Looking at Bayonetta 2’s Wii U Exclusivity

Even as a Platinum Trophy achiever and devoted fan of the first Bayonetta, I wasn’t expecting to see Bayonetta return in a sequel with more exotic dancer moves and hair magic spells than you can shake a katana at. Nintendo remedied this woe on Thursday by revealing that Bayonetta 2 would see the light of day when it would come out on the Wii U… exclusively.

“Exclusive” is usually only a term that first-party executives and fanboys pine over, but this time I found this term to be a bit offensive. In a knee-jerk reaction, and, putting it lightly, I was peeved. Platform leaps in a new generation aren’t too out of the ordinary, but a direct sequel coming out exclusively on a brand new platform that didn’t even house the original title seemed flat-out ridiculous. Owners of Bayonetta who aren’t interested in the Wii U (which, by most reactions, was fairly lukewarm or outright negative) seem to out of luck if they plan to play Bayonetta 2 any time soon on their current system.

How many people would that be? According to VGchartz, Bayonetta sold a combined total of 1.88 million across all territories on both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Some might already want the Wii U and others might not even want a sequel (these are the crazy people), but that still leaves a healthy amount of players that won’t get to pop Bayonetta 2 in the same console they played the original Bayonetta on.

Instead of carrying this admittedly childish mentality towards the game, I stepped back and wondered why this would happen. Earlier this year, rumors strongly suggested that Sega, Bayonetta‘s publisher, had canceled the sequel (according to Eurogamer) because of restructuring and probably missing sales targets. While nothing was outright confirmed, all of the clues seem to point to this as being true.

Platinum Games, now out of a publishing deal, probably had to shop this unfinished swan around to give it a good home. Nintendo, probably looking for “hardcore” titles on their new system, published this in efforts to save the project. It seems like Platinum Games had finally caught a break and was able to breathe life into their creative IP instead of seeing it killed off by ignorance and tasteless slaughter.

When I realized that, I begrudgingly came to the conclusion that this is beneficial to the Bayonetta brand, even if it does leave me (and an army of more hostile others) left out (in a sense). In case I have to spell it out, I’m not sold on the Wii U (and that’s a completely different story), but I’m open to change.

The bullets represent Bayonetta 2’s pitch…

Although, I do take issue with a particular quote said by Tatsuya Minami, the President & CEO of Platinum Games. On their main site, he stated, “Alongside Nintendo, we hope to grow the Bayonetta brand beyond where it stands today, allowing even more gamers around the world to experience the action of our beloved witch.”

My monkey brain understands the first part, but the second half of the sentence is oddly worded and a bit counterintuitive. Putting a game on more platforms makes it available to a wider audience. Putting it on one console that isn’t even out yet, one that will have a tiny fraction of the installed base is not a way to get more people to experience your sexual, fast-paced witch fantasy called Bayonetta 2. Maybe he was inferring that the Wii U audience was better than nobody all, but it isn’t immediately obvious or apparent.

…And the sword represents Sega.

However, there could be some sliver of hope for optimistic players wanting a sexy stripper sequel on their PS3 or Xbox 360. A similar thing happened to Ninja Gaiden II. Microsoft published the vanilla version of this title, only to have Tecmo Koei publish a feature-stacked PS3 version, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, almost a year and half later.

The selfish part of me isn’t pleased with having to buy another console to experience Bayonetta 2, but my selfless side and love for Platinum Games encourages me to embrace it and love that there is at least a Bayonetta 2 in some form. Witnessing Bayonetta die off would have been discouraging so this may not be the best for everyone, but it is good for the IP as a whole. Now it falls on Nintendo’s hands to sell me a Wii U, which might be an uphill battle.

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