News Article

Download Developer Hits a "Brick Wall" When Trying to Reach Nintendo Indie Executive for Interview

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Highlights low eShop sales and policies lagging behind Sony and Microsoft

Brandon Sheffield is, arguably, just the sort of developer Nintendo should be wooing — he produces games through his own studio Necrosoft, is an editor on Gamasutra and is a familiar face at industry events such as GDC (Game Developers Conference) and IDF (Independent Games Festival). In his role with Gamasutra he contacted Nintendo of America in order to try and speak to Dan Adelman, manager of business development at the company but best known as a figurehead of Nintendo's download store policies. Having spoken to equivalent executives at Sony and Microsoft, Sheffield was shut down in his attempts to arrange an interview and, instead, has shared his own analysis and perception of Nintendo's issues in the download space in comparison to its console rivals.

Titled "The brick wall: No close encounters with Nintendo's indie exec", the article highlights that the issue is unlikely to be Adelman himself, but the fact that he appears to have been silenced. Once an active figure on social networks and taking part in multiple interviews — we had a chat back in late 2012, shortly after the Wii U's launch — he's been silent on Twitter since 12th October, and Sheffield's attempt to provide a very human perspective of Nintendo's indie-centric business was shut down at a press relations, corporate level. A second response after a lengthy letter explaining his motives highlighted the problem, as it was a meaningless three sentence PR reply that failed to address any of his concerns.

Sheffield highlights that while Nintendo's policies are actually supportive, its messaging and studio-to-studio activity struggles to match that of Sony and Microsoft. Explaining that Nintendo's rivals are actively funding indie games, providing website coverage and inviting them on stage at major expos and events, the big N either isn't providing any funding or is not communicating that fact, even if it is. Both tangible support and messaging, Sheffield argues, are issues.

Renegade Kid is an exception. The Austin, Texas studio has found success on the eShop, and Nintendo has supported it. But that support really does feel like a calculated exception on Nintendo's part, rather than the rule. Renegade Kid says it's ridiculous to say Nintendo is closed — that you just have to go talk to the company. That's all well and good, but the other companies come and talk to you. They tell you what they're doing, they ask you to meet with them, and they invite you into the fold, and support you once you get there, even if you're a smaller developer like me.

On a basic messaging level, consider the fact that every indie publishing to Wii U from Unity can do so without cost. The license fee is waived. That's great! But how did we find out about it? Nintendo never announced it properly. It was soft-announced through indie developer Brian Provinciano, who simply wanted people to know. Nintendo couldn't even announce its own best selling point for indies. That its secretive policies go so deep is a big problem.

Again, don't mistake this for me disliking Nintendo's indie guy. Dan Adelman is great. He's personable, knowledgeable, and he is in fact the sort of guy you could have a beer with and talk about anything. But Nintendo's draconian corporate tactics keep him completely under rein.

I've received word from a reliable source that Adelman is no longer allowed access to Twitter. You'll notice his last post was in October of last year. Apparently he wrote something along the lines of "I travel a lot, so I feel your pain," in response to someone saying they didn't like the region locking of the 3DS. This was viewed as unacceptable in Nintendo's eyes, so there you go. All they had was that Twitter account, to talk to indie devs. There are no blogs, no casual podcasts, only corporate-created messaging from Nintendo Direct. No more public voice for indie development from within Nintendo. That's it. It's gone.

In that same section, called "Prove it to me!", Sheffield shares some rough sales figures that he's obtained from eShop developers that he knows, which are worryingly low.

The majority of indies I've talked to that made games on Nintendo platforms did so because they simply love Nintendo. They played NES games when they were growing up, and having one of their titles on a Nintendo platform is a bit of a dream come true. But then the reality hits, and they have to make money, and then they port those games away to other platforms.

I decided to speak with two eShop developers and one publisher to get some actual numbers. A developer of a 3D action game sold 1,000 units in the U.S., and 400 in Europe in their first month. They're hoping to eventually reach sales of 5,000. A developer of a casual game sold fewer than 3,000 units across EU and NA in six months, but got a similar number in Japan in just one month. The publisher I spoke to, which is very experienced in the eShop space, told me that with the sort of game I was pitching — an action puzzle game — I could expect an income ceiling of about $2,000, and I should plan accordingly.

These are low numbers. It's possible for a savvy indie dev to increase those sorts of numbers and break the mold, but not without some serious marketing support and institutional help from Nintendo. Not without a better-integrated store, greater discoverability, and some space to actually talk about their games in the context of Nintendo's brand.

This is an opposite view to many positive views on the eShop stores, of course, with a reasonably long list of games on the way and various developers sharing praise about Nintendo's download market policies. There are plenty of developers not actively working on Nintendo hardware, however, and Sheffield makes a final point to emphasize that the Kyoto-based company needs to be more proactive in winning over these studios.

The problem is that Nintendo's "push" is "Hey, we're here! We've got a platform! Put your games on it!" And that simply isn't enough. Show us why we should make games for your platform, Nintendo. Prove to us that you'll support us when we get there. Talk to us. Unlock a bit of funding for some key creatives in the indie space, and talk it up. Let Dan Adelman speak.

Prove to us that Nintendo consoles are where our games should be. While your corporate policy blocks you from doing something as simple as answer one silly email that makes you look good, I'm afraid you won't be able to.

We naturally share a lot of positive stories and opinions about the eShop stores, its games and its developers here on Nintendo Life. While there are those clearly engaged and very happy to be working with Nintendo, this editorial from Gamasutra does provide an alternative perspective from a developer on the outside struggling to get in, while he's clearly more enamoured with the equivalent communication and policies of Sony and Microsoft. We do recommend that you read the full article.

What do you think of these comments and arguments? Do you feel Nintendo has to up its game when engaging and working with a wider range of download developers?

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (184)

Kodeen

#1

Kodeen said:

Wow, I was aware of who Dan Adelman was and what his reputation for easy communication was, but I didn't know that he had effectively been silenced, over an issue that didn't directly involve his department. Wonder if he still even works there.

Ryno

#3

Ryno said:

Is that original eShop image with New Super Mario Bros. U, Zombi U, and Trine 2 ever going to be retired? I think the eShop is a mess personally. The Wii Shop was better organized and had better search features. Anyway that is disappointing to hear that Nintendo is still a pain to work with.

ECMIM

#4

ECMIM said:

@OptometristLime That's basically my take on this as well, especially after hearing the (very) positive things from a number of devs: "I didn't get my way, so I"m going to use my perch to shame you and idly speculate on what's going on" all with the veneer of 'journalistic' credibility.

(That said, Gamasutra is a massive, insider, watch the language. --Raylax, so nobody should be surprised.)

Samurairu

#5

Samurairu said:

Whining instead of working. If it was easy, everyone would be successful. Unfortunately there aren't enough silver spoons for all these guys.

Jayvir

#6

Jayvir said:

It's amazing how polarizing this issue is. It seems like from what I can garner, it's those developers that sound really needy or pushy that don't get the help they are looking for. There is a big difference between a lot of these cases and it appears that it is the amount of effort that the developer is wanting to put in. They want Nintendo to do the port work for them instead of doing it themselves.

Diz93

#9

Diz93 said:

Who is this guy again? And why should Nintendo care? They're about quality over quantity, and I don't see where the quality is. Renegade Kid has mad e some quality games, and that is why Nintendo cares and will help them. The eshop might not be filled with games, but I'd say most of the games on there are worth a purchase.

ACK

#10

ACK said:

Comes off as too anecdotal to be qualified as journalism. The reason Nintendo is so quiet about policies and indie support is to prevent the sort of negotiations that have become commonplace with the competitors and instead protect the illusion of an equal storefront without particular favoritism or individual investment. It's a straight capitalist market.

shingi_70

#11

shingi_70 said:

@Samurairu @ECMIM

The basic problem is that Nintendo is far more closed than say Microsoft or Sony. At the end of the day its far easier to get in contact with Adam Boyles or Chris Charla through twitter than it is Dan or any of the Nintendo indie stuff. Microsoft even supports guys like Shahed Chowdhuri making them tech evanglist and MVP's to help other developers to get into touch.

At the end of the day it isn't about not getting his way (though it plays some small part), but about having parity with the other guys when it comes to communication. Nintendo had big indie support since last year when the console kickstarter wave started but they got massivly over shadowed since Sony shouted from the rooftops that we love indie developers Y'all.

