News Article

MDK2 Dev Will Never Develop for Nintendo Again

Posted by James Newton

Beamdog out

BioWare's MDK2 was ported to WiiWare by independent studio Beamdog, but you won't be seeing that name on any other Nintendo formats in the future, according to studio president Trent Oster.

Asked on Twitter if Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition could come to Wii U, Oster's response was... less than positive:

We don't do Nintendo development. Our previous experience with Nintendo was enough to ensure there will not be another.

Oster later expanded on his issues with developing for Nintendo download formats:

My problems with Nintendo are: requiring 6000 unit sales before payment, a certification process that took us 9 months and a 40mb limit.

These complaints are nothing new — last year Icon Games claimed "Nintendo's policies put jobs at risk" — but we all expect Nintendo to overhaul its download service for Wii U, so it's disappointing to hear Oster rule out a return to Nintendo formats.


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User Comments (155)



Expa0 said:

Don't know them and not gonna miss them. American game developers are only good for whining and being arrogant.



BenAV said:

Never bought or played one of their games before and it looks like it's going to stay that way.



Chris720 said:

"requiring 6000 unit sales before payment, a certification process that took us 9 months and a 40mb limit."

To be honest, that would turn anyone away. Why would I have to wait for 6000 people to buy my product before I get paid? And have to wait 9 months for the certification process?

I think Beamdog/BioWare are complaining too soon, they should really see what Wii U is going to do before saying that they're never going to develop for Nintendo ever again. However, that said... WiiWare now seems like crap for the devs.



Bankai said:

Yep, the loss of Baldur's Gate is a loss for Nintendo gamers. Not the other way around. One of the very best RPGs ever.



Samholy said:

hahahaha . if your game doesnt sell more than 6000 units, then your game is BAD. nintendo is only trying to prevent bad games or risky games to spam their consoles.
And seriously. mdk2. really ? never liked the games. and that character is ranked high into my ugliest character desgin list. look at this head, it doesnt even make any sense. Kinda like a battlecruiser or something. or a beetle. its a man wearing spandex, running with a battlecruiser helmet on. what the hell.
Those two with him just dont fit the scene neither. a cartoon dog and a professor ? geez.



SBOY said:

If James is a SEGA turncoat they can "turncoat" this decision if Nintendo change most of those things...



Incognito_D said:

Nintendo need to stop treating 3rd party developers with contempt if Wii U is truly going to be a success. Unfortunately, I can't see it happening



SquirrelNuts said:

9 months isn't so bad, and you can do a lot with 40 mb if you're good. But 6000 sales before payment? That's stupid. I didn't know they did that. That would make me not want to develop for them. I love Nintendo, I really do, but I would like to see them bring us more games. Even if some end up being crap. And I love Baldur's Gate, and a Wii U enhanced version would be epic. Dreams=dashed.



CanisWolfred said:

@Spoony 9 Months is just the certification process, as in the game's already done, but it has to be cleared before it can be put up for sale. That's 9 Months of them not making any money when they should be.



Odnetnin said:

A shame since their port of MDK2 was great.

Also, I checked out his Twitter and he said, "The Wii is a toy, not a console."



Dreadjaws said:

Maybe the guy is right, but his attitude is arrogant and execrable. Am I supposed to believe Sony and Microsoft don't demand stupid things too? Yeah, you're gonna have a hard time convincing me of such thing.

I'm pretty sure any of the other two gave him a major offer if he managed to diss Nintendo in public. Besides, seriously, for this day and age, 6000 sales is nothing. Any small game manages to do it in the first few hours of release.

Edit: "Also, I checked out his Twitter and he said, 'The Wii is a toy, not a console.'" Well, this proves me right. If, after all this time, they're still trying to make the Wii look bad, these guys are obvious trolls.



bezerker99 said:

To me, this developer comes across as arrogant, narrow-minded and bitter. You have to love how they air their dirty laundry w/ Nintendo - their once business partner - on twitter. Very unprofessional.

(btw, I remember when MDK2 was released and I almost got it.) D:



cammy said:

He also said on twitter: “The Wii is a toy, not a console.” Because obviously the definition of a consoles excludes fun, god forbid a game is enjoyable.



Reala said:

the 40 MB thing is ridiculous and compared to other download sites wiiware now looks unjustifiably expensive, some great games on the service but they really should have improved the service with time like allowing bigger games and maybe the odd sale too.



fredtoy said:

I will unplug my Wii, box it, and stop having fun with it. It's wrong. ¬¬



CanisWolfred said:

@Dreadjaws I don't know about PSN, but Microsoft's Indie Programs are very friendly with no strings attatched. XBLA has some stupid things like requiring Achievements and demoes for every game, but those are for the consumer, and while they add development time, don't necessarily prevent Developers from being paid.

@Some_Chords He's not joking, and you don't have to take his word for it - even developers agree!



shingi_70 said:

Just somehow I knew the first post was either going to be bashin western or defending nintendos online.

We get it wiiware sucked and bad word if mouth may hurt wiiuware.



Savino said:

I dont get this ppl!
The guy has a point and a valid one!
His isnt the first to complain about nintendo online system on wii. Everybody knows that it was a big fiasco, with only a handfull games with some quality and most of them didnt get the necessary attention from the wiishop to sell well.

Of course it looks to be change now woth the eshop and, hopefully, will get better with the wii u.

It's not their loss.... They will continue to male games for PS360.... Its our loss.



19Robb92 said:

Haha, that's just hilarious

Not really. He is making a huge generalization. He bases his future development on ONE of Nintendos systems on which he had a bad experience. Who knows what the WiiU will allow when it comes to online stores and limits?

It's their loss. I agree that the Wii online is crap, and it's been crap from the beginning so that's nothing new. Complaining about it this late and making decisions to stop developing for Nintendo systems is just plain silly to me. But then again, I don't play their games, so I don't feel all that affected by his statement either.



shingi_70 said:

Question fanboys if nintendos 6000 thing is to ensure quality why do they have the worst service of the 3?


