The independent segment of the gaming industry is massive and popular among gamers, so now this time around for Nintendo, they seem to be working harder at allowing indie developers to bring their games onto the Wii U.
According to a report from GamesIndustry yesterday, Gaijin Games co-founders Alex Neuse and Mike Roush, and Broken Rules developer Martin Pichlmair talked about Nintendo and their approach to indie developers.
Pichlmair talked about some of the frustrations he had with previous attempts to bring indie titles to the Wii, but acknowledged that this time around with the Wii U, it’s much easier to do the same.
“Literally everything was easier this time around,” Pichlmair said. “It got better in several ways, how the financial side of things works.”
Roush agreed and said a major factor to that system working better this time around is that the eShop is designed more for people to buy games on it.
“What’s more friendly right out of the starting gate is the Wii U is developed for people to have an eShop to spend their money in and buy games easily.
“I don’t make games so people can not find them and have a hard time purchasing them. I make them so people can play them and have fun. If they can’t buy them, they can’t have fun,” Roush said.
Pichlmair said Nintendo seems to be trying to reach a new audience.
“I can’t tell yet if they’re successful. But what I can see is they are trying to transform the whole company into an online-focused company, and that can only lead to a bigger audience for downloaded titles. But we’re just at the beginning right now,” Pichlmair said.
Neuse said it is crucial for Nintendo to continue promoting the eShop because if they do not, it will eventually die off.
“If Nintendo decides to forget about the eShop and they stop talking about it in the press and stop promoting it, it’s going to die.
“Because everyone who ever tried to buy a WiiWare game already thinks it’s dead before it’s even lived,” Neuse said.
Other indie developers such as Introversion’s co-founder Mark Morris have talked about some requirements they’ll need from systems like the Xbox 720 for them to come on board.
“We could spin out a team of probably ten people, we need to pay Microsoft $10,000 a go for a development kit.
“It’s ridiculous, and it’s non-refundable once you’ve bought it. You’ve got to pay – I think our quality assurance bill was $30,000 for testing with Darwinia+, and it took four years to get the game certified to a standard that Microsoft wanted.
“It then sold rubbish. We hardly shipped any units on Xbox 360, compared to PC.
“There is a strong indie community now on PC that doesn’t exist within the console world, and they’ve tried various ways to tap into that with Live Arcade and Xbox Indie Games, and they just never managed it in the way Steam has,” Morris said.
Morris continued by saying if Microsoft and Sony make it more appealing for indie developers to be on those next-generation consoles, then they will reciprocate with business.
“But Microsoft and Sony come along and they say, ‘Well we don’t want to have your game second, we want to be first.’
“Well, they can’t be first. We’re on PC because they’ve made it too hard. Also, they want exclusive content, well piss off.
“If they want to work with us – and if they want indie games on their systems – they’re going to have to change quite a lot to make it attractive,” Morris said.