Microsoft and Sony have over the years spent a lot of money on developers to make some of their biggest titles exclusive, like Gears of War on the Xbox 360. This generally costs the publisher a lot, since it basically has to make up for any potential lost sales on other platforms. On the other hand, a series like Gears of War, which has no doubt cost Microsoft a lot to keep on the Xbox 360, is also responsible for selling a lot of consoles because that’s the only way to play the game. This has been standard business practice in the industry for many years, but not for Nintendo.
According to Satoru Iwata, Nintendo is “open to Wii U exclusives”, but they are not willing to pay developers for it. Iwata told gaming trade publication Gamasutra that they do not wish to enter a costly bidding war with the likes of Microsoft in order to get a title exclusive to the Wii U console. However, Iwata did point out that Nintendo is very interested in partnering with third parties who have a “very unique use of the Wii U functionality”. But the company won’t flat out pay just to make a game exclusive. This might also explain why some of the recent Wii U games like ZombiU and Rayman Legends have been rumored to be in development for other platforms.
Nintendo has already shown some of this initiative by partnering with Warner Bros. and publishing their Wii U title LEGO City Undercover. For more, check out a full list of Wii U exclusives. Over the past few days, Nintendo revealed that they are working on several unannounced Wii U titles, and EA has said they they plan to unveil two Wii U games this Summer, one of them rumored to be a potential Wii U-only title.