News Article

Nintendo's Unity Presentation Confirms Critically Acclaimed Gone Home for Wii U eShop

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Interesting details on the Wii U's demographics, connectivity and more

Last weekend a sizeable number of developers and industry professionals descended upon Seattle for Unite 2014, a major gathering focused on the widely used Unity development engine. Nintendo's Unity support on Wii U — in which developers on the system receive a free license for the engine — has been integral in attracting more games to the store, and unsurprisingly the company is often keen to promote the console's eShop to more developers utilising the engine.

As a result Nintendo of America's Damon Baker gave a presentation at Unite 2014 pitching the Wii U, its eShop and benefits to attendees. You can see the presentation at the end of this article but some key points are rather surprising.

Firstly, Baker revealed that Gone Home is coming to Wii U — hat tip to IGN for the spot at 6 minutes 50 in the video. This is an exploratory first-person PC game that was critically acclaimed when released just over a year ago in August 2013, widely praised for its narrative structure in particular; it earned multiple perfect scores and averages 86% — at the time of writing — on Metacritic. The title was confirmed for 'consoles' for a Fall 2014 release earlier in the year, but this seems to be the first solid indicator of a platform; this is no doubt a particularly positive arrival for Wii U.

Elsewhere in the presentation there are some details and statistics on publishing a Unity game on Wii U, which is — as always — interesting. Some intriguing figures, perhaps alarming in one case, are below.

  • 90% of Wii U consoles are connected, which is a positive number.
  • 70% of connected users have visited the eShop, which is decent but could be better.
  • The vast majority of those connected users are 18-35 year old men. 93% of these connected Wii U owners are male, just 7% female.

That slide is at the 11 minute mark in the video, though the statistic on Wii U user genders is a staggering figure in an era when the split of male / female gamers on the 3DS, in particular, has been cited as becoming increasingly even and balanced by Nintendo. It's worth noting these figures in the Unite 2014 presentation seem to be for North America, but the numbers are still rather striking.

Below are the Unity presentation and a Gone Home trailer, so let us know what you think of the various interesting details that have emerged.

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Thanks to Ryan Millar and Benson Uii for the heads up.

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User Comments (120)



gaby_gabito said:

Day 1 purchase! Oh my gosh, I seriously cannot wait! Good job for making this for Wii U!



Red_XIII said:

NO! Don't buy this; any one of you. Don't support the corrupt games journalism hype machine.



Swiket said:

I played this on the Personal Computer. Some points:

  • There is no combat, enemies, or death. You mostly just walk around a house and interact with stuff to find written notes and such, like Dear Esther.
  • It took me about two hours to finish it, and I like to fully explore areas and look for secrets. And the game is $20 on PC (I bought it on sale).
  • It is possible to complete this game in literally minutes, even accidentally. The way you explore the house depends on finding notes that suggest where you should go next (you have a map). So if you know exactly where to go to trigger the ending, you could finish it in less than two minutes. I guess the developers wanted to hold realism above preventing sequence breaking.
  • There is pretty much no reason to replay it. Although I never rewatch movies or re-read books either.
  • The game covers topics that you don't really see a lot in games. I don't want to spoil it but it's unique.

Personally I would wait for a sale if it does launch at $20, but just know what you're buying isn't very "game-y".



Mr_G said:

O wow this is such amazing news. Man the Eshop is such a a place for indie games



C-Olimar said:

Horrible game.
Please Ninty Life, judge this game based on it's quality, not it's gay character.
The actual game is almost as bad as the Letter.



Jazzer94 said:

Gone Home is not worth more than £3 there I said it, it is barely a game.



LittleIrves said:

Wow. Really disappointed to see such lackluster responses here. I, for one, am excited to experience this on Wii U. Always wanted to but I keep my PC mostly business, w/ games elsewhere. Maybe there's no shooting or crazy boss fights, but maybe our definition of "game" has become far too narrow and limiting? Gone Home looks like a great game to me.



accc said:

For a game that got such good critic reviews, Gone Home sure does seem to be reviled by pretty much every gamer who played it on Steam, based on the user review section. Industry corruption in action?



HandheldGuru97 said:

I've had my eye on this title since its release on PC last year, and I am very glad to see it is coming to the U. I for one will definitely get it.



