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Zen Studios will have Wii U news soon, says platform is difficult to support

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Zen Studios brought Zen Pinball to the Wii U over a year ago, with several new tables released over the past few months. Fans on the Zen Pinball forums have taken to calling the studio out, accusing them of not supporting their products on the Wii U as they have other platforms. Here’s a short excerpt from a thread, titled “Zen Studios: Shame on you!

Me, and thousands of other WiiU users have paid for mulitple tables in ZEN Pinball 2. There are still bugs in these tables, we have brought to your attention over a year ago. The Spiderman table is one of the worst ones where after every multiball the screen doesn’t return to it’s correct setting.

In over a year, you haven’t done SHIT for us to solve these issues. We haven’t had an official tournament EVER since this game was released.
And I am not even talking about the (at least) 8 month delay on the Dr. Strange tables and the complete lack of communication from your side.

It’s obvious that several people are upset that their purchases are not being updated to properly remove bugs and other issues with gameplay. A representative of Zen Studios replied in the thread, stating that they plan on having Wii U news soon. According to the post, the Wii U is a difficult system to release patches and updates on, because of how the system is set up. This point wasn’t elaborated on, but it’s interesting to hear a developer discuss this aspect of game support.

Actually, we will have some very big Wii U news very soon. This is a difficult platform to support from a technology standpoint. Simple patches are not simple. New content additions are not easy due to the way the system is set up. We are committed to supporting Wii U. Again, please look for an announcement in the coming weeks. Thanks for supporting Zen Studios.

So Zen Studios is well aware of the issues facing Zen Pinball supporters so far and if you’re one of the people facing these bugs, you could be seeing some relief soon. Either way, perhaps Nintendo should consider working on the way their infrastructure is set up for the Wii U, if patches are proving difficult for game developers.

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  • Little Seal

    FYI, some players don’t like pinball games, what about a new HD platformer or something new?
    And then, only then you can complain, because I downloaded this title and wiped out from my Wii U at the same moment.

    • Christopher Acuna

      I like it as a nice fluff game in my ever growing Nintendo Digital Library. I always load it up and play through a couple of rounds on the Cap America Table, Infinity Gauntlet and World War Hulk. I especially like the Boba Fett Table and the Empire Strikes Back table.

  • Ducked

    “This is a difficult platform to support from a technology standpoint.”

    Hmm…

    • Justin Carlson

      In other words: We haven’t made enough money on it to make it worth our while to fix things that should have been working in the first place.

      • Ducked

        “In other words: We haven’t made enough money on it to make it worth our while to fix things that should have been working in the first place.”

        Hmm…

        • FutureFox

          In other, other words: Our staff just isn’t talented/large enough to support a crap load of platforms.

          • Ducked

            “In other, other words: Our staff just isn’t talented/large enough to support a crap load of platforms.”

            Hmm…

          • Christopher Acuna

            Hurrumpf.

        • JB

          “”In other words: We haven’t made enough money on it to make it worth our while to fix things that should have been working in the first place.”

          Hmm…“

          Hmm…

          • Ducked

            “””In other words: We haven’t made enough money on it to make it worth our while to fix things that should have been working in the first place.”

            Hmm…“

            Hmm…”

            Hmm…

  • wober2

    This is really egg on nintendo’s face. Its a shame they did not learn from the early days of the ps3… Really all new consoles are going to be so similar to develop for someone will have to really want to bring a game to the wiiu to invest in the port time. Maybe nintendo can do the porting themselves some how…

    • wober2

      I would of thought the wiiu would save developers money by not needing to support super hi-rez graphics. Using the the limitations of the hardware to not need as large of a budget to make a game. Perhaps this is out weighed by needing to support the strange architecture of the wiiu. This could also be why there are soooo many delays from nintendo themselves…

      • FutureFox

        Also the reason third-party devs are ignoring the console. In defense of those guys it is a hassle to have to re-learn yet another architecture rather than apply the same knowledge across different platforms of similar structure. Its just good business sense.

        The Wii U is the odd man out. It doesn’t have a massive open-source OS (like Android), it doesn’t have practically billions of devices (like Android or iOS) and it doesn’t fall in line with what is essentially common hardware practice and execution (PC, PS4, Xbone (gag)). All of this is not necessarily a bad thing mind you, but it does force many to follow the money first rather than…well…anything else.

