One of the big challenges facing Nintendo and its Wii U system is to encourage more third-party developers to commit to major projects on the system. While Wii had a diverse library — perhaps more so than many think — it arguably lacked a lot of big-hitting titles from third-parties that utilised the system and achieved success. While some notable exclusives in Wii U's launch window bode well, Nintendo will clearly want to keep that momentum going for years to come.
As part of his evolving role, perhaps away from leading development teams himself, Shigeru Miyamoto seems to have been tasked with recruiting more development studios to the Wii U cause. In an interview with IGN, the father of Mario explained that he's working to show developers the creative opportunities of Wii U, and dispel myths that only Nintendo can produce the best games on its systems.
I am trying to meet with the game developers individually for this matter. The real subject is whether I’ll be able to - we’ll be able to - convince developers inside of the licensing publishers to be excited about the new features of the Wii U, so much so that they’ll be enthused towards making brand new entertainment that I couldn't come up with myself.
When it comes to technologies and techniques and skills necessary for working on Wii U, [and] what we can provide, I can count on them that they already have that. They know how to do that. They are always skilful, and actually they must have some different know-how from what we have. There might be some misunderstanding - as if Nintendo alone had some special know-how, and because Nintendo has not shared those unique, secret protocols with other, third-party publishers have not been able to create the exciting, unique gameplay on Nintendo hardware. But that was not the case.“
The fact of the matter is that most third-party licensees from a business point of view, had to create multi-platform titles – and because Nintendo has been trying to create very unique hardware, oftentimes it was not considered the first choice for them to work on multi-platform software. So it’s the entire company decision-making process that is hindering developer’s ability from making unique titles on Wii U hardware. Once again, my job as one of the developers is meet with the individual people and convince that they’ll be able to create brand new entertainment that they really wish to realise. My job is to try to assist them in that fashion.
I do not think that providing any special technologies, know how or skills would be able to change the situation, because I understand that most third-party developers already have those things.
Encouraging major publishers to develop software that makes the most of Wii U — not just multi-platform ports — will likely be one of many important factors that determine the console's success. Ubisoft in particular is a strong presence in the launch window, while Platinum Games will eventually bring Bayonetta 2 exclusively to the system.
What do you think of Shigeru Miyamoto's comments, and do you think Nintendo will be able to coax high-quality software from third-parties? Let us know in the comments below.