Yooka-Laylee Gets Release Date, Wii U Version Cancelled in Favor of Switch


Full Disclosure: I backed Yooka-Laylee on Kickstarter

After being delayed from this year, Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee finally has a release date. In a post on developer Playtonic Games’ website, the team finally revealed that the game is planned to be released for 40$ on April 11, 2017.

The developer thanked their backers and supporters for sticking with them the past year, saying:

With work on Yooka-Laylee almost complete, the details of our release plans can finally be etched in stone. There’s a lot to get through, but before we do: the Playtonic team would like to thank every backer and fan for your stellar support in 2016. Soon we’ll reward your noble dedication with a game that – hopefully – tickles you very, very much.

However, there is some bad news: the previously announced Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee has been cancelled in favor of a Switch port. Playtonic explained their decision, saying:

The Playtonic team is sad to confirm that despite our best efforts and exploring every possible avenue, we’ve encountered unforeseen technical issues that unfortunately mean it will be impossible for us to release the game on Wii U as initially planned. We can however confirm the exciting news that we are now working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. We’re looking forward to exploring the opportunity and will have more details to share early next year. We’d like to apologise to those affected by this development and offer all Wii U backers the opportunity to move their pledge free-of-charge to any of the versions launching on April 11th (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac or Linux) or upgrade to the Nintendo Switch version when we announce further details in 2017.

The team also announced that pre-orders will get instant access to the previously backer-exclusive Toybox demo of the game. Playtonic also finished off by releasing a new trailer for the game, which you can watch above.

Update: Playtonic has announced they will be offering refunds to backers of the Wii U version who ask for one.

See more posts on nichegamer for Yooka-Laylee


Matthew Sigler

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Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  • Chensaw

    Good thing they made the jump out of a dead console.

  • totenglocke

    Jesus, this game is still in development? Hasn’t it been like six years now?

  • Mr0303

    They honestly should have the “money back” option for Wii U backers. It’s a pretty crap strategy to bait people with their platform of choice only to remove it much later. Unfortunately this is now a standard Kickstarter practice. People never learn.

  • NathanEH

    That’s a shame for anyone who backed specifically for Wii U. Those backers should have the option for a refund. As someone who didn’t back the project, and will never do so for any project again thanks to Mighty No. 9, I’m more excited to play it on Switch anyway.

  • Lucky

    Smart move, but also a dick move.

  • Captain Vidya

    It’s been, like, two. At least since we’ve known about it beyond “they want to make a Banjo successor.”

  • Matthew Sigler

    It’s only been about two years.

  • Matthew Sigler

    Their Wii U FAQ said they’d give refunds if you asked, I’ll update the article real quick

  • Pooh Hardy

    Who cares for wii u?

  • totenglocke

    I just looked it up, you’re right. Weird, I swear it was around 2010 or 2011 that I first heard of it. Maybe that was just the initial talk about wanting to make a spiritual successor.

  • Didney Worl

    Not surprised that the Wii U version got cancelled. At this point, the Wii U is a sinking ship and everybody’s trying to get out as quickly as possible. The same thing happened with Stardew Valley. Still, at least Playtonic is offering refunds to Wii U backers.

  • Random Dude

    Can’t help but feel bad for WiiU. It’s like that middle brother that tries it damned best to please everyone but no one likes him and ditch it in favor of it’s younger, hipper brother.

  • AR7777

    Feels bad for WiiU users but it was to be expected.
    Also another lesson to never support kickstarter ever no matter how promising the project is.
    I’ll be getting this on PS4 at some point though

  • I agree but think backers should be making informed choices and think about the lifespan of their system over a promise or stretch goal for a platform which hasn’t been fully accounted for.

    There is no way that I could foresee so many delays and mishaps for MN9 for example – I wanted it on 3DS – but the Wii U (aside from the suggestion of Amiibo for Yooka Laylee) has looked pretty unlikely to get this given a standard development schedule.

    As much as I’d like a store experience from Kickstarter, it rarely happens even if they try to convey that.

  • sanic

    “all Wii U backers have the opportunity to move their pledge free-of-charge”

    Wow they’re not charging people to change their pledge that’s so damn generous.

  • NuclearKangaroo

    awww WiiU, the little console that couldnt

  • scemar

    PLEASE BE GOOD OH GOD

  • InfectedAI

    That’s not remotely generous, it’s the bare minimum of what they should do. Generous would be refunds for those who aren’t getting what they paid for.

  • InfectedAI

    They’re not offering refunds. They’re offering to give them the game on a different platform.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    That was probably it.