The indie games section doesn't require achievements only xbla. Also the demo is still. A download of the full game with stopping at. A certain point and asking you to pay. Only sony and nintendo does the game is seprate from the demo.



DarkCoolEdge said:

Bad news, I'd loved playing Baldur's Gate on WiiU. Still, they seem arrogant and saying the Wii is just a toy...what the heck is a videogame? I bet they call themselves "hardcore gamers"



MAB said:

Not a big fan of indie devs and wiiware anyway I think the few games I downloaded were played once maybe twice then never again it was the same with PS3 stuff also. Baldurs Gate was ok 10 years ago on PC not so great anymore. Devs complaining about the 40 meg limit should check-out the VC games for inspiration. Some of them dont come close to that megage and are the best games ever. Megadrive Street Fighter online is the only 40mega and its a good game these whiny developers these days with there 50gig games that are complete rubbish. (Shakes walking cane while smoking pipe sitting on porch)



Pokefanmum82 said:

I don't care. There's nothing wrong with what Nintendo is asking. And it's his loss as the WiiU is going to be amazing and 3ds is amazing. And he is a fool to say he will never develop for Nintendo again.



Mathieu_W said:

As said before, this person also considers the Wii as a toy, which makes me believe he is not serious. Can he tell me what are PS3 and XBox 360 then...



GeminiSaint said:

Maybe they failed lotcheck over and over, for 9 months? If so, that's more of their fault, not Nintendo's.
Anyway, I'm guessing MDK2 on WiiWare failed to sell 6000 units, so in the end they never got paid for it. Ouch.



japzone said:

I've lost alot of faith in Games that go through Game Publishers anyway. Most of my money recently has gone to Indy Devs. I've just been more satisfied in the end and almost never feel like I got ripped off by the Indy Devs I've given my money to.



MAB said:

Miffys World must have sold in the millions and how about The Hungry Caterpillar probably through the roof. Sales graphs show a steady climb every week for MDK2. When devs start thinking of charts and graphs and using the old my gigs are bigger than your gigs instead of focusing on making better games they will find that they want be in business much longer.



CanisWolfred said:

@mumof2kids82 Nothing wrong? I'm sure you wouldn't be saying that if it was your money on the line. Nintendo takes forever to lotcheck your game, meanwhile, you gotta find some way to pay the bills, is that okay with you? Nintendo requires you sell 6000 before you get even a cent for what you've done, and then does next to nothing to promote your game to ensure it actually meets the mark, would you be fine with that? And when you do get paid, so much of it goes to royalties that you barely make anything anyways - still fine with that?

Honestly, I don't see anything there to be fine with. Wiiware was a terrible service, and I'd say he's justified as an indie developer to never want to work with Nintendo again if this is how they handle things. Unless word gets out through Nintendo's Iron Curtain that the Wii U's download service is a ton more developer friendly, I doubt we'll be seeing much support on Wii U Ware, and for a damn good reason, too.



Chris720 said:

@Mickeymac Yeah I know that, but from my personal view WiiWare now seems crap as I've only just discovered that devs didn't get paid until after 6000 unit's were sold and a certification process of 9 months! To be honest Nintendo didn't do it right at all.

However, the Wii wasn't ready for a WiiWare service to begin with. The built in memory was severely lacking to be able to hold many games at all, the Wii Shop can't handle large downloads, the 40mb limit was just ridiculous from the start and some, if not most, of the games released were quite rubbish to begin with except for the gems amongst the cow crap.

In my personal opinion, Wii is sounding more and more like a training ground for online services. I just hope they've learned their lesson!



MAB said:

I'm leaning more towards game review sites as to why sales for games especially downloads aren't going well. Its good for us as gamers so you dont throw down cash on a turd but not good for devs. As soon as a games released these days you have a review on a website within hours tellin us if its great or crap. 20 years ago and more you had to risk buying a game to see what it is like. This brings me back to the point of making a polished game to begin with and they wont have to worry.



Mathieu_W said:

@Sony_70 Their primary purpose will always be playing games, so these consoles are also toys ! Everything around media is secondary, not something important.



shingi_70 said:


Not sure if you've watched E3 or Saw Microsoft's CES conference but the xbox is being marketed as media center. and going into next-gen consoles being focused on games only are a thing of the past.



CanisWolfred said:

@Mathieu_W Video games are a form of media, they're not toys, not anymore. Granted, the Wii is also a media hub (on top of gaming, it also streams videos, accesses the internet, stores music and photos, etc.), it's just not as strong of one as, say, the PS3 is.

@MadAussieBloke Yet if I had a nickel for every great game that flopped, I'd be a rich man.



Mathieu_W said:

@Sony_70 I don't own an XBox 360, and I'm not interested by everything around this console so I didn't know that Microsoft sells its console as something different.



Mathieu_W said:

@Mickeymac I totally agree with you ! I said that PS3 and 360 are toys just like the Wii is for this guy just to show how what he said is ridiculous.



CanisWolfred said:


Oh I see. I didn't get that. Granted, I think what he's saying was meant to be hyperbole, meerly meaning to say that its focus on hard entertainment is lacking (of course, MDK2 is pretty far from hard entertainment, too, so it still comes back to him)



shingi_70 said:

On one hand nintendo's online sucks. but on the other guy knew what he was walking into.

Anyword on if the 3DS has similar practices toward money.



Arkaein said:

The whole 9 months comment is quite misleading. Nintendo certifies games within a couple of weeks after submission, and once they pass they are usually available for download in a few more weeks (unless the developer requests to hold them back for a later date).

If the certification process took 9 months for MDK2 that means that the first submissions had several violations of Nintendo's requirements. These could be crashes or other bugs, or errors in terminology, lots of things. The first time a studio submits a game to Nintendo it's easy to have lots of violations, but once one game is completed successfully you learn what's important and it becomes easier for later game submissions.

