Nintendo Backtracks on "Garage Developers" Comment

Nintendo Backtracks on "Garage Developers" Comment

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A Nintendo representative said he cares about the quality of content, not the office space of the developer.

On March 18th, Fils-Aime said he wasn't interested in selling a game for $1. Clarifying some of the comments made in his boss Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at GDC, Fils-Aime said he was worried that the flood of low-priced and low-value games that he sees on competitor's marketplaces like Xbox Live Arcade and Apple's App Store might undermine the gaming industry. Fils-Aime wants to work with true independent studios and not "hobbyists." Nintendo's director of PR, Marc Franklin, attempted to distance the company from Fils-Aime's statements by underlining that Nintendo cares about quality of games, not just how big the developer's offices are.

"Nintendo always appreciates good quality content regardless of whether that's coming from an indie developer or a more established publisher," Franklin said.

"For example, we've worked with 2D Boy, the people behind World of Goo for WiiWare," said Franklin. "This is a group of guys who don't even have an office. So we embrace that kind of independent spirit and it's ultimately the most innovative content that will rise to the top."

Nintendo has been the king of the traditional handheld market with the DS line, but it is seeing competition from the extremely low prices of cellphone and tablet games. All Nintendo has been saying is that it doesn't want to get into a price war with small and mostly crappy games. For every $1 Angry Birds, there are 100 piles of dreck that aren't worth 1 cent.

"The value of video game software does not matter to [small game-makers]. The fact is, what we produce has value, and we should protect that value," Iwata said during his keynote speech. From Nintendo's point of view, it's not worth it to compete directly with small games. The Japanese company has been known for quality games, and that's what they want to deliver going forward.

I'm just waiting for someone to ask Iwata or Fils-Aime about the shovelware that's available on the Wii. Where's the value there?

Source: Gamasutra

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Greg Tito:
I'm just waiting for someone to ask Iwata or Fils-Aime about the shovelware that's available on the Wii. Where's the value there?

A renewable source of fuel?

OT: If games are art then that means an artist, or the artwork itself can come from anywhere. Just look at Notch, or even the guy who invented Pokemon.

I get what they're saying, and the guy has a good point. For every Minecraft and Angry Birds, there are hundreds of "Get to da Choppa!!1!"s and "Bible Trivia"s.

But you just can't take it seriously when you go to a Gamestop and see most of the shelf contains nothing but shovelware. Sure, it's the other devs who MAKE the games, and there are other publishers besides Nintendo who publish for the Wii, but at some point in the corporate chain, Nintendo has to agree to let it be on the system.

LOL... I remember the good ole days and the "nintendo seal of approval" Its funny how nintendo likes to hide behind their level of "quality" and yet produces such plainly bad offerings. Complaining about the level of quality of games from indie developers. I cant help but to think this complaint came from concerns about the fact that it hurts their profits because with the low prices of indie games makes it a market that is somewhat idea for kids who usually dont have their own disposable income. Perhaps, maybe not.

The only "value" I think they're trying to protect is the ability to charge $50+ for a new Wii game. All the other platforms have realized that there's immense value in an online store, despite the crapware it entails.

Oh my GOD, what freaking hypocrites, talking about "garbage games" for the Xbox Live Arcade and Apple's App store, while their consoles are the ones who's best know for having the most shovelware out of all of them!

"it's ultimately the most innovative content that will rise to the top" - a Nintendo employee.

HAHAHAHA!

Edit: I should probably write something more substantial. Ahem.

I find it hilarious that a company like Nintendo makes a statement like that, when their primary strategy the past decade appears to have been to essentially remake and/or re-release everything they did before said decade.

Well maybe if the titles on the Wii and DS weren't divided between shameless pieces of shovelware garbage and regurgitated franchises that got old on N64 I could take what Nintendo has to say about this matter seriously. Sadly that is not the case. Now the software library for Nintendo's consoles is largely a massive pile of feces with the occasional cubic zirconium buried here and there.

A thought that recently occurred to me. The Wii ShovelWare may actually be helping Nintendo's cause.

--- Wild Speculation Follows ---

I think, perhaps, that Nintendo wants to be like the Atari of old, and do to third parties what Atari couldn't do to Activision. Nintendo wants control of its system within its own hands - I bet it makes more money off first-party Nintendo-developed games than third-party ones, even allowing for development costs. Third-party shovelware reinforces buyer's belief that the only games they can trust come from Nintendo. (WiiWare downloads appear to come from Nintendo in the way they're downloaded, thus still helping the cause, and they're bought with Nintendo Points which are already bought and paid for through Nintendo itself before any games are even downloaded.) Perhaps Nintendo's ultimate goal is "If we can't have a world where all the games are ours, let's make sure only the good ones are."

This is total speculation based off a five-minute brainstorm, I have nothing to back it up, and I may be more off-base than a lost starship, but what the hey. Baseless conspiracy theories are one of the backbones of the internet, right? (At least that's what *they* want us to think...)

MB202:
Oh my GOD, what freaking hypocrites, talking about "garbage games" for the Xbox Live Arcade and Apple's App store, while their consoles are the ones who's best know for having the most shovelware out of all of them!

