Yesterday it was discovered that publisher Nicalis decided to can the North American version of La-Mulana for WiiWare. The indie game, which went on to attain success as a freeware title, was being developed by Nigoro, and it has been available in Japan for just about a year.
Tyrone Rodriguez, CEO at Nicalis, had a few things to say regarding the matter. According to the company's boss, La-Mulana got the axe for two reasons: WiiWare's lack of popularity over the past couple of years and developer Nigoro's lengthy amount of time working on the game.
The decision to cancel publishing of La-Mulana was a tough call, but waiting two years for NIGORO to finish development has made it near impossible to sell sufficient units on Wii. The WiiWare market has a fraction of the players from 2008. The window for release and success of software on the platform ended in 2009 and took a very steep decline. Players have moved onto other digital download platforms.
La-Mulana was originally developed without DLC in mind and, I think being their first console project, that NIGORO got a bit ahead of themselves and spent two years agonizing on getting the DLC sort of working for Japan. Unfortunately, it never passed Nintendo’s submission process in the US or EU with DLC in place. As the publisher, we’re responsible for various things, but development (which includes programming, art, music and design) is and always has been in the hands of NIGORO.
With the Wii U in the not too distant future and WiiWare sales almost non-existent, I had to make a call today. I wish them the best. They’re good game developers and good guys – Tyrone Rodriguez, Nicalis
While it's certainly upsetting that La-Mulana won't be coming to WiiWare, Rodriguez made a good point regarding the decline of the digital shop. Really, the platform isn't very successful these days, and while we still get a few gems, I imagine it would be hard for any publisher to really get behind WiiWare at this point. Perhaps the Wii U can be a suitable home for La-Mulana. Until that's something that's even discussed, though, I think indie fans are better off supporting the PC version of the game.
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