When a game that has been announced for WiiWare seems to take forever to come out, this is probably why. The game may have been submitted but was found to have many bugs to fix. Any time news comes out of a game with bugs in it, just remember that without Nintendo's certification process it would have had more problems.



SKTTR said:

9 months of check - Dear Beamdog studio: You should NOT send an unfinished game to Nintendo then. First try to polish it a bit more, because... even the finished release has some freezing issues and people who downloaded MDK2 often report about these annoying crashes!

However, I'd love to have downloaded (a fixed) MDK2 but it's not available in Europe. Probably for the better though. I don't think they would have fixed the bugs for a EU release.

As for the 40MB limit - Don't start porting a 800MB game then and make something that easily fits the 40MB limit instead! Like Chrono Trigger, or Ocarina of Time, or Super Metroid, or MotoHeroz, or, or, or.



Ryno said:

What would be great for this "debate" is to know how this compares to Microsoft or Sony's policy.



retro_player_22 said:

"The Wii is a toy not a console?" Anyone who said the Wii is not a console is either probably on crack or are alien from out of this planet who don't know what a gaming console is. A system with five of the most iconic and popular franchise ever in gaming (Mario, Sonic, Zelda, Metroid, and Rayman) is 100% a gaming console, not a toy. Saying that the Wii is a toy is like saying a tomato is a vegetable. It's just stupid.



AVahne said:

Never heard of them and never heard of that game. And I really frequent this site a lot, too.
Right now, I wonder what devs are thinking of eShop. Considering it's an improvement over DSiWare and Wiiware, I wonder if it's an improvement over those older services for the devs, too.



AVahne said:

Since you're an actual developer who know's Nintendo's process well enough, I think more people should read your comment. It'll enlighten more people on the subject.



komicturtle said:

Life goes on.

Never heard of them anyhow. Shame they are salty about it. Especially when eShop has made major improvements in regards to Nintendo's download platform that puts the Wii Shop to shame. Their loss if they want to be bitter and want people to miss out on their games.



AVahne said:

Wii has very little internal storage, and Nintendo doesn't expect many people to take advantage of the SD card slot. So to keep WiiWare games available for EVERYONE and not just the people who buy additional storage. Same situation it seems with DSiWare.

Now though, the 3DS actually SHIPS with a free 2 GB SD card, so 3DSWare can be MUCH MUCH bigger than its predecessors. I expect Wii U will be the same, except with more built in storage.



madgear said:

How can any of you defend Nintendo on this? 6000 sales before pay is ridiculous. You're missing the point if you say a game must be shovelware if it doesn't meet that target - it may very well meet that target but the problem is the time it takes before that target is met. Staff need to be paid, they need to invest in the next project - you can't function with a business if the money isn't coming in. 6000 is a lot, especially on a service Nintendo hardly promote and one that most Wii owners don't even bother using.

It's not "their loss" it's their gain. I hope more developers stop working for Nintendo until this policy is changed as it's just greedy and unfair.



Flowerlark said:

'The wii is a toy, not a console.' Well, jeez, sorry guys, but all video games are toys and so are all consoles. Just because some are aimed at older audiences doesn't make them any less a toy. We play with them, therefore, they are toys.

Goes to play with her toys



accc said:

What a whiny, childlike mentality this developer has. He won't be missed.



Reala said:

@Koto True but I think with the addition of SD cards they should have allowed for larger games, they didn't update wiiware at all which just seems like a missed opportunity really.



Sean_Aaron said:

@madgear: I expect that's stated up-front in the Ts and Cs so although I agree it's crap, nobody forces developers to sign on - Nintendo isn't a monopoly and you can always develop for another platform.

I do hope that the Wii - U will have a more robust online solution, however the fact is that there's not many WiiWare titles that get a lot of replay from me.

My daughter enjoys the Five Spots Party and Whiterock Castle titles; I like the retro stuff like Bit.Trip (now on disc so I won't bother with the download versions) and escapeVektor, but mostly I buy Virtual Console stuff for my Japanese Wii.

Lifting the 40MB limit might up the quality, but I have my doubts.



Tomatoboxer said:

To the first three commenters: Not getting paid unless you sell 6000+ units is draconian. I love Nintendo for their games and their hardware, but the people behind their online services are killing the company.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I have two words for you: Retro Studios.

So is it Bioware or Beamdog who won't develop for Nintendo platforms anymore? And does it matter if Beamdog hates Nintendo?



Gamer83 said:


Only trying to prevent bad games? Then explain the disgusting amount of shovelware on Nintendo's downloadable services. MDK 2 doens't suck, Baldur's Gate doesn't suck and the fanboys acting like this isn't an issue are ridiculous. But then again, what should anybody expect from fanboys. Nintendo has some things that obviously need to change, this highlights one of those things. This is Nintendo's loss, not the other way around.



ejamer said:

WiiWare is a flawed platform. Low awareness, weak marketing support, no pricing control, file size restrictions, etc etc. I'm not arguing this point because it's true. Developers that took a risk with it and got burned have every right to think twice before making a second mistake. Hopefully Nintendo realizes their faults here and are able to improve - eShop on 3DS seems like a step up but still far from perfect.

But the statements by Beamdog come across as very childish. Allowed file size is too small? That's long been a known limitation of the platform. Minimum sales numbers before getting paid? Also widely known and should be clearly specified in any contract. The only thing they whine about that has any merit is the lengthy certification process - but that is also the one area where they have the most direct control. Without any knowledge of who is at fault for certification delays, and in light of other complaints being baseless, I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. (Pointless and antagonistic comments like "Wii is a toy" certainly don't help their position either. Sour grapes much?)

