January 20, 2014

Scirra Construct 2 to Power Nintendo Wii U eShop Development

For those with HTML5 skills who were wishing the Wii U would get some more games in, there's some good news afoot as the process of getting games to the Nintendo Wii U eShop just got a little easier. While there are several HTML5 tools that help get developers' titles onto the Wii U eShop, a new one has emerged in the form of Construct 2 from Scirra, and it should be in developers' hands fairly soon.

Scirra recently updated its official blog to note that the Construct 2 2D engine would have official support for the Wii U in the coming days, which in turn would join a variety of platforms that it also supports, like both iOS and Android (NewsAlert) as well as several other Web-based services. With Construct 2 in place, Wii U developers will be able to take advantage of its HTML5 structure to not only create new games directly for the Wii U, but also be able to port old games to the system, allowing developers access to a potentially substantial pool of games. 

Those interested in taking advantage will need to become Authorized Developers in order to gain access to the Wii U support, and users will also need both a Wii U development kit and a Construct 2 Personal or Business license in order to export to the system. Better yet, though, those thinking about getting in on the action can take advantage of the Construct 2 engine's free trial, and the Wii U tool will be available to all license holders at no charge when it's actually launched.

This is, at least somewhat, a bit of good news for Nintendo, an organization that has been sorely in need of precisely that for the last few weeks. With tales of sales falling short, profits crumbling, and prospects looking dimmer than usual, the company needs something to help revitalize its ailing futures. Some have suggested that Nintendo start licensing out game properties to rival developers, leading potentially to Mario-driven titles on the iPad or the Xbox One or the like. This isn't necessarily a bad idea, though it may be more of an “eat the seed corn” move, a desperation move in which properties are sold off for short-term survival cash.

But by like token, there are plenty of properties that Nintendo hasn't done much with lately—how many “Kid Icarus” games have we seen so far?–not to mention the number of older games that would probably make great modern-era titles if Nintendo could make a connection or two. Who wouldn't like an updated “River City Ransom”? The idea of a modern “Battletoads” would make some gamers giddy with excitement.

There are quite a few possibilities afoot for Nintendo, but it's going to need to make some headway, and fast. The new support for the Scirra Construct 2 might help, but still, Nintendo needs more games in rapid fashion if it expects to survive any length of time. The power of HTML5, and Construct 2, may just fill the bill here.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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