The well-distinguished lower polariton branches (LPBs) and upper polariton branches (UPBs) are characteristics of strong coupling in semiconductor microcavities (MCs). In practice, however, the UPBs are often broadening especially in wide-bandgap material MCs. We present in detail the possible physical mechanisms for the broadening of UPBs for different designs of MCs by numerical simulations based on GaAs, GaN and ZnO materials. The calculated results show that the UPBs of the GaN- and ZnO-based MCs will become indistinct when the thickness of optical cavity is larger than λ and 0.25λ, respectively, mainly attributed to the larger product of the absorption coefficient and the active layer thickness. In wide-bandgap materials, it would be relatively easier to observe the UPB in the case of negative exciton-cavity mode detuning due to the exciton-like UPB and lower absorption of scattering states. In addition, the inhomogeneous broadening would be an important factor causing the invisible UPB in wide-bandgap semiconductor MCs. We demonstrate that in multiple quantum well embedded ZnO-based MCs, the UPB could be well defined due to the large 2D exciton binding energy and the small product of absorption coefficient and active layer thickness. These results show that the UPBs can be properly defined in wide-bandgap semiconductor MCs by appropriate design of the MC structures.