Even now Microsoft and Sony put major announcements reagrding indie games and developers on their respective news blogs, something Nintendo oddly doesn't have like so.

http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/06/10/e3-2013-indie-developers-continue-to-choose-playstation/

or all the ID@Xbox announcements
http://news.xbox.com/2014/04/games-unreal-engine-id-xbox
http://news.xbox.com/2014/03/games-id-xbox-games-first-look
http://news.xbox.com/2013/12/xbox-one-developers-id-at-xbox

They both let developers make guess posts onto their newsblogs to further promote the games in question.
http://news.xbox.com/2014/04/games-hands-on-below
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/04/11/bound-by-flame-new-trailer-details-combat/

ACK

#13

ACK said:

@shingi_70 Nintendo blew it by axing Nintendo Power. Otherwise, I don't see Nintendo reaching much of their market with blogs and twitter.

shingi_70

#14

shingi_70 said:

@ACK

Shouldn't stop them from trying and it only strengthens the userbase even if it only hits the core of the enthusiast section of the market. Nintendo Direct achieves the same goal so why not start a blog similar to the PS/Xbox equals.

to your first point not pointing out their indie initiatives only hurts them in the long run.

Peach64

#15

Peach64 said:

Nice to see people accepting balanced views again instead of just turning to insults whenever some has a legitimate criticism of Nintendo. Oh, wait...

Wether people want to admit it or not, the quality of the indie titles available on Nintendo platforms is far surpassed by the offerings on the Sony and MS consoles. Here is a guy explaining why many indie devs aren't bringing their games to Wii U/3DS and people just want to insult him.

ACK

#16

ACK said:

One last point I want to make before speculation about Dan Adelman being silenced gets out of hand. Keep in mind that no one so far has received reliable information on the circumstances beyond his twitter feed being dead. He could be dealing with a personal or family matter. He or his superiors could have found twitter and the like to be inefficient. Maybe he skirted a social media controversy and was reined in before pulling an Adam Orth. Who really knows?

The problem is assuming. Maybe it's a sign of some darkly intent, maybe it's a workplace situation, but at this point there is no point in linking this developer's experience with his silence until further information is obtained.

element187

#17

element187 said:

"Sheffield highlights that while Nintendo's policies are actually supportive, its messaging and studio-to-studio activity struggles to match that of Sony and Microsoft."

So this joker wants Nintendo to spend money porting peoples games for them... Indie devs should do their own porting/development. wth. ITs like complaining because Nintendo wont market EA or Ubisoft games for them... yes there was actually people complaining Nintendo wasn't spending money marketing titles by large third party publishers.

So because Dan is not making 140 character posts means Nintendo has silenced him? Or it could mean he is a busy man bringing in more indie games to the console. Sounds like this dude is just bitter about something.

All of the indie devs on Wii U have been praising Nintendo's treatment of indies, some offer constructive and useful criticisms, but this guy is angry he has to spend his own money porting his own game and feels snubbed because Nintendo hasn't offered to port it for him.... Geez allowing developer expression and freedom is a bad thing now. Seems like this guy is begging Nintendo to be his publisher and when he gets the cold shoulder he goes off on a rant writes a hit piece. too funny

Now we know why FEZ and Minecraft isn't coming to Wii U.. because Nintendo rejected these guys' proposal to let Nintendo spend money porting their game to Wii U.

If anything its Sony and Microsoft setting a bad example in the industry here... These devs are going to end up like the welfare class in America where they forget how to do things for themselves and always wait for someone (government/Sony) to help them..... With things like Kickstarter around, there is absolutely no reason for any platform holder to pay indies to bring their game over. Kickstarter allow devs to put out an idea, and if enough people want that idea to succeed it will get funded..... sounds more like some indie devs are scared to let their idea sink or swim on their own and want someone else to pay to bring it over.

rjejr

#18

rjejr said:

I think it's just Nintendo being Nintendo, they don't play well w/ others. They are a small - in comparison to the other 2 console manufacturers - Japanese company that does it's own thing. If you want to work with them it's by their rules, not yours, not anybody elses. They're willing to listen and accept, but they arne't going out of their way. And it's not like indie support is all that different from major 3rd party support on the consoles either.

Compared to where Wii was, Wii U eShop has come a long way. No stupid 40mb limit. If there weren't indie games on the Wii U in 2014 there would hardly be any games on the Wii U. But Nintendo does not pander.

ricklongo

#19

ricklongo said:

I think Nintendo would have a LOT to learn from Wizards of the Coast, publisher of card game Magic the Gathering. The Magic head designer, Mark Rosewater, has numerous venues with which to talk to the customers, my favorite being his Tumblr (www.markrosewater.tumblr.com). It always amazes me how open and frank he is with the public in general. This is something every company should do.

ACK

#21

ACK said:

@shingi_70 I think Nintendo operates on a different level. It certainly hurts them from a public relation standpoint, but the business aspect is more complicated. Nintendo seems to invest more into QA support and doesn't seem interested in establishing an ethic of bankrolling indies (keep in mind, NCL appears to be completely un-supportive of Japanese indies). For better or worse, they seem to want to keep the eShop open and fair. That may hurt their ability to corral a volume of indie devs, but it helps produce visibility for the developers who may feel marginalized or ignored in other markets. Moreover, it protects their own business by avoiding unnecessary expenditures and investments in a volatile indie market.

Darknyht

#22

Darknyht said:

The sales numbers are pretty bad if true, but then he could have talked to the people behind "My First Songs" and "My Style Studio: Hair Salon" for all we know.

element187

#23

element187 said:

@Darknyht Sales are so bad to indies on Wii U that these devs keep bringing their next game to the platform as well.... that was sarcasm if you couldn't tell.

gatorboi352

#24

gatorboi352 said:

@Peach64 I was just about to say!

reads article, scrolls down to comments..... face palms

Keep those heads in the sand, guys. Nintendo IS the problem.

Mrclaycoat

#25

Mrclaycoat said:

Nintendo loves how out of touch they are and it's driving me mad. I love my Wii U but this will be the last console I buy from Nintendo as they clearly lied to all of us and their lack of effort solidifies that we the customers are not important.

unrandomsam

#26

unrandomsam said:

@ACK Wouldn't need the illusion if it was just what they want to imply. Lots of the success stories seem to be from the 3DS which has an initial minimum cost of entry of about $2500. Lots of mediocre to ok stuff seems to work for quite a few devs. Can imagine after spending $2500 on something like that the initial desire is to just get it back. (Excluding stuff like Kickstarters obviously).

What Nintendo doesn't seem to have is any of the ones I consider to be the very best. (Other than Steamworld Dig and La Mulana).

Keeping everything under NDA's is not open. If it is fair then there is no harm in stating it.

gatorboi352

#27

gatorboi352 said:

@rjejr " If you want to work with them it's by their rules, not yours, not anybody elses. "

And that's just it, Nintendo is in no position to behave in this manner any more. These aren't the NES days. They're battling irrelevancy in the home console market at the moment.

DefHalan

#28

DefHalan said:

I see Nintendo as letting games and companies sink or swim on their own. If an Indie Dev needs a console manufacturer to step in and help with their project then obviously that developer can't cut it. We have heard about how easy it is to release a game on the eShop but if you are havong trouble developing the game why should Nintendo jump in?

More general note, tge game industry is starting to bubble and when it pops, people with the Nintendo mindset will survive. We are seeing the same problems in the industry before the first crash, who will survive the second?

(Probably going to have a lot of people countering me so I will say this, it's just an opinion)

element187

#29

element187 said:

@gatorboi352 Yes you are right. Nintendo should pay to port EA's games, Ubisoft's games, Activisions games, Capcom's games, Square's games over to their platform. Heck they should offer porting services for Rockstar... that way other companies don't have to have any risk to make profit and it all can come at Nintendos expensive. Because thats essentially what you are saying, that because Wii U sales are low, Nintendo should spend money developing other peoples games. No offense, but that is the stupidest piece of advice or criticism I have ever seen leveled at Nintendo, and there has been a lot of those in the running lately.

You must be a marxist because you have demonstrated an utter lack of understanding of how profit is made. Profit isn't made by handing out money to others, and that is essentially what you are saying Nintendo should do because Wii U sales are lagging? please.

If private indie developers don't want to spend their own resources in bringing their game over to the platform, then its no big deal, it isn't Nintendo's problem.

Indie devs need to sink or swim on their own, they don't need Nintendo changing their diaper and putting powder on their backsides. If they don't sell enough of their product to cover their development costs, then it maybe its a problem with their game, and not Nintendo. Nintendo merely provides a platform for others to sell their product on for a tiny fee. If thats not good enough for these marxist, then move along.

gatorboi352

#30

gatorboi352 said:

@element187 " Yes you are right. Nintendo should pay to port EA's games, Ubisoft's games, Activisions games, Capcom's games, Square's games over to their platform."

