The impending release of The Wonderful 101: Remastered is one of the most surprising developments of 2020 so far; originally published by Nintendo on the Wii U, the game was something of a commercial flop at launch but quickly gained a cult following – a following which has gleefully jumped on board with this updated version.
PlatinumGames has always maintained that the remaster has only been possible thanks to Nintendo's cooperation, and that has triggered debates about who actually owns the IP now. There were rumours at the time that Tencent's recent injection of capital into PlatinumGames was used to purchase the IP from Nintendo, but the Japanese studio is refusing to talk publically about ownership, at least for the time being.
In an interview with Destructoid, Platinum's Hideki Kamiya was asked who actually owns The Wonderful 101, and replied:
Thanks to the kindness of Nintendo, we were able to do this remaster, but unfortunately, we can't give you any details regarding who owns The Wonderful 101.
What does this actually mean? Well, perhaps less than you think. Dashing video game detective and occasional Nintendo Life contributor Liam Robertson quite rightly points out that this isn't exactly an unusual stance for a Japanese company:
It’s always been jointly owned and them refusing to comment on the status of it is normal for Japanese studios in my experience. They generally don’t like to discuss such arrangements with the public. Is it possible that they're in the process of changing who owns what percentage of it? Possibly but I think you'd get this coy response from them at any point.
So, who owns The Wonderful 101? Could Nintendo still have ownership, or is it something that is part-owned by both firms, as Robertson suggests? Or has PlatinumGames purchased the IP at a bargain price, given its lacklustre performance on the Wii U?
Most importantly, does it really matter as long as we get the remaster and a potential sequel?
Will the other 99 owners of The Wonderful 101 please stand up?
@Silly_G soon I'll be a proud owner of wonderful 101 and I can't wait. Can't speak for the IP though.
Im just gonna say it, when I played 101 on the WiiU it was a total mess. Too much going on and drawing the super attacks on the tablet was impossible. Not sure why everyones so excited about this game....
Nintendo, it's still officially listed as Nintendo on
wow big secret
@JnFnRu It doesn't click super fast, but if you play through the first few levels a few time each eventually it does click and it works really well. You don't have to draw on the screen or whatever, you can just use the right dick stick. The game is really solid if you put in the time to understand it.
@JnFnRu Drawing on the tablet wasn't the main way to play the game. Drawing with the right stick was far easier and a whole lot of more fun.
@JnFnRu couldn’t agree more! Of all the games they could remaster this is a shocker. However, the 2d platformer they are adding on does interest me, ironically much more than the original game!
@JnFnRu I agree it is a mess with awful controls it’s far too chaotic I played it several times cos I thought I must be missing something but it never clicked with me
@JnFnRu it was far from impossible to draw.. just hard if you aren’t used to it. The recognition was a bit off for it though, which made it somewhat of a pain sometimes.
It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth knowing that I backed a project that a) didn't need any backing and b) isn't as transparent as one would hope.
They are game developers and they certainly aren't marketers. You're right about that.
I wonder if it has something to do with it releasing on other consoles. Nintendo probably doesn't want to be seen to be releasing games elsewhere. This might even be them testing the waters.
@JnFnRu you do know that you could use the joysticks.... right?
Dislike all of this backing stuff x
Can we please stop with all these "news" "articles" about Hideki Kamiya and Platinum Games? You guys report on every single little thing these guys say, moreso than any other news site. I came for nintendolife, not platinumlife.
@JnFnRu Some games are not for everyone and Hideki Kamiya tend to make hardcore games with complex controls.
@ShinEon They milked one interview, clickbaited the findings, in to an out of context, in to multiple not well researched articles.
@ShinEon I thought I was the only one.
At least they're not doing an article every time something "happens" with fortnite.
I bet Nintendo still co owns it, having rights to any sequels made.
Seems like they're talking to Nintendo to get Bayonetta 2/3 and Astral Chain ported to other systems as well.
@ShinEon don’t click on them, 🤡
Would be amazing if Nintendo gets a bunch of the money. I'll never buy the game again, I didn't like it.
If this is Nintendo experimenting with becoming a third party software house, we'll look upon these times very differently in the future...
I tried the Demo on WiiU and I wasn't convinced but I'm happy for those who are interested in this game.
W101 was a flop so I can understand why Nintendo doesn't care much for it to appear on other consoles but I definitely don't hope they'll do the same for Bayonetta 2/3 and Astral Chain which seems to be high on Platinums priority list.
@erv W101 is not a Nintendo property like Mario or Starfox so there is no reason to believe this is Nintendo testing the waters as a third party game developer.
W101 is like Pokemon in the sense that Nintendo co-owns the ip (I think like 30% or more) and would probably stop Game Freak from ever porting any Pokemon game to PS4 or Xbox.
Since W101's was a huge flop Nintendo just doesn't care for it to release it on other systems frankly I think it will flop again especially on non Nintendo consoles.
@yuwarite can you source that? From what I've read this is a one off. And P* has no say over Bayonetta that is between Sega and Nintendo. And why would Nintendo allow a successful Switch exclusive off the Switch?
@yuwarite how so? They didnt mention bayo 2/3
@Wexter @Lady_rosalina https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/02/platinumgames_wants_to_bring_the_complete_bayonetta_series_to_other_platforms
Sounds like they want to bring the games to other platforms; also sounds like it's possible for them to self publish with (or without) Nintendo's consent, via crowd funding.
You only need 51 for a controlling share
@RazumikhinPG Kickstart only collect the money from your pledge at the end of the funding period. If you’re not happy to back the project you can cancel at any time up to that point and you won’t be charged.
@Ryall I'll keep the pledge because backers get the game 2 weeks earlier and it saves me the trouble or buying it anyway. But wish they would have opened a pre-order website rather than a Kickstarter, since Kickstarter campaigns should be for games that really depend on raising funds.
@yuwarite There is a huge difference from "we'd like to self publish" and "we will be doing this." How many times did Kamyia say he wants to revive Okami and Viewtiful Joe? Well where is Okami 2? Where is Viewtiful Joe 3? Capcom holds the rights and even if they have no interest in doing it themselves, they won't just have P* do it when its not in Capcom's interest.
Same deal with Nintendo. P* may want to self-publish Bayonetta and bring it to other platforms. But, Sega owns the IP and have no plans to sell it and even if Sega wanted to do it, they would need to buyout Nintendo. And why would Nintendo want to sell their stake in Bayonetta when they have spent so much of their money to make it relevant? It was a dead IP until Nintendo saved it, then they promoted it and funded a sequel. They have her in Smash and the IP is very accosted with their brand. Nintendo still owns Astral Chain, and Nintendo has ZERO interest in just selling the IP when it sold over a million units. P* can talk all they want, but they can't do anything without Nintendo's permission (or Sega's) as that's just how IP and copyright works. They didn't for Eternal Darkness when Silicon Knights left and wanted to make a sequel and I don't think they will start now.
And W101 was clearly Nintendo playing nice with P*. As they say all the time Nintendo was very kind to them in doing it and they thought they'd say no. But, Nintendo also made it clear they had to fund the PS4 and PC version on their own! I doubt they are in active talks with P* about anything, but finishing Bayonetta 3 and starting development on Astral Chain 2.
@Wexter You can pontificate all you want, but we'll just have to wait and see. For all we know, both companies are negotiating right now to bring Bayoneta 2, 3 and Astral Chain to multiple platforms.
Also, if I had to guess: I don't think Astral Chain 2 will be a Nintendo exclusive; I think from here onward, all their games are going to be multi-platform.
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