Rock Band 4 Project Managers Explains Why There’s No Wii U Version

In a not-so-well-hidden surprise this morning, Rock Band 4 was announced by Harmonix, bringing back the band for a next-gen round of rhythm-action gaming. This marks the first full Rock Band since Rock Band 3 hit in 2010, apart from 2012’s download-only Rock Band Blitz. While it is confirmed to launch on PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U remains unloved (once again) from a major third party release.

In an interview with Hardcoregamer, Harmonix Project Managers Daniel Sussman and Nick Chester took turns to explain the lack of Rock Band 4 on Wii U (and last-gen platforms in general). It has much to do with where the audience is these days.

Daniel: The Wii U is a really hard call for us, but from our initial research the audience is not there yet, and I would be really psyched for there to be this public outcry of “Where is the Wii U? I will absolutely throw money at you and I wanna buy it and preorder it!” and all that. And then we start working on it.
Nick Chester: We’re seeing all these people flock, especially towards PS4, and people are abandoning their Wiis, and using their Xbox 360s as… We don’t have a version of it because neither of the consoles are backwards compatible.

It bears mentioning that Rock Band has been on Nintendo platforms in the past, specifically the Wii. All three numbered entries appeared on the popular platform, albeit with the first entry being stripped-down from its HD counterparts. This answer is nothing new to Wii U owners, sadly. Many publishers like Ubisoft and EA refuse to bring major games to the system because the audience isn’t there to support them.

Regardless of its omission on Wii U, Rock Band returns to the gaming world later this year, with more to be shown at E3. How do you feel about another major third party game skipping Nintendo, or is it not surprising anymore?

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.