Never said any of that. Also, we're discussing indie games and their developers in this article. Please stay on topic when making invalid arguments.

arkady77

#31

arkady77 said:

you cant expect nintendo to pay for your games development without taking a share in your company. thats not the way businesses operate. the fact ms and sony have done it with some of their devs and publishers is largely because they want exclusives. and they are cross subsidising their games business from the other arms of the company. nintendo cant do that. this guy just sounds jilted. which games exactly is he talking about that sold so few? maybe they sucked? this is not journalism its using the website to get some back. what kind of prima donna whinges that an executive wont return his calls?

vamkar

#32

vamkar said:

Oh well, there's always THAT guy... I guess nobody is perfect of course, but is nice to see that we get more reports, opinions and articles about the good work and relationship of the indies and the eshop/nintendo, that bad ones.

DiscoGentleman

#33

DiscoGentleman said:

@ECMIM exactly. This dude sounds scorned.
This is the first time I've heard someone say Microsoft's indie policies are better than Nintendo's for this generation.
Every indie Dev that's commented on the big three that I can recall has put Nintendo and Sony has pretty much equals as far as ease, and Microsoft lagging behind.

arkady77

#34

arkady77 said:

i dont want nintendo to slavishly follow the fashion of the other business'. i'm sorry fans of course i'll stop what i am doing and dick about on twitter to make you happy! thats what my life is all about!

element187

#35

element187 said:

@gatorboi352 it is on topic. What is the difference between expecting Nintendo to pay to port indie games vs. retail games? The concept is the same. They are both third party developers, there is no difference between them.... You want Nintendo to pay to port others games to their systems so they don't have to accept any risk. Why stop at indies, might as well do the same for major third party developers too.

The real idea here is I poked holes in your argument like swiss cheese so you are trying to invalidate the counter-argument by making a ridiculous claim that there is a big difference in concept between indie and major devs. There isn't. They are both third parties that make their own games outside of Nintendo. Nintendo provides a platform for both to sell their product. Your argument is Nintendo should pay for the development, and its an absurd suggestion.

Peach64

#36

Peach64 said:

To those saying that it's only the bad developers that seem to have issues with Nintendo, then why is there is there no Braid, no Fez, not Hotline Miami, no Limbo, no Brothers, no Bastion, no Mark of the Ninja, no Spelunky, no Rogue Legacy? Or are these games all shovel ware made by lazy devs? Erm, don't think so. There's a reason they're not on Nintendo platforms but most of you don't want to hear it. The only good indie game on any Nintendo platform right now is Steam World Dig, with Gaucamelee on the way.

These devs are not asking Nintendo to do their work, but they're reaching towards Nintendo to ask for info and get ignored, so they think, why bother? We end up in the situation where most devs making eShop games are just Nintendo fan boys, not makers of quality games.

SahashraLA

#37

SahashraLA said:

Nintendo has showcased indies on both their website (which needs an update asap), through Nintendo Directs and on the eShop front page (which the devs don't have to pay out their rear ends for).
I think Nintendo helped craft Lego City and people dumped on the load times and pop-up, encouraged the Arkham games and got burned with lazy, bug infested ports, all but entirely funded Wonderful 101 and was crippled by poor sales, sought a system exclusive Sonic and was bogged down by poor cameras (it's a Sega 3D platformer after all) and uneven level design and Rayman Legends by Ubisoft screwed them on the 'simultaneous launch' garbage (a contradiction when faced with Watch_Dogs) so they are hesitant to fund anyone else's ventures.
Here's the thing though: where are Scram Kitty, Assault Android Cactus, Pier Solar HD, Shovel Knight and others? Months and months of delays later and still nothing but silence. Maybe Nintendo's non-reply is a sign they're getting frustrated. I know I'm getting frustrated. I've seen many successfully funded music albums through crowdfunding, but it seems like alot of the game developers aren't measuring up.

vamkar

#38

vamkar said:

Wii U is an amazing machine for indie games. Great platform to publish on, especially if you use Unity. also, is an amazing system for publishers in general. The only problem Nintendo has right now is that people don't buy it (And I stand by the idea that they don't buy it for no reason. If they give a reason its really never a good one.)

Ernest_The_Crab

#39

Ernest_The_Crab said:

Wow that guy's source is much more unreliable than he thinks....Adelman's last post was: "Guilty as charged. I've been traveling a lot recently and am behind. Hope to get caught up next week. Sorry for delays."

That post was at Oct. 12, 2013

His 3ds post on region lock was September 10, 2013 MORE THAN A MONTH before his final tweet. It was also 14 tweets before his final tweet.

And quite frankly this is REALLY easy information to look up. If you screw up like this you can expect it to bite you back in the donkey very quickly.

This makes it very hard for me to take what he's saying seriously, if he can make such a newbie mistake on a publicized article on a frequently visited webpage. The amount of speculation he makes is also unacceptable for a writer. Someone needs go back to writing school ASAP.

Peach64

#41

Peach64 said:

@Ernest_The_Crab He never says that Adelman's last tweet was about region locking. That's you jumping to conclusions. He says that Adelman's last tweet was in October, and that he had previously tweeted about region locking which Nintendo did not like. That's two different statements there.

SecondServing

#42

SecondServing said:

Nintendo needs indies the most right now, especially since the third parties are completely not supporting the Wii U. I say the way things run at Nintendo need to be changed. #FireIwata

Nintenjoe64

#45

Nintenjoe64 said:

So many developers with so many conflicting views. I am sure if Nintendo were hitting their targets with 3DS and Wii U hardware and software sales they would have the time to start promoting their rivals' games but they can barely sell games they paid to make like W101 so it's a bit much to expect them to do any better for other people.

@Ryno I agree, the old eshop was much maligned but it was very easy to see new releases whereas the new one is all pretty pictures but you never see more than about 4 games at any one time.

The miiverse plaza on startup could be much better to help the eshop. They show too few games and too many spam posts. They should be showing screen shots, video clips and Miiverse art.

@Peach64 @Ernest_The_Crab knowing Nintendo they probably scheduled his twitter ban for March and it got delayed til October.

arkady77

#46

arkady77 said:

in the biz what sheffield did is known as a hatchet job! he may win over some self hating nintendo fans but his argument is not going to have much traction with developers who have to make hard business decisions

arkady77

#47

arkady77 said:

the wii eshop was an awful mess. worst online shop i have ever used. the wii u and 3ds eshop are ok but could definitely be improved. it took me months to realise that a lot of retail games were download ready as well. and it takes way too many steps to finalize a transaction. whats with that? do they want you to change your mind?

SahashraLA

#48

SahashraLA said:

The other major 'issue' devs see when deciding whether or not to support Nintendo is ease of use. Bigger devs see Unity as extremely limiting, others feel like their game is 'too intense' for the Wii U's specs to handle and still others look at the Gamepad and assume that if they can't make that work, it's not worth it.
To the latter I say: The Cave. Zero Gamepad integration, developed by Double Fine / Sega and easily on par with the other systems. Nano Assault Neo. Sure there's a second screen, but it's a twin stick shooter that doesn't need the Gamepad. Indies and retail alike need to stop having such tunnel vision. I remember when EA made the Mutant League games. It was a twist on the same old system and it was fun.
Sad to think that only Ubisoft is creative enough to think outside the box now. We need indies to lead a new creative wave and to stop seeing Nintendo's systems as second screen nuisances and more as viable platforms. Heck, by ignoring the Gamepad, they could even allocate resources to make the games run better.
It's time for someone to really challenge Nintendo. No more rehashing Nintendo's past. Where are the bullet-hell games, the vertical shooters, the left running platformers, the deep scrolling brawlers? I'm tired of the big 4 (sports, racing, 3rd person shooter, 1st person shooter). More Limbo. More Nihilumbra. More flower. More Journey. Less of EVERYTHING else.

Ryno

#49

Ryno said:

@Nintenjoe64: I agree with the you about the Plaza. Nintendo could utilize this much better to advertise games and what is going on in their eShop vs. the littering of the random Miiverse "spam."

gatorboi352

#50

gatorboi352 said:

@Peach64 "We end up in the situation where most devs making eShop games are just Nintendo fan boys, not makers of quality games."

Boom.

Expect this, and all of your other astute analysis to fall on deaf ears around here though. Sad.

Tops

#51

Tops said:

I don't get this guy. It's a free market, even on the eShop. Some games will have low sales, like the ones he cites, others will do well. That's just the way it works and Nintendo shouldn't be expected to act as a crutch when an indie's game isn't doing well.

