Oster Lays Out WiiWare Criticisms

Lessons to be learned

There was a lot of controversy recently when Trent Oster — president of Beamdog, the company responsible for MDK2's WiiWare port — said that his company would never develop for Nintendo again: some objected to the tone of his remarks and comments about Wii as a console. In an interview with Nintendo Life, Oster outlines these criticisms but also provides suggestions and insight into how Nintendo can makes its digital platforms more accommodating to development studios.

A few of the issues raised included the royalty limit, which has meant no financial return for Beamdog on MDK2, marketing for WiiWare and the QA process: below are a couple of shortened extracts.

The sales limit is set quite high for a download service with no real marketing support. I think WiiWare didn't get a lot of marketing support on any front. I never saw any advertising for third party WiiWare titles, anywhere. I think the lack of marketing investment in the WiiWare platform was one of the big problems with the service.

QA was a bad experience on all sides. We did our best with a few hires and a certification guide. My main issue with the certification process was the turn around. We'd get a bug, fix it that day and then wait two weeks. We'd fix that bug that day, along with others we'd found and then wait two weeks again for feedback. We did this for close to nine months. I would have preferred a kick back saying the title wasn't ready if the bugs were that bad or a lot faster testing and reporting cycle.

Those are the negatives, but Oster has shared plenty of opinions and ideas on how Nintendo's download platform can alleviate some of these problems for smaller developers. The full interview has now been published.

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