Valve may not have graced the Wii with any titles so far, and may not ever do so, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t care. Gabe Newell has confessed that he actually loves the Wii, and if Valve were any bigger, we may very well have heard about an MMO on the plucky white waggle box by now.
The thing is I’m a big fan of the Wii in terms of a lot of the interesting things that it does, and we have absolutely zero Wii games in development. There’s always so much more that we’d like to do that we could do. We have a bunch of MMO fans inside of the company that would kill to be working on an MMO….
A Wii MMO! Woo-hoo! We have nobody working on such a beast. Magically, if we could increase ourselves in size, then we can do a lot more of this stuff.
There was of course much talk about an Animal Crossing MMO once, before we realized Nintendo was just going to do what it does best and announce a glorified re-release instead of something that might have been cool. On the subject of re-releases, Newell had something to say about those publishers that have brainlessly saturated the Wii in a desperate attempt to “win at casuals.”
And the story will continue on the next page, children …
The Wii is no different than 3D. After Doom came out, there were literally 400 Doom clones that came out over the next 18-24 months. Most of them were really terrible. Everybody saw that there was an opportunity, and people’s attempts to exploit that opportunity were pretty feeble. I think the Wii is the same way. Everybody was ignoring it until launch; people weren’t expecting it to do well; there wasn’t a ton of third- party development investment going on — and then it exploded. And then everybody immediately raced to ship Wii titles as fast as they possibly could. I think the quality really suffered.
You have to really think hard [about] what makes a game better with that kind of input system and how to do it. I don’t think there is anything fundamentally casual versus hardcore about the opportunity it represents — the difference between being thoughtful about your game design and how you’re taking advantage of the platform versus “Oh my god! We have to have some Wii product shipping [so] that we can make some money and take advantage of this huge unexpected groundswell.”
You tell ’em, Gabe! I still have to say that I find what many third party publishers have done to the Wii pretty damn wretched. For all this talk of how the Wii would bring us new ways to play exciting fresh games, that a bunch of greedy and clueless toddlers in suits flooded it with rehashed crap says a lot about the state of this industry’s creativity.