The latest news out of Ubisoft Montpellier might leave you scratching your head. In a bizarre turn of events ZombiU, currently a Wii U exclusive, has appeared on an Australian Ratings Board list only this time it’s for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Of course they couldn’t exactly continue to call it ZombiU and it seems that the game is dropping the U and will simply be known as Zombi.
Aside from the obvious problems regarding the name of the game the lack of a GamePad would prove to be a serious difficulty that needs to be addressed. ZombiU on Wii U was a relatively standard zombie survival game boasting an interesting take on perma-death but sadly it was severely hampered by dull and repetitive combat. What made the game stand out from the crowd was the clever and integral use of the Wii U GamePad. The GamePad served as your map but when scavenging would become a visual representation of whatever you were searching thereby dividing your attention between searching backpacks on the second screen and checking your surroundings on the main screen. The use of a second screen was also vital to a great local multiplayer function that would pit one survivor against a horde of zombies that were selected and placed by an overseer using the GamePad.
Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One allow for second screen functionality but neither do so in a manner as well integrated as that of the Wii U and neither have it available without the purchase of secondary equipment. While Ubisoft could be planning to adapt the game to work in a similar manner to the original version doing so would alienate a large portion of the player-base on both consoles. Similarly were they to remove this functionality they would be removing the game’s crowning achievement and leaving it a hollow shell of what it should be.
Following the poor performance of Watch Dogs, Ubisoft complained that “mature titles” do not sell on the Wii U, ZombiU was well received at launch and has outsold other Ubisoft Wii U titles including Rayman Legends. (Perhaps the problem with Watch Dogs wasn’t the age rating but instead was due to the port releasing months after it was made available on other systems along with an assurance that the Wii U port would not be getting any of the DLC promised to other systems… Just a thought). It is possible that Ubisoft are predicting that the strong sales on Wii U imply that sales on PS4 and Xbox One would be even higher but a port of a Wii U launch title that lacks it’s strongest selling point seems like a very bizarre move indeed. We’ll be sure to update you if and when an official confirmation is made.
Source: Australian Ratings Board