And with that, Microsoft helps saves the Wii U with Minecraft.
When Microsoft first acquired Minecraft for $2.5 billion, they made it clear that Minecraft would not become an Xbox or Windows-exclusive piece of software, nor would support for then-current releases on competing platforms (like PlayStation home and portable consoles) suddenly vanish. The announcement that Minecraft would come to the Wii U was the biggest indicator that the Markus Persson-led Mojang was finally gone, as his team had no plans on releasing it on Nintendo’s current console.
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If sales are of any indication, the Wii U could have used Minecraft a long time ago.
In Japan, sales of eShop titles are tracked on the Nintendo Japan website, going by recent software sales and total software sold to date. As of press time, after just over 11 days’ worth of sales, Minecraft: Wii U Edition is already the 9th-best selling Wii U eShop title of all time, passing the likes of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and XenobladeX.
Here is how the current Wii U Top 10 eShop titles rank, and where Minecraft: Wii U Edition sits:
- Dragon Quest X
- Pokemon Scramble U
- Super Mario Maker
- Art Academy: Home Studio
- Mario Kart 8
- Super Mario World
- NES Remix
- Minecraft: Wii U Edition
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
With sales like that in Japan for Minecraft, a Western game, one could imagine just how well a properly-implemented Minecraft on the Wii U (including optimal item management systems using the GamePad) would have done had it been released sooner. In fact, one could argue that the Nintendo Wii U wouldn’t become a hardware sales embarrassment had the game come to the platform earlier, what with its extreme success during the holiday season in Japan. Alas, it was never meant to be.