Meh, pretty much every developer on the market these days is a hypocrite if you ask me. Why should Nintendo be any different?

I might have to save this article for whenever I need to show someone a perfect case of irony.

I think it'll undermine the industry in the same way that TV movies undermine big budget films. ie not very much.

Greg Tito:
Nintendo has been the king of the traditional handheld market with the DS line, but it is seeing competition from the extremely low prices of cellphone and tablet games.

While that comparison puts Nintendo in precisely the light I suspect they prefer, that's not all they are competing with. Their handheld line is also challenged by extreme mobility, persistent Internet connections (and related online gameplay advantages), and new, less traditional gaming experiences, for both good and bad. Low price points are not all Android/iOS/Windows Mobile are offering gamers.

Not to go off topic, but I can think of at lest one "garage" developer that Nintendo shouldn't look over:

And this was almost eight years ago.

What I got from this:

"We done goofed. Sorry." -Nintendo

I understand what they are trying to say now, I'm just not thrilled about how they said it.

They block "hobbyists", yet they'll put truckloads of shovelware onto the DS.

I love pokemon, but I don't know how much longer I can support this.

"The Japanese company has been known for quality games, and that's what they want to deliver going forward."

Ha! I owned a Wii you know, the shit I took this morning has more meaning then that Nintendo proof of quality seal.

Greg Tito:
For every $1 Angry Birds, there are 100 piles of dreck that aren't worth 1 cent.

I'd actually count Angry Birds among that pile of nonsense that isn't worth 1 cent. It's not a terribly new or fun idea, and even if it was fun, it's available for free in different forms on so many flash game sites that it literally isn't worth paying 1 cent for.

Furthermore, I still have trouble seeing cellphone/tablet games as real competition for an actual gaming platform like the DS or 3DS. Who buys a phone or tablet thinking "I can't wait to play some Angry Birds and Cut the Rope!" Nobody. They buy a phone or tablet for other stuff, and then when they're out and they're bored somewhere, they think "I'm bored, maybe I'll buy this Angry Birds thing to kill some time."

But then when they want a dedicated gaming platform that can deliver some substance instead of just flash games you pay for (I wouldn't be surprised if this is really why they won't put Flash support on their iDevices instead of that rant Steve Jobs said: nobody would buy any games from their App Store if they could play them for free on the device's web browser) and is portable, they're going to start looking at the DS, 3DS, PSP, and NGP. And they're going to be getting games that you can't find for free on Newgrounds or Kongregate.

So really, I don't know why any serious game company would be worried about the cheap diversions found on phones and tablets. Even the "best" ones like Angry Birds are just throwaway little flash games that are only good at killing time until you need something else so you don't go insane playing something so unoriginal and boring.

Granted they have a couple valid points but they seem to be saying "We only like Indi developers that already have a hit game!" Maybe I am just too cynical.

Woodsey:
"The Japanese company has been known for quality games, and that's what they want to deliver going forward."

Ha! I owned a Wii you know, the shit I took this morning has more meaning then that Nintendo proof of quality seal.

First of all, the Nintendo Seal of Quality hasn't existed since 2003. Second, Nintendo has developed and produced many games which a lot people would argue are the best of all time. Third, what the hell are you doing on this thread if all you're going to do is flame? No matter how much I think certain developers are unimaginative or cheap, I'd at least offer some substantial criticism and refrain from making toilet jokes.

Yes, most 3rd party games on the Wii suck, (though much more than most people know of are quite good) but it's hardly Nintendo's fault if they sell and they're most certainly not going to prevent them from being released. I'm sick of all this mindless hate for Nintendo. Most of it is based off of insecurity or attempting to justify for one's self not owning a Wii and missing out on some of the most fun and creative games of this generation.

Also, the Wii library is so incredibly superior for local mulitplayer that it blows my mind.

This all started as a way for Nintendo to distance itself from the $1 market on the app store and it devolved/escalated to this.

I think their point all along was it's hard for people to spend (the mostly necassary) $40-$60 on a game at launch when there are quality 1$ titles (as little as there may be) on Apple's devices. It's a market economy, and the consumer has to feel like the experience they're getting out of a big title is worth $50, and the more 1$ games there are, the more this isn't the case. You simply can't make a profit selling the type of games that we (as users of this site who consider ourselves gamers) want at a comparable price.

Electrogecko:

Woodsey:
"The Japanese company has been known for quality games, and that's what they want to deliver going forward."

Ha! I owned a Wii you know, the shit I took this morning has more meaning then that Nintendo proof of quality seal.

First of all, the Nintendo Seal of Quality hasn't existed since 2003. Second, Nintendo has developed and produced many games which a lot people would argue are the best of all time. Third, what the hell are you doing on this thread if all you're going to do is flame? No matter how much I think certain developers are unimaginative or cheap, I'd at least offer some substantial criticism and refrain from making toilet jokes.

