While the Wii U eShop has been the home of some success stories in recent times, there have also been releases and developers that have struggled to make an impact. An example that has emerged recently is Dahku Creations, which has stated that it is leaving game development; the studio recently brought Chubbins and Soon Shine to the home console's online store in North America.
In a blog post the studio has explained events that have led to its decision to cease development, summarising that after failing to generate notable sales on iOS the Wii U eShop brought some improvement, but not to the degree required.
...Soon Shine on Wii U was a success. Again we got great community coverage, reviews were generally more positive than they were for Chubbins, and the sales have been infinitely better than they were on iOS. And in fact, Soon Shine sold as many Wii U copies in four days as Chubbins did Wii U copies in four weeks. Of course that isn't saying much, and sadly, it still isn't enough. Nowhere near it, in fact.
So that's it. The window of opportunity has closed. Our dev equipment has been returned to Nintendo. If our games turn out to be sleeper hits, or if we eventually have money to burn from some other source of income, maybe we'll be back to take another stab at game development someday. For now, this chapter comes to an end.
Community interest and support, news and review site coverage, feedback and appreciation from people playing our games, sales (modest though they may be)--we got little to none of any of these on iOS. So, even though things haven't worked out with Nintendo, it's definitely been a more positive experience and we want to thank all of you who've been a part of it! Oh, and for the record, Nintendo's employees have been absolutely top-notch to work with every step of the way!
Dahku Creations also tackled the issue of the Wii U eShop library, including the debate on quality control and the influx of inexpensive downloads.
Poor quality overcrowding is what made the App Store suck, and then when there were so many $0.99 games that people had to be selective, free-to-play with ads and/or in-app-purchases became the only way to go. These days it's practically impossible to make money if you're charging up front, and even free-to-play games are having a hard time because people have become selective about those as well.
Sadly, this is where we see the eShop heading. It may take a while and it probably won't ever be as bad as the App Store, but developers are already taking advantage of the lack of quality control on Wii U to whip games up as fast as they can and make a quick buck. One Wii U developer out there has stated that he made his latest rip-off game in two days, and he intends to charge a dollar or two. Maybe it will succeed, maybe it won't, but if it does he'll make a bundle on practically no investment, and if it doesn't then he won't have lost much by trying. Based on his track record, it looks like he intends to keep making these poor quality games indefinitely. It's hard to fault such people for good business sense, but they're already causing long-term damage to the eShop, and it will probably hurt them in the end.
As for Dahku, we put a lot of thought and poured months of hard work into our $2 game, and when it didn't succeed we had to give up the dream of ever creating something better. Maybe it's for the best. If Chubbins and Soon Shine had earned us enough that we could have scraped by and tried again, the market indicates to us that we'd be fools to aim higher when it's so much easier and smarter to pump out junk. But that's just not our style. We aren't a 5-Star dining experience, but neither are we a fast food joint; we're more like a little local restaurant, working hard to make good food for those who come, but failing to attract enough customers to stay in business. There just doesn't seem to be a place for us.
We may have brought two iOS games to Wii U, but they're not what's making the eShop into the App Store. Despite what a few people with short tempers, short attention spans, or iOS-hatred have said, we know we brought some solid games to the Wii U, and for that at least we can walk away with some pride.
It seems a pity that Dahku Creations is leaving development, especially as its two Wii U releases so far had both been competent, relatively enjoyable games. It's evidence that, like any other download platform, the Wii U will have its share of disappointments along with high profile triumphs.
Let us know what you think of this news in the comments below, and whether you've picked up either Chubbins or Soon Shine on the Wii U eShop.