Minecraft has basically released for every major platform except for Nintendo's platforms. A lot of gamers felt as if the game would be a perfect fit for the Wii U or even the 3DS, but the game has never appeared on either of Nintendo's current offerings. The reason? It may have something to do with the install base and the update process.
Softpedia caught wind of comments from 4J Studios' Daniel Kaplan, as he was interviewed by TotalXbox. According to Kaplan...
It's mostly about platforms that make sense,"... "We didn't anticipate the mobile version to be that big compared to the PC, and it's the same for consoles. People always compare it to the PC, which is supposed to be like the big original version where you get all the cool features first."
It's true that the game seems to be selling big almost everywhere. I imagine the PC sales may have slowed down since most people on the platform who were interested in the game have played it at some point since it's release.
Then again, may that's not entirely true given that the game isn't available on Steam. Back in 2011 it was made known by Marcus “Notch” Perrsson, the head developer of Minecraft at the time, that putting the game on Steam would limit them given some of the rules and restrictions Valve have setup regarding DLC and the 30% distribution cut that the company gets from games sold on Steam.
Nevertheless, even without the biggest digital software platform backing them, Mojang and 4J Studios have done quite all right selling Minecraft.
The next step is getting the game on the PS4 and Xbox One, in which one version was delayed and one version has been completed. Kaplan stated that...
"With the release of PS4 and Xbox One I think we have fulfilled most of the needs for now. There aren't many platforms left to release on. We'll see, whatever makes sense and if the platform has the user base for it. We won't release on the platform is the base is very small because it's much too big of an effort."
It's interesting he makes that statement about the “the base is very small” when the PS Vita has had a very hard time moving units at all, and Linux is another platform that's not expected to get a massive audience until the SteamOS officially releases to the public.
In addition to this, the Wii U is still outpacing the Xbox One in total install base by more than a million units, and it has a very high attachment rate for various indies, with games like Mutant Mudd Deluxe and Shovel Knight selling quite well (or even better than the other systems) on the Wii U.
As noted by David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games in an interview with SheAttack...
“You [might] think the Wii U install base is small, but in actuality, it has a very high game attach rate, so it might surpass the sales you’d see on another system,”
A lot of gamers have been asking for a Minecraft port on the Wii U, and it would only make sense given the way the game is and how the GamePad could easily coincide with the building structure of the title.
But sadly, so far there have been no announcements or efforts to bring the game to Nintendo's platform.
Nevertheless, Kaplan churned up one other reason why it may not make it to the Wii U, saying...
"The whole point of Minecraft is that you get updates all the time. If you release somewhere you want to make sure that we will be updating rather than, 'Oh yeah, we only sold 1000 copies on that platform so let's kill it off'. That's not the way Minecraft has been developed."
I tend to doubt that it would only sell 1,000 copies. However, the updating process (and depending on the pipeline to feed updates to the base game) could pose a problem depending on how Nintendo has it setup. Then again, the Big 'N' may be historically stiff in changing some practices but they've shown they can be flexible where it counts. Mario Kart 8 DLC anyone?