Wii is Popular, But Developers and Publishers Still Worried

Although the popularity of Nintendo’s Wii has made huge leaps in terms of sales figures and has generated plenty of buzz within the game industry and general public, one game developer reportedly doesn’t see this as automatically translating into game companies jumping on the bandwagon to produce titles for the Wii.

The reason that some publishers are still waiting on the sidelines is due to Nintendo’s image of not being supportive of third party developers in the past. This persona of Nintendo was made especially clear during the GameCube era, when many game companies were experiencing continual delays in getting games approved and passed through Nintendo’s lengthy and difficult certification process. Insider industry stories told of games being rejected for publication by Nintendo for infractions not even mentioned in the qualification guidelines.

Brian Dreyer, Frontline Studios’ Business Development Manager, said in an interview with Game Industry, "Nintendo hardware is traditionally seen as great for first-party titles, but not so much for third-party games." Dreyer pointed to the problem as a situation that affects not only the small game developers, but the giants as well. "That fact really scares a lot of publishers and frankly we’ve seen a lot of publishers take that wait-and-see attitude with the Wii. Rightly or wrongly, publishers are more frustrated with that than independent developers are."

In the case of Frontline Studios, the commitment has been made to develop for the Wii, in spite of Nintendo’s rocky manner in dealing with game companies in the past. Dreyer said, "It’s the marketing warfare. Nintendo is the challenger, it’s the underdog and it has to be coming to market with something that is completely different. Gamers are yawning at these supposedly great-looking games on other systems. With the Wii, we’re back to the fundamentals, the nuts and bolts of any videogames experience, which simply means it has to be fun."

It would seem that Nintendo has turned the corner and has solved many of the issues that have plagued the company in the past. However, it will still need to build bridges and gain the trust of game developers and publishers in order to avoid what led to the downfall of the GameCube–a lack of quality third party games.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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