IxC said:

No reason to buy it again. Game has absolutely zero replay value.

Price needs to be right to shift some copies on Wii U. If it launches at the PC price, that'd be an insanely bad decision.

Game is fantastic though. Best story telling in a game ever, bar none.



DarkCoolEdge said:

I'll pass on this one. I'm all into trying new things but I've already played Dear Esther and this kind of experience is just not my cup of tea.



Swiket said:

@accc Ehhh "corruption" is kinda harsh. I think a lot of reviewers forget the privilege that they have to get game codes for free. $20 might be a lot for some people. Also there are people who hate on it just because of the subject matter.



noctowl said:

Ugh, I was hoping this was just a rumor. A terrible terrible rumor. Not interested in a game that zoe quinn or that youtube chick that scammed all that money would gush over.



TrueWiiMaster said:

"The vast majority of those connected users are 18-35 year old men. 93% of these connected Wii U owners are male, just 7% female."

I wonder how accurate that is. Let's say, for example, that a guy has a Wii U, and it's played by his wife and 2 children, who each have their own accounts. Would he be considered the only "user" here? Or does every registered player count? It just seems so shocking that almost everyone online on the Wii U is an 18-35 year old man, especially when you look at Miiverse...



Mattiator said:

When on earth did Gone Home get sucked into the quagmire of the Quinnspiracy? It's not exactly my type of game but it's good to see more critically acclaimed experiences arriving on the Wii U.



TingLz said:

@C-Olimar Or instead of making offensive accusations, it can be judged on the mostly positive reviews it got from various journalists and fans. Just a thought



kupocake said:

While it's entirely legitimate to not enjoy Gone Home, if your immediate reasoning is that the good reviews and on/off user positivity are part of some great games review corruption scandal, I disagree with you.



DefHalan said:


Well it is actually a good game, it doesn't have much in terms of gameplay but that doesn't stop it from being a good game. I like the exploration in the game... well the whole game is just exploration but I like it lol. Not sure if it is worth a second playthrough and don't think it is worth the high price.



C-Olimar said:

@WaLzgi Though isn't it interesting how the game got almost unanimously positive reviews from the press but mixed reviews from those that purchased the game?



ghall said:

This is cool. I enjoyed the game on Mac, but I would totally play it again on Wii U.

As a side note, holy crap those slides are hideous.



IxC said:


No. When you increase the sample pool, the results diversify.

You'll notice it happen with everything. User reviews will always be more varied than official press reviews. Due to the increased number of user reviews.

Not every single review from the press was positive. And when you increase the sample from (i dont have exact numbers, so lets just use examples) 50 reviewers, to over 50,000 gamers. The results are bound to be a lot more varied.



Stu13 said:

You say: "Gone Home getting great reviews is obviously a CONSPIRACY."
I disagree with what you say.



Hero-of-WiiU said:

Price really depends, but I do think it is quite overrated, but I am glad that it is coming to the Eshop as it will be brighten the great indie scene on the Eshop.



cookiex said:

Everyone's talking about Gone Home, while I'm staring at that gender breakdown...




joyousneck said:

Glad Gone Home is coming.

But the gender breakdown is crazy. I'd rather not believe it. How does that happen?



ueI said:

That's great. I already have it, but more exposure is always welcome.
@C-Olimar I'll bet reviews were mixed because nobody knew what kind of game it would be and went in with the wrong expectations.



theexxs said:

@TrueWiiMaster If they are referencing "users", then yes. They are talking about NNID users, so multiple users within the same Wii U are counted.

Also, take in consideration that Miiverse was not like this always. You could actually find great readings there before. That was before the 3DS integration (I'm not hating, just saying the truth.), which brought thousands of kids into it.



DefHalan said:

I think you could keep the same mechanics and replace the story with almost anything else and you would still have a good game. I feel a lot of people got upset with the game because of the subject the story covered.



DefHalan said:


Ok, I am not saying everyone needs to like the game. I am just saying it is a good game. I think playing a game with the same mechanics but with the story of walking around a castle finding out why it is deserted, would be equally as good and I think more people would be interested in such a game, mainly because of its story.



ricklongo said:

I'm not sure if I'll get it or not. On one hand, I do want to see what the fuss was all about. On the other, $20 is quite steep for how short this seems to be, and I can't shake the feeling of this being merely a not-horribly-insulting sibling to The Letter. Games that have you do almost nothing outside of following a plot aren't my cup of tea.



yuwarite said:

There's just not enough casual content on Wii U to attract more females to it, I guess. Still, that's shocking, because it has sold over 6 million units.



