Hoping for a Bayonetta 2 port? Don't

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.


Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!
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