Nintenjoe64

#53

Nintenjoe64 said:

@arkady77 The Wii eshop was ok in 2006 and I still find it easier to use than the latest 'confirm ten times just to put money into your account despite already selecting the option that looks like it will just buy the game' effort. Obviously it was never good by any stretch of the imagination but worst eshop ever is a bit harsh.

arkady77

#54

arkady77 said:

@ Nintenjoe64

in fairness i am not a big fan of online stores in general. so its a short list. steam practically pulls the money out of your pocket. which is not great either

WiiULoveSquid

#55

WiiULoveSquid said:

Since Nintendo has reported certain losses people think they should be allowed to influence the company. But Nintendo isn't asking and those people become indignant.

PvtOttobot

#56

PvtOttobot said:

Sakurai should take over Nintendo! Now there's a guy who communicates!! And boy does he know how to make a Nintendo Direct!!!

SparkOfSpirit

#57

SparkOfSpirit said:

Negative opinion, huh? Well, that obviously means all the positive ones were wrong.

Gamer logic at work.

Technosphile

#59

Technosphile said:

A lot of this sounds very similar to what the guy from Bethesda said. Nintendo doesn't go out and meet with devs, you're expected to come to them. Clearly that is not a welcoming or encouraging sign for developers today, especially when Sony and Microsoft do backflips to accommodate developers.

Basically, if you're a "name" Japanese studio, there is a chance Nintendo will publish or even fund your title, provided you give exclusivity rights. If you're a western dev? Forget it, you're on your own, but please feel free to apply to have your stuff on the eShop.

It is these 90's-era policies and strategies that is ensuring Nintendo stays in 3rd place, at best. The people up top--Iwata, Miyamoto, Reggie--need to either join the 21st century or step aside for people who know what's really going on in the market. Or just stay stagnant and enjoy the hubris, whatever.

Agent721

#60

Agent721 said:

Different decade, same problem at Nintendo. For those who say it's just his opinion, I say hogwash. We've heard this too many times before & Nintendo has a long history of this. The NES era, where they micromanaged 3rd parties bordering on draconian rules of software release & management is a perfect example of how deep this problem lies. Nintendo needs to stop navel gazing & start to observe the world around them. They are too entrenched in their own world.

64supermario

#62

64supermario said:

I don't know if I'm in the minority on this, but yeah I kind of agree with the whole being open thing. There are some aspects that should be kept remote, but advertising things like their Unity deal and just having someone that can talk to indies is crucial. I'd honestly hope that controversy on Twitter is real, it is important to have people like that even if it is on Twitter. I'd like to give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Agent721

#64

Agent721 said:

And the whole region lock thing is UTTERLY STUPID. I want wii u games that come out only in Japan, but apparently, my money is not good enough for Nintendo? Funny, Sony has no qualms accepting my dough.

yoko19191

#65

yoko19191 said:

@Nintenjoe64 On the topic of advertising on the startup plaza, I once heard an idea from someone (I think on NL?) that the plaza could be designed to advertise games through its looks, like the the Animal Crossing Plaza app. But alas, that's too much work in NintendoVille

LUIGITORNADO

#66

LUIGITORNADO said:

This guy sounds like an idiot.
When did indie games become something that publishers need to actively support, with I'm guessing, money?

64supermario

#68

64supermario said:

There definitely needs to be some communication with Nintendo to make the process easy for Nintendo. I don't think Nintendo should help pay for every indie out there, but they should think about helping a few that they have great interest in, hell they might even make it an exclusive.

Yorumi

#69

Yorumi said:

@gatorboi352, @Peach64 and others. Lets talk about confirmation bias for a moment because this always happens with these kinds of articles. We have dev A saying nintendo's eshop is good and they're supportive, and dev B saying the opposite. Confirmation bias is when you look at what supports what you already believe and ignore what contradicts what you already believe, which is exactly what you two and many others are doing.

You're automatically assuming any negative news about nintendo is absolutely correct and any positive news is just "burying your head in the sand." Confirmation bias only makes you look foolish. Maybe side A is right, maybe side B, maybe it's a bit of both it's hard to know for sure.

As far as the larger issue as a whole indies are presenting an odd problem. All the indie games worth playing are on pc and every other platform under the sun. The requirements are so ridiculously low you can run most of them in an OS inside a virtual machine. I like indie games, there are some good ones out there doing good things. However, having indie games is nothing special, they're everywhere. That's not to say they should ignore the indies, but the wiiU's hardware is overkill and getting into a war of sameness is going to result in disaster.

There's also the mobile problem. The market is so flooded with junk and clones no one can stand out. Every indie now seems to have an entirely entitled mentality where they think they're god's gift to gaming and should be treated as such. Yeah you have some nice ideas, go out and earn it.

Indies are the current fad, it will pass. Some great companies are going to grow out of it but being indie doesn't automatically make them great. It's too broad a topic, and somewhat off topic, to get into market direction, but screaming at each other in the comments with confirmation bias doesn't accomplish anything.

dumedum

#70

dumedum said:

There are so many great indies and upcoming ones on wii U and 3ds dozens which are not on sony and micro platforms so I don't see the problem. Wii u is a better Indie platform than its rivals

64supermario

#71

64supermario said:

@Yorumi you make some great points and I do agree with some, but I honestly don't find "Indies to be like punk" aka a fad. Indies are around because of the ease it is now to create games at home. To me that's like saying 3rd parties are a fad, I just don't get it. I also think Nintendo does a lot of things for benefits for indies, but they don't truly communicate them the best they can. Indies are important, but no you are right Nintendo shouldn't just roll over for them.

brandonbwii

#72

brandonbwii said:

There isn't really a problem with Nintendo's non-aggressive policy imo. They aren't as massive as their rivals after all. The only problem I have is the Wii U install base being so small. They'd be in a good spot (not as good as rivals, but still...) if Wii U sold more units.

Tobias95

#73

Tobias95 said:

Nintendo has the best console, so if a random guy has somthing against them, sorry for him, is his loss. Their the best and they deserve the best. If the Indie developes just acts lazy they shouldnt expect Nintendo lend a hand either.

R_Champ

#75

R_Champ said:

@Yorumi

Nice, someone using their brain on here.

@64supermario

Third parties are the indies that survived the "fad" phase. Yorumi is right, the slosh of Indie games we're currently seeing will curb when the demand drops too low to support them all (we're already seeing some of the that with companies demanding porting costs and whining when a game doesn't sell well...like that never happens). There will always be an Indie scene, but it won't always be this large and entitled.

Tobias95

#76

Tobias95 said:

Corrected it now, my bad :P
But to my point, those cheapskaters shouldnt give the blame to Nintendo.

64supermario

#77

64supermario said:

@R_Champ Hmmm, I do agree that the current phase is huge and will probably water down after most see that the act of just making a game won't bring in money. I still don't think indies will go away especially when things like Steam exists and indies do rather well...well most of them anyways.

AyeHaley

#78

AyeHaley said:

Chaining Dan Adelman isn't such a great idea Nintendo....

If all of this is true (and I wouldn't be surprised)...they really need to step up their game.
Nintendo should be really careful right now and be as proactive as they can be. Its mind-blowing they still don't really get it these days...Even after so many hints and examples to look at they still lag behind. 3-5 Wii U games + a few indie titles aren't enough to sustain a platform.

Yorumi

#79

Yorumi said:

@64supermario I mean their popularity is a fad. There have always been indie game companies as long as video games existed and they will continue to exist. What I mean is right now everyone has decided they're the "in" thing and so all the talk is of indie games. It could take a while to pass but when it does there will still be indie games out there, and possibly/probably indie categories on shops. However, you won't see the kind of fawning their getting now and acting like they're some sort of revolution.

The ease of making games has helped but a big part of their popularity came from the hope they would dethrone a lot of the big publishers with quality and inject some much needed creativity into the industry. Unfortunately they're becoming somewhat like smaller version of the big publishers. You have a bunch of retro throwbacks and enough platformers to sink a ship. It's largely becoming predictable, "oh look another 2d platformer havn't seen that before." "another match 3 puzzle game, that's original." etc.

I'd even argue a lot of them are surviving not on merit but on the fad. Like I say I do like indie games a lot, but a lot of them are starting to act very entitled and arrogant. When they're not the "in" thing they'll be in trouble.

arkady77

#81

arkady77 said:

i blame cross platform gaming websites, tablets and smart phones for the indie hogwash. the sites are so keen to scoop each other with the latest gimmick and fad they inflate the bubble. tablets et al brought gaming into the mass market and everyone thought they could produce the next minecraft.
indies predate the corporates and will outlast them, because they'll make these games out of the love of gaming. the indie plague is not because programming is easier it is because publishing is less expensive on home consoles. anyway it'll pass. like any free market enterprise the vast majority of indies will die and perhaps gamasutra man realises this and wants to suck on the nintendo teat.
maybe

64supermario

#82

64supermario said:

Also about the Adelman thing, I just went to his Twitter and the last post he made on the 12th of October had nothing to do with Region Locking

Marshi

#83

Marshi said:

@Peach64
I agree. While
Shefield does come off as a "needy" or "butthurt" indie dev,i think anyone trying to point out nintendo's flaws on the digital circuit would be labelled the same. But this guy clearly LOVES nintendo and wants them to excell and they are simply not doing this.

