It also doesn't help that third parties came into this generation with the grand majority of their efforts behind the HD platforms with scraps for the Wii. Save for Ubisoft and Sega, I don't think anyone else really backed the Wii with much content from the outset, despite that Ubi's support was questionable. From the outset the Wii had it tough going as most publishers in general considered Wii an also-ran, an "aside" to the other platforms before the generation even started.
Look at EA, it wasn't until the response out of E3 that they decided to ramp up support for the console prior to launch which consisted largely of port jobs like Godfather and Medal of Honor, both of which were great games at the time (Godfather still is) but it was obviously a cash in effort to jump on the Wii boom bandwagon. How they've handled Madden is nothing short of mind boggling which is why they've yet to really cement that title on the platform outside of the earliest version released on Wii. Dead Space Extraction, while a good rail shooter (I'll get on Capcom about this eventually) it was not what people wanted. I still remember reading on forums like Nsider and NeoGAF how giddy people were when those screenshots first released and how pissed off they became when it was revealed the game was a rail shooter. Referring to it as a guided first person shooter also wasn't doing much to curb the feelings of those who pretty much calling it what it was, a rail shooter. It's a very quality driven one, but at a time when the Wii had more than its fair share of such games it was getting a bit ridiculous. They've had their good moments though in making Rock Band work out the way they have as well as bringing games like Boom Blox and such to the platform. I will say though, that it was odd seeing the PSP of all platforms seeing versions of Army of Two and Dante's Inferno and not the Wii.
Don't even get me started on Capcom, while they have put out some quality work to be sure (Zack and Wiki, Monster Hunter, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, etc.) they did excellent with their Wii converion of RE4 yet instead of following it up with a new traditional Resident Evil, what do we get? A retcon/retread rail shooter of RE0 and RE1, which while being a good rail shooter is not the game people expected. It did well just as RE4 Wii Edition did. So what is lined up for RE on Wii after that? Ports of RE0 and RE1 and ANOTHER rail shooter in Darkside Chronicles that basicaly covers RE2 and Code Veronica. Again, while a good rail shooter it's not what people expected and no surprised it bombed. Fool me one, shame you, fool me twice, shame on me. Oh and the only game to even follow in RE4 Wii Edition's footsteps was basically a gimped version of Dead Rising using the RE4: WE engine.
Okay, let's jump to LucasArts. Now, not a whole to really say against them because the little support they've given Wii has been good. However, the one problem I have is their response to The Force Unleashed no Wii. Now, anyone who has played the Wii version knows how the controls are, they're pretty good, pretty tight, for gestural control much like what makes the Wii version of Godfather as good as it is. However, the game was a technical mess, I never had it glitch out on me but there were obvious quality assurance issues throughout the game aside from the fact it looked like a direct port of the PS2 title. When Force Unleashed 2 was revealed and finally some Wii information came out for it, one of the team members basically stated that the Wii version is only getting much better support this time because of how well the first one did on the platform.
And Activision, oh they've done well with the Wii, made sure that it got a lot of its multiplatform titles. However, I do recall someone from either InfinityWard or Activision saying Modern Warfare wasn't possible on Wii, just couldn't be done. And yet, you can get that game on the Wii. However, that isn't so much the point that bothers me as much as how the Wii version turned out. It's a great game with online features greatly expanded beyond World at War but for $50 you got a port of a two year old game with nothing of the extra additions that were made avaiable via DLC for the other versions. It was like buying the game raw without anything two years ago on the 360/PS3 but for full price with no chance of any extra content.
With that being said, Activision also pretty much had a LucasArts moment, basically saying the only reason Wii even got another CoD is because of how the online community for Wii's World at War cemented itself. Makes me wonder how much faith they had going into even World at War considering they didn't run any ads for it at all until just before December that year. Mind you, nothing of the sort was done for Modern Warfare Reflex, in fact we didn't even have solid media for MWR until early purchasers started putting up videos for the game on youtube which Activision promptly took down before the release date. That was like free advertising for them as the game looked worlds better than those horrible screenshots Activision released which they claimed looked back because of a "bug." (WTF?) And now, here we are again, Black Ops on the way and we know more about the DS version than we do the Wii version and it will likely stay that way until release time. Can't be too mad at them though because the games still came and I'm definitely down for some GoldenEye this year.
Ubisoft has been a mixed bag all around. They were backing the Wii pretty strongly early on, despite the questionable nature of Red Steel and weird development history of Raving Rabbids, they were there for the Wii day one. However, to see games like Far Cry Vengeance, PoP Rival Swords and GT Pro Series end up the way they did was a travesty. Why even release those games in the state they were in other than to cash in on the Wii craze? And drowning the Wii in a sea of Petz/Imagine games, game show games and a specialized branding of cheap party games under the Family Fun moniker didn't help things either. (really? Imagine Babiez? Let's Play Lumberjacks!?) I still remember when Ubisoft basically stated that revenues from the sales of Wii software was being used to fund HD software development versus development on the platform that was helping them make up much of those revenues. Talk about a WTF moment. But, much like Activision, I do give them their props as they did bring us Tenchu, No More Heroes series, a Wii unique version of Forgotten Sands, stepped their game up immensely with Red Steel 2, are bringing the new Ghost Recon over (we'll see how it turns out) and created an expanded audience title that doesn't seem like a complete knock off of Nintendo's own that has performed well in Just Dance. I will say though, despite the Shaun White games making their bread and butter on Wii, the new Shaun White Skateboarding thus far is looking like absolute garbage on the Wii in comparison to the other versions of the game, not sure what the heck is going on there.
There are other examples, but these are some of the biggest for me. What's worse is the constant fear of Nintendo's own developments that publishers are warded off because of competition from Nintendo's own games or because they feel they can't compete in that sector so they simply don't try. In many cases, the Wii versions of games only see the proper support they should have seen initially when half hearted effort proves to be successful, but at that point, it could be too little too late. There are people who may have gotten Force Unleashed on Wii they were met with a less than satisfactory experience that might not even consider Wii's Force Unleashed 2 as a result. There are people who likely permanently cut off from Wii versions of multiplatform games because of how they were handled, such as the glaring propositions of the Madden franchise. It's not even so much like I expect a BioShock or a Final Fantasy XIII for the system, I just expected better support than it has had considering it's a market leading platform, yet it's being treated like the Gamecube before it.
It would be nice to have good games without strings attached like "test games" and ultimatums where it's almost like threatening Wii owners. It would have been nice if publishers looked at the wide range of software that sells on Wii and build from those experience instead of just looking at WiiSports and Party Games and closing the book on anything else. It would be nice if such questionable decisions like lack of awareness, silent launches and crazy schedules (looking at you Square Enix and your December 26th release of The Crystal Bearers, WTF!?) weren't so rampant even among the more quality driven titles.
But I suppose that's all water under the bridge now. Like the past few Nintendo consoles Nintendo is once again being left to fend for itself and despite the success of the Wii platform this generation it will likely not translate into better support in the next generation. If Nintendo's next console becomes a breakout success as well, I can see it having a similar third party software development history as the Wii now with third parties fumbling over themselves again trying to find out how best to grab their piece of the pie versus making an honest effort to generate a quality driven presence on the platform. Mind you, it's not all bad, there are a lot of quality games on the Wii and I appreciate every last one of them, but no doubt the support should have been better.