The story of the Wii U is one of many mistakes. From a bad name for the system, to a misuse of its capabilities, to the inability to promote it, and more. Nintendo’s momentum from the Wii cause this system to be DOA on arrival for numerous reasons, and some of those reasons are still coming to light to this day. For it appears that in the midst of trying to get people on board, Nintendo made some unwise business decisions in regards to how to treat their 3rd party friends with bringing Darksiders II to the system.
Mainly, they asked then publisher THQ (before they went out of business) to make Darksiders II and show it off at E3 2011 for their system. Which isn’t a bad idea. But as then THQ employee David Adams noted, it wasn’t smooth sailing:
“That was interesting. Nintendo came to us and said, ‘Hey, can you put this on Wii U? And we’ll show you in the press conference.’ Or when they announced the Wii U. And so we actually said, ‘I mean, we’ll give it a shot.’ I actually helped on that too, because I used to be a programmer. So it was me, our tech director, and our graphics programmer and we all piled into an office and worked on it for like a month and got it all up and running. And then that didn’t last… well actually, Nintendo was going to show it at their booth, and at the last minute they were like, ‘Eh, nevermind.’ But they still showed it in their press conference, so that’s cool. They were like, ‘Just kidding!’ We were working until like middle of the night, every night trying to get it working on the Wii U.”
The game would indeed make it to the Wii U, but as with most of the Wii U 3rd party titles, it didn’t sell well. Darksiders III is about to come out, but it’s unlikely going to come to the much more successful Nintendo Switch.