The sad part is that Nintendo gamers are losing out by not getting Baldur's Gate. It's unfortunate that a bad developer experience in the past and a sullen attitude will prevent me from enjoying a game I would've happily purchased. On the other hand... not sure I want to financially support people who act like unprofessional jerks either. So I guess it's a wash? Not like Baldur's Gate is hard to get on PC anyway, thanks to

Edit: How come I didn't see any promotion for the game by Beamdog when it was released? Sounds like they are another dev team that didn't hit the sales threshold and ended up holding the bag for the cost of creating something that nobody wanted. I find it interesting that devs think they can create a port of a niche, years-old game and expect sales to come rolling in without additional effort. Unless the cult following for your game is much stronger than what MDK offers, that's always going to be a recipe for disaster.



TingLz said:

Funny. I have heard different things from other developers who were more than happy to develop for them again.



nfzeta007 said:

I can understand why they are angry with those conditions but totally writing off Nintendo isn't good especially when Nintendo seems to be holding out a hand to 3rd party developers this time around.
I can also see why Nintendo went for those conditions they may have not got the numbers and length of time right but its an incentive to not release crap and expect to profit much, well it didn't help the Wii much but hopefully with the proper online network and shop that is supposed to be coming for the Wii U things will start looking up in that department after all Ubisoft seems to be supporting it already (the online shop i mean)



Xkhaoz said:

The 40 MB thing is just really, really tiny. And with such a tiny file size, it would be hard to justify the premium prices Nintendo keeps enforcing on games. So then its hard to reach 6000 units. Plus I can just get this for $6 on Gog.



Mandoble said:

The total lack of respect that you people demostrate for these that are trying to bring any fun for you while risking their time, effort and money is disturbing. And if many of you dont know Beamdog is because Nintendo and its Wiiware service are failing miserably to publicit their work, as it happens with many others.



MasterGraveheart said:

Whaaa, whaaa, whaaa. Grow up, Oster. Your company will fish where the fish are biting. If the well dries up with, say, Microsoft, and you see Nintendo's download service booming, you'll be on there faster than you can say contradiction.

You're supposed to be a businessman. Act like one.



CanisWolfred said:

@Sean_Aaron And developing for another platform is exactly what they've decided to do. Though I'm sure when they originally signed on, they never realized how difficult it would be to meet all the marks. I also question how upfront Nintendo is with these things, since this is far from the first developer to be surprised by these results.



SteveW said:

I won't miss them... bringing MDK2 to Wii was a bad idea to begin with, I never liked that game



ecco6t9 said:

I see nothing wrong with size limits, hell many great Atari 2600 could probably fit in this text box.




Thanks, btw, for not releasing the MDK2 WiiWare port in EU. No, seriously - thank you!

I'm not really fussed, but strange decision to port this particular retro game thinking it would sell bucket loads.



FonistofCruxis said:

I can understand his frustrations as the 40MB limit seems very restricting and not paying the devs until there have been 6000 copies sold is just ridiculous but I still think he made a rather hasty decision as I highly doubt that the Wii U's download service will have the same problems if 3DSware is anything to go by as the size limit is much higher and it doesn't employ the same ridiculous 'no pay until 6000 copies have been sold' rule but he just seems bitter and whiny with his petty "Wii is a toy, not a console" comment anyway.



Raylax said:

Consider me amused once again that all criticism levied towards Nintendo is immediately shot down by the large majority of users here as being "arrogant" and "stupid" (irony being a subtle yet beautiful creature in both cases). For long enough I was willing, albeit reluctantly, to accept that many of the companies and/or spokespersons involved in making their statements were indeed rather arrogant (and often in the case of studios, had produced little of merit for consumers), even if their comments were accurate to pinpoint precision. I've definitely mentioned at least twice in articles of this ilk that they were the right words from the wrong mouths. Michael Pachter and Icon Games? Right words, wrong mouths.

This time though, what I see is a perfectly capable corporation who has ported one title to the Wiiware service - and rather well too - and two other well-received enhanced/port editions on other devices. Not exactly bad for a company which at heart is actually just a digital distributor.

Whilst these statements do have opinions, which are not facts and thereby entirely debatable, they are peppered with a number of troublesome accusations that are indeed facts.

For your convenience, I list below some facts.

  • 6000 sales are required before a developer receives profit.
  • There is a 40Mb cap on titles developed for Wiiware.
  • Developers must follow NDA (non-disclosure agreements) set by Nintendo. This prevents them from releasing sales figures.
  • Nintendo holds a lengthy certification process on all titles before they are released on the service. Including these ones.

In light of these naked facts, I invite all users to continue to share their opinions on the subject.



Neram said:

Independant developers are such babies sometimes. Nintendo's "limitations" should only mean you have to work harder therefore make better games to get them to sell. The 40mb excuse is justifiable sure, but they were asked about the Wii U not the Wii.. Ah right, it doesn't matter, they're just pouting,



shingi_70 said:

Dear lord these comments are sad. Do you people only really think you can defend this. And really not sure how beamdog is a bad developer when there baulders gate remake is shaping up nicely.

And to herp a derp world of goo and bit trip were made in 40mb.

Shadow complex and wipeout took more space.



CanisWolfred said:

Just so everyone understands, most of the Wiiware games that are good are either really simple or really short. MDK2 was neither, and was 220 MB on the PC, so getting it down to 40 MB was probably difficult. The fact that the game still came out great was an achievement.



theblackdragon said:

Why am I having to remind you guys of the Rules so often lately? I've had to edit too many comments in here already. Drop the insults, please — keep your comments focused on the situation at hand, and not each other.



CyberNature said:

The REAL question is, did he know about Nintendo's policy before he decided to put his game on WiiWare? I don't know much about the biz, but I'm sure there are "disclaimers" or "user agreements" that have to be read and signed before any game can be put on WiiWare. And I'm sure they mention the 40mb limit and the 6000 sales thing. So if he knew this beforehand, but still decided to go ahead with it, then he can't really get mad at Nintendo now. He knew what he was getting into. Sounds to me like he's just upset his game didn't sell well.