IxC said:


It's an amazing and beautiful story though.

But the gameplay is just exploring the environment learning the story.



TrueWiiMaster said:

You can still find great posts. You just have to look harder. The art some people post on there is just amazing.

That said, I've owned a Wii U since the beginning. The number of childish posts has gone up since the 3DS was added, but there was always a lot. Even now, if you go to the community of a Wii U exclusive game with stamps, you'll often find tons of nonsense posts using stamps. Game stamps can only be used from within their game, right? So these posts have to come from Wii U owners.



ricklongo said:

On the gender breakdown: honestly, that doesn't surprise me. I see a lot of talk on how video games are appealing to both genders these days, but that's not what my personal (and yes, anecdotal) experience suggests. Almost 100% of my friends who have video games as a major hobby are male. Several girls I know, including my girlfriend, will play stuff like Just Dance or Mario Kart at parties, but they won't obsess over the medium, and certainly won't browse websites such as Nintendo Life or IGN.

And yes, it's a shame.



andrea987 said:

@DefHalan An exploration/narrative game that only last 2-3 hours (reading comments of people who played it) a good game? Endless Ocean (1 or 2, doesn't matter) lasts about 60-70 hours, rushing and without counting online. That's what I want from an exploration game, especially from one that cost more than few $/£/€.
Not saying is not a nice little game, if the price is right I might get it.



DefHalan said:

I totally agree that $20 is way too much. I got it for $6 on a Steam Sale and after playing it, I didn't feel like I got a "deal"



SeaCocumber said:

The fact the game is driven only by story and reading doesn't mean it's an overpriced book. The experience is completely different. Unless you keep thinking about how you're playing a game and want a challenge, or how much you paid for it, the experience immerses you in an entirely different way. Although the amount of detail put into the visual part is huge, I know it still doesn't justify the high price. That, however, won't change the fact it's a wonderful experience. To call it a "bad game" because of that is narrow-minded to say the least.



worldstraveller said:

I think the main complain I do actually agree about this is the price, I think is expensive for a 4 hours game where you only interact with and explore the environment, just isn't at a fair enough price, it's too much.
I loved the game, but since I played through "free methods", I don't have to complain about the price.
I do think is a good game but not everyone's cup of tea(all games are the same). If you want challenges then isn't your game, but if you want just interactive and immerse storytelling maybe you will like it.
it's a matter of taste in the end.



World said:

@ricklongo Well, I'm a girl who doesn't own a Wii U (3DS, though) and I can only speak for myself, but I feel like a little bit of it is that women in that age group have less free time pretty much across the board because sexism.

So, like, your 18-35 men can be like, "sweet, I'ma play this new release Day One for a week no sleep"

While in many cases a woman in that age bracket tries that and then immediately is NAGGED INCESSANTLY by concerned parents, boyfriends, sisters, brothers, really whoever is around.

3DS is just less hassle. You can pick it up and play it and put it away. Wii U is comparatively this huge investment of time, or seems like it.

So, like, I just feel like, having lived this situation, my instinct isn't that Wii U is some kind of boys' only machine. It's just that it's more involved and in many cases people get REALLY REALLY UPSET AND WORRIED when women have hobbies that aren't, like, nurturing or school-related or whatever.



C-Olimar said:

@kensredemption It just seems like the game's critical acclaim could be based more on the lesbian twist than the actual (mundane) gameplay.
Yes, I'm exaggerating.



SageWaterDragon said:

@kensredemption No, he didn't. 90% of the praise is because the game "stepped outside of the box" in regards to the character. Yeah, she's a lesbian, whatever. The story itself is... mediocre at best. It feels like a bad short story.



