Wii

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Removed from Virtual Console 

by James Dawson - February 13, 2012, 4:49 pm PST
Total comments: 36 Source: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=3494833..., (NeoGAF)

The TMNT NES game has been removed from Wii's Virtual Console in all regions. UPDATE: The game was removed due to an expired license.

UPDATE: Konami PR has confirmed that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES was removed from the Wii's Virtual Console in all regions due to an expired license.

ORIGINAL STORY: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES is no longer available on Wii’s Virtual Console. The Konami-published 1989 platformer that was added to the Virtual Console in 2007 has been taken down form the service in all regions. Nonetheless, the game is still available for download by people who purchased the game prior to its removal.

No reason was given for the game’s removal. However, in June 2011, another TMNT title, the Ubisoft-published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, was removed from both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in North America due to an expired license. The same could be true for the NES title. Rights to the Turtles have changed hands a number of times, ending with Nickelodeon in 2009. No new TMNT games have been published since that year.

Talkback

llafferFebruary 09, 2012

Aww. I was actually thinking about buying that, after my conversation about the Turtles on my podcast last week.  Oh well.

TJ SpykeFebruary 09, 2012

I wish there was some warning, I would have bought the game just to have it in case I ever wanted too. I am sure others might have done that too.

Luigi DudeFebruary 09, 2012

It's such bullsh!t that only the first Turtles was released on the Virtual Console and we never got 2, 3 or Turtles in Time.  I'd kill to get the 3rd game on the Virtual Console since that's my favorite in the series and my NES cartridge for the game is broke.

God damnit I hate all this license bullsh!t.  So many great games that can't be rereleased because of corporate douchebags.  This is the number one reason we actually need piracy in gaming because piracy is the only thing that will allow future generations to play some of these great license based games.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

No matter who owns it, why the hell would you delete it? You aren't making money off something if you aren't selling it, so why wouldn't you want to be selling it?

I also want to say its bad enough the Wii's VC isn't getting new titles, but now even the titles it does have are disappearing.

Kytim89February 09, 2012

I wonder sometimes about the fututre of the Virtual Console.

xcwarriorFebruary 09, 2012

Would have been nice to have gotten any of the other 3 TMNT games on NES/SNES. You know, the good ones. Would have bought them already and been enjoying them.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorFebruary 09, 2012

Yeah, this is some kind of BS. In my opinion, games like this shouldn't be released on a digital delivery platform at all if the license can't be secured for the life of the platform.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

Quote from: Pale

Yeah, this is some kind of BS. In my opinion, games like this shouldn't be released on a digital delivery platform at all if the license can't be secured for the life of the platform.

To be fair, there are some who might argue the life of the Wii platform has indeed come to an end.

SorenFebruary 09, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

To be fair, there are some who might argue the life of the Wii platform has indeed come to an end.

Not if there are still games being released on it.

ejamerFebruary 09, 2012

Meh.  Hearing it's now unavailable makes me wish I had bought it or at least that they gave some kind of advance warning - but Wii Virtual Console is essentially dead at this point. There haven't been any games released in North America since... August 2011?  And in the past 8 months I think there have been 2 released in Europe. Rough sell if you are trying to say the service is alive and kicking.  This also isn't the first time that games have disappeared from the Virtual Console service for various reasons.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had been easily available at a reasonable price for years.  Anyone (myself included) who didn't make the effort to buy during that time must not care enough about the game or would rather play it through other means.  Complaining now seems kind of pointless*.


*Unless you did buy the game, and this news somehow prevents you from accessing/playing it. That would suck.

Luigi DudeFebruary 09, 2012

The reason we probably got the original game instead of the sequels is because the original never uses the theme song of the show in any way.  It's music copyrights that usually f*cks things up in releases of license based games and TV series by jacking up the price big time.


The first NES Turtles game used a completely original soundtrack while 2,3 and Turtles in Time all contained remixed versions of the shows theme song.  Since they didn't have to pay for any music rights in the original game, this probably made it's license much cheaper to get then 2, 3 and Turtles in Time.