Geonjaha said:

To those saying this is 'their loss' ; remember that this might as well represent a lot of developers. If Nintendo has policies that developers are unhappy with then something is wrong. It's in the end our loss as consumers seeing as we just get less games on our platform and less support from other companies.

I know this developer is obviously just angry about this, and his other tweets show this quite clearly, but if others feel the same way then it's actually going to be / is an issue. Dont be so nieve as to look at this and say "Well, I dont like their games anyway!" or "Lol, who cares about them? Bye!". Dont be a fanboy, be an intelligent consumer. You dont need to back Nintendo on everything they do and every policy they follow.



marc_max said:

He is a bit arrogant, but I have to admit that he is right.
Wii Shop is a huge fail, in all aspects.

And selling less than 6000 units in Wii Shop shouldn't be considered shovelware as some users mentioned above.
Nintendo didn't help the developers to sell more in Wii Shop (slow and confusing navigation, demos that came late and with limitations, no offers, etc.), it isn't necessarily developers' fault to sell less than 6000 units.
And then we have that chimney simulator that sold more than 6000. Oh... That's the real shovelware.



Sgt_Garlic said:

The developers should have been fully aware of Nintendo's (ridiculous) restrictions. Now he's just complaining because the game was a total fail. However, Nintendo has dropped the ball in terms of promoting WiiWare. I hope the Wii U Store is a HUGE step up. Maybe then this guy will reconsider but then again it's no big loss.



Kagamine said:

@Mickeymac I know he's not joking. That was my way of saying that i disagree with him, I thought that was obvious enough. And developer's opinions don't change my mind.

Anyway, honestly couldn't care less about these guys. I haven't played anything astounding from them. There may be something out there that I don't know about though. Overall, not a big loss.



ejamer said:

Those facts were clear going in. Why does the whining only start when his project is a failure? Why cloud the issue with totally unrelated opinions like "Wii is a toy"? Why claim that he'll never develop for Nintendo platforms again, when other platforms won't have the same terms and conditions that he's complaining about here? Because he took a risk and lost out, and now is acting like a petulant child.

People aren't arguing that WiiWare is a great platform or that the terms and conditions Nintendo imposed were fair. It's not a good for developers and the high-risk contract terms certainly aren't ideal for small publishers. But if you are willing to take on the risk then don't cry after the fact when things don't fall your way.

If there was a developer that could talk reasonably about the problems with WiiWare and the failures they experienced without letting bitter emotion into their posts, there wouldn't be this type of backlash. (Or at least any backlash would be directed at Nintendo instead of the developers.) The trick is, people who are mature enough to accept and learn from their business mistakes don't tend to air dirty laundry over twitter this way.



CanisWolfred said:

@Some_Chords I do question whether or not you've played Buldar's Gate before you've made that opinion, though.

@ejamer I've yet to see any human being actually act mature on Twitter. Ever. Least of all corprate representitives.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Why was the Wiiware service a failure? People always say it was, but why? I agree the prices are high and the size limit is small (not that I have a problem with the size limit), but Wiiware has been responsible for some truly unique and great games this gen. That's not a failure in my book.



kyuubikid213 said:

No Baldur's Gate on the Wii U will be sad, but on the other hand, I don't care. I have Zelda, Mario, Call of Duty, Monster Hunter, Pokemon, Kid Icarus, Soul Calibur, and a bunch of other games that will most likely take up my time as opposed to Baldur's Gate or a Champions of Norrath look alike.

Besides, we've got Heroes of Ruin coming to 3DS. There. Baldur's Gate hole filled.



dizzy_boy said:

why these devs can`t get it into their heads that they are their own worst enimies sometimes.
a bit of market research with a target audience would go far for a games development.
and the thing is, nintendo shouldn`t always have to put their money into advertising everybody else`s games.
devs need to put a bit of money and effort into getting their own games noticed, whether it`s a newspaper add, or even hiring out stands in shopping malls or games expos to promote their games.
getting feed back from the public from taking their games out to events will deffinitly help them to make better games.
i remember the days were i could walk into my local games shop and they would have a console jn the corner of the shop to promote a new game, having them return would help.
tbh, with all of the millions of wii`s out there, i honestly can`t understand why it`s so difficult to sell the 6000 units to begin with, including the shovelware. with a bit of thought and effort it shouldn`t be a problem.



Redfield_Lynch said:

i think the statements should have been more polite, but i can understand his point... i love my wii and basically i love nintendo in general, but wiiware could and should have been so much more...

Either way, they should have told nintendo this, in a construtive manner, help nintendo construct a better online service, if ninteno didn't care, then they would just give up until the service and conditions were better... these kind of statements don't help anyone...



ejamer said:

Failure is all about perspective.

For many developers, it was a failed (or at least underwhelming) experiment that didn't meet earning expectations. For others it was successful to varying degrees.

For gamers who bothered to take notice of what was available it was a moderate success. There was a lot of junk, but also many great games that were (and often remain) exclusive to the platform.

For Nintendo... well, who knows what their perspective is on the matter. WiiWare obviously didn't set the gaming world on fire and it seems like Nintendo has learned at least some lessons for the newer platforms.



Magicpegasus said:

@Samholy MDK2 and the first one are really cool, often goofy-looking, often-beautiful games. I don't really like the professor levels but being a four armed dog with a jet pack was awesome.



Kagamine said:

@Mickeymac Yes i have played it, I never completed it though. It was OK, but nothing exceptional imho. Choco had said that it was one of the best RPG's ever, which i do not agree with. I never said it's a bad game, I'd give it about and 8 or an 8.5 on my scale, but it's no where near the best RPG experience i have had. I don't think that this is much of a loss, because anything that I can (off the top of my head) associate them with isn't that amazing. Some of it is good, like Buldar's Gate, but i haven't seen anything that is phenominal. To me they are just another Dev in the crowd, not up on a pedestal along with top notch developers. I am not putting down the studio saying that they are bad, just trying to point out their absence wouldn't have been noticed by me.



