News Article

Ludosity's Ittle Dew Was Pitched to Nintendo as a Zelda Game

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Were told they were welcome to "release as is" for themselves

Earlier in the Summer Ludosity confirmed that it's bringing its title Ittle Dew to the Wii U eShop. It's often been described as a "Zelda-inspired" game, and not in the usual practice of listing popular franchises that have had some minor influence on a game. This really is a game with a strong resemblance to Nintendo's popular series, so much so that before it was confirmed some questioned whether Nintendo would approve of the similarities.

Ludosity's Joel Nyström, speaking to Nintendo World Report, has revealed that he originally pitched the game to Nintendo as a Zelda title; he was politely rebuffed, but told his team could nevertheless work on and release the product with its own branding.

They [Nintendo] certainly don't have any problems with this game... I don't know if it's a secret, but I'm going to say it anyway, I actually pitched this game, as a Zelda game, to Nintendo at one point and they said "well we like to make Zelda games internally but thank you very much. You're welcome to release it as is, for yourself.

In an interesting segment Nyström also reflects on the ease of publishing on the Wii U eShop in comparison to Steam, the PC platform that arguably did the most to fuel the boom in Indie games in past years. Its Greenlight process has had it controversies since — Renegade Kid's Mutant Mudds is one title to struggle in that area — and it apparently makes publishing on the eShop a fairly simple option in comparison.

It's actually easier to publish on Wii U, than on Steam... The thing about Greenlight it that you just don't know, there aren't any clear answers and they seem to be changing their policy, and their CEO is saying one thing and they are acting in another way. I think a lot of developers are anxious about Greenlight, right now.

Ittle Dew certainly has its own style — in humour at least — now, and is still being targeted to hit the eShop before the end of 2013, while their are plans to continue with the franchise in future. Will you be keeping a lookout for it?

Special thanks to Daan Koopman for his assistance.


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User Comments (44)



Grubdog said:

While I like the idea of more Zelda gameplay, I find it offensive they don't even care about having their own style.



smashbrolink said:

It all makes sense now.
Well, seeing as how the Wii U is kinda lacking in Adventure titles right now, I'll pick it up if it hits the system.



AlexSora89 said:

What part of "it was originally pitched as a Zelda game" flied over your head, pal? If anything, this article made the whole inspired-by-Zelda thing suddenly understandable, if not perfectly justifiable. Kudos to both Nintendo and Ludosity.



Grubdog said:

So some random dude approaches you and says he's made your game? Well done.



WaveGhoul said:

I'd be absolutely ashamed of myself if i were involved in this game. the creator needs an imagination stat!



Tsuchinoko said:

Seems kinda naive to approach a huge company like that and tell them that you're pitching a game to them as an entry into one of their biggest franchises, when you know that Nintendo nearly always develop internally, and even when they do franchise out they like to have at least partial control over their assets.

As far as I know, at least with the Zelda series when they did franchise out, it was with other Japanese companies, namely Capcom. Even with a game like Luigi's Mansion 2 they had a lot of input into that game. They usually don't accept requests from people who don't work for their company pitching games for their main franchises. Its nice that they told this guy that he should just develop it as his own idea, and they they would still release it.

I mean, looking at that screenshot there's no mistaking where the idea for all of that came from.



Einherjar said:

@Grubdog I also find it at least a little weird. As far as i understand it, they made Ittle Dew, went to Nintendo and said "Here, look at this, we made the next Zelda game for you"...just weird.
What i also find extremely confusing is the attitude of indie devs when it comes to Nintendo. Almost all of them praise them for beeing really easy and comfortable to work with and that it (the WIiU) is one of the best platforms to work with as an indie dev, and yet, WiiU releases are almost always a second thought, tacked on to yet another crowdfunding stretch goal. When its so easy to do, why isnt it the first thing to consider ? Yeah, you probably wont reach a mass market with it, but a WiiU release doesnt exclude a release on other systems.
Is there something going on behind the curtains that the normal consumer doesnt know ? Indies are Nintendo shy, large devs are shunning Nintendo consoles, what the hell is going on ?
The two upcomming systems got way more flak than the WiiU could ever get in such a short amount of time, and they arent even released yet and still, its the number one target for big devs.
Why is it, that a universally mocked system like the Xbox One is a higher priority than the "Its fantastic, but it has no games" WiiU ?
Why dont devs make it a system that has games ?
Nevertheless, i cant say that im really interested in Ittle Dew. When it comes to Zeldaesque games...i prefer the original hands down.
Regardless of how often someone tried to copy the Zelda formular, for me, no one reached it so far and it always just feels like a "hey look, its kinda like Zelda" game.



element187 said:

they said "well we like to make Zelda games internally but thank you very much."

At least Nintendo still has a sense of humor instead breaking out the law suits every 5 minutes.



