Playtonic has announced that the Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee has been canceled due to “unforeseen technical issues,” and may instead be released on the Nintendo Switch.
Although the title will still launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on April 11, 2017, this cancellation forces Kickstarter backers who chose the Wii U version to either switch platforms, ask for a refund, or await further news on the potential Switch port.
Considering that Yooka-Laylee is, in many ways, a spiritual successor to classic Nintendo platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie, this news will be a blow to those who were excited to play an old-school 3D platformer on the latest generation of Nintendo hardware. Thankfully, those particular players may still have a Switch version to look forward to.
Playtonic apologized for the cancellation, with studio director Gavin Price telling Eurogamer that the team were unable to make the title work on the Wii U, despite “exploring every possible avenue” in the attempt to do so.
Despite this latest update, the title remains available for pre-order on the other platforms at the price of $40, an increase compared to that available to those who backed the game during its Kickstarter campaign. Anyone who pre-orders the game now will receive the Toybox demo that was previously available exclusively to Kickstarter backers.
Among the developers of Yooka-Laylee are several former members of Rare, including some of the key designers behind the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. That influence is keenly felt in both the gameplay and the vibrant child-like aesthetic that harks back to the platformers of yore. Like its genre forebears, Yooka-Laylee will follow the adventures of the eponymous duo as they work to overcome a sinister threat, with its humor aimed at both children and adults. More details on the story and gameplay were released earlier this year.
News of the Switch version is expected to arrive in January 2017, giving Nintendo backers plenty of time to consider their next move. In the meantime, a new trailer has been released, showcasing a previously unseen late-game level.