        • Christopher Acuna

          That’s a stupid excuse though “In defense of those guys it is a hassle to have to re-learn yet another architecture”

          From a technology stand point you want to be able to take on a hardware that brings about challenge. It’s the only way you learn. Instead of going easy street…but these are all big corps and it’s all about the bottom line. I just find that excuse to be redundant for any IT Professional to give.

          • FutureFox

            I’m not sure why you mention IT professionals. The thing is for newcomers to the gaming dev world they are often strapped for time, money and resources. Generally they have the real world deciding what strategy will earn them something in the shortest, reach the greatest audience and everything in between before they feel the urge to crap their pants, so to speak.

            Some guys go about it the wrong why by promising to deliver to every platform under the sun when they don’t have a full grasp of what that entails (i.e Project CARS apparently). Others focus on the branching out to as many of the most common OSs available to reach the most people and hence exclude the Wii U, given time constraints (i.e Watch Dogs).

            Then you have guys like Yacht Club. They know they are a small team and correctly figured they already have the skills for developing for PC so there was little risk trying out the Wii U to see what kind of reaction it would garner, with the benefit of as you mentioned trying something new and expanding their knowledge for future developments with the system with a very simple game (by comparison to 3D games).

            There’s a technology standpoint for sure, but that can’t be ignored by smart business sense.

          • Quicksilver88

            Plus the WiiU uses powerPC and amd grafx which is nothing new to these devs as that is what Wii and X360 used. Also many of the Indy devs are using Unity which is a common engine. Also why is it everyone else can do upates without issue but this team?

        • Nintendofreak

          well its power pc architecture if memory serves me right, which has been used on all consoles except the ps4 and xboxone

    • matthew garcia

      With the billions Nintendo has they should be opening there own studios to make sports games, rpg’s , adventure and shooter games if 3rd party is not gonna help. Nintendo won’t do it though

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Too afraid to risk it I’d say.

        • matthew garcia

          It’s risky but necessary for Nintendo’s future. I’m not sure what else they could do

      • JB

        Or just pay a studio to develop for them. Like they did for games like NBA Courtside. They could also outsource some of their own sports IPs (Wave Race, Excitebike, 1080 et al) to other studios as well. No opening studios necessary…

        • matthew garcia

          Yeah you definitely seem to have a good option there. I didn’t think of that. They never should have let perfect dark go down the shitter by letting rare go to Microsoft

          • JB

            I agree with that! Imagine what they could have done with Banjo, Conker and even Jet Force Gemini… Heck, we might have had another 3D Donkey Kong! Fighting games would have been covered with Killer Instinct. On the other hand would Nintendo have even used those IPs? There are still others like Mother, Startropics, F-Zero, Geist and Eternal Darkness that has yet to see the light of day. Including the above Sports games I posted above.

            With a war chest as large as Nintendo’s I wish they would take a couple more chances concerning their dormant IPs, but at the same time, I can understand why they don’t given the install base of the Wii U… And even moreso while they are reporting losses. It may be worth it to look into those games for next Gen or at least when they stop losing money.

          • matthew garcia

            I agree with every point you made. Man I forgot about Jet Force Gemini. Great game but yeah who’s to say they would even use the games even if they could.

          • Nintenjoe82

            Don’t forget BlastCorps! That was fun, it would make a good eshop game in this era.

          • JB

            Yes!! BlastCorps was amazing! I think I need to dust off that gem later… :-)

          • Quicksilver88

            I think Nintendo did have discussions with Rare but the core team was breaking up and M$ overpaid big bucks for them. It is a shame as the IPs have been largely wasted since early x360 days and nothing good has come out of rare since their last Nintendo commissioned project StarFox Adventures for th cube.

      • Ghost8484

        I agree man

    • Fred

      I don’t want Nintendo to create a 3rd console that’s almost identical to the PS4/XBONE. We already have 2 systems that are almost identical we don’t need a 3rd

  • JB

    I’ve bought all the tables, but I haven’t really played any of them in a while. I wasn’t aware there were problems…

    I wonder if the problem stems from Gamepad optimization? On the other hand, you have some developers that have no problem programming for the Wii U, but others do. I wonder what gives?