Drawdler said:

I usually like to see a bit of focus put onto story in game, but I don't believe that should be done at the expense of extra content to replay and challenges besides getting through the story. Once you get through it once, then you'd have nothing left rather quickly. I haven't played Gone Home, but it seems like it that's what it's like. I just can't buy it at this price.



justlink said:

Great. Another game featuring homosexuality on Wii U. (guess i'm waiting for hateful comments now because people who don't support homosexuality are usually bashed online)



worldstraveller said:

@C-Olimar @SageWaterDragon I'm pretty sure isn't because of the lesbian subject alone, there is a lot of other good elements that it has, such voice acting, the amount of detail implemented, the sides stories of the protagonists's parents and nice touches.
I don't think the story is mediocre, since I have seen actual mediocre stories, it's simple, yes, but doesn't mean isn't good, it has nice direction, rest is matter of taste and interpretation.
just because you don't like it, it doesn't mean is terrible, you just don't like the story.
this game depends on tastes alone.
as I said before, one post before, not everyone's cup of tea.
personal tastes is different from quality.



JusticeColde said:

The story is not great and that's all that people hold it up by, I could write a much better story with the same basic characters and a better setting.
It's not worth $20, it's not award worthy (BAFTA, Oscar, etc.) and definitely not necessary for consoles.



brandonbwii said:

I heard the story and setting are intriguing almost solely on the fact that it's themes not often associated with video games rather than being actually "good." Also I heard a number of the strange occurences aren't explained in the end. Instead you're just supposed to take some of the games darker aspects for granted and not think about it much, which sounds like it may defeat it's own point IMO.



DiscoGentleman said:

@justlink sounds like you're trying to start the argument, tbh.

And whether you "support" homosexuality or not is irrelevant because they are human beings who exist.



TwilightOniAngel said:

@justlink Do not bring homosexuality here, cause i will blame you.If the comment section turns into religion BS arguments, cause it's sad and pathetic is just a game who gives a damn?If you don't like something in the game then be quiet and move on.



DualWielding said:

I think the reason the 3DS is popular with women is because the thing is not pocket friendly but fits perfectly in a purse.. I know is a bit sexist and that not all women carry purses but that's my experience, I only use my 3DS at home but all women I know who own one carry it everywhere in their purses even if they don't use it



tysonfury said:

It's an interesting challenge to see how Nintendo can get more women to play games. Why do boys play but girls don't? The % divide is incredible..



DarkKirby said:

You can think what you want about the game, and it's "message" (does nintendolife have a way to spoiler tag?), but this game was pushed into the spotlight in heavy part because the indie developers were friends with many of the gaming "journalists" who work for many of the mainstream gaming news websites and they gave it a lot of positive coverage without disclosing that fact.

I don't have a personal issue with the game, other than that it's boring, but the fact that it didn't become popular out of its own merit should be noted.



joyousneck said:


That's a good point. I also wonder if a more private experience with the 3ds is more appealing to people, rather than taking over the living room. I play on the gamepad a lot rather than hog the room.

I've certainly noticed a lack women on miiverse



Zach said:

Can't people accept that good reviews for a game they don't like just might be evidence that there are some divisive games that some people like and others don't? People harp on the fact that they love unique and new experiences coming to Wii U until they find one they don't like. Granted I haven't played this and apparently there's some debate about the correct price point that sounds legitimate, but this type of thing bothers me. Others are arguing about whether it's a game or has replay value. I don't care if it's a "game" and I love rewatching movies, so I will probably buy this. More game sales should be a good thing for all Wii U owners, even those who won't end up buying it themselves.



World said:

@ejvirzi Yeah, that's probably some of it too. I feel like the 3DS just doesn't ask a lot of me, you know? With consoles more generally I feel it's just like, "well, I turned you on for SOME reason; might as well throw a few hours at this game." Or it would be if I currently had a console.

I know that's not really a gendered thing, but again I think it's just less accessible to women in that age group for reasons that have nothing to do with gaming.

(That whole level of commitment thing is also why I'm personally not on Miiverse. It's a good idea in theory, but when I turn on my 3DS I'm just like "games plz" and then I turn it off when I'm done playing).



Arngrim said:

@TrueWiiMaster Have to agree, the Mii-verse is so full of "kids" i dont see how 93% can be accurate, maybe for NA only, but in Europe, its definetly less.



Nareva said:

I read several reviews of Gone Home when it first hit the scene. You know something special has arrived when the critics love it, but so many gamers cry "But it's not a game!!!!" Definitely a buy for me.



