3DS Games: Forgotten Promises?

A deeper look into the third-party game promises for 3DS from E3 2010.

By Evan Campbell. Posted 06/22/2011 14:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

The 3D effect wasn’t the only aspect that wowed gamers about Nintendo 3DS at E3 2010. Audiences were amazed at the promise of high-profile, third-party franchises coming to the recently released handheld. Assassin’s Creed? Check. Saint’s Row? You got it. And that was just the start, as Nintendo listed many others like Contra and Batman.

But at E3 2011, Nintendo failed to show many, if any, of the third-party games it promised just a year earlier. Instead, the company brought out the first-party big guns, with Mario and Star Fox and Kid Icarus. The only thing mentioned about third-party games was a short sizzle reel, which failed to update us on many of the promised franchises.

As such, here are updates on many of the titles promised in 2010 for Nintendo 3DS:

Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy

There has not been a peep about this game since it was revealed at E3 2010. Ubisoft described the story in an official press release: Ezio Auditore (the protagonist of the second game) will be searching for the origins of his Order and looking for “Masyaf, the ancient seat of the Assassins.”

A new Assassin’s Creed game for home consoles has been announced since the reveal of Lost Legacy, called Revelations. This new game weirdly shares similar plot setups with the 3DS title, as Ezio is searching for seals to allow him to travel to Masyaf.

The outlook is a bit troubling, though there have been two Nintendo DS games in the franchise — Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles and Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery. An Ubisoft spokesperson did not respond when questioned about the game, so the future of the franchise on 3DS seems a bit hazy. That said, with Ubisoft promising a Wii U version of Assassin’s Creed, it would make a lot of sense for a 3DS version to complement it.

Who doesn’t need a Batman fix before Nolan’s next film?


Batman and Assassin’s Creed for 3DS seem to share a lot in common. Nothing has been elaborated on in regard to Batman 3DS. Sadly, no update on the title was given upon asking a spokesperson at Warner Bros., either.

Unlike Batman: Arkham Asylum, more family friendly fun was found with Caped Crusader on Nintendo DS over the years. LEGO Batman made an appearance, as well as the stylish Batman: The Brave and The Bold from WayForward.

The darker Batman: Arkham City was announced for Wii U at E3 this year, so keep those finders crossed that something in the same universe will arrive for 3DS.

BloodRayne: The Shroud

BloodRayne is officially on hold, according to Majesco as reported by Shacknews. A new PSN/XBLA BloodRayne title has been announced, and on the game’s official Facebook page, Majesco let franchise fans know that “the 3DS title is currently on hold.”

Game development being paused is not promising, but keep in mind Wayforward (with a history of strong Nintendo support) is developing the new downloadable title called BloodRayne Betrayal. As such, maybe there’s a possibility of Betrayal making its way to 3DS as a port?

It’s just that a 3D Blob is the closest we’ll get to getting one of our own.

A Boy and his Blob

There’s even worse news for Majesco’s other big franchise announced for 3DS — A Boy and his Blob. According to Eurogamer, a WayForward spokesperson told the gaming website last year that the “Blob announcement at E3 (2010) was incorrect. We’re (WayForward) not developing Blob for any systems currently.”

Needless to say, don’t expect to see any heartwarming blob hugs in 3D anytime soon.


Finally, some good news: Contra is still in the works. A Konami spokesperson said that no new updates are available at this time, but more information will be coming down the pipeline.

Konami did tease a new Contra installment during its pre-E3 press conference, so possibly the 3DS version is related. It’s important to note that the last mainline update for the franchise was Contra 4, exclusive to Nintendo DS.

DJ Hero 3D

The music appears to have stopped before it even began on 3DS. The DJ Hero business unit was disbanded earlier this year, and though the game was never officially cancelled, there’s no reason to keep your hopes up.

“Given the considerable licensing and manufacturing costs associated with this genre, we simply cannot make these games profitably based on current economics and demand,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in an earnings call earlier this year.

Developer Vicarious Visions was working on this handheld edition of the music franchise, but no news has come out of the studio in regard to what it may be working on next for 3DS. Vicarious Visions is a prominent third-party developer for Nintendo platforms.

Final Fantasy

Like most of the games on this list, no further details have been divulged about a Final Fantasy game for 3DS. But, unlike the other games, it’s practically a guarantee gamers will see a Final Fantasy title on the system sooner than later. Square Enix released a smorgasbord of FF offerings for DS — like remakes of III and IV, a sequel spinoff in Revenant Wings, and a Crystal Chronicles adventure (plus more) — and 3DS will likely see its fair share of the franchise in the years to come.

Ninja Gaiden

Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden 3DS game appears to be moving along (somewhat slowly), according to the developer’s head Yosuke Hayashi.

Hayashi talked to Siliconera about how the team’s experience with Dead or Alive Dimensions is helping in the creation of Ninja Gaiden. “One thing we felt when making Dimensions is that players view and treat console and portable games completely differently. This is something that needs to be reflected in the game design as well,” said Hayashi.

“In fact, we are discussing daily about the way to make a 3D action game such as Ninja Gaiden into something that would be appropriate for a portable game system,” Hayashi elaborated. “When we get this answer just right, we will show it to all of you, so stay tuned.”

Things sound very promising in regard to Ninja Gaiden arriving in 3D for Nintendo’s handheld. Also keep in mind Team Ninja has become a somewhat prominent third-party developer for Nintendo lately, especially after the two company’s collaboration with Metroid: Other M.

It’s because of G’s like these that caused THQ to shut the game down.

Saint’s Row: Drive-By

This THQ franchise was dead before it was born and sounds somewhat similar to the situation with A boy and his blob for 3DS. In an interview with GameSpot, Danny Bilson, THQ executive president of core games, claimed the game was never even officially in development for Nintendo’s handheld.

“No, we talked about doing a Saints Row 3DS game, but we never started it,” Bilson told GameSpot at E3 this year. “We have a couple of other things in development on the 3DS, but we wound up not starting that and starting a couple of other brands instead. There was no drama in any of that, honestly.”

As you can see, there are plenty of broken promises from Nintendo’s original third-party 3DS games list from E3 2010. And while most new consoles do hype up audiences with hefty lists of promised games that may not come to fruition, the failure rate so far for 3DS is downright depressing. Add in a first-party heavy focus at E3 2011 from Nintendo, and questions start to mount about the support for 3DS, especially in regard to the near future.

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