Jan 14th, 2013

It’s no secret that Nintendo has been doing a great job of catering to indie developers in order to woo them to the Wii U platform. That’s why the eShop launched with titles like Little Inferno, Trine 2: Director’s Cut, and Chasing Aurora. There’s still quite the line-up on the way for the eShop and one of the biggest titles headed our way is Zen Pinball 2 from Zen Studios. The developers had originally planned for the game to be launched in December, but delays have pushed the release to sometime this year.

In an interview with Nintendo Life, Zen Studios developer Mel Kirk sat down to have a chat about development for both the 3DS and the Wii U and the future the studio has with both of Nintendo’s properties. When asked specifically about the Wii U side of development, Kirk had some interesting things to say.

We knew Zen Pinball 2 had to be on the Wii U from day one. There was no question that we would support the system, it was just a matter of finding the bandwidth to get the game ready.

It’s always great to see developers so enthusiastic about their releases, but as we know developing for a new system isn’t always as easy as some hope. In discussing the challenges of certification and support from Nintendo, Kirk spoke candidly:

 It was a pretty natural progression to go from 3DS development to Wii U. We have a great relationship with Nintendo on all levels, so I think both parties just assumed that we would work together to bring Zen Pinball 2 to the new system. Of course, once the project was confirmed, both Zen and Nintendo were really happy.

When asked about the recent delay, Kirk was also upfront about the causes:

There are always a variety of reasons for game delays. This time around I think we can chalk it up to the fact that it is a new system and there is always a learning curve. Also, Zen Pinball 2 is a very complex game and any time you release a free game download with lots of in-app content it is going to be quite tricky. This implementation is taking just a little longer than first expected, but we are very close to completion.

It’s great to see indie developers getting the support they need from Nintendo to make their releases the best they can be. Zen Pinball 2 will be available sometime this January as a free download from the Nintendo eShop. Users will be able to purchase premium tables to play, making Zen Pinball 2 the premiere experience for pinball on the Wii U.


local_offer    Nintendo  wii u  Zen Pinball 2  Zen Studios  
  • sharlo galmo

    sweet can’t wait!!

  • Srpg2ishere

    A pinball game for Wii U sounds awesome. Lol. Wii U is a game system and kinda like a dvd player (netflix, hulu) and kinda like a pc. XD

    • Ness Troll

      Last time I checked, PC has fast loading times. LOL

      • Captain Falcon
      • Johny

        1: hmm… my pc takes about 10 minutes to load a game.. no kidding….pc is not a console jerk….you cant say “pc has fast loading times”…. pc’s are very different from one another

        2: there’s no way to actually see how fast pc would load the SAME software from the SAME OS as the Wii U is there ?….
        3: nintendo is actually working on a patch to further improve loading times, as they already did so in the last one very noticably
        4: yeah.. i think its VERY safe to say that your argument is invalid

        • Kaleb Taylor

          Your PC must be slow my games boot up in 2 seconds.

          • Kuzon

            I can load into a game of Chivalry in like 7 seconds from my desktop, faster than it takes to boot into the main menu of my Wii U. Just saying.

            The Unreal Engine has really awesome load times. Maps and models load instantly.

          • Nick Kulakovskiy

            Uhm, Unreal is actually one of the worst engines. Because of its fast loading, all the textures and details aren’t loaded and the Unreal Engine 3 had FPS problems. It’s a good engine for Free online games.

            What he meant is, a PC can be modified that’s why PCs shouldn’t be compared to Wii U at all. I don’t see why everyone raged at a comment which, myself, I found quite funny because it’s true. I love Nintendo but the loading times for apps on it are ridiculous. Hope they fix it with updates. Which they already announced.

          • Kuzon

            That doesn’t make it a bad engine. the only people with FPS problems on Unreal are people who can’t run the Source engine at a good frame rate.

          • Nick Kulakovskiy

            You obviously don’t know about Unreal Engine 3 and AMY. The Consoles that Amy was made for don’t run it good at all, with the framerate decreasing to the point where it hits 10 fps. I have UE3 problems on my PC, and my PC can run Crysis at its max at 60 fps. Riddle me that.

          • Jay

            If you REALLY want to compare the loading speeds of Wii U and your computer, then why don’t you tell us how long it takes for your computer to power on, log in, fully load windows and then start your game, and compare it to how long it takes the Wii U to power up, log in, start the OS and start a game.  I guarantee the Wii U will win every time.

          • Bonez Grenz

            build me a pc for 300 dollars that boots games in 2 seconds…. ill wait..

            in all fairness though, pc graphics are superior,,

          • Kuzon

            I’d say that this desktop is better than my current desktop which loads everything fine and quick


            It used to cost $340 when I put the build together.