  • NuclearKangaroo

    im inclined to agree with you, but part of the blame also rests on nintendo, they dropped the ball hard with the WiiU

  • NuclearKangaroo

    i think he was being sarcastic, obviously if they didnt give you the option youd get no game

  • NuclearKangaroo

    its kind of silly to argue you should never support kickstarter and yet you reap the benefits from it

    if nobody supported kickstarter you wouldnt be getting the game for your PS4

    the thing is, people should be aware of the risks for this kind of shit, altough admitedly, maybe some of us didnt expect the WiiU to fall off the face of the earth this quickly

  • sanic

    GENEROUS

  • Mr0303

    It’s not about the Wii U – it’s about the principle.

  • Mr0303

    That may be true, but if the Kickstarter campaign promised a Wii U version then they should either deliver or refund the people who donated. Plus when they announced the Kickstarter it was clear that the Wii U won’t get any more popular.

  • Mr0303

    Well this is an issue with Kickstarter. Developers can do whatever they want and backers have absolutely no say about it. If they were contractually obligated to deliver all versions they promised it would be a different matter, but this is obviously not the case.

  • Tyrone Jackson

    Shit, Nintendo themselves should have a fucking “money back” option for Wii U buyers.

  • It would be nice to see, but it is pretty hard for them to have a handle on a world of projects (especially video games which haven’t started much work – Yooka Laylee was further along than most major projects but still) when they only seem able to host a platform for money and comments to be exchanged.

    I imagine that they would like to increase trust in Kickstarter projects but they aren’t willing to filter stuff unless it is 18+ (nonsense) or clashes with copyright law (makes sense). Those are easy enough for a child to figure out, while chasing and forcing a developer (say the Yogsadventure game) to deliver when it is probably going to be lazily done impossible due to legitimate hardware issues. Hmm.

    Another crowdfunding platform would have to take their place on video games specifically and vet out those who use the platform so they are forced to pay back consumers and all. The only reason to refund folks as it stands is if you aren’t going to disappear off the face of the earth but actually want to have a half-decent reputation. Presumably why Mighty No 9 is still trying to release all of the platforms though I’ll be the only one to cry when the Vita + 3DS versions get cancelled.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    “Free of charge” to.

  • WB1c_Marathon

    Well frankly what is the lifespan of a console anymore, and how long did the 7th gen last? How do you make an “informed decision” when you have a smash like the Wii then a dud like the U, perhaps the Wii U backers may have thought their system would have gotten a second wind ala the PS3, and how exactly does one make an “informed decison” when a majority of outlets are biased in favor of deep pockets and social cred.

  • WB1c_Marathon

    Console gens fluctuate wildly and now have upgrades in between, consoles have gotten a second wind before, and the media is terrible, how does one even make, an informed choice anymore? They should offer a refund to Wii U backers, that’s the biggest bullshit I see about it.

  • This is true. They could have at least done something akin to the 3DS ambassador program.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    “we’ve encountered unforeseen technical issues”
    The WiiU technically didn’t sell well.

  • NuclearKangaroo

    thats why i said im inclined

    i can say that the option to change your pledge should be given alongside a refund option, even a partial refund, since i can understand some of the money mustve already been committed to the development process

  • Mr0303

    Yeah, those options should be there. People gave them money to develop the game for the Wii U and they spent no money towards that.

  • Mr0303

    If it was up to me I would rather this whole crowdfunding trend die. It is too exploitable, but as long as people a gullible enough to do something above a preorder, the market will support that practice.

  • Donwel

    Well as long as they’re offering refunds. Still sucks for Wii U owners who backed it and thought they’d get a game at the end of it though.

  • DrearierSpider

    Cancelling the Wii U version is actually doing those fans a service: massive game droughts are the biggest exclusive that system has.

  • Richard

    I think if you crowd fund, you should have to put up at least 30% of the goal, with your own money. If you’re not willing to risk your own money, why should I.

  • Travis Touchdown

    I buy new games every week.

    Nice try, though.

  • Travis Touchdown

    After the Switch launches?

    That explains it.

  • gwadahunter2222

    They should ask the Wii U backers first before to take any decision because they funded the game. Making a switch port should be done after the game released or funded by Nintendo not with their money because it’s something which was not planned at the initial stage of the project.

    This kind of move is ok when you deal with publishers but not with crowdfunding.

  • NuclearKangaroo

    not an unreasonable stance

  • le master trole

    what’s up with the influx of literal autists lately…

  • Casey

    I partially agree with you. The only reason I can’t go all the way is for bayonetta 2, wonderful 101, and mario 3d world.

  • Well they are giving refunds to the few Wii U owners and allowing them to switch the platform so what is the issue? You should be blaming Nintendo for making the Wii U so unfriendly to game devs.

