News Article

Crystal Dynamics Explains Why Tomb Raider Isn't Coming To Wii U

Posted by Andy Green

One port that won't be happening

The Tomb Raider series is receiving a reboot in March when the aptly named Tomb Raider is released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. With the Wii U receiving plenty of ports since its release it was only natural for many to hope the latest Lara Croft game would be making an appearance as well.

However with the game’s release so close and with no news being revealed by the developer, Crystal Dynamics, or the publisher, Square Enix, it seems like it almost definitely won’t be coming to Wii U.

In a recent interview with True Gaming, creative director at Crystal Dynamics Noah Hughes spoke about the reasons why Tomb Raider isn’t coming to Nintendo’s new console.

I’m always a fan of the Nintendo systems, in particular they really push interface design, and from a game design perspective it’s fun to play with new interfaces. Having said that it’s something that I think we would want to tailor the experience to if we were going to do it.

Hughes went on to speak about how the development team tailor made the game for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC and, because Wii U is offering something so unique, it would require more than just a basic port.

All three of those are really trying to deliver roughly the same experience but delivered best on each platform, and I think something like the Wii U often asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface. That’s something as a gamer I love but it’s something you don’t want to do half-heartedly as a developer.

Australian developer Straight Right said last year that it was working on “another big franchise” that would be coming to Wii U alongside other consoles in 2013. We think it’s safe to say it isn’t Tomb Raider.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you have liked to have seen Tomb Raider make it to the Wii U? Let us know in the comments below.


From the web

User Comments (97)



Lalivero said:

Well it's good to know that we at least have a chance of getting TR when they decide what they'd like to do to utilise the Wii U better, although they could have supported a Wii U version already.

@dragon_rider I'm actually with Hyperstar on this one.



cornishlee said:

Excuses, excuses... Still hoping we're getting Hitman, but dreading it's Final Fantasy.



NinGamer85 said:

Why do developers seem to think they must use the gamepad? There's a pro controller people! And just make the game transferable to that screen and I'm happy...unless something has changed I don't think a Tomb Raider game needs an extra interface. Do like ACIII and put the map/hud on it...problem solved!



Rod64 said:

That's just a bad excuse. You don't NEED to use the Gamepad if you don't want to...



C7_ said:

"and I think something like the Wii U often asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface"

Yet ANOTHER company that uses this poor excuse. You don't have to use the gamepad if you don't want to, make it off-screen play compatible then. Or even just leave the screen black and make it compatible with the pro controller; the gamepad isn't some gimmick that you absolutely NEED to take full advantage of. So no, it wouldn't require much more than a basic port and you've certainly lost sales because of it.

This essentially boils down to "we're lazy and we see Nintendo as gimmicky and therefore don't care" which is utter crap and they need to be called out on it.



Linkstrikesback said:

Would you all prefer it if they said "It's not worth our time for relatively small amount of sales we would get on wii u compared to 360/ps3" ?

Because that's what they mean, but they're trying to say it a way that doesn't make it sound like they're going to cut all ties with nintendo in the future.



V8_Ninja said:

So they don't want to port the game simply because they would feel pressured to do something with the interface? No "The hardware is different and unnatural!" or "The publisher thinks it wouldn't sell!" or "We're too far into development to retro-fit support for another console!"? I'm sure most Wii U owners would be happy just to have a version of the game to play, let alone have their version contain some small extras.



amerilia said:

Seeing that everything I heard about this game was that it was a piece of horrible misogynistic trash where you, "the male", are destined to guide and protect Lara Croft so she doesn't get raped, I think we, and Nintendo, dodged a bullet here.



LavaTwilight said:

I would love to see Tomb Raider on the WiiU and I rightly don't care if they 'innovate' or not. Then again seeing the direction the franchise is headed it's not looking good. Saying that, I wouldn't miss this game either. Without having this one though, they won't buy me over with sequels. Maybe they will redo this one for the WiiU at a later date as a 'special edition'.



Ichiban said:

This ain't no real TR game anyway. Just another style over substance 3rd person shooter.
But on the other hand, the Wii U doesn't have any tps currently & I'm sure a few people out there wouldve appreciated it.