I was one of the first to guffaw at the idea of iwata needing to be sacked,but more and more im starting to think a change of management within nintendo is needed...

brandonbwii

#84

brandonbwii said:

This guy was quite professional about his opinion. You don't have to agree with him, but he does potentially have a point. The only reason I know about so many indie games is gonintendo, not Nintendo themselves. I also feel there aren't enough indie games published by Nintendo on the shop.

In fact I can't think of any western titles except Fluidity.

If it ain't broke don't fix it though. The seems are only starting to show in this generation business wise because of the Wii U. Nintendo's "draconian" policies don't hurt the 3DS. It may not have Western developer support, but Nintendo enthusiasts don't tend to buy many of those in the first place.

JustinH

#85

JustinH said:

"Better integrated store"? What is wrong with the eShop? I hate when devs complain about the eShop. Is it that they want it so open that you can accidentally buy a game with a few errant button presses, like on the PS4, or that it's so open that any kid could come along and spend $100 in two minures, like the Apple store?

Anonymous sources make for muckraking, not journalism. Gamasutra is better than this.

64supermario

#86

64supermario said:

@Yorumi hard to disagree with that too. However I'm huge platformer fan so I don't get sick of them haha, still excited for Hat in Time in fact. But yeah I could see the indy scene getting a lot smaller than it is. However, I feel like me personally will be integrated in it to it for awhile. I don't support everything game that someone screams indie, but when I see games like Hex Heroes with brilliant ideas or games that I want like Mighty No 9 I go ahead and try to support it.

I don't know if you'd think I'm part of this indy fad, but I do like helping indies that really have a lot of heart because yes it can be a hard ride making a game idea become reality. I don't think any of this really has to do what we were debating anymore, more of the fact that I needed to vent. I respect your opinions and they have given me a nice look at the other side.

arkady77

#87

arkady77 said:

there is a problem with the accepted definition of indie. it doesnt mean pixellated vomit adventures for retro hipsters. we all love indie games and there are in fact tonnes of them on all platforms. nintendo has always had the most stringent guidelines on what can be published as it wants to ensure its customers are not ripped off by incomplete or defective software. something steam with its early access and lax attitude to compatibility could learn a thing or two about

JustinH

#88

JustinH said:

I would like to point out that Brandon Sheffield is a contributor to Gamasutra, not an editor. While the publication is very good, they post a lot of one-off blogs and so the criteria to be a "contributor" is not especially high — these people may be very competent developers, but they are by no means trained journalists, unlike the site's editors.

arkady77

#89

arkady77 said:

i liked the gaming "scene" more when it was just the nerd visionary and the technical wizards. gaming these days is filled with preening nonces getting about thinking theyre are changing the world with their "art".
as evidence i present to you via the magic of youtube, Brendan Sheffield, a man irrespective of his opinion and lack of dates with powerful execs, who would not have made the entourage of a kazakh Andy Warhol;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5SxaExitNY

Yorumi

#90

Yorumi said:

@64supermario supporting them isn't the problem, and there's nothing specifically wrong with platformers I do play them too. I've given to a few kickstarters for indie games as well.

The main thing is indie games arn't the problem itself. The problem is the fad that brought in a ton of new "developers" who dump garbage everywhere and think just because their indie they're important. Right now in the game industry there's a big push for quantity over quality. That's what the fad is doing right now.

Daz-brum

#91

Daz-brum said:

I think Nintendolife shoukd ask Nintendolife should ask Nintendo for a interview or even better the the two parties together and discuss this openly Nintendo needs to know there fans are in the 21st century and communication is key so what about it?

Daisaku36

#92

Daisaku36 said:

@Peach64
" Braid, no Fez, not Hotline Miami, no Limbo, no Brothers, no Bastion, no Mark of the Ninja, no Spelunky, no Rogue Legacy?"
Lol, those are great examples since those games are new. I'm going to laugh at you twice because you're using ridiculous examples. LOL.

arkady77

#93

arkady77 said:

@ Daisaku36

man, none of those games are new! if they were to appear on ninty they sure as hell could have by now

64supermario

#95

64supermario said:

@Yorumi ah, that I can agree with. As an aspiring developer myself I can safely say that I can agree that I do hate it when people just throw out games and how pretentious some of them can be. One of the few interviews I remember hearing from an indie that made me mad was from the creator of Braid, now don't get me wrong he's a great developer but I can not stand his pretentious attitude toward gaming as an art. Yes it is an art, don't be a jerk about it though.

accc

#96

accc said:

I wonder what the "3D action game" that sold only 1000 copies in its first month is? I can't really think of many indie games on either eShop that I would classify as a "3D action game". Jett Rocket 2 is really the only one that springs to mind.

Rect_Pola

#97

Rect_Pola said:

I firmly believe Nintendo will get there, but I've also firmly believed that it was going to take a tone of baby steps to make it happen. Nintendo has a history of not only being super secretive, but trying too damn hard to be in absolute control. And it has bit them square in the ass before. Besides my 2 beliefs, I also fear that by the time they open up the being an awesome group to work with, the system will have moved on even further without them.

TrueWiiMaster

#99

TrueWiiMaster said:

"A developer of a 3D action game sold 1,000 units in the U.S., and 400 in Europe in their first month"
What 3D action game is even on the Wii U eshop?

As for his other complaints, I think he's exaggerating. Most indies who have spoken about developing for the eshop have specifically said that communication was excellent. What's more, Nintendo does feature indie games in most of their presentations and conferences. The supposed sales he cited are from mystery developers, whose games may well be deserving of their numbers. Also, we know Nintendo has been reaching out to indie developers, as some have said they were approached and even offered free dev kits.

And what publisher "which is very experienced in the eShop space" is he referring to, when there are so few that fit that description and haven't already praised the eshop?

All that said, he's right that Nintendo needs to market better. Marketing has been, by far, their greatest weakness the last couple years. They need to do better at marketing themselves, their systems, and their potential to both developers and consumers.

arkady77

#100

arkady77 said:

surprise, surprise a japanese company that is terrible at marketing to westerners. at least their priorities are spot on, is it better to be right or be believed? i know what i would say say if i was a shareholder

rjejr

#101

rjejr said:

@gatorboi352 - "These aren't the NES days. They're battling irrelevancy in the home console market at the moment."

You left out the last part of that last sentence - "and they don't seem to care."

OK, I'm a disgruntled Wii U owner so not exactly objective, but they seem lost somewhere between ignorance and apathy, like a lot of Nintendo fans. The NES and SNES days are long gone. Gamecube and N64 and Wii U are representative of what Nintendo does in the home console market, Wii was a Wii Sports fluke. Nintendo not at least trying to have some type of mini-games meant as marketing material on smartphones is the most egregious example of their stubbornness. Hubris. Pride. Iwata would be gone if Nintendo were a western company.

I do think it's all a matter of perspective though, Nintendo could be admired for doing their own thing by their own set of rules, immediate profits and market share be damned; or an idiot who's too stupid to get out of his own way.

At the end of the day I just want to see some Wii U games, and quite honestly I'm much more concerned about Nintendo's own lack of output in that department than anything any indie dev has to offer. Whether Wii U eShop has 5 or 500 games, it still needs some retail AAA titles (preferably w/ release dates). This is all just a distraction from the real problem.

BinaryFragger

#102

BinaryFragger said:

@Daisaku36
"" Braid, no Fez, not Hotline Miami, no Limbo, no Brothers, no Bastion, no Mark of the Ninja, no Spelunky, no Rogue Legacy?" Lol, those are great examples since those games are new. I'm going to laugh at you twice because you're using ridiculous examples. LOL."

How are those games "new?" Here are the North American Xbox 360 release dates:
Bastion: 07/20/11
Fez: 04/13/12
Mark of the Ninja: 09/07/12
LIMBO: 07/21/10
Spelunky: 07/04/12

memoryman3

#108

memoryman3 said:

@BinaryFragger FEZ landed on PS4!

"The problem is that Nintendo's "push" is "Hey, we're here! We've got a platform! Put your games on it!" And that simply isn't enough. Show us why we should make games for your platform, Nintendo."

NINTENDO FAN "I will never buy games from third parties on Wii U/ 3DS!"

Alas, the vicious cycle of third party relations persists since 1996....

Oh, and Limbo was on iOS and Vita in 2013...