Tsuchinoko said:

@Einherjar To me it seems like they have this attitude because of the market. Nintendo is a company that ONLY makes games (well, they started as a playing card company, and do make some other things, but video games are their main output) while Sony and Microsoft are huge entities that make computers and all kinds of other stuff. That's one of the main reasons we never see things like DVD playback on Nintendo consoles; Nintendo don't make computers or DVD players or any of the other things that the other two companies are known for.
That being said, even though Nintendo has a huge gain over the market in Japan (where I live), in other markets its a mixed bag depending on the generation, and it could be that even though Nintendo has the better reputation as far as its history in the gaming business, Sony and Microsoft have a much farther reaching influence in many ways.
For Nintendo consoles, there is always a wait period between the release of the new console, and the time where it is considered a near universal success.

My favorite console, the 3DS, took nearly a year to take off, and now I can't part with it. I don't remember but I always thought the same happened with the DS, and isn't it considered one of the most successful game consoles of all time?

@Mahe What are you comparing it to? Twilight Princess? Ocarina 3D? Wind Waker HD? Skyward Sword? Can you give actual reasons for your statement?



Gold_Ranger said:

Do most of you that are complaining about "No originality and Rip-offs" even KNOW what a pitch is?
The DIDN'T make the game first and then brought it to Nintendo, They gave an explanation and and outline of the game, game play, mechanics and story and asked if they could make it part of the Zelda Series. Nintendo said "No, please don't make it a Zelda game, but you can make it your own. Change the graphics, and story a little bit to make it your own work. Then we'll host it on our System."



Shambo said:

@Kaine_Morrison I think this is a beautiful case of ambition, and I hope it'll succeed as their own game! Maybe one day they'll grow big enough then to actually participate in a Zelda game or spin-off. That'd make it a beautiful success story.



AlexSora89 said:

Well, no. But how about "We've made a downloadable Zelda to ease the fans' wait while you work on the real deal on the Wii U"?



ricklongo said:

@AlexSora89 That's still pretty naive for me. It couldn't happen in a million years. They would just be better off releasing their own ideas on Nintendo platforms, establishing themselves, and MAYBE, in the future, try to volunteer to such a project. And it still would be a long shot.



Adam said:

It is naive if you assume that was Plan A and there was no Plan B to release it as a non-Zelda game. I don't see how it hurt them to ask even if they didn't expect to be given the ok.



Alshain01 said:

Well seeing as how we can't even get so much as A Link to the Past from Nintendo on the Wii U, I will definitely give it a shot.



V8_Ninja said:

It's a bit rushed to think that a major company would hand over the rights to one of their big IPs so freely, but I guess there wasn't anything to be lost in asking.

I'm not too surprised by the Steam Greenlight vs. eShop comment. Greenlight has been criticized to high heaven and with good reason. As far as I can tell, the eShop has absolutely none of the problems that Valve has with their submission process.



bezerker99 said:

This game looks awesome. Can't wait for it to get released! And what an awesome response by Nintendo, eh?



Philip_J_Reed said:

It is naive if you assume that was Plan A and there was no Plan B to release it as a non-Zelda game.

Yeah, I don't see what the naivete is here. They asked a question.

Yes, they got the answer lots of us could predict. Does that mean they were wrong or stupid to ask? Of course not. Especially if it resulted in Nintendo giving it their blessing and offering that he release it through their platform as is.

Sounds...kinda awesome to me.



LztheQuack said:

@Einherjar They have to get a Wii U dev kit and get their game rated by the ESRB.

@Tsuchinoko: The DS was actually in the same situation as 3DS. It didn't really take off until 2006 with the release of the Lite and several top selling games (Mario of course)



FiveDigitLP said:

Everybody is all on their case about their lack of "originality", but I'm wondering if they asked this knowing that it would get rejected and hoping that Nintendo would give them the go-ahead to release it as their own game. If they tried to get the game certified as is, perhaps Nintendo would have said "No, this looks too much like Zelda," but instead they asked bigger so the next option was what they really wanted.

Well, this is starting to sound more like a conspiracy theory almost, and I hadn't intended it that way...



TheAdrock said:

@Grubdog , you are OFFENDED? Really, or are you feigning sarcasm? Offended by mimicry is a new one for me.

I'll take all the Zelda I can get, even if its merely "inspired by". Originality is over-rated.



AlexSora89 said:

The fact Ludosity isn't "established" yet is already a far better point than Grubdog's. Yes, you can't teach a cat to bark, as they say. Now that makes sense. However, this reminds me that Retro Studios always wanted to work on a Zelda title as well...



Mahe said:

@Archgamer Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks, specifically. Not counting ports or future releases like Link Between Worlds - that could actually be good, remains to be seen.

Both Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks were low points for the series, showing Nintendo's Zelda team has lost the plot.



Einherjar said:

@LzQuacker Im pretty sure that these are the same requirements for the other two systems too. And when you talk about the money needed for this additional dev kit, think of this:
Indie devs are often very small groups or even just a single person, so their games often need further patching after release (no QA, no extensive testing etc). Microsoft charges insane amounts of money to let you patch your games, so its incredibly indie unfriendly. Even big devs are hesitent to patch up theyr games on the 360, while the PS3 ports are often one or two patches ahead.
So why is the 360 a bigger priority than the WIiU ? Sure, yu reach a bigger mass of poeple and technically get more income out of that, but maintaining your game suckes that additional money away.