47drift said:

This game is looking fantastic and all the sour grapes nonchalance I see around here regarding this game is so hypocritically terrible.



Pogocoop said:

If I was gonna get this, I would just wait for a steam sale and get the PC version.

Besides, This game looks way to generic and Quicktime eventy to deserve a Wiiu realese Yawn



GuyMan said:

My bull**** meter is off the charts. Has he ever heard of the pro controller?



hiptanaka said:

The point of the GamePad, in my opinion, is that it allows for new crazy things but also works as a regular controller. A big improvement over Wii. It's a shame when developers don't see it that way, though.



rayword45 said:

You know, I'll miss this game, and I half think that's a bullcrap excuse, but I have to respect what he said. He takes development quite seriously it seems, and doesn't want to bring lazy ports to the system (Hello there Capcom/Nicalis).

I do think he should not make that excuse and instead make a few simple changes to take advantage of the gamepad, but at the very least, he isn't being a jerk about it with the "Wii U is a toy" bullcrap we've all heard too much.



Farmboy74 said:

At least they've been honest about not wanting to do a half hearted port. I think we're just going to have get use to not getting all multiplatform titles.



SteveW said:

A port is better than nothing!!! I don't even use the gamepad for most of the games I play.



aaronsullivan said:

I do wish everyone would make a Wii U port for this year's games but the reality is that a port takes a great deal of time and effort and a GOOD port takes much more of the same. The gamble on whether to make this for Wii U to maybe make money on it was made long before today.

Others that took the risk hopefully find a good return. That's what we as consumers need.



Retro_on_theGo said:

And this ladies and gentlemen is why the Wii U will absolutely suck once the competition starts rolling out.



LonDonE said:

@Boxmonkey not all wii u consoles come with the pro controller,its a mistake on nintendos behalf, if they would have put a pro controller in every wii u box, developers who r lazy could have just done a straight port, but since they didnt this is the excuse they are all using, even though nothing stops them from using just the sticks an buttons on the gamepad with no touch controls, but again they are lazy an iam fed up of all the lazy devs this generation! i own an game on all platforms but my nintendo only friends are left out, while i get to buy crysis 3, bioshock infinite, an dead space 3, an far cry 3 from last year, its appaling, an yet again mainstream 3rd party support is lackluster on a nintendo console! things need to change an quick!



Neram said:

Four words: Wii U Pro Controller.

Also, take a look at the GamePad, it has all the functions of an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller. This is the crappiest excuse that developers keep using to avoid spending money on Wii U ports.



DerpSandwich said:

I'm getting really sick of this. Just because the feature is there doesn't mean you have to use it. People with this frame of mind is the reason we had so many Wii games with unnecessary waggle controls. Sometimes we just want to play a game, buddy. In fact, the Wii U is more fit to play "normal" games than the Wii was. Item management is all we really need.



strongest_link said:

Nintendo did say there would ultimately be a Nintendo Direct focuses on third party titles for the Wii U. They have announcements to make, but Nintendo wants to make them in their own way and at their own time. Expect developers to remain tight-lipped until Nintendo releases whatever news they're sitting on. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint. As for Tomb Raider not being on the Wii U, as has been said before, can't win them all.



retro_player_22 said:

I'm still enjoying last gen Tomb Raider Anniversary so even if this new crap doesn't make to Wii U, at least I still had the kickass Lara Croft I know and love. The new Lara Croft doesn't interest me at all either.



Hardy83 said:

I don't know why they just don't say
"It's not in the budget. Game budgets are planned at the initial stages of development, and we didn't have knowledge of the Wii U hardware at the time, thus couldn't budget for a port for it."

Why do they have to keep making up excuses. lol



YorkshireNed said:

I'm sorry folks but until every single Wii U owner buys a Pro Controller, then mentioning it's existence is not a good enough counter-argument. At least the developer is not trying to palm us off with a poor, sloppy port.



Tasuki said:

@Gamesake: I dont know I hated the Tomb Raider series but seeing the direction this one is going I have got to say its on the top of my list of games that I want to play this year. Perhaps change is a good thing?