Odnetnin said:

Sadly this discussion is more well-reasoned and intelligent than what I've seen regarding this topic on the rest of the Internet.
hint: that's not saying much



Shining-Void said:

These guys obviously don't want to make money. How do you not develop games for a major company. I think they are making excuses, regardless of their reason.



DraculaX said:

I don't think they should have even tried to get this on Wiiware. It would have been better to release it on Xbox 360 or PS3. There it would get the respect it deserves.



TheChosen said:

With not going into any of the Wiiware sucks talk (its bad, thats pretty much established) and if MDK2 or Baldurs Gate are any good (quality games), lets get on to other points:

1. From what I've heard, other platforms have their own sale-quotas which have to be reached until the developers start forking any cash. Could be that Wii's just the biggest of them all, but I like to point it out to some people who think such limitations dont exist in other platforms.
2. I looked up for hype, news or any other stuff related to MDK2 in NintendoLife, all I found was this and the review
And with GoNintendo, which pretty much gathers every bit of news on the net that have some relations to Nintendo, there's 4 reviews (one from magazine, one from this site), Nintendo Channel video, announcement of its development and announcement of its release. Plus these newsbits that have popped up.

So yeah. If you're expecting to fill anykind of quotas or to get any sales at all, you might consider advertising, hyping and promoting the game bit more.

EDIT: And I forgot to mention that this is the first appearance of the series in a Nintendo platform. This is the second game of the said series. And its an old, obscure series that is more familiar to PC gamers.



Ren said:

theres no defending Nintendo here and I'm a dedicated fan with no other systems. He wasn't even mean spirited or rude about it just firm. That sounds really frustrating and I can't blame him, he's not the only one they've ticked off with these policies.
was anyone else around when WiiWareWorld started as a site and all the talk about how WiiWare was going to be this great new platform for indie developers to try all kinds of new things freely along side the bigger retail games and VC classics? right.
Sounds a little like what happened to ios development, instead. Sure they want some Quality control but that's really pushing it. The only indies that ended up being able to afford it are the ones that also had ios hits or the odd PC based cult following previously. I was so excited that I downloaded "critter roundup". ouch. those days are gone.



Bankai said:

The most depressing thing about the comments in this piece is that Nintendo gamers apparently don't realise what they're missing out with with Baldur's Gate.

One of the best RPGs of all time, folks.

Nintendo's loss is everyone else's gain.



theblackdragon said:

Just so you know, Waltz, I don't like most of the other games you generally wind up gushing over, either. Is that okay with you? I wouldn't want to depress you even more or anything.



Bankai said:

Because, TBD, just like everyone should have played Super Mario Brothers, they should play Baldur's Gate.

It's downright cultural



Yrreiht said:

i played baldur's gate, and it was decent, not excellent imo.
and for losing that developer? no big loss there



theblackdragon said:

@waltz: If they like platformers, I would agree they should be recommended to give SMB a try, and apparently if they enjoy WRPGs, they should be encouraged to try Baldur's Gate as well. However, I'm not fool enough to expect everyone to personally enjoy all the games I've ever enjoyed in my lifetime.



shingi_70 said:

I just get it on the ios or Pc.


Just saw it as a loss as a quality game won't be on the serovce and press like this isn't conductive to indie devs who are the life blood of these services and one of the reasons xbla has been so popular.



Bankai said:


I guess I just believe that games are more like literature of film than simple entertainment - that they're an artistic expression. Just like there are canonical books and films out there that people who love books and film should see, not because they're 'entertaining,' but because they are historically important to the development of literature and film (Shakespeare or Citizen Kane, for instance), I believe there are some canonical games out there that everyone should be aware of, because they've been massively important to the development of games. Super Mario Brothers is one, Halo is one, Goldeneye 007 is one, Final Fantasy VII is one, and Baldur's Gate is most definitely one.

Just my personal thoughts, of course, but one of the reasons that there's even a debate over whether games are "art" is this idea that the only reason to play a game is if it's entertaining. I don't agree with that idea at all.



theblackdragon said:

truly yours is a mindset (and culture?) unto itself, waltz, and you'll forgive me for being ecstatic I'm not a part of it. I don't eat collards because they turn my stomach; i eat spinach or broccoli instead. I don't knit or crochet because i'm terrible at counting large numbers of similar items in a row; i draw and paint instead. I don't play WRPGs because they bore the stuff outta me; i prefer to play platformers and puzzlers instead. so long as I'm playing something, I don't see where anyone else would get off telling me that I'm not playing the 'correct' game and should in fact be playing something else.

If I'm playing games for some sort of school credit, then tell me that I need to be playing specific games for reasons other than enjoyment. the day certain video games become 'required playing' on my own time, though, is the day I stop playing them, period.



Bankai said:

@TBD. All I said was a throwaway "Everyone should play Baldur's Gate" comment. I could go into any of NintendoLife's 9/10 and 10/10 reviews and find similar commentary. It's a turn of phrase to describe a game that is particually good, not a personal attack on anyone who doesn't want to play the game.

As for the rest. There's a lot of people out there that study things because they're interested in them, or because the act of learning and understanding is deeply fulfilling. It's a personality quirk that's hardly unique to me.



theblackdragon said:

i thought we were getting into you not liking the idea that people play games for the sole purpose of enjoyment? i found that pretty offensive, and so i responded, but idk, this has been quite the tangent. i think i'll go play more xenoblade.



Kagamine said:

Ahh you can always count on Waltz to take an extremist stance. i swear you just look for a way to go against others opinions, don't you? It's actually to the point of when i read your comments, i read them in the voice of Brian Griffin from Family guy, because he is the same way...



Bankai said:

@Some_Chords Suits me. I'd rather be Brian than Peter.

Then again I appreciate Angry Birds, Call of Duty, iPads and HD consoles. Going right against the grain there aren't I.



Corbs said:

I think Nintendo platforms would be getting a lot more indie development love if they'd loosen up the rules a bit. When I think of how many great indie games came close to seeing a Nintendo release only to have those indie devs back out due to the strict guidelines Nintendo employs, it makes me a sad panda.



