The announcement from Capcom yesterday that development of Mega Man Legends 3 has been discontinued marks the latest in a series of canceled third-party projects for Nintendo 3DS, putting the future of the recently-launched handheld console in jeopardy.
Although 3DS owners can count on Nintendo's full support for the console, support from outside developers is waning. It could be argued that games from the likes of Capcom or Konami are not crucial alongside first party games like the recently-released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D or the upcoming Super Mario 3DS, or that major franchise installations like Final Fantasy or Assassin's Creed add little next to games in the Mario or Zelda series. However, the many cancellations are cause for alarm to some, especially when developers are citing concern over whether or not 3DS will succeed as the reason for delaying or canceling games, as Sega has done with Shinobi and CRUSH3D, delaying both titles several months1.
After a disappointing launch2, hardware sales have remained sluggish. However, a Gamasutra analysis shows that slow sales may be the result of direct competition with the Nintendo DSi, the predecessor to 3DS, which is still selling and developers are still making games for. The report concludes, "third parties have certainly begun shifting development over to the 3DS from the DS, and we expect that the DS will be surviving on limited shovelware and licensed titles by the beginning of 2012. Once the DS becomes a less attractive platform, Nintendo consumers will likely move over to the 3DS, and that will accelerate once Nintendo drops the system's price to $200 sometime in February or March of next year."
Since 3DS launched about six months ago, the following games have been canceled3
- DJ Hero 2 (EA)
- DJ Hero 3 (EA)
- My Garden (EA)
- Saints Row: Drive-By (THQ)
- Omega Five (Hudson)
- Kororinpa: Marble Mania (Hudson)
- Bonk (Hudson)
- Bomberman (Hudson)
- BloodRayne: The Shroud (Majesco) (on hold)
- Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy (Ubisoft)