64supermario

#109

64supermario said:

Honest to god, I was a huge gamer during the 64 era and not once did I go, oh yeah that's Nintendo made game I'm going to buy that because it was made by Nintendo. I just bought games that I thought were fun like Bomberman 64. To be young again.

64supermario

#112

64supermario said:

Something tells me that the creator of Braid and Phil Fishy would just laugh if you asked for about the Wii U. Don't know, just get that vibe from them,

memoryman3

#113

memoryman3 said:

@rjejr " I think it's just Nintendo being Nintendo, they don't play well w/ others. They are a small - in comparison to the other 2 console manufacturers - Japanese company that does it's own thing. If you want to work with them it's by their rules, not yours, not anybody elses. They're willing to listen and accept, but they arne't going out of their way. And it's not like indie support is all that different from major 3rd party support on the consoles either."

Which is why the Wii U is failing...

memoryman3

#114

memoryman3 said:

@rjejr At least N64 and GameCube were cutting edge for their time, and didn't die off early like a certain motion controlling console...

Andremario

#116

Andremario said:

Peach64 should change their name to Rockstarsonyboxone with them comments their making..lol u sound real bias....and y r you on a nintendo site? Further more why do you tarnish your icon with peach's image if nintendo is that bad? Obviously they do a few things right for you cause your frickin name is PEACH 64...shakes head in confusion

Andremario

#117

Andremario said:

and to think you used to be the woman i'd jump over spiked pits for! sheesh! You get captured by bowser again you're on your own next time!

SCAR392

#119

SCAR392 said:

Actually, this is some reasonable criticism. At least he's not saying Nintendo should go to smartphones.

If Nintendo needs a more open platform, then so be it. Even if Microsofts platform is more open, it hasn't really shown on Xbox One. Xbox 360 was fine, though.

I'm not really sure how he expects more support from Nintendo, though. He says that Sony and Microsoft tell devs what the plan is, but what is the plan, exactly? I don't see Microsoft or Sony advertising indie games, aside from the internet and conferences.

I think alot of indie complaints, have to do with not being able to avertise or promote their games, but Nintendo is dinng just as good of a job, IMO.
I'm not really sure what he wants Nintendo to improve, so hes left it up to other people to figure out, despite being the one who comes forward.

SCAR392

#122

SCAR392 said:

@64supermario
Well, that's basically what I'm saying. Nintendo is promoting indies as much as Sony, and more than Microsoft. This guy wants some changes for contact to higher management, but he hasn't really said why it would improve anything. He wants to talk to Dan Adelman, but he didn't say why. How would talking to Dan Adleman improve his experience of the Nintendo indie scene?

JaxonH

#124

JaxonH said:

A fair assessment imo. The eShop is great, and many indie devs DO experience success on the platform, even moreso than on mobile or rival consoles, however, that's not always going to be the case. It's a different audience, and different games will sell and flop on the eShop as opposed to alternative platforms.

I do agree that many of Nintendo's policies that could help public perception are not voiced, like waived license fees for Unity on Wii U, like being able to transfer your NNID to a new console via phone now if your console is lost/stolen, etc. There are many things that Nintendo should be shouting from the rooftops, or at the very least make a press statement so it's on the record.

Dezsi

#125

Dezsi said:

Really? Nintendo, the gaming giant, has to lick the @ss of a nobody so that they make mediocre games for them?

Of course, there are many things Nintendo could and should be doing differently, but this? :D

CaPPa

#126

CaPPa said:

I'm not sure why an indie dev wouldn't know about the licensing fee being waived, because I knew about it and I doubt that I go as in depth as a proper dev should. If you don't know about your own business then you've got problems.

As for Nintendo paying to bring indie games to the Wii U, sure if they want to make it an exclusive, but if it's multiplatform then there isn't much to gain from it.

Ernest_The_Crab

#127

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@gatorboi352 It didn't get dismantled at all. There are two kinds of liars out there. Those that outright lie and those that hide the facts. If the writer was responsible in any definition of that word they would bothered to check their source and bothered to state the time of the second twitter post.

His next line further proves that he's trying to write in a sensationalist manner:

"Apparently he wrote something along the lines of "I travel a lot, so I feel your pain," in response to someone saying they didn't like the region locking of the 3DS. This was viewed as unacceptable in Nintendo's eyes, so there you go"

I've emphasized the last line for ALL of you to see: This was viewed as unacceptable in Nintendo's eyes, so there you go"

So...where's the proof?

That is the difference between a professional writer (one that is truly professional) vs someone that is an average blogger.

FineLerv

#128

FineLerv said:

According to the All-time Bestsellers tab on the e-shop, Trine 2 is the 3rd Highest selling e-shop download. The list is almost exclusively games that have at one point or another had a sale or are already cheap (VC games). The only two full retail games on the Top 20 all time best selling downloads to date are Wind Waker and Mario 3D World. Maybe if the 20 Au dollar price tag wasn't standard for Indie games these days we'd see more top sellers?

jakysnakydx

#129

jakysnakydx said:

@ECMIM I have to agree with this. As a developer Nintendo has been draconian as the author of the Gamasutra so eloquently puts it but in its own right. Nintendo does have a policy that it does not affiliate its name with Indie developers unless they fund them and then they want to show that they are the or a publisher of the game. I was told this today by a Nintendo rep so I feel it should hold some weight. Indie developers are indie. They are publishing their games on an open network and just like Apple and Google may highlight a few points its ultimately up to us to advertise and actually market from the beginning our own dang games. To pop on a soap box and complain that Nintendo isn't doing their job is in my frank estimation a bit immature. This doesn't say however that Nintendo isn't responsible for making it POSSIBLE to sell our games. Currently the eShop is a mess. It's an incomprehensible mess reminiscent of a website from the late 1990's. The only exposure indie games get are a one week highlight on the home page and then shunned to an almost unidentifiable 'indie games' portal somewhere near the bottom third of the page. I agree that Nintendo is basically putting our product in a small hole in the back shelf of a walmart distribution center but it's not Nintendo's job to get on Twitter and sell your product. If you're unwilling to spend money on marketing and the big part of it which is advertising then ... welcome to business. You're over your head.

unrandomsam

#131

unrandomsam said:

@element187 Well when Nintendo was in the dominant position - NEC Avenue (On behalf of Hudson) and Sega had to do completely reprogrammed games. Not ports but completely from scratch.

Its not Marxist.

Nintendo holding back their own back catalog so it is not competing with 2nd rate indie junk is closer to it.

Wolfgabe

#132

Wolfgabe said:

No offense but I find this very hard to take when countless developers have stated the exact opposite. Turn around times are fast, you don't need to pay for space on the front page, they do their fair share of indie promotion through Directs and game reels, they actually asked for Strangers Wrath HD on Wii U. To me this guy sounds less like a developer and more like an upset journalist who couldn't get a story. I really doubt they would actually forbid Dan Adelman to speak with indie developers

S-Miyahon

#133

S-Miyahon said:

In other words, he's blaming Nintendo for NOT finding every single dev in the industry. Yeah. Nintendo sure has the time to do that

GC-161

#134

GC-161 said:

I'm very happy with the indie games that have come my way on eShop. Talking about the 3DS version of the service.

Sorry to hear that some devs feel differently about the service. Hope that their complaints get heard loud and clear.

To be fair, I've also read about many other devs that have had success on eShop. Not just Jools but also Beril, Brian Provinciano and the good people at Image & Form.

eShop is not perfect and I think NOA knows it. Not sure NoJ does, though.

Nintenjoe64

#135

Nintenjoe64 said:

I reckon this is the perfect way to get exposure. Comment threads for most news about indie games range from 15-30 but if they are saying something negative about Nintendo they get 100+. I reckon 'indie devs' must all have shares in the internet.

jasonbra

#136

jasonbra said:

So an independent developer wants Nintendo to fund them? I dont think he understands what independent means.

ToxieDogg

#137

ToxieDogg said:

@Peach64 What?

'To those saying that it's only the bad developers that seem to have issues with Nintendo, then why is there is there no Braid, no Fez, not Hotline Miami, no Limbo, no Brothers, no Bastion, no Mark of the Ninja, no Spelunky, no Rogue Legacy? Or are these games all shovel ware made by lazy devs? Erm, don't think so. There's a reason they're not on Nintendo platforms'

Hmm. You do realise Mark Of The Ninja is published by Microsoft Studios don't you? You might as well ask why NES Remix isn't on Xbox Live Arcade or PSN. Neither Hotline Miami or Rogue Lagacy are available on Xbox Live Arcade, Bastion's not on PSN. Why is this? Are Microsoft and Sony not doing enough to support these devs? Scandalous!

'The only good indie game on any Nintendo platform right now is Steam World Dig, with Gaucamelee on the way.'

