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Mega Man Legends 3 is the latest in a string of 3DS casualties

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)


  1. More Waiting for Nintendo 3DS Games As Sega Delays Two (Kotaku)

  2. Iwata Admits 3DS Sales Disappointment (Edge)

  3. What's with All the Cancelled 3DS Games? (Kotaku)

  • Posted by Matt
Sblogs / 2011 / July / 19

Poll Question: Do you think 3DS will fail?

  1. 20%1
  2. No Votes
  3. 60%3
  4. 20%1
5 Votes

Mega Man Legends 3 is the latest in a string of 3DS casualties

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  2. @Matt I bought a Nintendo DS Lite recently, but I fully intended to trade up in a year or two provided I enjoyed the experience (it's my first handheld). So far it's going great. I really like what I've read about the 3DS and how it felt trying it out in the store, so I am at this point fully expect to make the switch. I would be quite disappointed if it were not there anymore.

    • Reply
  3. @Matt let's not forget titles like Animal Crossing 3D, the new Pokemon title and Mario Kart 3DS. I anticipate that sales will pick up after these are all out.

    That said, I know a lot of older gamers are becoming ambivalent towards Nintendo - they rehash the same game worlds over and over and build consoles just to provide new tech for the same game franchises. I think this has worked well in the past, but I know a lot of people are growing tired of the Mario and Zelda formulas.

    Personally, Nintendo seem to be aiming at people who aren't me these days with their casual formula. I will have to re-play Twilight Princess, but there was something wrong with it...I think it was just too formulaic. More of the same stuff with no real improvement - a new control method (on the Wii) wasn't really what I was looking for. The gameplay was the same old staple stuff - nothing new graphics-wise either.

    We'll see how it all goes, but some are speculating that the portable consoles will all die out as casual gamers shift their attention to more accessible (financially) mobile phones and tablet devices.

    P.S: Also worth pointing out that Hudson Soft is a middle-ground company. Not a giant (say Konami), and also not an Indie company. It's been said being a middle-ground company in the gaming industry these days is extremely challenging (and hard to stay afloat).

    • Reply
  4. @Alex I don't know much about Animal Crossing or Mario Kart, but I bought my 3DS for Pikmin 3, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and crossing my fingers for a new Advance Wars. However, two of those games are from second parties (Sora, Intelligent Systems). Games like Super Mario Galaxy prove that Nintendo is still capable of thinking outside the box and making spectacular games, but most of the good Wii and DS games were from second- or third-parties. I'm thinking of Zack and Wiki, DKC Returns, Smash Bros, Wario Land Shake, Dragon Quest IX, Advance Wars, Ghost Trick, Professor Layton, et al.

    However, if Nintendo is getting lazy with the games it develops, can't we agree that they are still making the best game consoles in the world? DS was far and away the best handheld console ever, Wii was a revelation, Sony and Microsoft copy what Nintendo does, 3DS has the potential to be truly amazing, and Wii U could continue the trend (read this poorly written yet somehow informative and enlightening editorial from Kotaku: The Wii U Has One Big Problem, But Still May Be the Signature Gaming Console of Our Times).

    • Reply
  5. @Matt I'm not saying I'll be picking up Animal Crossing 3D, just pointing out the cash cows. Super Mario Galaxy is indeed awesome, but Twilight Princess (and apparently Metroid: Other M for some) wasn't so great. They need the same kind of creative injection into all their major franchises, not just Mario.

    The consoles yes are great - but if the actual games suck it's only a matter of time before people will stop buying them. We'll see what happens when the next lot of franchise titles come out and hopefully they don't suck!

    • Reply
  6. No Bomberman! God dammit Nintendo!

    • Reply
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    • Tue September 21, 2021
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