Nintendo’s Digital Download Woes: Nicalis cancels La-Mulana over toxic WiiWare market

nintendos digital download woes nicalis cancels la mulana over toxic wiiware market lamulana

Given the hoopla surrounding Nintendo’s new digital download initiatives on Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, it’s understandable that the Wii’s existing digital download service has been all but forgotten. Nintendo has learned from its past mistakes and it wants to do well in the ever-evolving digital marketplace.

Let it not be forgotten that the company made big, nasty mistakes with the Wii’s digital services though. The grossly overpriced Virtual Console games; the impenetrable WiiWare shop interface; the near non-existent promotion of original downloadable titles; the lack of adequate internal storage for downloadable titles in the Wii itself; that machine’s downloadable content support was atrocious. It’s no wonder that publisher Nicalis is cancelling planned WiiWare titles like La-Mulana.

Announced back in 2009, the WiiWare version of PC cult hit La-Mulana was actually released in Japan in 2011, but the U.S. and European releases of the title have now been cancelled. Publisher Nicalis said that the game was cancelled because there simply wasn’t enough of an audience left to support the release. Speaking with GoNintendo, Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez said, “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 platforms.”

Had La-Mulana creators NIGORO not spent time developing new Wii-specific content for the game things might have been different. “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 U.S. or E.U. with DLC in place. With the Wii U in the not too distant future and WiiWare sales almost non-existant, I had to make a call today.”

Digital Trends reached out to Nicalis on Tuesday to discuss La-Mulana’s possible future on the 3DS or Wii U, but we’ve yet to receive a response.

The company’s plight demonstrates just how vital Nintendo’s new digital distribution plans are for the company’s future success. That the Wii’s digital marketplace hasn’t been viable for nearly three years, that the company made no effort to evolve the platform for competition with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or mobile devices, shines a glaring light on how Nintendo has plummeted to its unprecedented financial lows.

Fingers crossed that Nicalis finds a new home for this edition of La-Mulana on Wii U.

Gaming

Still trying to unlock your main in 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try these tips

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo’s biggest entry in the series to date with over 70 characters to unlock, but the process can feel tiresome. Here are our tips to unlock your roster as quickly as possible.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for December 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles, as well as bundles that feature games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

How to make a clan in ‘Destiny 2’ and where to go from there

Want to know how to make a clan in 'Destiny 2'? Here's everything you need to know, including how to design your clan's banner, earn extra loot, and help other players with guided games.
Gaming

Ditch the meditation app. 'Katamari Damacy Reroll' is pure gaming zen

Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the magic of the PS2 classic to Nintendo Switch and PC. With updated visuals and the same great, singular loop, Reroll stands the test of time. Katamari Damacy is the ultimate relaxation game.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in 'Destiny 2'? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Xbox One S vs. PlayStation 4 Slim: Which console is worth your money?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Deals

Check out the best Xbox One deals and bundles for December 2018

Microsoft's consoles are just as capable of streaming movies as they are of playing the latest games. Check out our top Xbox One deals and bundles, which include new and upcoming triple-A games like Battlefield V and Fallout 76.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Deals

The NES Classic is back in stock just in time for the holidays

The NES Classic is back in stock at multiple outlets at its original launch price of $60 in time for Christmas. Retailers offering it online are Walmart, GameStop, Target, and Best Buy -- if you're looking for the perfect holiday gift for…
Gaming

Some ‘Fortnite’ players aren’t too happy with the new Infinity Blade weapon

The most recent update for Fortnite added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to battle royale, and some players aren't happy with how much it has changed the game during competitions.