AdrockFebruary 09, 2012

Couldn't they just take the tracks out and replace them with something else? It wouldn't be the same but I'd rather have the games without a slightly different soundtrack than none at all. I only played the first one sparingly (that Dorkly video is still funny even though I barely remember the game) but Turtles in Time was the bomb diggity. Didn't Nintendo make alterations to Wave Race 64? I'm sure it wouldn't have taken Konami long to replaces some tracks. They stand to make more money by releasing the games.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Chozo

To be fair, there are some who might argue the life of the Wii platform has indeed come to an end.

Not if there are still games being released on it.

So how many games have been released for the Virtual Console within the last 6 months?

AdrockFebruary 09, 2012

To be fair, he didn't specify Virtual Console games, just games in general.

ejamerFebruary 09, 2012

I wonder how many Virtual Console games have been released in Japan in the past 6 months? My count for all other regions combined is 3 games in the past six months, with 1 being almost exactly six months ago.  I'm willing to bet that Japan has seen more games released though.

A more interesting measure, although it's something we'll never know, is how many Virtual Console games have been sold in the past six months.  Even though I'm disappointed in the lack of content released, I haven't bought anything on Wii Virtual Console since ChronoTrigger came out. There are a handful of games that I'd still like but just can't seem to pull the trigger on - partly because I'm not keen on buying more virtual credits for a dying system.

Ian SaneFebruary 09, 2012

I'm at least glad to see that anyone who already bought it can re-download it.  I was concerned that someone could lose a game they purchased because of issues like this.  This is a big problem with download-only titles.  At least with physical media if you got it then, you can in theory keep it forever and one can still buy a game used.  10 years from now there are going to be games that are essentially lost.  There are tons of old games in legal-limbo that are long out-of-print but you can still go on eBay and find a used copy.  Something like a WiiWare title is just plain GONE once it is no longer on the store.  If you missed out, you missed out for good... unless you pirate it.

Downloadable titles, DRM, online passes - all these things are making games disposable.  In time no game you legally buy will still work 20 years later like tons of my old retro cartridges do.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

Quote from: Adrock

To be fair, he didn't specify Virtual Console games, just games in general.

Well, the software lineup in general is pretty bleak. The virtual console is as dead as it can possibly be and not only not seeing new releases, its also seeing releases it once had disappearing. Disc based Wii games may still be coming out, but those too are few and far between.

broodwarsFebruary 09, 2012

I suppose this is unfortunate (really, guys?  Before the game was taken down, all everyone liked to say about the game was how bad it was so they weren't going to buy it), but not surprising.  The terrible "Re-Shelled" remake of Turtles in Time on XBLA/PSN was taken down a year or so ago, so this just looks to be a condition of the TMNT license.

On the subject of modern games being rendered unplayable in the distant future by their internet components, this month's Game Informer coincidentally had a decent article on that subject.

Quote from: Adrock

Couldn't they just take the tracks out and replace them with something else? It wouldn't be the same but I'd rather have the games without a slightly different soundtrack than none at all. I only played the first one sparingly (that Dorkly video is still funny even though I barely remember the game) but Turtles in Time was the bomb diggity. Didn't Nintendo make alterations to Wave Race 64? I'm sure it wouldn't have taken Konami long to replaces some tracks. They stand to make more money by releasing the games.

(S)NES games don't have music tracks in the same sense as modern games, and assuming Konami even kept the original source code, they'd have to find somebody able to program in new music on such an old system. Of course, with the premium price that the game went for, perhaps the effort would have been justified.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

Instead of making new tracks from scratch what they could do is just use classical music since it is public domain and therefore free to use. They could take something from Beethoven which is copyright free, and then give it a more rock and roll tone to it to make it more appealing to modern gamers. It would take minimal effort and cost virtually nothing.

Like I said, it would take a ton of effort. Music is old games in literal computer code, not just an MP3 you can drop in. And different games use different sound engines, so you can't necessarily even grab music made for another game. If the rumors are true, this is why we don't have Earthbound on Virtual Console.

AdrockFebruary 09, 2012

Could they take a track from another part of the game and reuse that? Assuming they still have the original source code, would they be able to cut, copy and paste? It wouldn't be ideal but at least they wouldn't have to write new code.