Haywired said:

Can they not even use the Wii U's killer app of revolutionizing the pause menu... Or the mind-blowingly innovative placement of the map...



cornishlee said:

Yep. I think most people around here have bought at least some of those games but the charts make for anxious reading.



the_shpydar said:

Funny. People complain when developers just do a straight-port to Ninty consoles from PS/360, then when a developer says he didn't want to do just a straight port, people complain.



Void said:

@Hardy83 Yeah, that kind of explanation would be understandable,(imo, anyways.) games sure arn't cheap or easy to 'make', but their excuse just sounds rather lame. :/



pntjr said:

Same exuse every developer uses. Yeah, the gamepad is cool, but just give us a port! ACIII and BLOPS2 did it! Dont you want to make more money? It seems just lazy to me...



Moshugan said:

Having basic ports on Wii U is worth it even if it was just for the off-tv play!
Also Miiverse makes me want to buy a game for Wii U over other consoles.



AbeVigoda said:


Yes, because when the PS4 and new Xbox come out, they will both start out with a 75-80 million console install base after their first week of sale.

Wait, what??



MAB said:

There is a different looking chick everytime with this series... Judging by the annoyed look on her face you can tell she was looking forward to being on the WiiU then they said NO!
How many Lara Croft's are there exactly?
These are my top picks





edhe said:

Another bone-headed Western developer that thinks that just because the Wii U has a touchscreen gamepad, any game they must develop for it has to be a gimmicky casual game.

Just like Gearbox saying they won't release Borderlands 2 on the Wii U because they are too thick to think up a unique way to use the gamepad (and too thick to realise that having a map and inventory on the gamepad would be adequate enough, and maybe Nintendo Wii U owners would like to play a game that doesn't involve scribbling on a touch pad or shaking a gyro - not to mention, the Wii U has a classic control that is for all intents and purposes, an Xbox 360 controller).

So we aren't going to see this ported to the Wii U - fine. I can live with that, but his words suggest when we do see a game from them, it can only be a gimmicky crapfest, because apparently, they are unable to build a game up for the Wii U that doesn't utilise EVERY feature of the gamepad.

Now I know I could have bought a PS3 or X360, if I wanted to play Tomb Raider (2013) or Borderlands 2 (though I'll be getting that on the PC eventually), this can't bode well for future support from these studios.



AgentAPE said:

developers today are lazy, i dont remember companies complaining about porting to the gen/md and tg16 when their controller had 3/4 LESS BUTTONS then the super nintendo



SteveW said:

They had to come up with a new excuse, the old "System cannot handle the graphics" doesn't work anymore...



AceSpadeS said:

I'm hoping that big IP for Wii U is Sleeping Dogs 2... That game was excellent. (Yes, I know it was developed by a different studio Square owns, but it's certainly possible)



jayblue said:

i will be keeping my ps3 and xbox 360 for a while yet,i bought wii u for nintendo games and i dont think developers think much of this system,if they cant be bothered to port games onto the u.



Capt_N said:

There is also the chance that really they just didn't know the WU limitations, when they were making these, like @Hardy83 mentioned. Of course, the devs might also have thought not very highly of the WU, even if they had knowledge of it's tech limitations/capabilities.



DarkNinja9 said:

sounds more like a excuse actually they could of easyly used the same controls and not use the touchscreen if thats so much of a difference jeez sounds more like they were lazy then anything



brandonbwii said:

Actually, that's not an outright denial as much as it is PR speak. It just sound a lot better to tell that interface story than "no comment."



brandonbwii said:

When it comes to Square London and big franchises, you don't get much bigger than Tomb Raider.



Don said:

The real reason this game isn't coming to Wii U: Samus is jealous of all the attention Lara has been getting from male gamers so she bribed the developers to not let it come to the Wii U. That way she can have all the male Nintendo gamers to herself. Samus did the same to Joanna Dark by convincing Microsoft to buy Rareware from Nintendo.