Gamer83 said:


The games will just end up showing up on other platforms and you can get just get the games elsehwere. The only ones losing out because of these stupid policies are Nintendo and the people who don't have other systems yet.

it is possible to make your point without insulting everyone else — TBD



Dauntless said:

Wow! MDK2 was an awesome game released on the Dreamcast/PC/PS2 back in the day. If you were a real gamer you would know that. How the Dev shrunk a full size CD to a mere is 40MBs is nothing short of a miracle. Its sad that a game released in 2000 would be rereleased a decade later with restrictions more compromising than the medium of the time. How would you feel if you had to wait more than 9 months to get your pay check? Its very sad. This is one of the many reasons why Nintendo's system doesn't get a lot of great third party support. Devs can release great games but only the crappy party games sell the most units.



BattleBorn said:

The comments here are making me ashamed that I ever considered myself a Nintendo fan.

But alas, I guess that's the lot of Iwata and Co. in 2012 — alienating core gamers for the third consecutive generation (and risking a fourth with the increasingly less-appealing Wii U), losing the casual market singlehandedly responsible for their DS/Wii revival to Apple and Android, and antagonizing development teams with hideously-implemented policies.



WolfRamHeart said:

I don't think that the game's quality had anything to do with it not being successful on Nintendo's platform. WiiWare simply has way too many restrictions and is too archaic of a service for a majority of developers to make a profit on, let alone break even. Personally, I don't think it is worth the risk for developers to make games on WiiWare especially this late in the Wii's lifespan. The eShop is better than WiiWare but there are still a lot of improvements that need to be made in order to bring Nintendo's online service up to par with Microsoft and Sony. I think a lot of developers are going to wait and see what the Wii U is capable of before they decide if they want to take that risk again.

Here is an excerpt of an article that I read on that gives a bit more information of the situation from Beamdog's perspective:

Oster claimed Beamdog self-funded the WiiWare version MDK 2 as part of its arrangement with Interplay. The team underwent the process of crunching a 400MB game down to WiiWare's 40MB size requirement – no easy task. Beamdog was "very excited" about implementing the Wii Remote, and Oster said "we worked our butts off to make a great version of the game, the best version of MDK 2 there ever was." Even with "good reviews and good coverage," and despite the work of a hired PR firm, "the game was quickly lost in the WiiWare store and failed to sell enough to earn us a dime back." While Oster did not disclose sales numbers, it would seem that MDK 2 failed to break the 6,000 download threshold.

"We don't hate Nintendo and I have fond memories of earlier consoles," concluded Oster, "but the phenomenal sales of the Wii console don't truly indicate the number of people who buy third party software on it."

EDIT: Let me just add that I do have a problem with Oster's statement when he said that the Wii is a toy. Of course the Wii is a toy but so are all form of video games. Some are just more expensive than others. Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, PS Vita, PC, tablets and smart phone games are all toys. Ask any person who isn't a gamer and they will tell you that video games are toys regardless of the platform they are on. Heck, I'm an adult and I'm not too proud or cool to admit that I still play with toys.



JimLad said:

This is the kind of article that seperates the realists from the pack.
I mean 6000 unit sales before a return!? That's outrageous considering the Wii's poor online install base and complete lack of marketing/support.
It's not a big sales number, but for WiiWare it's a struggle for any game.

I hope the Wii U does better, but right now I simply can't defend Nintendo on their online policy. It stinks.



madgear said:

Yeah, well that's my point. My only games console is a Wii so what I'm saying is from someone who enjoys Nintendo's games, but I will not mindlessly defend them on such things beause they make the games I enjoy to play.

To address the responses - yes they can go develop for another format and that's what they're doing, but it doesn't solve the initial problem. They didn't go into this knowing they would lose money - why would they? When they signed the deal, it would be with the understanding it was fair - however it didn't turn out that way. As a software developer there's not much of a choice of formats you can develop for. Ideally you want to release it on as many systems as you can but you only have a choice of a few formats - making a mistake is just a one in three chance and they can all be mistakes at times. A living has to be made.

And for those of you who don't know, MDK is hardly shovelware or a poor game. It was highly regarded at the time of its release and is a fondly remembered title. The problem here is with Nintendo - their online service is so poor that even I, someone who only owns a Nintendo console, has practically nothing to download from the service other than about three of four Virtual Console games a year. There's no promotion of it, it's slow, the game selection is full of shovelware so the decent titles get drowned out, there's little leniency (they should have made size exceptions for decent titles like Super Meat Boy), it's difficult to search the store etc, no enhanced versions of retro games, no place for enhanced ports (Daytona USA, Guardian Heroes, Sonic CD) etc. To make 6000 sales on such an online store, even with a good title, is going to be very tough. It's the reason the VC is also drying up - I can only assume Sega and Capcom are the only ones releasing anything on it recently is because they don't have any competition for sales any more.



odd69 said:

Bioware makes highly overrated games, flame me all you guys want but i honestly find most a big ole snooze fest .. Not defending Nintendo, but they makes better games(opinion), I dont see them making a console either. Not even worried

Beyond Wiiware limitations the service isnt that bad, its better than nothing even IF it is next to nothing.



Ren said:

I'm with ChocoGoldfish a little. He sounded preachy at first, but I can be that way myself with games I love, and I think video games are absolutely an important art form that will most likely be more heavily studied down the road. Personally I can't stand hardly any RPG's, just boring to me, but I can see how I might try Baldurs gate someday.
Too bad nintendo's online has sucked so bad. However you feel about this group or their games, it's still unfortunate that Nintendo is turning away lower budget games with potential because of their poor service. That's just the way it is, why shouldn't people have a better chance just because they don't have the budget of a Megaman game? Ridiculous.



