‘When we made the change, backers were excited for the shift’
Hollow Knight is basically done (its last DLC launched recently for free and developer Team Cherry has noted that this is the end of the road), so a postmortem is definitely in order.
Speaking to Game Informer, Co-Director William Pellen mused on the various changes that Hollow Knight went through during its development, including the “significant reduction” of the Deepnest area as well as the removal of an entire zone (the lava-ridden Boneforest). But one piece in particular stuck out: the frankness of what led to the cancellation of the Wii U version that was present in the original Kickstarter pitch.
Of the cancellation, Pellen notes: “We had done a fair bit of preliminary testing and it was running [on Wii U] with most of the basic features, but performance would still have required further work. It was hard because we loved the Wii U and we’d promised to get the game on there. But looking at the time frame, the Switch was fast becoming the main Nintendo console and our backers were already moving over. When we made the change, backers were excited for the shift and Nintendo was tremendously supportive through the process.”
I’ve noticed (especially in comments sections of various Wii U related articles) that folks have really turned on the Wii U, with some noting that it was “never a good system anyway.” So it doesn’t surprise me that no one really cares about the deluge of Wii U cancellations these past few years.
For the most part: I get it. If something doesn’t make fiscal sense, especially for an indie developer, by all means cancel it and stay solvent. But a lot of people pledge to Kickstarters for a specific version of a game (in this case, the Wii U pledge goal) and are naturally going to be disappointed if it never comes.
Such is the risk of Kickstarter, and no one can predict the future (originally Hollow Knight was slated for a 2015 release), but the cavalier nature of Kickstarter promises have been steadily decreasing recently for the better. A lot of these missteps (most of which have been made by the Mighty No. 9 team) have paved the way for more realistic pitches.
The Making Of Hollow Knight [Game Informer via Nintendo Life]