TreonsRealm said:

The developers did nothing but complain about the Wii and its lack of power and used that as their main excuse for not making "quality games" so Nintendo gave them a powerful machine that would handle the games with no problems, now they all complain that they don't want to put stuff on it because of its unique controls!? I love how they try to pander to Nintendo fans saying how they are such huge fans while CONSTANTLY coming up with excuses for all of their new games not coming to a new Nintendo console. I also love how quickly these third party companies cannibalize their successful Nintendo exclusives when their games fail on 360 and PS3. Resident Evil 6 bombs and Revelations gets announced within months. 007 Blood Stone bombs and Goldeneye 007: Reloaded comes out a year later. I commend Nintendo for trying to work with third party's but maybe they shouldn't try so hard since the third party's don't seem to care either way. I think their current focus on big Japanese titles and welcoming the indie crowd to the Wii U with open arms is great and I will continue to support them in every way I can.



Lopezdm said:

I am ok with the fact that they Want to make A full WiiU game and not a port .



SpaceApe said:

The problem is that Nintendo released the console so late that not many are not willing to make an effort to put it on the Wii U. Nintendo blew it by releasing the Wii U too late. They missed out on a lot of great games and will continue to do so. Tomb Raider, Dark Souls 2 and Bioshock Infinite just to name a few.



ShyDraven said:

Wii U Will Eventually get one....No Worries......Play it On XboX Or Ps3, If You really want to play it That Bad



Noend said:

Wii U has a controller exactly like PS3 and 360 so this makes no sense.

Anyway Wii U misses out on the politically correct boy looking Lara, boo hoo.

I'll pick this up in the steam summer sale for <$10 and play it for an hour before realizing it's just overhyped and nothing special..



Tasuki said:

@Noend: The problem is not everyone who has a Wii U has the Pro controller, after all it wasnt included in either of the sets unlike the gamepad. You cant make a game to just utilize one type of controller especially if you have to buy that controller separately.



brandonbwii said:

It's odd since the past Tomb Raiders have graced Nintendo platforms, even GameCube. I am very cautiously optimistic that there will be a Wii U Tomb Raider that does take advantage of the GamePad (using it to store your survival gear perhaps)?

While it does sound like an ugly cop-out, it's the exact same excuse that the Borderlands team used afterall, I do like the idea of a game built with GamePad play in mind as opposed to cheap gimmicks. I want the creative experience that games like Nintendo Land and ZombiU offer. There aren't enough of those yet.



brandonbwii said:

Although for the Wii Tomb Raiders, they DID make extensive use of it's controller. Who knows, maybe they really don't have any ideas.

Then again, those versions were done by the now defunct Buzz Monkey Software, so maybe it's a resource issue.

I could go on and on about this since I've loved Tomb Raider ever since Crystal Dynamics tweaked the formula. Also, the gameplay footage is AWESOME!



Zombie_Barioth said:

If I'm not mistaken wasn't the main complaint about third-party DS games that the touch controls were tacked-on and developers just through a map or something on the other screen? But now when a developer says they don't want to do that people get mad and call it a cop-out, because they're too lazy to take the easy way out?

Talk about being fickle, never mind that the install base is small, not everyone wii have a CCP, and most of these games were likely in development way before they got hold of a Wii U dev kit.



fluggy said:

Never liked tomb raider anyway. That's what I've been worried about though - we've been brought up to date technology wise and were still not getting any proper third party support. Where's the Dead Space 3s or BioShock Infinites??



dequesi said:

The "different experience" excuse is growing SO old. C'mon guys, we have Pro Controllers too. Don't be difficult.



SetupDisk said:

Sucks that it isn't coming to Wii U but I won't be getting it for my PS3. I have wasted too much money on reboots for this series that haven't fixed anything. Hot babe and treasure hunting. How they keep messing up that winning combo so bad is beyond me.



cornishlee said:

You know there's already a petition, right?

In full, the Tombraider Wii U petition can be found here:

The Dark Souls 2 Wii U petition can be found here:

And the Hitman Wii U petition can be found here:

That's all the ones that I know of but I'd be pleased to hear of any others. Worth mentioning that the @HitmanWiiU Twitter feed has been posting updates on all of them, too.



adrenochrome said:

it seems that the wiiu gamepad is becoming new recurent excuse (

they could at least put all the ingame maps&menus&huds on the gamepad with little efforts (for me that's already enough for a much better experience using the gamepad)

-edit: petition signed-



Yogsoggoth said:

Sigh Why does every developer think they need to add a gimmick for the WiiU. A Straight port would be fine. Just be honest, the WiiU doesn't have a large enough install base to make a port worth doing.



