Deus Ex Human Revolution Director’s Cut: Is Another Souped-Up Port Really a Smart Business Decision?
Please don’t take this to mean I’m ungrateful. I’m always happy to see Nintendo get more third-party support. But, let’s be realistic here for a moment. If there’s one thing we learned from launch it’s that there were only three games that sold well: NintendoLand, New Super Mario Bros U, and ZombiU — in that order. Everything else barely made a dent.
What that should tell any businessman running a big company is that Wii U owners are primarily interested in buying third-party games that are exclusive, made from the ground up for the Wii U- like ZombiU. It also means the strategy found on other consoles won’t continue to work. Strategy #1 for making a really quick buck on PS3 and 360: take a game you’ve released in an earlier generation and re-release it as a higher-res version, or take a game you released last year and make a collector’s edition with a bit of new content and small tweaks. That’s always a surefire way of making a nice profit for very little effort. (Something companies do just to survive and stay above the red line.)
That strategy doesn’t work on the Wii U apparently. The owners of this new console don’t want lazy ports, they want new games for their new machine. And they haven’t received very many yet. However, there are exceptions. If the game really receives an ample amount of extra development time until the game shines, gamers will get excited about it. Case in point: Need For Speed Most Wanted U, a game that is still relatively new even for PS3 and 360. Because of this, it feels more like an upgrade than a port.
So, my question is this. Is Square Enix really making a smart move by porting a game from 2011 to Wii U, albeit with fancier gimmicks and the like? Will Deus Ex Human Revolution Director’s Cut really feel like an entirely new game or will it seem like an old game with a few new bells and whistles? Without trying the new version for myself I can’t tell you the answer to that. But what I can tell you is that 2011′s Deus Ex Human Revolution was a game I really loved on PC. I thought it was smart, clever, ambitious, and a step-ahead of the competition in the “your-choices-affect-your-future” department. It also was home to really cool living, breathing, sci-fi world environments and characters.
But, guess what? I have no interest in doing it all over again. I enjoyed my time with the game but I don’t want to travel back to 2011. I want to move forward to the future of what the Wii U’s potential looks like. DE:HRDC seems more like a demonstration of how the Wii U could have made games even better if it would have been around in 2011. But this is not 2011. It’s 2013 and some of us would like to try something new.
Now, you might say, why am I complaining? Isn’t this better than nothing? No, not really. Because what can easily happen is that the Director’s Cut will sell very poorly. And then Square Enix won’t blame it on their own decisions. Instead they’ll blame it on the Wii U’s install base, claiming they don’t like mature third-party games. When all along, these gamers were just begging for more like ZombiU. And less like Mass Effect 3 Special Edition.
There may be two bright points to this whole thing, though. One is the fact that Square Enix may have wanted to offer their support for the Wii U but didn’t have anything new and ready as of yet to be released. So they reached back and decided to give one of their best games of the past few years a good old spit ‘n shine and serve it up to starving Wii U owners. It could be hinting at a bright future between Square Enix and Nintendo.
The other hope is that I could be completely wrong on all this. Maybe this port is something special, similar to Criterion’s upgrade of Need For Speed Most Wanted U. It could be this isn’t just a lazy port but a shimmering masterpiece that will show all others just how a port should be done on the Wii U.
If that’s the case, let’s really hope Square Enix generate enough interest among the consumers and adequately get the message across that this is something special and not just a cash-grab.