TrueWiiMaster said:

"It's the RPG equivilent of never having played Super Mario Brothers, really."
Seriously? You'd say that applies more to Baldur's Gate than, say, Chrono Trigger, FF IV or VII, or one of the other great classic RPGs?

Super Mario Bros. practically sold the NES and was one of the first great console platformers. Playing SMB1 is like playing one of the cornerstones of gaming. I don't think Baldur's Gate begins to compare in any way.



TrueWiiMaster said:

What? Alienating core gamers for the 3rd generation, going on 4th? What? I'm pretty sure gamers enjoyed some of the greatest games ever crafted on the N64, Gamecube, and yes, even the Wii. How you know anywhere near enough about the Wii U to say with any authority how it's going to turn out is beyond me, but those other 3 systems did not alienate real gamers.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I think the point many were making was that when these people chose to develop for WiiWare, they knew about the size limit and the 6000 sales policy. If they knew, and thought it was unfair, they should've saved their time and money and invested it elsewhere. In fact, if every developer did this, it would show Nintendo that they need to change their setup. But that's not the case. Some developers have had great success on WiiWare, and we hear nothing but good things from them, while others fail miserably and complain loudly afterwards. It just seems kind of ridiculous to sign up and then complain about what you signed when things don't go your way. They should have declined from the beginning and complained then.

Though WiiWare has had very little promotion, it definitely has some worthy titles for download available. There may be shovelware, but a quick look online can distinguish between what deserves your money and what doesn't. There's no reason Nintendo should be lenient towards certain companies. If anything, such an act would just be unfair to other developers. I don't know what you mean about the store being difficult to search. I've used it often and never had any problems. Also, I'd hardly call the lack of enhanced retro games a real problem. Personally, I'm fine with playing SNES games as SNES games.

P.S.- What do you mean the Wii's eshop is slow?



Gamesake said:

@madgear Let's not make MDK2 out to be something it's not. As far as BioWare games go, it's way down there with Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. The original MDK on PSX was much better.
@TrueWiiMaster Baldur's Gate is that good, but it's ridiculous to say Nintendo gamers are missing out on anything because they can get a copy of it anywhere for the PC (if they haven't already) for under $10 and play it easily if they've got a OS that was made in the last 16 years.



Yanchamaru said:

MDK2 on the Dreamcast is hard but really fun. Developers are taking a huge financial risk making games for WiiWare because of the restrictions. I wonder Nintendo has a similar policy for the Virtual Console?



mamp said:

people here make it sound like 6000 sales is nothing, it is a lot considering the game is on Wiiware which is a terrible online store, had it been on the eshop which is a million times better 6000 sales probably could have been easily made. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would be angry and bitter if they got screwed over with money especially if you worked to earn it but that Wii being a toy comment was kinda rude. Losing this team is bad because they have made some good games and a console should have as many good games as possible because it's the games that make the console.



Henmii said:

"We don't do Nintendo development. Our previous experience with Nintendo was enough to ensure there will not be another"

Ouch! While I couldn't play the title since it didn't hit Europe (and I probably would not have downloaded it anyway) it's still pretty sad. Maybe they change their mind someday?



grimbldoo said:

He's just a butt hurt developer that had his tiny pride pricked. Now that Nintendo is getting better you want to quit? All right, go stuff your face with Ben & Jerry's in your timeout corner while I enjoy the quality games that aren't by you.

@cammy #20



Maggots said:

I don't think crappily porting a dreamcast game to wii ware counts as "developing" for a nintendo system



Maggots said:

I don't think crappily porting a dreamcast game to wii ware counts as "developing" for a nintendo system



NaturalGus said:

sounds like someone didnt review their contract prior to signing it... next time read thoroughly, ask for any revisiones to the contract that you might think are more reasonable, and then, ONLY then release the game on their platform. don't make hasty uninformed decisions and then complain about it later. why is it that you don't see other companies complaining about the amount of units before payment or any of that other nonensense. keep your mdk to yourself, the world will manage to continue with or without it somehow.



JebbyDeringer said:

American Developers being arrogant? You have that backwards! Nintendo are one of the most arrogant game houses on the block. Miyamoto only cares about making games that are fun for him (or the developers to make) or are "creative". He sounds like a broken record. The most recent was with Angry Birds saying "This must have been fun for the developers to make". Are you serious? It's great if they had fun and perhaps it led to a better game but honestly every interview you just talk about yourself.

This is like taking knowing where your food comes from to a whole new level. I only buy fair-trade coffee now I'm only going to buy "fair made" games. All the developers must have had the time of their life creating a game, and all their creative juices must have been used or I will have to pass on purchasing it.



Adam said:

Nintendo's WiiWare restrictions are stupid. Developers who read the rules, develop for WiiWare anyway, and then complain about the rules are significantly stupider.



Lyndexer said:

@Gamesake Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood was a horrible game. It was basically a Role playing game, I never liked Role playing games. Also the graphics weren't so great, even for DS. And the story mode was very complex.



Onion said:

@MadAussieBloke , People who trust review sites are the part of the problem. Sites like IGN and Gamespot fire off crappy reviews for any game they aren't paid xx amounts of advertising dollars on and give rave reviews to Halo, Call of Duty, and Halo despite each game being pretty much the same. People should form their own opinions, not trust bought off critics.

Also I agree with Madgear and would point to his post as being possibly the best argument here. MDK 2 is easily one of the better games offered on Wiiware and the silly size restrictions are probably the primary reason we don't see Saturn or Sega CD games on the service. Instead, games like Guardian Heroes get released on XBLA/PSN where the file sizes are far less restrictive and the Wii misses out on yet another gem. We will never see games like Radiant Silvergun on the Wii. The filesizes are just too restrictive, and the fact they managed to take a large game like MDK 2 and put it on Wiiware with such a pitiful size limit is impressive. MDK1 was definitely better, but that's no reason to bash MDK2 the way some of the posters here have been doing.

On the otherhand I'm not defending Bioware on this either. I have not been impressed with their games lately and their attitude irritates me.

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