  • bistricky

    This article definitely assumes a lot ….. to completely believe Zen Studio’s excuse of their 9 month delay ….. when others developers have been able to patch their games quickly (such as Shovel Knight).
    Blaming Nintendo? Oddly, this article doesn’t even sound like something Ashley would write.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      I didn’t put any of my opinion in this article at all. It’s purely a conversation between the two people and me restating what the developer said.

      • bistricky

        I was about to say …. the ending two sentences, definitely didn’t sound like your writing style (nor attitude).
        Cheers :D

  • Petri

    Zen studios is difficult studio to support, they make no games that interest me.

    • aldonogueira

      Aren’t they the makers of CastleStorm? This is an excellent game.

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Good point.

      • Fred

        Yes, I’m not a pinball fan but castle storm is a really fun game

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    I gonna guess it’s code for “we don’t feel it’s worth developing for the Wii U.”

    • Fred

      I agree, SEVERAL other 3rd party and indie games that I own have received multiple updates/patches

  • Virus6

    Sounds like a bad excuse. Other developers can do it without issues, so can you Zen. Stop trying to treat every platform the same. That’s where the issues come up. This is not a PC, Playstation or Xbox. Don’t develop for the Wii U like it is one of those.

  • dcj91x

    What’s their 3DS excuse?

  • Andrew Clear

    I’m tired of developers treating people like they are idiots. Shit, developers are sounding more and more like politicians everyday. Some of us actually do study coding, and actually can code, so hearing the BS that they spout is starting to really piss me off. They just need to man up and say we don’t care about the Wii U product, which is more of the truth,

  • josh

    If it’s so difficult to support with development and patches then why are there a lot of other developers saying it’s easy to work with? Sounds more like a personal problem with the team.

  • Nintenjoe82

    Castlestorm is brilliant for the money but I thought their Pinball tables were a bit dull. I hope their news is a new game and not just a port or some DLC

  • Agent721

    I have these on the 360 & next month, I can download every board I bought for free, to the Xbone. No extra charge. I think the PS4 for r the same deal. So it looks like they’re picking & choosing who they support, which is bs.

  • Moreck

    I know it’s going to be most Nintendo fans’ reactions to bash Zen studios for this, but come on guys. Zen is far from the first developer to call Nintendo out for how they designed their SDKs and developer APIs. Sony and MS basically kissed developers’ asses when they designed their systems, while Nintendo went down the same path they’ve always treaded. Their path fosters the attitude of “We’re making this however we want, and you guys figure it out.” In this day and age, developers have the real power. The sooner Nintendo realizes that the better.

    You guys should understand that I love Nintendo’s products and have been with them since the NES. I’m just realistic.

  • C.S. Bailey

    I seem to be getting updates every three days for other games.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    And yet many other developers have gotten updates out very quickly. I never bought any of the pinball tables, and it looks like I made the right choice.

  • hkjfjdghjg

    who cares and the Wii u sales are 7 +| million now and xbone one still not 5 million in actual sales …;p

  • Christopher McNair

    Thank you for mentioning Nintendo’s culpability in this as well. The more diehard of the Nintendo fanboys will exclusively blame the developer, when Nintendo has just as much and more fault for their hardware choices. The mass ignorance by Nintendo fans in blaming devs for not wanting to lose money just because the console they chose is not popular is astounding and pathetic.

    • Stephen Severino

      Meh. You may be putting stock in an excuse rather than a validity. A year plus is a long time to sort out a patch despite it being “difficult.”

      And the user’s complaints also included lack of an official tournament, which sounds like a general lack of support as opposed to a mere technical issue.

      Sprinkling in terms like “fanboys” and “ignorance” just makes you sound like a douche.

    • Trempest

      So what you’re saying is that Zen is lying and they’re not supporting Wii U because of its install base, not because it’s “a difficult platform to support from a technology standpoint.”

  • maverickbleh

    Then just test your game enough so it doesn’t need a freaking patch later on? That’s one big problem this generation.

  • MiamiGoon

    Wii U is a machine that will only have 1st party support from here on out, old news, we all know this by now.