It's no secret that the world of games development has shifted slightly in the past few years. Japan was once the centre of the gaming universe, with companies such as Square, Konami, Capcom, Sega and of course Nintendo offering the best titles the world had to offer. While those companies are still doing sterling work, western developers have taken up the torch and Japanese titles are seen as a little more "niche" in this part of the world.
Nintendo has clearly noted this trend and is now working with several western developers, including Monster Games, Retro Studios and Next Level Games. These companies have been given incredible responsibility by Nintendo — responsibility that simply would not have been offered a few years back. Speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto was asked why this approach has been taken of late:
I think the biggest factor is that level of trust you mentioned. We built the level of trust with those companies and we know we can rely on them. The second thing is a change in our approach. Once we would have looked at them and asked what a company can do independently and we would support them as needed.
Whereas now we’re looking at really working together. Particularly, for Luigi’s Mansion 2, Nintendo is the producer of that game. We call them second-party developers where they’re developing the game but we’re producing it and that’s where that level of trust is built.
Clearly the approach is working; Luigi's Mansion 2 was one of the best games on the 3DS this year. Hopefully we'll see more developers coming on board to work with Nintendo on its other key franchises, with equally agreeable results.