          • Jay

            If you REALLY want to compare the loading speeds of Wii U and your computer, then why don’t you tell us how long it takes for your computer to power on, log in, fully load windows and then start your game, and compare it to how long it takes the Wii U to power up, log in, start the OS and start a game.  I guarantee the Wii U will win every time.

          • Kuzon

            I already tested this. First off, my computer has a slow dying hard drive so it loads slower than usual. 

            Comparing a consumer OS to an embedded OS boot time is stupid.

            These times are boot, Steam launching, game starting, and going INTO a multiplayer game fully loaded.

            Windows from boot to in a Chivalry game is 2 minutes 40 seconds.Ubuntu from boot into TF2 game is around 2 and 20 seconds. TF2 is a slow loading game, even on Ubuntu.

            Wii U, from boot to multiplayer Call of Duty, it takes 1 minute and 50 seconds to get to the Call of Duty multiplayer match finding menu.

            The fact that I’m not in a game yet, only on a multiplayer menu, on an embedded OS a similar time as loading Linux and loading a slow loading time game like TF2 says something. and my computer has a very slow loading hard drive.

            Boot times for Windows is 1 minute and 40 seconds. Ubuntu is 25 seconds. Wii U boot time is something like 30-35 seconds from boot to any user’s main menu.

          • Elem187

            PC graphics are far superior to anything Sony could ever release. Nintendo at least has a hook of innovating gameplay and having the best IP’s under the sun.

            Sony’s biggest selling point is moot because a PC looks better, runs faster, higher framerate, higher resolution, for less money. The PS4 will be a joke compared to a PC gaming rig.

          • Kaleb Taylor

            I would but no.

          • Bonez Grenz

            you cant, if you can, ill buy it, and send you an extra 100 for hooking me up, must be able to play current gen games, and of course, boot them in 2 seconds, we aren’t talking pong here, like I said previously, I’ll wait.

      •  Another sony fanboy..they never learn

        • Captain Falcon

          Wouldn’t quite jump to conclusions and say he’s a Sony fanboy. His name is “Ness Troll”. 😉

        • TheLast

          He doesn’t have to be a Sony fanboy to be a troll, though PS enthusiasts do have a long history of hatred for Ninten-fans so… >_>

          EDIT: DOESN’T!!

          • me

             your stupid i am a long time playstation fan but also like nintendo this is just a xboxfan blaming playstation and nintendo
            for having no good exclusivs

          • TheLast

            I apologize, I mean’t “doesn’t”. I don’t hate on any of the consoles or fans; it’s a shame I lost my crediblity from a mistake like that. Sorry for the confusion.

        • HSN1

          He actually has got a point, take it as a joke guys

  • Johny

    wow… very nice.. every free software is VERY welcome =)

  • Kirbyomega

    😀 If it’s free I’ll get if foh shuh!

  • uPadWatcher

    Once I get the Wii U out of layaway, I’m getting Zen Pinball 2.  Perfect for me to fatten up my debit card and buy tables for its title.

  • Jeffery02

    Wait… A free game to download that’s NOT a demo? I’m sold already! This actually seems pretty smart for a game like Zen Pinball. Each Add-On can feel like a new game offering a different experience but you don’t need to get them in order to just have fun. I can see a lot of people buying DLC for it without even giving a second thought just because they already have the game. I don’t see anyone really thinking to themselves “Is it worth it to buy a new game” since it’s for something that you’ll already have. Essentially I’m just saying that it’ll probably be easier for people to part ways with money for DLC as opposed to a whole new game.

  • Jeffrey Debris

    I can’t wait to play that Plants Vs Zombies table! This will be a day 1 purchase for me 😀

  • Bravyoura

    Uhhh! Sony and Microsoft could release the first details of their new consoles as early as March wii needed to have a steady stream of big titles to sell consoles throughout 2013 and it’s just not happening the release schedule is none existant, their’s been little to no advertising, alot of shops don’t even stock wii u titles (still selling wii titles), big developers are ignoring U while our good friends Ubisoft are still to lazy patched the rushed for launch Zombi U.

    I can’t take another gen of sparse exclusives, shovelware and a console thats a gen behind it isn’t good enough anymore.

    • Gabe Hoffman

      Please leave troll

      • Bravyoura

        Yeah! how dare I have an opinion on a console bundle I spent over £400 on and a game I spent over 18 hours completing, LOSER:P

    • Elem187

      LOL, its a Nintendo, it will sell fine…. If I was a Sony fanboi, I would be more worried that its going to be hard to sell $700 consoles in Obama’s economic depression.

  • Ford Crews

    Wish they had made the game pad where it was more easily held in a vertical orientation,  and with some buttons that could be easily used for fire and flippers.  There are lots of times vertical displays just work better even if much smaller.  Had the pad been vertical, your tv would have been horizontal. When a game needed to emphasize vertical, it would have been so cool to have it auto move to the gamepad.

  • ohhh i can’t wait it will be my next wii u game considering i can’t have trine 2 yet