When Star Fox 64 3D was released a few weeks ago, it was met with glowing reviews, as gamers and critics everywhere found very little to be unhappy with. The one major disappointment with the game however, was the lack of online multiplayer. Why did Nintendo decide to nix such a key feature?
In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine, Nintendo’s Yusuke Amano explained that online multiplayer wasn’t included was due to budgetary and time constraints.
He explained that they were on a tight schedule, needing to release the game near the 3DS’s launch window, as Star Fox 64 3D was meant to be something of a showpiece for Nintendo.
For this project what we needed to do was use Star Fox to provide users with a game that shows the appeal of Nintendo 3DS as quickly as possible. We put a lot of effort into the graphics, and if we had included online support then we couldn’t have reached this level in the time allowed.
Though, the bigger reason seems to involve the cost of establishing and running an online multiplayer system for the game. Amano says that when he played other games, mainly online shooters, he noted that “the popular online games work in lots of things, so they play well online – and if we wanted to satisfy everyone who bought the game, the costs required for including online support would be vast.”
Ultimately, it appears that the game’s online functionality was neutered for reasons familiar to many game developers: time and money.
Nonetheless, the absence of online capability was quite glaring, and no doubt disappointed more than a few fans, begging the question to be asked, are Amano’s excuses valid, or is it just Nintendo attempting to cover up laziness and frugality?