The fact that some major games are not coming to the Wii U has been making headlines recently, although in the case of the poorly reviewed Dead Island: Riptide and Aliens: Colonial Marines, this may prove to be a blessing. However, the lack of third party titles heading to Nintendo’s new console, whether they be amazing or awful, has meant many people are dredging up Nintendo’s past reputation for having poor relations with other developers. The company is clearly aware of this, and is taking steps to ensure their future by aiding indie developers who wish to produce titles for the Wii U eShop.
At the Full Indie Summit in Vancouver last week, Dan Alderman, Nintendo of America’s Manager of Business Development, explained the steps Nintendo is taking to ensure developing for the Wii U is an easier process than the stringent steps companies had to follow for its predecessor. Back in the days of WiiWare, developers were required to have a business office, rather than the bedroom some games are born from. They would also only receive payment if the game managed to sell above a certain target and concept approval was required. Developers were often encouraged to use the Wiimote’s motion controls.
All of this red tape has been thrown out, replaced with an easy questionnaire that studios can fill out if they are interested in attaining a license to develop for the Wii U. There are no other charges in developing for the eShop beyond obtaining a business license. In fact, Nintendo will gift the Unity Pro 4 engine to developers free of charge, something that could be very beneficial to the many Kickstarter projects who budget for the engine in their donation target.
Many critics have already ruled the Wii U out of the next generation race. Yet it seems that rather than worry about the AAA titles not coming to their console, such as EA’s Battlefield 4, Nintendo is fostering relations with the next generation of developers and programmers. This move may manage to spell success for its home console at a grass roots level, while larger developers buckle under the pressure of making games with overblown budgets.