If you had any doubt in your mind that WiiWare was dead, this next announcement should really clarify things for you. There was this amazing free, indie Windows game called La-Mulana. It was a challenging action game about an archeologist named Lemeza that was just really awesome. Nigoro and Nicalis decided a great game like that deserved to get an update and WiiWare release. It did actually make it onto the Japanese Wii Shop Channel back in June 2011, which gave the rest of us some hope, but it’s all for naught. La-Mulana Wii is not to be.
The first hint that something was really wrong came up a few days ago when Nigoro posted its first update since December on the La-Mulana blog. (Of course, the fact that there was a four month gap between updates was pretty telling too.) It said it had finished work on the North American and European versions of La-Mulana and given it to Nicalis and was in the middle of the debug process for the Windows version of the game. It self-published the WiiWare version in Japan and is going to do so with all PC versions of La-Mulana. So while this update was a bit disheartening, at least it still confirmed that the Windows version is on the way.
It’s Nicalis’ tweets that broke the hearts of anyone who still purchased WiiWare. It confirmed yesterday that La-Mulana is canceled. It also said that the versions it was publishing wasn’t approved by Nintendo because it didn’t meet compliancy standards. In addition, Nicalis weighed the pros and cons of putting even more work into La-Mulana and realized that if Nicalis went forward, it wouldn’t be profitable. It’s understandable, as the Wii’s run is pretty much over and nothing really worthwhile has been released on the Wii in weeks.
Let’s take a minute to remember what might have been by watching the English WiiWare trailer Nigoro had prepared.
If you want to still play La-Mulana, then there is another option. You can head to The Indie Game Database and download the translated, freeware copy for your Windows PC. It won’t be as pretty, but it is free.