Natsume is a publisher and developer that pops up relatively regularly on the current day Virtual Console, certainly more so than some other names that were common on the Wii but have appeared less on the Wii U and 3DS. As such it's a company with some useful insight into how the platform works, and a Q & A by Community Manager 'CeeCee' has a couple of interesting snippets of information.
One answer points to a trend that keen Wii U Virtual Console followers will have spotted already - the phasing out of SNES games. A question about the Pocky & Rocky SNES games prompted a suggestion that Nintendo is moving on from the 16-bit system to alternative platforms.
At this point, it's unlikely we'll see any other Natsume SNES games coming to the Virtual Console, as Nintendo's interest has moved onto other classic systems.
In recent times Nintendo's focus has certainly been on Game Boy Advance, DS and Nintendo 64, so this isn't entirely surprising. The reason that Nintendo's focus matters a great deal, though, is due to its prominent role in third-party classics arriving on the Virtual Console. As is explained, it's the big N that does most of the work, not the original publishers.
The titles for Virtual Console are handled by Nintendo. The publisher and Nintendo discuss which classic titles would be a good fit and have the best potential to sell. Once a title is agreed upon, Nintendo and the publisher work together to bring that title to the designated system, with Nintendo doing the bulk of the work.
It's an interesting insight into how games come to the Virtual Console, and with the emphasis on Nintendo to make releases happen that does help to explain the slow drip-feed and focus on big-name titles.
If Natsume's insight is correct, would you be disappointed to see less and less SNES games on the Wii U Virtual Console this year and beyond?