News Article

Crystal Dynamics Explains Tomb Raider Wii U No-Show

Posted by James Newton

A simple port wouldn't cut it

Crystal Dynamics' big budget Tomb Raider is coming to HD consoles later this year, but it won't make it onto Wii or Wii U. In a recent podcast (as posted in the Eidos forums) the developer explained why Lara's latest won't come to Wii U:

When we started developing the game we made a conscious decision that it was all about building the game for a platform and making sure the game was specific to that platform. Given that we’ve been working on the game quite a while before Wii U was announced I think it would not be right to try and port it across. If we started building a game for the Wii U we would build it very differently and we would build it with unique functionality.

This is mixed news, of course: while it's a shame Wii U won't get the promising-looking Raider reboot, it's a relief Crystal Dynamics didn't choose a vanilla port over to the new console, ignoring its capabilities.

What do you make of these reasons? Would you rather have the game as-is or stick to third party games created specifically for Wii U?

[via forums.eidosgames.com]

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User Comments (32)

shingi_70

#1

shingi_70 said:

Have a 360 so really doesn't bother me.

But yeah no need for the wii u to gain the title of crappy port box.

eviLaTtenDant

#3

eviLaTtenDant said:

The big question here is if they're trying to make a statement between the lines. When we heard about tailor-made RE and Dead Space games on the Wii we ended up with on rail shooters. While i liked those it still felt bad not to get the games the PS360 owners talked about all the time.
Why not do a 1:1 or just slightly enhanced port and bring an original Tomb Raider to the Wii U later ?

nick_gc

#4

nick_gc said:

This really gets to me, that developers seem to think just because a console can do something, they need to use. No, they don't. A simple port a bit later down the line with standard controls would be fine in this case. People would understand that because it's a port. We don't NEED you to use the tablet, we'll use the standard controls or even the Classic Controller Pro for those that have access to one. I don't really want this game anyway but it's just a general thing that annoys me.

Shworange

#5

Shworange said:

It may be sad that the game isn't coming to the WiiU, but it is incredibly in encouraging that the system is being talked about in a rather positive light by a great third party developer. It actually makes me happy!

Rapadash6

#6

Rapadash6 said:

So developers are already looking for excuses not to put their games on Nintendos console? This is such a BS answer too, as I'm sure between the 360 and PS3 versions, one of them has to be a port. Actually both are probably ported from the PC version, assuming there is one. It's also possible they simply don't have development kits yet and are assuming the architecture, like Wii, requires more effort to port to.

James

#8

James said:

Developer refuses to lazily port game to Wii U.

People complain.

World continues to spin.

drumsandperc92

#9

drumsandperc92 said:

Two things. I'm glad they don't want to try to force a game onto the Wii U that wasn't built for the console.
HOWEVER, to be perfectly honestly, although the Tablet features many unique and creative possibilities that don't currently exist in consoles, it also features the same classic button controls you find on t360 & PS3 controllers.
Nintendo didn't do this by accident, they did it on purpose to be a little more friendly to 3rd party developers. I know 3rd parties always had classic controller/gc controller options on the Wii, but of course they felt compelled to use the Wii mote.
Now, the main control scheme has all the new possibilites the tablet provides, but, as the Zelda HD demo showed us, it has the very SIMPLE possibility of taking the HUD off the TV and putting it on the controller & using plain old button controls!
That's why I think this statement is a little troublesome...
The Wii U can absolutely have done a direct port of this game from the 360/PS3, simply putting a map and the pause menu on the Tablet and using plain old controls. No other features of the tablet or Wiimotion+ needed to be used. 3rd party developer's need to understand this - Nintendo is hands out given them everything they could conceviably ask for - 1:1 motion controls if they want to use it, a touch screen on the controller, panaramic views, all the different demos of what the tablet could potentially be used for from E3, next gen graphics & power, internet functionality, and simple, good ol' button controls!
No developer needs to use any of the more creative stuff if they want to simply port, something that was an issue with the Wii (along with the lack of power of course) Do you think if Bethesda ends up porting Skyrim, they are going to do much more than simply but the menu's onto the Tablet? I guarantee they do not. And they should port it because it'll run a whole lot better on the Wii U than on 360/PS3!
My point is, I don't like the attitude of crystal dynamics or the fact that they seemed to be intimidated by the Wii U's control scheme.
But on a positive note it does also sound like they are interested in the Wii U and building a game specifically for it that does utilize the creative possibilites it brings to the table. So we'll see what happens in the future - i just hope that 3rd party games of this gen and the coming gen don't skip porting to the Wii U simply because of it's controller, Nintendo made it that much easier for them to port via the return of button controls, i hope they realize this.

bahooney

#10

bahooney said:

I think this is a window of things to come; developers will feel that they don't want to bring a "vanilla port" over to the Wii U because of it's special capabilities... and they probably won't be bothered to develop something else. Cue a repeat of the Wii's third-party support.

motang

#11

motang said:

Valid point, I planned on buying it on the PS3 anyway so I don't mind.