Even if they did, they'd still need somebody with the ability to pull it off, which is possible, but not the typical employee.

Chozo GhostFebruary 09, 2012

If they are going to do any tampering with the data they might as well go full force and also improve the graphics, add in additional content, online multiplayer, etc. That would make it more worth the while of hiring someone than just to strip out a piece of music. Sure, do that too, but since you are hiring him, put him to work to improve the game in various ways while he's at it.

ejamerFebruary 10, 2012

How much are you willing to pay?  And will enough others also be willing to pay to make it worthwhile?


I'm not against the idea, but it sounds like the proposed amount of work is growing.  ;D



lolmonadeFebruary 10, 2012
Mop it upFebruary 10, 2012

Are they perhaps removing bad games from the Virtual Console?

Hm, Castlevania II is still there, so that can't be the reason...

ShayminFebruary 10, 2012

Quote from: lolmonade

http://nooooooooooooooo.com/

:-\

As someone who is still able to download this game, I think this would be more appropriate.

Kytim89February 11, 2012

Who currently owns the rights to these TMNt games? If the new show is appearing on Nickelodian then the rights must belong to Viacom? How friendly is Viacom towards videogames? I ask because this might determine if any more TMNT games appear on any download services in the future.

Chozo GhostFebruary 11, 2012

kytime, I don't know who owns the rights, but regardless of who it is one thing I can tell you is that all businesses are friendly towards making money, and if whoever owns it can make money via going the video game route then there is a good chance they will.

That said, I'm beginning to think at least part of the reason the game might have been pulled is to wait for interest in it to build up again. Now that the game has been pulled we are all talking about it, but was anyone talking about the game the day before it was pulled? Not really. We just took it for granted that it was there and we could always buy it if we wanted, but now that its gone we are here whining that we can't buy it, even though it was there for about 5 years and we could have any time.... so the thing is sales of the game had probably stagnated. But now that its gone they can give the game a "cooling off" period, and then later on reintroduce the game and then people will take notice of it and be talking about it for awhile.

The game may have been pulled from the Wii's VC permanently though, because that platform is all but dead at this point.... but hey, its very possible it will be readded to the WiiU's VC in the near future. People who missed out on the game now may be able to get it then. I just hope if that happens then the people who already bought it this time around on the Wii will be able to get it without having to rebuy it. I kinda doubt it, though.

Quote from: Kytim89

Who currently owns the rights to these TMNt games? If the new show is appearing on Nickelodian then the rights must belong to Viacom? How friendly is Viacom towards videogames? I ask because this might determine if any more TMNT games appear on any download services in the future.

Well, Viacom used to own Harmonix, and we know how that went.

Luigi DudeFebruary 11, 2012

The main problem with the good licensed Turtle games (2, 3 and Time) is the rights to the theme song from the 87 cartoon series is owned by Fred Wolf Films which is the studio that produced that series.  Since the 87 Ninja Turtle series is the only big series they ever did, I wouldn't be surprised if they charge an arm and leg for the license to the theme song.

So even if Konami could work out a deal with Nickelodeon so the first game comes back to the Virtual Console, Fred Wolf Films is still the main problem for 2, 3 and Time, which are the games people actually want.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorFebruary 11, 2012

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Chozo

To be fair, there are some who might argue the life of the Wii platform has indeed come to an end.

Not if there are still games being released on it.

Well, if this is the only criteria, then I guess the Intellivision isn't dead!]/url] Whoo!

NeoThunderFebruary 14, 2012

If you got to play it for 5 min you'd realize your better without it.  The best game was turtles 3: The Manhattan Project.  What's sad is this makes certain we'll never see turtles 3 on VC

Chozo GhostFebruary 14, 2012

Quote from: NeoThunder

If you got to play it for 5 min you'd realize your better without it.

TMNT on the NES was one of the games I grew up playing, and I would strongly disagree about being better off without it. I had a great time with it, even though it was hard as hell and I never did actually beat it. That seems to be typical of a lot of NES games in those days... games today are easy in comparison. There is very few NES games I ever managed to beat. But that's not really the point. If you have fun playing them then they are worth it.

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