Let The White Dog Sing
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David MarseillesDavid Marseilles

Let The White Dog Sing

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Open letter to High Voltage Software from WiiHD


Dear High Voltage Software,
You've struck a mighty chord in the hearts of Nintendo Gamers. It's not that we mind there being Wii Fits and Pokemons and Carnival Games (oh my), it's just that when this generation started, we never imagined they would be getting more of Nintendo's attention than a blockbuster like Metroid Prime 3, which you might recall was relegated to a mere "viral" marketing campaign. We never imagined that games like Call of Duty 3 would come to us, but without a multiplayer component of any kind. Or that one of the biggest shooters of the decade, CoD4, would skip us entirely, and look to not miss us much. We never imagined the avalanche of PS2 ports, PSP ports, and flat-out refuse (can you say Cruisn' Wii?) that we'd be buried under, even while the Wii is the world leader in install base. We never imagined that developers would sneer at us as if we only (or ever) played cheap party games or weren't interested in buying quality games.

Now, you've gotten our hopes up. Not just because you're promising a quality game to satiate those of us who ran up a last gen game like Resident Evil 4 into the millions, or who bought Red Steel in droves not by accident, but to encourage progress in the genre. No, because you talk like us. By every measure, you are gamers who have the same hopes and aspirations for Wii that we do. Honestly, we would have fallen in love if you had simply not sneered and made a 2 Gamecubes duct-taped together joke, but you took it a lot farther than that.

You built us an graphics engine that acknowledged that while graphics aren't everything, they aren't nothing either. You looked at what the Wii is really capable of instead of browsing the 360 fanboy forums and dismissing it out of hand as a kiddie system. You looked at, and used the Wiimote, and thought as we did, How is this not an incredible system for FPS?

You're one of us, and that's very appealing. You're now building goodwill with gamers like myself that could last a very long time, but we have one looming concern. We're not certain you understand just how poisonous a "feature" like Friend Codes could be to a game like The Conduit. In a recent interview with that videogame blog, you cited Mario Kart as an example ironing out the Wii's online issues, and failed to promise to fight against Friend Code inclusion with all your might. If you really are one of us, and if you really understand what core gaming is, that is a promise you must make.

I'm a part of a clan community, and we have enjoyed our time with Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 (MoHH2). Still we're eager for new games like The Conduit. And we don't want those games to make clanning on Wii even harder. We want them to make it easier and more functional. It shouldn't have to be this hard to run clan gaming. There are lots of internal issues that clans have to deal with, and they shouldn't have to wrestle with a game to make a decent competitive online match work. Yet despite Mario Kart's (or Brawl's) overwhelming sales advantage over a little PSP port like MoHH2, the MoHH2 clan community has been far more active and vibrant than similar efforts with first party games. Why? Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 has rationale lobby system with no Friend Codes.

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People can create a server, password protect it to a previously agreed upon password, clan members can join, and then can vote to restart the game and get the competition going. Additional features like custom text messaging and voice chat would improve on this system further. Friend code based connectivity could cripple it.

Now with the right amount of advertising money, The Conduit doesn't need to court gamers like myself. You could profit without me. But you say you're building a brand, and every interview you give plays to gamers just like myself. WiiHD won't argue with your business sense. In the long term, the goodwill of core Wii gamers could be a very potent asset for a company like yourself. Keep building that brand, keep thinking the way we think as gamers, and fight the good fight against Friend Codes.

When The Conduit enters the scene next year, I want it to be superior to MoHH2 in every single way, because while it filled a gap, it cannot be called a great game. It would be tragic if The Conduit succeeded on so many fronts, but failed on connectivity. WiiHD has come to trust your sense on many issues as more and more has come out about The Conduit and as your WiiWare titles are introduced. We look forward to congratulating you on this issue soon.

Godspeed High Voltage. You carry the hopes of millions of Wii gamers with you.


Please feel free to repost this Open Letter in full anywhere, but please credit and link back to WiiHD.

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