Nintendo's Wii U will not get one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest installment in the framed franchise set to debut in November, will not be available on the Wii U, Michael Condrey, co-founder of video game developer Sledgehammer, tweeted on Wednesday. He added that Activision, which is publishing the first-person shooter game, made the decision and that Sledgehammer is focused on building the game for PCs, Sony's PlayStation 4, and Microsoft's Xbox One.
The last two installments in the franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, were both available on the Wii U. Activision's decision against publishing this latest game on the Wii U perhaps speaks to the console's increasing troubles.
Over the last couple of years, major game developers have expressed their frustration with the Wii U. Last year, Electronic Arts Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that the console is a "disappointment," adding that the company was thinking seriously about redefining how it would dedicate resources to the hardware. The game company has since all but abandoned the Wii U.
EA is not alone. Major game developers are being very choosy about the games they decide to bring to the Wii U. Video game developer Ubisoft didn't show a single Wii U title at the E3 gaming expo earlier this year, signaling that its support for the console is on life support. Game retailer GameStop has said Ubisoft may release its game Watch Dogs on the Wii U later this year, and the developer's upcoming Just Dance 2015 could also land on the console.
Activision's decision against releasing Advanced Warfare on the Wii U is a major issue for Nintendo. Previous Call of Duty games have set major sales records in the crucial fourth quarter and holiday shopping season, and the latest installment in the franchise, which launches on November 4, is expected to be no different. Activision has already said it will bring the game to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
For its part, Nintendo has tried to put a brave face on the troubles surrounding its console. The company has argued that it can increase sales by pushing solid first-party titles. However, Nintendo reported last month that during the three-month period ended June 30, it sold 510,000 Wii U units worldwide -- an exceedingly low number in the early stages of the latest console cycle.
For game developers, that's a warning sign. Today's games -- especially Call of Duty titles -- cost tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of dollars to design and promote. Developers, therefore, only want to dedicate resources to consoles that are most likely to attract customers and thus, revenue. The Wii U's disappointing sales are causing many developers to take pause and question whether a game launch on the console makes sense and could be profitable.
It appears Activision doesn't believe the Wii U can hit on those points.
CNET has contacted both Nintendo and Activision for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.