Kolzig said:

Awesome, thank you Fullbright and Steve Gaynor!

This is an amazing game with a great story.



MitchVogel said:

Watched that presentation and good god, public speaking is not Damon's strong suit. Props to the guy for stepping up and trying to fill the very big shoes left by Adelman, but he started practically every sentence with "Uh, um, ah". It's one of those things that grates after awhile, y'know?



NESguy94 said:

Gone Home is a really good experience, but it is hard to classify it as a game. Its plays more like an interactive story.

While it is entertaining and really well made; don't play this expecting more than a good story. You explore a house and when you get to certain areas or find certain items you listen to an audio track that furthers the story.



Taya said:

I played it on Steam but I'll get it again on Wii U to support it. There was a bunch of extra stuff that I didn't find while playing the first time.



Ryu_Niiyama said:

I'll be getting gone home. I love visual novels anyway so I don't mind non traditional games. I'm baffled about the gender breakdown though. Also how are they tracking the genders anyway? NNID?



Ryu_Niiyama said:

@TrueWiiMaster I put the stamps posts on the same level as the art posts...just they are for people that are ...artistically challenged. Or in a hurry or something. I just stay out of the smash and youtube communities. Other than that I've found some really great conversations.



outburst said:

It's like movie reviewers went to watch a drama/love story movie and judged it as a very good drama/love story movie. And then you guys went on the same movie expecting it to be an action-thriller.

Gone Home is a first-person interactive story adventure game. It was not my kind of game so I didn't get this on Steam back then. Plus I get dizzy in front of a monitor in a few minutes of play with the walking/movement animation in first-person view (just like Half Life) so I won't be able to finish it.

I would have bought it if it's 3rd-person though or it has a better movement animation like those military FPSes. Hey, maybe it's different in TV since I am a few meters away. I might try Steam's Big Picture mode some time. If it works for me, I'd get this on my Wii U .

@C-Olimar thanks for spoiling the twist for us man.



SanderEvers said:

Gone Home, you can finish it in 2 minutes. But even if you don't do it like that it's 4 hours top.



Peach64 said:

Loved Gone Home. It's better than 99% of the games on tge shop right now so this should be seen as a big deal even if you didn't like it. There's still a long way to reach the quality of the Sony or MS indie selection but we're slowly getting somewhere. Just a few months ago the Wii U didn't have a single indie game I'd recommend to anyone, but now it has Shovel Knight, Guacamelee and soon Gone Home.



Dave24 said:

@SanderEvers and that's for the low-low price of 20 euro. Save up another 20 and you can get pretty much any game you want. Because this thing is not a game, it's a boring simiulator of walking.



DBailey said:

This game is a truely unique experience. The atmosphere in Gone Home is excellent and can easily rival any of the top games in 2013.
Go into this game with an open mind and you will be pleasantly surprised.



Kalmaro said:

This really isn't a game as much as it's a walking simulator. With a controversial topic thrown in the garner more attention than it deserves.



Sean_Aaron said:

Always sounded interesting to me, so I'm happy to see it arrive. Papers Please is another unconventional title I'd like to see cross-over to Wii U.



DarkCoolEdge said:

@justlink yes, like people who don't respect others' beliefes, which is fine. Nobody has the right to tell others how to live their lifes as long as they don't interfere with others. And no, two women or two men kissing on the street is not an interference.



EverythingAmiibo said:

Found out it was about a lesbian relationship. I won't be playing this game, seeing as that's a central theme, just as many wouldn't play a psychological point and click about a christian finding her way.



andrea987 said:

I suspect the gender statistics are from the surveys you take when registering a console or a game on Club Nintendo. That would be correct, assuming everyone is honest in answering how many people play the consoles/games and what gender they are. And assuming everyone does register their consoles/games. Bad assumptions, particularly with a home console (hence the difference).



ULTRA-64 said:

@C-Olimar watch with the spoilers please dude! Since the only appeal of this game is the story, it matters more if you leak bits, cheers.



andreoni79 said:

@accc Gamers have to open their wallets to play games, journalists are paid to play them. It's sad to say, but critics should always consider the price/game value ratio in their reviews because videogames can be cosidered "art", but they are still an industrial product.