@Tsuchinoko The 3DS literally exploded in popularity after nintendos big hitters landed on the shelfes, and look what the next pokemon did
I still hope that the same happens to the WiiU, it really deserves more attention as the one gaming console that truely does what it set out to be: a GAMING console.
But i guess mario kart 8 will do the trick just fine But it makes me sad that systems that arent even released, have nothing new to offer except shinier graphics and try to rip off theyr customers before the service even started get so much hype and are considered so much more "promising" than a system that is accessible, simple, gaming oriented but offers everything you need for a modern gaming enviroment (online stores, online gaming, built in community features that arent too overblown) just because it uses less powerful hardware.
And you heard what devs say about the upcomming gen. Games are getting so expensive, that they are only worth considering if they can be milked to death. What that means is simple: Do mass market / focus group tests, make a game that appeals to the mass market and use these assets over and over and over again to save money, but sell these carbon copy games as "new" ones.
I hated it in this generation and it looks like its going to get even worse in the next one. And thats why im so thankful that nintendo underplayed that whole techrace, used tried and true tech and stayed with two feet on the ground, doing what they do best, just making games, not TV reciever / gaming console hybrids or making a "Lets Play Station"



JebbyDeringer said:

You guys are insane, this guy is great for trying that. Instead of sitting at home playing games by himself he is making games and pitching them to big companies.



ShadowSniper7 said:

I don't get the Skyward Sword hate, for me it is right up there with Twilight Princess. And those games almost up there with MM and OoT. I haven't played Spirit Tracks yet but Phantom Hourglass (while fun) left me a little disappointed.



SwerdMurd said:

It gives the the feeling it might be a decent enough Zelda clone for a few minutes... and then you notice the combat collision boxes, and the horribly-used warping, and the pacing of the first dungeon... And then you're glad you didn't pay for it yet. Cool constantly-animated visual style, but just doesn't work.



shingi_70 said:


The problem is that the market has spoken and wants TV recivers/Gaming consoles.

Also what do you mean ripping customers off.



Einherjar said:

@Sony_70 Microsoft opened up their conference with statements like: Used games usage fee, no game sharing, forced 24/7 online DRM, 24/7 kinect spying and so on and so forth while sony stayed silent at first.
You can say what you will, but it wasnt sonys intention in doing the polar opposite of what microsoft had planned. It was simply a reaction to that. They saw the backlash, the say theyr sales number plummit so they made a last minute decision in doing the exact opposite of what microsoft said.
If sony didnt do that, the pressure of losing to its heaviest competitor would have been much much smaller for Microsoft. And thats what counted. They didnt change theyr policies because we, the customers protestet against it, no, they changed it because they didnt want to loose against sony.
If sony would have announced the same policies, there wouldnt have been a 180° turn from either of them, regardless of how many people protested.
And it baffles me that people cherish Microsofts turn and behave like they are free of all sins now. They were willing to spy on you, to sell you a system that you couldnt own, a system that constantly rips you off and there is no proof that they dont plan something like that when the system is launched and the first month sales are in. The same goes for sony. The groundwork is done, the ideas of a completely developer controlled gaming enviroment are spoken out loud and its just a matter of time till they are fully released. But it seems that "ignorance is bliss" when it comes to this. "I´ll steel 100$ from you - oh, you fiend - no, i would never do that - youre my best friend ever" Thats the vibe im getting from recent customer reactions and it scares me how easy it is to make people forget your initial intentions.
I wont be getting either of the upcomming consoles till im proven right or wrong. If im right, and they get theyr will through after everybody bought the system and they got theyr money in the banks, i made the right decision, if im wrong, i may be late to the party, but i have a clean conscious about buying these systems.
And regarding to "the market has spoken": To cite Henry Ford "If i would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said they wanted faster horses"
Mass market and focus group tests are worth absolutely nothing. People always want what sounds to be the best option. And that is, most of the time NOT the best thing that could have happened. Watch this:
since i cant put it into better words myself.



Kage_88 said:

Woah, this Joel Nyström doesn't sound too bright.

Still, it's nice to hear yet more praise for Nintendo's approach to the indies. Those Steam comments were especially eye-opening.



Henmii said:

"It's actually easier to publish on Wii U, than on Steam"

I find that very hard to believe!



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I like Ittle Dew, and I´m kind of glad it became a game of it´s own instead of an official Zelda title. Ittle Dew has some wonderfully tounge-in-cheek humor that sets it apart from a regular Zelda. It´s a clone alright, but it has plenty personality. And Joel had some balls showing it to Nintendo



SomeBitTripFan said:

I personally look forward to this game. To all of you people who are bashing the game for not being "original", I have one question to ask, have you played this game? If not, then you need to stop criticizing it. Y'all are likely the people who can't wait for A Link Between Worlds, which, for the sake of originality, is using the same overworld as A Link to the Past.

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