2 as an exclusive, doesn't mean they own the IP. For instance, Mass Effect started life as an Xbox 360 exclusive, given that it was published by Microsoft Game Studios. But it wasn't long before the franchise found its way onto PC (and even the PS3, years after the original release). Who knows--depending on the reception of B2, a multiplatform Bayonetta 3 could be within the realm of possibility.

But Bayonetta 2's fate is practically set in stone. Money speaks louder than any online petition ever could, and Nintendo took a chance where Sony and Microsoft didn't. It doesn't matter how much you want Bayonetta 2 on a platform that isn't the Wii U. All the wishing, hoping, and begging in the world won't make it happen.

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41 comments

  • HeartlessandSoulless - February 15, 2014 6:15 a.m.

    "Other times, all the whining in the world won't change one simple fact: publishers fund games to make money. And in this instance, Nintendo isn't about to squander any potential returns on their investment. The only way Bayonetta 2 will show up on anything other than the Wii U (and maybe the 3DS) is if Nintendo spontaneously feels like doing charity work for Sony and Microsoft." Well, here's some crazy idea: Nintendo makes a contract where they get part of the money (let's say 1%) from EVERY copy of Bayonetta 2 sold to a platform that is not Wii-U. How about that?
  • Subgenre - December 14, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    I never really got what's with all of the Nintendo hate. Yes, they're not MS or Sony but that's why I love them so much. While MS and Sony are constantly butting heads and trying to one-up each other Nintendo just does whatever the hell it wants. And it does it well. It's a shame that so many people want Nintendo to be just like Sony and MS. I feel like they're the only company in the world that understands that if I buy a game console it is to play games. Plus I can't play Zelda or Fire Emblem on MS and Sony consoles.
  • Arix - December 14, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    You are so very very right. Why do we need a third company doing the exact same thing as the other two? If you want Sony or Microsoft, get a Sony or Microsoft console. The fact that Nintendo does something different means there's real choice and variety involved beyond how many teraflops of data you can pack into a character's nosehair, and that should be encouraged.
  • Aquasol - December 15, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    A lot of the hate is because of a mass dislike of being "different", as well as a major rise in xenophobia/racism in a lot of gamers and western devs. More than a few games have gotten singled out for criticism over various things, simply because the devs behind them happened to be Japanese. And who else out of the three is more outwardly Japanese than the only one with an actual Japanese name?
  • rxb - December 13, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Im so torn. The grown up in me totally understands why this has happened and that without Nintendo, Bayonetta 2 would not exist. I should be happy the witch gets another outing even if I have to just watch it on youtube. The crazy fanboy in me wants the game to fail so hard that it forces a 360/ps3 port. How much did Nintendo spend to get this made? The new Mario game struggled to sell massive numbers, Wonderful 101 only made a small impact , I just don't see how anybody makes money from this arrangement.
  • Divine Paladin - December 13, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    Well, week one the new Mario sold somewhere around 10% of the Japanese install base, IIRC. Maybe that was after week two but the point is, it's sold quite a bit for a Mario game, especially since the series is known to be a long-term profit and never a quick seller (Reggie acknowledged this a while back). Sorry, the whole doomsday U thing has started to bug me now that people are selectively picking for scraps of data that make them seem right, so I've been in the mood to point that out to someone. Platinum makes a good profit off of this though even without a sales bonus. Nintendo is looking for publicity here, likely not sales. The PR of Bayo2 has probably effectively made their money back in conversation alone (obviously not tangible money but something equivalent). Plus Bayo2 is a game that'll get some good sales down the line when the U picks up. No game is really meant to sell big for them right now, just a lot of ones that sell small and get the library up to necessitate a U. And you can't go wrong with two exclusive Platinum games.
  • rxb - December 13, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Like I said my fanboy rant only sums up half of what I feel. My point about Mario's sales was to demonstrate that even the most popular game character in the world ever is having a hard time even when the reviews are all 10/10. I just feel the main problem is the WiiU has no strong audience for a mature hardcore brawler. I dont really want to be part of the WiiU is doomed crowd because I'm not personally fussed. Thinking about it I realised my biggest problem is the fact that not enough people bought the game on 360/ps3 to warrant a sequel. Oh well, maybe Bayonetta 2 will become the new Okami.
  • Divine Paladin - December 13, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    I agree on Bayo1's sales. My point mostly was aimed at Mario since he's always underperformed at launch compared to, say, the Zeldas.
  • Subgenre - December 14, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Or the Wii U is going to be the new GameCube. During its lifespan, people will give it shit left and right and will say that Nintendo is going to fail. Then, ten years later, everyone will love the Wii U and will say, "HOW COULD WE HAVE MISSED SUCH A GREAT CONSOLE?" History repeats.
  • Vonter - December 16, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    Well to objective by the end it'll be a more attractive acquisition like the PS3 is now.
  • Jackonomics2.0 - December 13, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    Let it go baby, its not coming, even if Wii U bombed, its still with Nintendo. That one answer in radioradar said it best: "Nintendo leaving would be like if Disney went down and took Marvel with it"
  • MadAdam81 - December 14, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    Nintendo would need to okay any ports, and that would never happen. If it did fail, all that would mean is that everyone else would believe they were right in not wanting to get Bayonetta 2 made, and a Bayonetta 3 would never ever get made. Nintendo knows that even though their install base isn't that great right now (about 4.5 million at a guess) and games aren't selling like hot cakes either, they want to keep the exclusives as Bayonetta 2, Sonic Lost World, Lego City Undercover (the best ever Lego game) along with Nintendo made exlcusives like Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Returns: Tropical Freeze and all the other exclusives out there all together encourage people to buy a Wii U more than it would if they allowed 3rd party exclusives they have control over go multiplatform, even if they can make money from it in the short term. Also, as Wii U sales gradually increase, the more exclusive backlist means the more sales they will eventually get. I have a Wii U, it's my favourite console of all time thanks to the gamepad, I would recommend getting one. It is also my console of choice for multiplatform titles due to the gamepad allowing for 2 screen local multiplayer action.
  • pl4y4h - December 13, 2013 6:12 a.m.

    Do i want to play this? Absolutely. Do I want to buy a wii u? Pfft ask me in a year or two
  • Errrrbo - December 13, 2013 1:15 a.m.

    I can still see a Bayonetta 2 port happening if it bombs on Wii U. (Which is likely) Even if a console maker publishes a game, it can still come to other systems, as we saw with Mass Effect. Platinum Games doesn't want their work to be completely overlooked due to being on a system that 3rd party games are known to do horribly on, made even worse by the fact that the first game was on 360/PS3, not a Nintendo console. Obviously JP Kellams is sick of hearing calls for a system port, and I get that, but Platinum Games might not want to pass up a chance to get Bayonetta 2 to sell ten times more copies.
  • Zoraman - December 13, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    The original Mass Effect is still an Xbox360/PC exclusive.
  • hester2 - December 13, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    It actually came out for PS3 in 2012 when they released the full trilogy.
  • herrer - December 13, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Its gonna bomb in sales Platinum Games makes great games and have a good track record but many of their games are niche like Suda 51 and never really sell well
  • Vonter - December 16, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    Platinum will have to add peer pressure to Nintendo because is Nintendo's money what is bringing this game, so in the end its Nintendo's lost if it doesn't pay off. They will not port it in the short term, likely until their contract with Platinum ends.

Showing 1-20 of 41 comments

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