  • They can still get the game but on more superior platforms.

  • That is one reason. Another is porting to the switch is more easier and profitable than the Wii U.

  • Good we need more devs to cancel their wii u games and move them to the switch.

  • They are refunding though…

  • gwadahunter2222

    I didn’t read the update about the refunds.

    I reached to the point blaming Nintendo for the Wii U failure it’s like beating a dead horse.

  • RetroGamer

    I understand why they moved over to the switch since the Wii U is more-or-less a dead system. However, you’re correct about the money back option. There may be people who chose the wii u option because that’s the only console they had; and if they don’t intend to buy a switch soon, they’re getting screwed.

  • RetroGamer

    I wonder if they’ll let backers switch their version of choice. I initially chose the PS4 one, but do like the idea of having the switch version on a cartridge.

  • InfectedAI

    Does it say that elsewhere? It doesn’t here.

  • InfectedAI

    Sometimes intent is hard to tell over text.

  • InfectedAI

    SO GENEROUS. On a more serious note, with all these Wii U ports getting canceled I wonder if anyone will attempt to set a legal precedent with crowdfunding regarding refunds for undelivered goods. Technically lots of people aren’t getting what they paid for, is there grounds here for legal action?

  • It says it in the article.

  • Snorlaxation

    Well, now they are apparently offering refunds.

  • Mr0303

    Good on them, if that’s the case. That’s the responsible thing to do.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    While I agree, whatever the case may be they are offering one now.

    I don’t think its fair to accuse them of baiting people though. Sure the Wii U definitely wasn’t gaining popularity, but did they have any reason to suspect Nintendo would drop support so soon when they initially promised it? As secretive as Nintendo is I wouldn’t think so.

  • Mr0303

    Baiting people may not have been their intention, but the end result is the same. They made the Wii U one of their target platforms and even stated that they are Nintendo fans at heart and subsequently dropped it.

    While Nintendo fucks up a lot this is not their fault.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Who said anything about it being Nintendo’s fault? The only way they would be at fault is if there were some sort of inside deal, which I doubt.

    Its not baiting if its unintentional, regardless of the end result. Baiting is a planned tactic. Could they have been more upfront? Absolutely, if anything that’s what they’re guilty of. Why wait this long to cancel?

    “Technical issues” may seem like a poor excuse, but it seems odd to hold off on announcing it. Grain of truth to it or not, there’s no reason to wait unless they couldn’t give any details yet.

    Maybe Nintendo requested they wait until after the official Switch reveal? They had to know they were canceling it.

  • Mr0303

    You said “did they have any reason to suspect Nintendo would drop support so soon”, implying that somehow Nintendo may be part of the reason they are dropping the Wii U. Nintendo revealing the Switch sooner than expected doesn’t in any way change the fact that they listed the Wii U as one of the platforms of choice on their Kickstarter.

    The thing is, that we don’t know their intentions and can only speculate. Some developers may be dishonest and may not intend to support all the platforms they listed on the Kickstarter from the get go. Others may not know the technical challenges and aren’t competent enough to optimise for all the platforms. The reason may also be a business decision – that they won’t profit as much from platform X, so they decide to drop it, which is just as dishonest as deceiving the backers choosing that platform in the first place.

  • InfectedAI

    That was added as an update. It even says so in the article. That wasn’t there when I wrote my comment.

  • Tyrone Jackson

    Damn, you must need a wheelbarrow to haul all those games home.

    http://www.ign.com/games/upcoming/wii-u?sortBy=releaseDate&sortOrder=asc&filter=latest

  • Matthew Sigler

    Maybe? If they weren’t giving refunds I’d say there probably would be some precedent.

  • What developers are left, exactly? There’s not much coming to the Wii U. The only notable third party releases that seem like they still might release are Hex Heroes, Earthlock, and Darksiders Remastered. I’m sure that Bloodstained will officially cancel it’s Wii U port in the near future along with any stranglers that haven’t bothered to yet.

    As for the sentiment, you may be happy that devs are consolidating resources but, at least when it comes to Kickstarted games, I think it’s a dick move to back off on a stretch goal. I get it, Kickstarter is an investment not a guarantee, but there’s a reason that some of us backed games with Wii U stretch goals and it wasn’t so that the games could be made for systems that were already getting plenty of support. I understand it from a business angle, the Wii U is dead in the water and that’s Nintendo’s fault, but it’s definitely shown that I was naive in thinking that most devs would honor their Kickstarter stretch goals.

  • Let’s not forget the part where the Wii U’s parent starved it to death.