Earlier this month the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night forums were abuzz with news that Koji Igarashi’s newest side-scrolling platfomer was coming to Nintendo Switch. Initially the team wouldn’t comment on the reveal, but a recent Kickstarter update has confirmed the news. Bloodstained has dropped Wii U development in favor of releasing a Switch version. While most backers are excited about the new platform, there are some feeling burnt by the sudden change.
In a translated message to backers, IGA explains that Nintendo’s focus has shifted since the Switch’s release, making it more difficult for the project to get hardware support. As a result, the team made the decision to drop Wii U development in favor of the Switch.
Backers have the option to change platforms via their backerkit surveys. Only a small minority who’d pledged specifically towards a Wii U release have requested refunds. While backers acknowledged that the change made sense, some were disappointed that the team had dropped the Wii U entirely. This is mostly due to the Wii U port being a stretch goal during the Kickstarter campaign.
Once You Drop, You Can’t Stop
A rather surprising concern to rise from the announcement regards the fate of the PS Vita version. The Vita port had also been a stretch goal, much like the Wii U. As backers have pointed out the Vita currently isn’t at the peak of its popularity. Nothing official has been stated either way, but such concerns aren’t unusual once developers start dropping or adding platforms after the campaign has ended.
It can be difficult to predict changes to the market, especially over a long development cycle. Even so, reneging on campaign promises, even with the best of intentions, is always going to upset someone. The Bloodstained team is lucky in that they have enough fan support to prevent this bump from becoming a hurdle for the game’s release. A smaller project might not have been so lucky.