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The release date for Koji “Iga” Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was recently pushed back to 2018, and now it looks like the planned Wii U version of the game might be in trouble. Speaking to IGN, Igarashi said that his team may want to move on to the new hardware found in the Nintendo NX:
“Yeah, it’s a very complicated problem,” Iga said. “The reality is this: As timelines move on, certain pieces of hardware become irrelevant. Sometimes new pieces of hardware come out that make you think about what is the right strategy. And as a creator, usually you want to make stuff for the new hardware. That’s the reality.”
“Unfortunately, some of those don’t make as much sense anymore as they did before, and that’s also reality. So you’re in a very difficult position, and at the end of the day, if you’re going to go in one certain direction, you want to make sure that you have support from them,” he explained.
“But so far we’ve, I think, been incredibly transparent through all the things that have happened with our backers, and they have been very supportive. So I’m hoping that if there is going to be a difficult decision some day, and we don’t know, that we’re able to have that conversation. If they say they don’t get it, well that’s where we’re at. And if they say they do get it, well then, we’ll be able to do things that are maybe more interesting. We’ll see.”
Moving Bloodstained, a side-scrolling “MetroidVania” developed by one of the great masters of the genre, to the Nintendo NX makes sense from a lot of angles. Looking at the technical side of the equation, the game is being built with Unreal Engine 4, which is not designed to work with the Wii U. Porting house Armature Studio said they can make it happen, but it would be tricky even if the Wii U was in the prime of its life.
But that leads us to a secondary question about Bloodstained’s recent delay. If the NX launches in March 2017 as announced, then the Wii U will have been dead for more than a year by the time Bloodstained is ready for release. And the console is already struggling now, in 2016, as it nears the end of its life cycle. From a financial perspective, it just makes sense to release Bloodstained on the NX instead of the Wii U.
But as Igarashi said, “we’ll see” what happens.