High Voltage Software, developers for the immensely hyped but under-performing Wii FPS, Conduit, has promised a continued support of the follow up, especially with its online multiplayer and why they chose to develop a game in a genre that isn’t what the core audience plays. In an interview with Eurogamer, Kevin Sheller and Keith Hladik were asked why they bothered to make such an ambitious game on the Wii instead of the Xbox 360 or PS3 where a lot of FPSs call home. Funnily enough, the well-stocked competitive market that Eurogamer speaks of was one of their reasons for making a Wii game: “There’s a bunch of different reasons. One of those is we have this foundation we put together on the Wii, so to just go, “Well, this is secondary, so let’s just go and work on these other platforms,” I think is an insult to Wii gamers. We have generated that fan base and they are excited about it. They’re clamouring for something like this, so it’s awesome to be able to provide that,” said Sheller. A commendable if not financially daring move on High Voltage’s part. Delivering an experience that you know is a tough sell on any system could have spelled disaster. Hladik added: “When we started making the first one, the competition on the Wii for these sorts of games was nil. Whereas on Xbox 360 you’ve got the Call of Duties, Halo – the competition is fierce. So we were striking while the iron was hot,” and Sheller finished with “obviously we’re not the only guys who believe the Wii is worth doing something like this for. There are the GoldenEye guys too, for example.”
I still believe that GoldenEye as a franchise has the nostalgic appeal to fall back on and is a very different beast when discussing hardcore titles on the Wii. Nevertheless, there is indeed a loyal fan base for the Conduit who Hladik would have liked to further excite with DLC map packs but was unable to do so. But he did state that any hacks and exploits that players used in the first game have been fixed but fighting hackers is a “losing battle” and they’re doing their best to “thwart them”. Sheller then revealed the plan to offer downloadable patches, another previously undeliverable initiative: “Now we can see what people are doing, make modifications and if you want to play online you’ll have to download the patch.”
The use of patches to better an online experience is great news and something not common among Wii games. But with its merits comes the harsh reality of space. With Nintendo’s system only having 512MB of harddrive available, most of which is probably taken up by numerous game saves and WiiWare or Virtual Console games, disk space is a precious commodity. Even with the USB key ‘solution’. However, patches are rarely obese unless they add significant changes though it will be something to bear in mind if it means trawling through save files to make room for a patch enabling online play. Just one of those ‘good news, bad news’ stories I guess.