BrightBeing said:

What I find disturbing is that the Wii U Pro Controller was made for just this situation. So that older games not made specifically for the Wii U could be ported to the system and control comfortably. I fear this just shows that although developers have good intentions in not porting a game without Gamepad support to the Wii U, they are also not showing interest in porting some of the hottest games to Wii U AT ALL.



JJtheTexan said:

Get used to it, if you haven't already: AAA third-party titles are, by and large, not coming to Wii U. The excuses are all B.S. Developers are NOT lazy, nor are they "unable to come up with a good use of the GamePad"; the truth is, porting software to the Wii U platform takes time and money, and they are not confident that making that investment of time and money for a Wii U port will result in a profit. Game publishers aren't charities; they make business decisions to appease shareholders and / or ownership groups. So far, the early sales figures are, for whatever reason, indicative to publishers that porting a title to Wii U is a risky move that will probably not turn additional profit.

I am much more optimistic about Wii U's future after last week's Nintendo Direct than I was two weeks ago; but for now, I'd say we should all get used to the Wii U being something like the Wii before it: a "boutique" system with great exclusives and can't-miss first-party titles, but which will not see ports of your Tomb Raiders, Grand Theft Autos, Borderlands, Sleeping Dogs, Minecrafts, Elder Scrolls / Skyrims, etc. etc. etc. If you must have those games, your choices are PC, PlayStation 3/4 or Xbox 360 / 720.



HouseofBees said:

If every developer is going to dismiss The Wii U as too costly, then it will sink. I couldn't care less about Tomb Raider personally, but the more people jump on board, the better.

Nintendo have to entice more third-party developers to actually work on the Wii U - otherwise it's no different from the Wii, apart from the price, really. Don't get me wrong, having GTA or whatever isn't exactly make-or-break, but when Sony and Microsoft's new consoles are unveiled, the gap will become even more pronounced.



TheRealThanos said:

Well said, was kind of wondering about that myself.
Almost makes you think about what excuse they will come up with next...
(although not too much, mind you)



Gamer83 said:

Typical Nintendo fanboy stupidity.

Anyway, I don't get this decision, they put Underworld and I believe Anniversary as well on the Wii, granted neither game pushed the hardware capabilities of the HD systems like this one seems to but there's no question the Wii U could run it just fine. Maybe we won't see it right away but it would be kind dumb to leave out any system, even if it doesn't release until 6 months later it'd be worth it to port the game over.



Gamer83 said:


Lightning Returns would make sense, it's been a long time since a main game in the series was on a Nintendo console and eventhough the series isn't what it used to be it's still very popular and I don't think there's any question the Nintendo fanbase would be happy to welcome it back. How they feel after playing the game would be anyone's guess, the FF XIII games don't even come close to representing the best of what JRPGs can be.



Yoshis95 said:

@dragon_rider @ngamer155 If you dont have anyhting nice or good to say about it dont say anyhting at all.
I've really been looking forward to the new tomb raider, already beat Anniversary, Legend, and Underworld.



Otto-Soq said:

Underworld (the latest Tomb Raider?) was horrible. I was stuck in the game for several times, because of errors. I couldnt jump over a gap. Had to play the entire game from start twice, to see a bridge lying there.



YujiPro said:

Looks like another overhyped big budget cinematic interactive movie game to me. Don't see why I should care.



DrDaisy said:

I remember the Wii ports of Tomb Raider Anniversary and Tomb Raider Underworld being pretty dismal, but I think that had a lot to do with having to use unconventional controls. Had those ports been compatible with the GameCube controllers and/or Classic Controllers, I think they would have done much better.



P-Gamer-C said:

Whoes keeping score how many times nintendo has been ignored like they have the cooties sad its actually a superb AAA game some say its better than uncharted if u only own this thing u night want to pick up another console and put the wiiu in the closet for a year untill that zelda remake is released

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...