Trine 2: Director's Cut is available in the Wii U eShop right now in North America — and will be on launch in Europe — and the game's developer, Frozenbyte, has had nothing but praise for the way Nintendo is approaching downloadable gaming.
In an interview with IGN, marketing manager at Frozenbyte, Mikael Haveri, confirmed that Nintendo isn't just reaching out to indie developers, it's giving them a lot more freedom; he made clear associations with similar practices used by Apple and Steam.
That's what we love about the new eShop. We have the power to price our products as we please, with just some basic guidelines from the big guys. The step to this is purely from Nintendo's side and they clearly see that [their] previous instalments have not been up to par. We can set our own pricing and actually continuing on that by setting our own sales whenever we want. It is very close to what Apple and Steam are doing at the moment, and very indie friendly.
Currently on other consoles, indie developers are having a tough time generating updates and patches to their games simply because they are being forced to pay in order to do so. With Xbox Live Arcade, for example, creating the first update will cost the company nothing, however any more will incur charges; this is something small developers can struggle to justify financially. The Wii U eShop will be different though – every single update needed will be free and developers are encouraged to perform as many as they want in order to create the best gaming experience possible.
They [Nintendo] have pushed away all of the old methods that have been established before. Simply put they've told us that there are no basic payments for each patch (which were pretty high on most platforms) and that we can update our game almost as much as we want. For indie developers this is huge.
The same can be said for DLC — should Frozenbyte choose to release more added content Nintendo won't charge them for it. Things such as this could really allow small developers to spread their wings and create more content than ever before on Wii U. Haveri acknowledged Nintendo's mistakes in the past saying it was them who “messed up the worst" in the last generation of gaming, however he feels the company is definitely moving in the right direction, especially where small developers are concerned.
Allowing small developers to set their own prices and making the additions of updates, patches and downloadable content free will certainly make developing games for the Wii U eShop more appealing. Let us know what you think about all this in the comments below.