Confirmation that Watch_Dogs has been delayed again on Wii U, and will arrive later than on other platforms, is certainly a hot topic. While debates around the reasons, justification and ramifications for the game's sales will spin around, there are key statistics that highlight just why Ubisoft isn't exactly busting a gut to deliver the Wii U version alongside the others — the numbers simply don't add up.
Ubisoft's financial results press release paints a picture of the degree to which Nintendo's home console has struggled to deliver. Below are percentages of Ubisoft's overall sales that can be attributed to Wii U, along with how those percentages converted to actual figures.
Wii U delivered 2% of sales — €10.4 million / £8.7 million / $14.2 million out of a total €520 million / £433 million / $710 million
First nine months of 2013/2014
Wii U delivered 4% of sales — €32.5 million / £27.1 million / $44.4 million out of a total €813 million / £677 million / $1110 million
These are clearly low numbers, with the first two quarters including Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and the third quarter including Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag and Just Dance 2014; Black Flag shifted 10 million units to retailers, and Just Dance 2014 six million units. These are all multi-platform titles — controversially so with Rayman Legends — and the Wii U has contributed little; as a sign of Ubisoft not showing any interest in the 3DS, it's contributed 0% all year according to the same set of figures (it's not much better for Sony's Vita).
For the Wii U, it's the worst performing home console for Q3 and the first nine-months; below are the other main players in Q3.
PlayStation 3 — 28%
Xbox 360 — 27%
PlayStation 4 — 12%
Wii — 11%
PC — 10%
Xbox One — 9%
The big winners are the last-gen systems, with Wii catching the eye courtesy of the continuing impressive sales of Just Dance on the console; it's natural that the new hardware from Microsoft and Sony would be lower due to their launches in November. For the Wii U, a full year on the market hasn't delivered notable numbers.
There's a vicious cycle in that Ubisoft has either delayed Wii U games, made them multi-platform, or excluded features such as online co-op and DLC. They're therefore the lest desirable versions of these games in the eyes of some, which is combined with a comparatively small userbase.
We'll consider these issues in a feature later today but the raw numbers don't lie — the Wii U simply isn't making Ubisoft enough money and is worth less to the company than all other major home systems, including PC. That's why it's the one version of Watch_Dogs delayed once again.