Ryno

#13

Ryno said:

Developer refuses to lazily port game to Wii U.
People complain.

Well said James. Lord knows I like to complain but this is not one of those times. Their reasoning is perfectly legit.

Gamer83

#14

Gamer83 said:

I don't mind them not pulling a Capcom and simply porting over an older game, that's fine, heck I've said all along that one of my biggest problems with what was shown from third parties at E3 is that it just seemed like we'll be getting simple ports of 360/PS3 games. Why wait a year to play the GOTY Edition of Batman: Arkham City when I could get it for my PS3 in October? The less lazy, cash-in ports, the better. However, when it comes time to make the next Tomb Raider, I'd like to see it available for the Wii U.

Rect_Pola

#17

Rect_Pola said:

Fair enough. Wii suffered from a lot of lazy ports. Especially during the early era when everyone is trying to figure out how to build on it. Wii U doesn't need that.

akabenjy

#18

akabenjy said:

This was another question posed to him and his response. I'll let you decide for yourselves:

Will there be a Mac version of Tomb Raider?

KS: “Yes! We’re in the middle of discussions with a company looking to do just that. I’d love to be able to see it day and date with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC release, but there is a technological aspect to it as well that we need to achieve. But yes, I want a Mac version because I love my Mac.”

kyuubikid213

#20

kyuubikid213 said:

This is bull. If they can make a Mac, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 version, why not take the time to make a Wii or Wii U version? Controls aren't an issue because of the difference between the PS3/360 controller and the Mac/PC Keyboard&Mouse setup. Graphics aren't an issue because most Mac/PC games EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE TO MEET CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS, have an option where you can LOWER the GRAPHICAL quality just in case.

This is a BS response. However, no matter how much I complain, Tomb Raider won't come to Wii U.

I mean...really? He mentions the controller and the unique aspects of it, but I'm pretty sure Nintendo wouldn't mind if they only used the "traditional controller" parts of it. You can look at history and see this. MYST was ported over to the DS, but the top screen only showed the MYST logo for THE ENTIRE GAME. They could just do that...or do nothing.

That was a BS response and this was my reply to it.

TTGlider

#21

TTGlider said:

Eh, this is understandable of them to state and I think it's going to take a couple years of the WiiU on the market for gamers, developers, and Nintendo to feel out the balance of cross-porting vs tablet use. I read gamefaqs userreviews frequently and I have seen almost as many people complain that a Wii title doesn't make use of "The Wii's unique capabilities" as I have people complain about tacked-on waggle. Crystal Dynamics probably could have pulled the life bar, inventory and map down to the tablet and kept the game exactly the same with some graphical enhancements. But they, frankly, picked the harder and nobler route.

Ichiban

#23

Ichiban said:

Did anyone actually ask for this on Wii U?
It never even crossed my mind. I'd rather see something like Bioshock Infinite or Resident Evil 6 come to Wii U tbh

Mandoble

#24

Mandoble said:

The message is clear, porting the game to WiiU costs X, WiiU expected sales are Y and Y is not expected to justify X. This is not a decision taken by devs but by company managers.

grimbldoo

#25

grimbldoo said:

I think that the excuse is legitimate, they would have to reconfigure a lot to make it playable on the Wii

retro_player_22

#26

retro_player_22 said:

Never like Tomb Raider so if the developers are too lazy to port than so be them. My money is still on Xenoblade and that game alone is 1000x better than any Tomb Raider game ever existed.

CaPPa

#29

CaPPa said:

It makes sense not to put out a game on Wii U if it has been out for almost a year but there's no reason for games appearing later in the year (after the Wii U launch) not to be on the console.

I really don't care about Tomb Raider though and wont be buying it for the 360 or PS3.

Dani14

#30

Dani14 said:

That is a bad sign for Wii U i think. As some people mentioned before, it is not that we complain about having a uniqe game for Wii U. The bad thing is that if most developers have this attitude then this means we will lose many great multiplatforms... same story as with Wii.

And in most cases in the past when they released a multiplatform game for the other platforms and then a game specifically for the Wii, the later one was .

MAXIMUS

#31

MAXIMUS said:

I agree with nick_gc. There is nothing wrong with a port provided you don't ruin the controls or deminish the gaming experience. So many Wii ports were ruined just because developers felt the need to tack on bad waggle controls. Why not just require the use of the Classic Controller Pro? This way, the controls remain sound and the users get to enjoy the game that users of other consoles get to play? Just because the Wii U controller has a touch screen doesn't mean you have to use it. With a port, you can reach more potential customers than you would otherwise reach.

hydeks

#32

hydeks said:

No offence, but the new tomb Raider re-boot isn't a game I really care about. You can re-make it all you want, it's still a Tomb Raider game, and those games have left a VERY BAD image in my head.

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