In candid language, the creator of Retro City Rampage has explained why he will not port the game to Wii U. The time required to create a Wii U version of the game would result in something that is "95 percent identical" to the version launched on WiiWare in early 2013, Brian Provinciano said.
Thanks to the Wii U's backward compatibility, WiiWare titles are playable on the console in its Wii mode. And while it's a standard-definition game, Provinciano says Retro City Rampage's resolution is 240p anyway, reasoning that its pixelated top-down landscape would look much the same in high-definition.
"Wii code cannot be simply put on Wii U with the push of a button," he writes. "It's different architecture, a different SDK/API, with different platform requirements. Developers must deal with game ratings (PEGI, ESRB, etc.), business/paperwork/production, e-manuals, icons, store assets, localization, testing, certification, a new round of marketing, etc.
"I get more requests for a Wii U version each week than actual WiiWare sales."
"It wouldn't be trivial and would take months from start to finish," he said. "In the end, it would be 95 percent identical to the WiiWare version."
What seems to bother Provinciano, however, is the expectation that he would or should port Retro City Rampage to Wii U when the WiiWare version has accounted for just 1 percent of the game's sales across all platforms.
"The Wii version still hasn't made me a cent due to the threshold requirement," Provinciano said. "I get more requests for a Wii U version each week than actual WiiWare sales. I really would hope more of you would show your support and purchase it via Wii mode. It would be win-win."
Retro City Rampage was one of the last original games released on WiiWare, and came about four months after the Wii U's 2012 launch. Provinciano notes that the Wii U eShop is "a much better storefront and provides much more visibility and opportunities to promote games." but says by the time it became an option, he had nearly finished the Wii port.
"It would've meant scrapping everything and creating a brand new port from square one," he says. "Not only that, but during the Wii U launch period and small installbase, Wii U eShop games weren't actually doing gangbusters either. It wouldn't have been a huge success on there either at the time. I can't stress this enough. Both options were poor options at the time!"
There is much more in his explanation at the link, including a good discussion of what independent developers have to face from publishers and gamers as they port their wares to different platforms. With versions available for Wii, PlayStation 3, PS4, PS Vita, 3DS, Windows PC and Xbox 360, no one should expect Retro City Rampage to get a Wii U version. He's done porting the game.
"If for some reason new ports were made," Provinciano said, "I would choose completely new platforms which reach completely new audiences."