They're both good games, but what absolute nonsense to say that they're the only good indie games on any Nintendo platform right now. It's as if the likes of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Zen Pinball 2, Bit Trip Runner 2, Knytt Underground, Nano Assault Neo, Go Go Kokopolo, Fractured Soul, Mighty Switch Force, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Dodogo and looooooods of others I could mention (and that's even before you get to Nintendo's own download stuff like Pullblox, Dillon's Rolling Western, HarmoKnight, Fluidity/Hydroventure, etc.) just don't exist in your world. Seriously, did you even think about that before you typed it? I can understand that you might really, really love Steamworld Dig and Guacamalee, but they're not the be all and end all of worthwhile indie games, lol.

'These devs are not asking Nintendo to do their work, but they're reaching towards Nintendo to ask for info and get ignored, so they think, why bother? We end up in the situation where most devs making eShop games are just Nintendo fan boys, not makers of quality games.'

I actually agree with some of that. I think Nintendo is way too secretive, I think they're wrong not to keep all their Twitter feeds active and I do think they should make more of an effort to reach out to indie devs. The problem is, you're wrapping it up in some absurd argument that there aren't already a lot of genuinely great download indie games available across all existing Nintendo platforms (don't forget that 3DS has access to the entire DSiWare catalogue, and Wii U owners can access WiiWare). More are always welcome, of course. :)

Action51

#138

Action51 said:

What makes this Brandon Sheffield sound more like an entitled blogger with delusions of grandeur and less like a jilted victim of Nintendo's evil policy?

1) His name dropping and demands

2)This:

  • "I decided to speak with two eShop developers and one publisher to get some actual numbers. A developer of a 3D action game sold 1,000 units in the U.S., and 400 in Europe in their first month. They're hoping to eventually reach sales of 5,000. A developer of a casual game sold fewer than 3,000 units across EU and NA in six months, but got a similar number in Japan in just one month. The publisher I spoke to, which is very experienced in the eShop space, told me that with the sort of game I was pitching — an action puzzle game — I could expect an income ceiling of about $2,000, and I should plan accordingly."

Wow, that's really vague and it makes me wonder if these were the ONLY two developers he spoke to, or the two who had bad experiences, or if he only sought out developers and games that would give him the negative story he wanted.

Or did he just make that up...no sources, no names on record, which means no actual facts that can be proven or dis-proven.

3) Ultimately, I think this guy figured out how to get himself "on the map"...before today, nobody knew or cared who Brandon Sheffield was, now he's the guy getting articles written about him for picking the lowest of low hanging fruits in modern video game journalism - Nintendo bashing.

Sorry, I just don't buy this act. I think someone is looking for 15 minutes of fame here.

joey302

#139

joey302 said:

All I know is even though the wii u eshop has been a tiny bit better lately, Nintendo still has a ways to go and still sucking the big one as far as the pace of the vc releases go.

ToxieDogg

#140

ToxieDogg said:

@Action51 'Wow, that's really vague and it makes me wonder if these were the ONLY two developers he spoke to, or the two who had bad experiences, or if he only sought out developers and games that would give him the negative story he wanted.'

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, he's possibly deliberately talked to developers who've made games that had average/poor reviews in order to get more weight for the negative story he wanted. He certainly hasn't talked to Bertil Horberg about how successful Gunman Clive was on the 3DS E-Shop compared to the other platforms it was released on, that's for sure. ;)

Zombie_Barioth

#141

Zombie_Barioth said:

I wouldn't be surprised one bit that they're hard to get along with. Nintendo has always been like that and I'd say it has more to do with being stuck in their ways than anything. The way I see it Nintendo is going to do what they're going to do, no matter what anyone says. Its like trying to get someone to change their diet or lose weight, if they don't care and don't want to then they just can't be arsed.

If I remember right I think a lot of the praise from indies was that once you get in your golden. If thats the case then Brandon Sheffield has a point, since the problem hes referring to is just that, getting a foot in the door. I'm sure Nintendo is great when your in the loop and they actually WANT to work with you.

Action51

#142

Action51 said:

@ToxieDogg

  • "He certainly hasn't talked to Bertil Horberg about how successful Gunman Clive was on the 3DS E-Shop compared to the other platforms it was released on, that's for sure."

Gunman Clive....two of the best dollars I've ever spent on gaming. :)

Shworange

#144

Shworange said:

What a disheartening article. Nintendo while I love you, you have to wake the hell up! Are you actively trying to tank your company? That certainly is what it feels like sometimes. Yea, I know they have a huge war chest of billions of dollars. What good is it though when everyone turns their backs on you due to stupid problems of your own making! If Nintendo fails one day, it will be their fault due to their stubborn refusal to adapt and change with the times. You can't just ride the coat tails of the Nintendo name any longer. You act as though you are still a impenetrable force to be reckoned with. You aren't. Not when Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Google and Amazon cast larger shadows that you. To compete, you have to be the guys that freaking work harder! Show the world why you're still the best! Forget the past, because it is irrelevant in the world of Moore's Law. You can be proud of your heritage, but if you're going to insist that the world live in the 80s with you, then you're party will become a funeral dirge.

smashbrolink

#146

smashbrolink said:

@jakysnakydx You act as if Steam and other places don't put all of your games right into the same obscure hole that you claim Nintendo does, after your fifteen minutes of fame on the front page.

SCAR392

#147

SCAR392 said:

I think his point is tat Nintendo just needs to do a better job. Asking to fund indies is just BS, though. Just because Sony does it, doesn't mean you should expect it from Nintendo, or even Sony in the near future.

He didn't even explain why his demands mattered, aside from the ones that don't really make that much sense.

FLUX_CAPACITOR

#148

FLUX_CAPACITOR said:

@shingi_70 I've never dealt with Sony, but I know from personal experience what a pain in the butt it is to deal with microsoft from a developer's point of view. I don't know where this notion is coming from that microsoft is so good to indies; they're not. They're horrible, and they have legitimately driven devs under with their insane requirements and policies. It's not even indies, either. Just look at what microsoft did to rare and try to tell me those dolts know how to take care of their partners.

And I'd like to hear Nintendo's side of the story, although I'm sure that won't happen. But I'd be willing to bet that this guy's game looked like an obvious pass for nintendo, and that's why they had no desire (apparently) to fund his marketing campaign. Everyone criticized wii for its shovelware, yet praises the new tidal wave of indie games out there. But the sad truth is that the vast majority of indie games are just the newest incarnation of shovelware. Very few of them deserve the praise or the cheap prices they're asking.

Sceptic

#149

Sceptic said:

I love how out of touch some people are here.

The point of the article is that indies don't need Nintendo, because they have other platforms where they get everything they want and then some. Nintendo however does need the indies, but fails to do what it takes to get them.

He's not saying "I want XY or else", he's saying "I'm getting XY everywhere else except from Nintendo, but Nintendo would need me most. Why is that?". But some people here turn that right around just so they can call him names. The indies are developing in scores, but mostly not for Nintendo. He's trying to explain why. It's called competition and Nintendo is losing big time on all fronts.

Nintendo will be the Amiga of this generation. Our kids' kids will have to look them up on Wikipedia.

ICHIkatakuri

#150

ICHIkatakuri said:

Though I'm not really in for the doom and gloom of the article, I have been thinking about ways in which I would like to see Nintendo improve their dashboard as it doesn't play to my OCD very well. I have always wanted them to have separate areas or tabs for VC games, organised by machine. But if eshop purchases were organised and links put into their respective areas on the eshop, then surely if someone has a indie game menu with nothing in it, they're going to press the eshop button just to have a look at what's on offer. It tidies up the eshop a bit then too.

MysticX

#151

MysticX said:

I don't know what's sadder TBH: nintendo acting like it's still the late 80s and everybody lapping up whatever they do, or the people leaping to their defense with the "It's everybody else's fault! Nintendo is great!"-routine.

Nintendo is a great company, but they need to realize it's the year 2014 now, just blindly doing what they feel like isn't going to get them profit anymore, time to work with indie developers (and third-party ones for that matter) instead of grudgingly tolerating them...

skywake

#152

skywake said:

This guy wasn't trying to approach them as a developer. He was trying to approach them as a journalist writing an article. Worth remembering that before jumping to conclusions either way about this.

BertoFlyingFox

#153

BertoFlyingFox said:

Microsoft is good to indies? Complete and utter bull.

I'll sum up Sheffields rant: "Nintendo should moneyhat everyone/everything. Here are some worthless numbers based on my Secret Santa office pool."

The start of this article tells me that Sheffield can turn his ire in any direction he wants and get publicity for it....which is what easily could be happening here.

