Do Wii Really Want Nintendo on Top Again?
Getting beat can be a humbling experience. Nintendo seems to have finally learned this, and according to The New York Times, Nintendo is going out of it’s way to be nice to third party developers. Will it be too little too late? Not likely. Money talks, and everyone can see how many homes the Wii is getting into. Developers are happy to hop on board for the ride, but will they regret it in the end?
In the past Nintendo was famous for charging extremely high royalties for companies to put games out on their system. This on top of Nintendo insisting on keeping games on cartridges, which made game production costs much higher than on CD. This decision ultimately lead to the creation of the PlayStation after a deal between Sony and Nintendo got canned. It also lead to Square breaking up with Nintendo and moving Final Fantasy over to PS.
Nintendo has also been accused of holding back from developers certain features of their machines. This ensured that Nintendo’s own games would look and play better than those from third parties. But others counter that Nintendo only has this advantage because they made the system’s and of course know how to get the most out of it. Either way, could they have passed on a bit more knowledge to help the overall library grow with great games? Nintendo’s own games always are the top sellers, so many third party’s began staying away. Making a game for a Nintendo system only meant paying Nintendo for the privilege of competing against them at their own game.
Of course there was the history of Nintendo censoring games. It reinforced them as the kiddy console, and perhaps limited interest from certain publishers.
But now according to the article we have Nintendo opening things up in different ways. In some cases they have helped publishers learn how to get the most out of the Wii-mote. Jeff Brown from EA was quoted as saying “The relationship is warmer and more active than before.” Nintendo has even loaned out Mario to Sega for the Olympic game Sega is developing featuring Mario and Sonic. Reggie himself went to Rockstar to woo them, and came back with Manhunt 2, which of course screams “adult content” much louder than Resident Evil 4
So for now it’s a brave new Nintendo. Arguably they are already on top again. But if that lead continues to grow, will the wall come up again?