Indie is 'a top priority for Nintendo,' but requires better messaging

Nintendo has made quiet inroads with indie developers. However, they may have been too quiet. Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman, manager of...

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Nintendo has made quiet inroads with indie developers. However, they may have been too quiet. Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman, manager of business development licensing, admitted that "we need to do a better job of getting our message out."

Unfortunately for Nintendo, many developers are unfamiliar with Nintendo's new policies. WiiWare featured some obnoxious restrictions, something Adelman admits "made it difficult for game developers to release games on our system."

Adelman points out that Nintendo no longer requires indie devs to have an office. In addition, the company recently brokered a deal with Unity to waive licensing fees for Wii U. "We really want to make it as close to frictionless as possible, [with a] really low cost of entry and a really smooth process," Adelman told Polygon. "We've still got a ways to go. We're a large company with a large bureaucracy."

That bureaucracy means that some policies won't be going away any time soon. For example, Binding of Isaac was turned down by Nintendo due to its religious themes--and that's still something that's in place today.

While there's still work to be done, Nintendo senior manager of licensing marketing Damon Baker says that indie is "a top priority for Nintendo," pointing out that "Dan has been working on self-publishing and has made that available to our partners for years."

"I think our priorities right now are to just really educate those development partners that it's to easier than ever before to make games for Nintendo platforms."

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    September 5, 2013 6:45 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Indie is 'a top priority for Nintendo,' but requires better messaging.

    Nintendo has made quiet inroads with indie developers. However, they may have been too quiet. Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman, manager of...

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      September 5, 2013 7:19 AM

      "You must have an office" is probably the most anti-indie policy for a digital distribution network marketed toward indie games since Microsoft's "you must have published a retail game disc to get an XBLA slot" rule. That's an artifact of XBLA and WiiWare originally being oriented toward the "arcade game revival" of getting old-school publishers to re-release their 80's and 90's catalogue via online distribution.

      Also, if things are still going by the regulations of 2012, Nintendo doesn't pay out until 6,000 sales. http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/04/why-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-wont-be-coming-to-wii-u-or-any-other-consoles/

      "We haven't seen a dime," Oster said. "Maybe some day in the future it crosses that magic threshold and at some point Nintendo cuts us a check. ... How many developers have put stuff up to WiiWare that are sitting there at the 5,000 [or] 5,500 sales number and Nintendo is just sitting on the money. For some small developers that could be a big difference."

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        September 5, 2013 8:34 AM

        Why are you talking about this? they removed that requirement, Says right here too.

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          September 5, 2013 9:24 AM

          I didn't see anything about the 6,000 sale requirement being waived.