Nintendo has a lot of work to do and they definitely have to steer the ship in the right direction, but holding them to the standards of much bigger companies with multiple divisions/closures/layoffs isnt shining an unbiased light on the situation. The rants just come off as childish "he said, she said" bullcrap.

Sceptic

#154

Sceptic said:

The only worthless numbers are the ones Nintendo feeds us.

They report units shipped not units sold? That really says it all. That's how they will make their revised sales projections too, even if it means Iwata has to drive, er, 'ship' a few hundred thousand WiiU units to the landfill himself.

Rin-go

#155

Rin-go said:

Because I didn't get an interview, I will just assume things. That's what it seems like.
But at least some have something to push their agenda with.

Tobias95

#156

Tobias95 said:

@MysticX The reason people defends Nintendo its because in this case (and allmoste everytime) is the good guys. Thay are hard working and nice people, and they are not as lazy as this indies seems to be.

And Im pretty sure Nintendo knows its 2014

unrandomsam

#158

unrandomsam said:

@Unca_Lz Anything that comes via PR is meaningless. Deliberate made to be misleading. (There is also stuff like what Blackberry did with the Playbook where you can ship tons and then have to firesale them.) The important metric is net profit but they deliberately mix stuff together to get away from reporting that information. (Microsoft puts Surface / Phones / Xbox all together). There is also what Sony has done where by giving away the free games but they don't speak about that either. Seems very unlikely to me that people used to that would buy as many.

World

#159

World said:

I think Sheffield is doing nothing worse here than being a bit ethnocentric. Like many people, he just assumes that the American way of judging a professional's quality by whether or not they could "have a beer with him/her" is universal.

Not every culture cares about, or dare I say wants, that level of openness from people in positions of power.

Nintendo is a traditional Japanese company with traditional Japanese values. It's not accurate to compare them to Sony, who's got much more at stake with their tech empire and is thus forced to pander a lot more to Americans. And Microsoft IS American, so whatever.

Would Nintendo sell more games if they just assimilated and adopted American values? Maybe, but I suspect there's more at stake for Nintendo here than just a bottom line.

SetupDisk

#160

SetupDisk said:

As someone with a PS3 and a new HD installed I am not so sure about how many quality indie titles Nintendo is missing out on. There is a lot more crap than quality in percentage on the PSN. I would love it if it was the blissful place of awesomeness that apparently some people think it is. But it is not... at all.

There are some quality games on PSN that you can only get there but it is not a large number. There are more freaking outfit dlcs for DOA than that.

SetupDisk

#161

SetupDisk said:

The PSN has a great advantage in great older retail games offered at discount. But that is natural anyway. It's not like that on the PS4 game selection. I don't know about vita.

Action51

#162

Action51 said:

To the usual Nintendoom squad:

Be aware that there is a difference between blindly defending Nintendo, and looking at this Brandon Sheffield guy who seems to feel entitled to special treatment from Nintendo, and then went off to write an angry rant with unsourced numbers with skepticism.

I sure love Nintendo products, but who am I to demand an audience with their senior staff? Or Sony and Microsoft senior staff for that matter!

You don't have to love apples to understand when a worm is crawling into one, and you don't have to love Nintendo to recognize an angry, unjustified attack.

Action51

#163

Action51 said:

Remember, anyone can claim to be an "indie developer" these days.

Hey look, I slapped some crude pixel art to be called by a script template on an open source engine I downloaded...I'm an indie developer! I demand an audience with senior level people from large gaming companies...and If I don't get one, I'm gonna write slanderous articles!

LittleIrves

#164

LittleIrves said:

@World
"I think Sheffield is doing nothing worse here than being a bit ethnocentric. Like many people, he just assumes that the American way of judging a professional's quality by whether or not they could "have a beer with him/her" is universal... Not every culture cares about, or dare I say wants, that level of openness from people in positions of power."

Yes. I thought this same thing when I read the article. "Why would I care about getting a beer with some exec?" You hit the nail on the head with emphasizing that Nintendo has a different rule-set in place than Sony/Msoft. Maybe it'll negatively impact their business. But, as you say, "there's more at stake for Nintendo here than just a bottom-line." Sheffield and other Western devs would be wise to remember that.

gregrout

#165

gregrout said:

I think the issue here is intent. If your approach towards Nintendo is as a developer, you'll be supported. If your approach as in this case, is tabloid journalist then you should be denied. Nothing was going to stop Brandon Sheffield from writing his "dire-Nintendo" click bait piece. The fact that Sheffield is linked to game development is a coincident to his interview request. There's no title or mention of any potential Wii-U / 3DS title remotely linked to Necrosoft. Nintendo saw this as what it was and gave Sheffield the cold shoulder he deserves.

unrandomsam

#166

unrandomsam said:

@SetupDisk Most of anything is rubbish. (Films / Music / Games). What is important is the diversity and absolute number of high quality games. (Ideally exclusives).

SetupDisk

#167

SetupDisk said:

@unrandomsam
Oh I get that, I was just getting annoyed about how PSN was being described as indie gaming heaven on a site where I am sure some posters don't have access to it to get their own opinion.

There is much more quality on the classics and retail downloads than the indie games on PSN. When I saw Steamworld dig was only PS4/Vita I was disappointed as I was thinking of buying that again rather than other indie games on there.

I am not sure if they are considered indie or not but the only really major thing lacking are the Telltale game series like the walking dead etc. Hell I got back to the future the other day for 99 cents! I also could have got retro city for the same price but I already had it on 3DS.

Dr_Corndog

#168

Dr_Corndog said:

This makes me wonder whether all of Nintendo's recent problems boil down to poor communication, with developers and with consumers.

Windy

#169

Windy said:

I fired Adelman months ago for his lack of VC releases. maybe that's why he couldn't get a hold of him :P

unrandomsam

#170

unrandomsam said:

@Action51 Whether it is crude or not is really unimportant to me. VVVVVV is miles better than e.g something dull that looks nice like Trine 2. Potatoman is much better than almost all of the similar type of games I have bought for the 3DS.

Still think Treasure is the best indie developer. Regardless of whether it is as Treasure or for others what they do is always of the best quality.

ecco6t9

#171

ecco6t9 said:

It fly's in the face of what we know to be facts from about 90% of the developers on the eShop.

Sounds like sour grapes.

BJQ1972

#172

BJQ1972 said:

Hmmm, so the developers of games like Retro City Rampage and Steamworld Dig praise the new eShop, and the developer of a very basic match 3 puzzle game is very negative about Nintendo. There's a reason that some games sell nothing, and it isn't because of a lack of support from Nintendo.

If Nintendo keep the sort of tat that has overrun the AppStore off eShop then surely that can only be a good thing.

unrandomsam

#176

unrandomsam said:

@BJQ1972 The thing is they are not keeping the eshop free of junk. Most of what is on there is the same rubbish but priced miles higher. In many genres mobile has entries that are light years better. (Punch Quest for example as an endless runner).

Sceptic

#177

Sceptic said:

@unrandomsam: Amen to that. But some people live in Iwata-Land. There's no decent mobile games there of course. And it's all region locked. For the greater good. Please understand.

DarrelltheJ

#180

DarrelltheJ said:

This is definitely a mixed bag, and I'm not referring to the opinions.
On one hand we know Nintendo has issues, that's undeniable. Sony and Microsoft have their own as well though many people seem like act like they don't exist.
But on the other hand there seems to be a lot of biased whining against Ninten. They have made themselves open to people working with them, as we have seen, and they have made the people aware of their indie support. Could it be better, of course, but I don't think it's bad either.

pnutz

#181

pnutz said:

I sometimes feel too apologetic for Ninty. But these comments are really putting that into perspective. People are lashing out at indie developers for not putting more support into the smallest and least visible marketplace, defending the state of the eShop as the 'most fair and open' option, denying there is anything wrong with Nintendo's relationship with 3rd party developers, inferring some kind of "quality over quantity", referring to the practices of the much more successful competition from huge multinational industry leaders as "Marxism".

I don't understand how one can be this closed off from reality. Do you want these problems to be fixed (most of which should have been obvious before this article came out) or just wait until everything becomes perfect so you can pretend it was never bad?

C-Olimar

#182

C-Olimar said:

The guy is clearly asking the wrong people about sales numbers - if a game like Witch and Hero can sell 100K the eShop environment can't be that bad.

ljinkakidd

#183

ljinkakidd said:

Why register on NINTENDO LIFE to downplay Nintendo. It's just stupid. (I'm not pointing any fingers).

jakysnakydx

#184

jakysnakydx said:

@smashbrolink I actually have no idea what other publisher site/programs do. I try not to compare/contrast when directing comments at a particular subject or individual. I assume they do though! Especially with the sheer number of titles hitting the shelves. Same as iPhone and Android games.

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