AJWolfTill said:

I'm delighted Gone Home is coming to the eshop because it suggests that some of the more experimental "arthouse games" could become commonplace on the platform.
I probably would wait for a sale.
And yes those gender stats are alarming 0_o



Trikeboy said:

Just remember, this game is not recommended for people who want things to blow up. It is more like an interactive book and on that basis, it tells a great story. Yes, if you know the ending, you can finish it in 2 minutes but it's like jumping to the last page and saying you read a book.



PorllM said:

Weird how whenever you go on Miiverse it seems like every other post is by a female? Is that the result of men using female Miis or women just use Miiverse more? Either that or this study is completely false...



Jim_Purcell said:

Gone Home was one the greatest game experiences I've had in the last 6 months. Though I still wouldn't pay $20 for it. $5-10 is about right. Based entirely on length alone.

Also, anyone who claims Gone Home isn't a game. Doesn't actually know what a 'video game' is.



alLabouTandroiD said:

If i've done the math right that makes 63% of Wii U owners that have visited the eShop and about 4 to 14 per cent of female Wii U owners.



Pod said:

This talk was rather informative in many other regards than announcing Gone Home.



Ben_Rage_V2 said:

This is one of the most over-hyped games I have ever played. It is an incredibly boring experience. Just hours of rummaging through a family's belongings. Most of the family is under-developed storywise. The only character development comes from letters written by your little sister. Don't fall for the hype. Game is garbage.

In my opinion, the only reason it was critically acclaimed is because of the liberally biased press who want to promote the lbgtq community. If the game was identical in structure, but had a Christian theme about a girl discovering Jesus, the game would have been massacred by the press. Dear Esther was a vastly superior experience, but went under the radar. Ask yourself why that is.

And for those asking people to stop with the spoilers. This game came out a while ago, so if you don't want to read about spoilers then don't read the comment sections. Save yourself some money and skip this one.



theblackdragon said:

@PvtOttobot, that's enough. Please stop. State facts if you please, but let's remain on-topic and refrain from going out of our way to be rude to other users.

@DiscoGentleman, unfortunately the aforementioned user is allowed to hold their views about the game in question. If what they have said regarding the presence of same-sex relations in the game is untrue, please let me know, but otherwise they are allowed to let other users know, same as anyone else about the presence of a potentially decision-making plot point. I will tone down their comment with regards to their views about same-sex relations in general, however, as it does not belong here.



Twilight_Crow said:

I don't like classic adventure games, investigation games, or interactive story telling. So, no thanks. The game looks nice for people who like a simple investigation story though, may watch a let's play, just out of curiosity. I don't mind the theme of the game.

Now, about the 93% of WiiU users being male... I wonder if I count as one of them? Because I use a male Mii; and guys, just because a Mii is female doesn't mean the person is too.



darthllama said:

I like classic point-and-click adventure games, but there are some exploration games like Gone Home that are just too uninvolving. You just literally walk into every room in the house, find a diary piece, and move on. No puzzles, no suspense, and the story (though loved by some), is actually very short. Plus there are logical flaws (technically they stole the parents car and the girlfriend is now an army deserter lol). Now it is a big house to explore and I got a kick out of ramsacking it, but in general there just isn't much to do inside. It would of been a whole lot more fun with some puzzles or easter eggs floating about to keep you searching! Adding in more regarding the parents story arch would of also made it interesting, as that actually seemed more interesting than the main plot line so its too bad that wasn't fleshed out during your exploration.

Now the whole conspiracy theories about the game are just silly. There was a lot of effort into putting what is in the game. The house is gigantic, well detailed, and a lot of people legitimately loved the story. Others just hate it for the LGBT theme, which again is just silly. If you hate it for being shallow, too linear, and boring that is fine. Just don't compare it to the Letter which is such a broken mess it needs to be sent to North Korea.

It is good though to see more games coming to the eshop, especially those that have earned praise. The more known titles coming the Wii U way the better. I just recommend those who haven't played it to wait for it to go on sale on the eshop especially if you are uncertain/unfamiliar with exploration games. It really is a budget title masquerading as a full priced title, so the less you pay the better you'll feel.



Iggly said:

I find it interesting that most of the Wii U owners are 18 and above, I guess it's more proof that the Wii U isn't a kiddy console.

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