Zen Pinball

Last week we were pointed to the Zen Studios forums, in which a few disgruntled gamers voiced unhappiness at a perceived falling away of support for Wii U, especially with a succession of pinball releases and DLC initially skipping Nintendo's system. An administrator on the thread stated that Wii U news was on the way soon, and attempted to briefly explain that "new content additions are not easy due to the way the system is set up", but reiterated the company's support for the system.

We've been in touch with the company's Vice President of Publishing, Mel Kirk, and he's provided an update to confirm that more pinball content, specifically, is on the way, along with the ever-closer arrival of KickBeat: Special Edition. Kirk also reiterated that there can be challenges in applying updates to the existing pinball games on the eShop, providing a little more context.

We will have pinball news for Wii U coming soon. Nothing I can comment on right at the moment, but you will definitely see this come through.

Also, KickBeat Special Edition has received a listing on the eShop as coming soon, so that is further Wii U support from Zen Studios.

As to the forum post, perhaps a little more context can be given. Zen Pinball 2 is a very complicated game for any console to handle. Our approach requires higher overhead from first parties than most digital games. We are a free game platform with many in-game purchases and over time the weight of the game becomes problematic. Updates that appear ‘simple’ are difficult, requiring a lot of resources from first parties. Without writing 10 pages about it, it is much easier to simply say that we have a hard time supporting the platform however we remain committed to supporting players on Wii U. Nintendo is a fantastic partner and we have a great relationship with them.

In some respects Zen Studios draws some criticism simply due to the level of its output, producing extensive updates and new tables for its pinball titles in multiple iterations. It's also statistically one of the most supportive publishers on Wii U, releasing three games — with a fourth coming — and some DLC on the console's eShop to date; though some DLC is late, there's been a decent number of releases from the company. It's only in comparison to the offerings on other systems that its Wii U support is criticised, though as you can see Zen Studios is at pains to emphasize its support for Nintendo.

It's good news that more pinball news is on the way soon; what would you like Zen Studios to bring to the Wii U next?