Retro City Rampage released last week on WiiWare, despite developer Brian Provinciano stating he stands to lose money on the release.
“Between the office rent, hardware, insurance, game ratings and other costs, had I not done the WiiWare version, I could’ve saved around $20,000 – not even including my salary in porting it. And as it stands, virtually no games hit the threshold these days, so it’s only being released as fan service. A $20,000 gift to the fans.”
The game is only available on WiiWare due to development constraints as Provinciano is a one person studio. The costs for developing are so high because of Nintendo’s strict requirements for indie games, including maintaining office space and only paying out if a threshold of copies sold is met. Provinciano has stated that the WiiWare version is not about recouping his money, but about fulfilling a promise to fans that the game would be available on a Nintendo console.
Of course the woes Provinciano speaks of have been lifted for the Wii U, as Nintendo no longer requires dedicated office space for developers and some of the terms of payment have been reworked to make them more friendly to indie developers. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in trying out Retro City Rampage, you’ll have to boot into Wii mode on your Wii U in order to check it out.