Yes, most 3rd party games on the Wii suck, (though much more than most people know of are quite good) but it's hardly Nintendo's fault if they sell and they're most certainly not going to prevent them from being released. I'm sick of all this mindless hate for Nintendo. Most of it is based off of insecurity or attempting to justify for one's self not owning a Wii and missing out on some of the most fun and creative games of this generation.

Also, the Wii library is so incredibly superior for local mulitplayer that it blows my mind.

I am looking at a Nintendo seal of quality on a copy of Red Steel right now. And on Spider-Man 3. And I'd see them on all the other games that I sold off too.

And yes, they have, but they also have easily the largest amount of shovelware on their console of the 3.

"Most of it is based off of insecurity or attempting to justify for one's self not owning a Wii and missing out on some of the most fun and creative games of this generation."

I owned a Wii. I'm not missing out on anything - and I imagine that's the opinion of most people who used to belong to the club (or who still do and have just forgotten about it). Its not mindless hate.

Finally, and most importantly, I like toilet jokes. If you want to take yourself so very seriously then go ahead, but since you aren't writing my comment for me, I'll say what I like.

mjc0961:

Greg Tito:
For every $1 Angry Birds, there are 100 piles of dreck that aren't worth 1 cent.

I'd actually count Angry Birds among that pile of nonsense that isn't worth 1 cent. It's not a terribly new or fun idea, and even if it was fun, it's available for free in different forms on so many flash game sites that it literally isn't worth paying 1 cent for.

Furthermore, I still have trouble seeing cellphone/tablet games as real competition for an actual gaming platform like the DS or 3DS. Who buys a phone or tablet thinking "I can't wait to play some Angry Birds and Cut the Rope!" Nobody. They buy a phone or tablet for other stuff, and then when they're out and they're bored somewhere, they think "I'm bored, maybe I'll buy this Angry Birds thing to kill some time."

But then when they want a dedicated gaming platform that can deliver some substance instead of just flash games you pay for (I wouldn't be surprised if this is really why they won't put Flash support on their iDevices instead of that rant Steve Jobs said: nobody would buy any games from their App Store if they could play them for free on the device's web browser) and is portable, they're going to start looking at the DS, 3DS, PSP, and NGP. And they're going to be getting games that you can't find for free on Newgrounds or Kongregate.

So really, I don't know why any serious game company would be worried about the cheap diversions found on phones and tablets. Even the "best" ones like Angry Birds are just throwaway little flash games that are only good at killing time until you need something else so you don't go insane playing something so unoriginal and boring.

The mobile gaming market is very real competition for the likes of the Sony and Nintendo. They currently are and will continue to be competing heavily for the adult gamer market. I know in my circle of friends back when we were in high school we all had actual portable consoles. Now, there just isn't a point and except for maybe one or two of us we all have iPhones or Android phones and those work nicely for gaming on the go. Mobile gaming just makes more sense for a good many people.

For one, games on phones are evolving at a pretty impressive rate. Today you have games like Infinity Blade on iOS and Spectral Souls (A full 60+ hour Strategy RPG) on iOS and Android. Then you also have the soon to be released Xperia Play from Sony that will offer games more in line with what you'd expect to see on a PSP or DS.

Secondly, mobile gaming is typically more than enough to satisfy the needs of a lot of people. I don't know too many people that have the time to invest in more than a handful of minutes a day gaming on the go. Sure there are the odd moments waiting for an appointment or killing time on lunch etc but if I have a good chunk of time to do some actual gaming I will do it on either one of my consoles or PC.

Next you have convenience and versatility. Sure a five six years ago you didn't think much of carrying around a cell phone, an mp3 player, a digital camera and portable gaming console. These days the idea seems absurd when most smart phones do all of that all wrapped up in once tiny little device. Why on earth would you want to carry around another entire device to do something that your phone is more than capable of doing already.

Finally you have price. For a lot of us it simply makes no sense to invest 200+ dollars on an additional device and 40+ dollars for games when the phone we already have has games available for less than it costs to buy lunch most days.

In conclusion I think the market for portable consoles like the DS and PSP is rapidly shifting more towards the hardcore gaming crowd and children while everyone else is able to easily make due with the gaming choices available via their phones. And as phones evolve and the games on them evolve the market for portable consoles will continue to suffer as a result.

It seems that Fils-Aime's comment still sticks, because all the PR guy is saying is that Nintendo values people who can make great games on a consistent basis. People who do that aren't "hobbyists," they're people who actually think about the game they're making. A hobbyist would put out one of those hundred games that aren't worth a cent.

Also, as far as shovelware is concerned, I think it's more of a business deal at that point in the "relationship" between Nintendo and the developer, so I don't think Nintendo would look that good if it started telling everyone who they thought were making crappy games "No we won't publish that game because it looks like crap to us."

Minecraft is a good example. It doesn't seem likely that any publisher would look at that and say "Yep that's a game that will sell hundreds of thousands of copies." However it has gone on to do just that. Nintendo probably doesn't want to miss out on the next high selling game.

Greg Tito:
"... it's ultimately the most innovative content that will rise to the top."

Says the rep for a company that's been coasting on slapping a new coat of paint on the same 5 or so software titles for the last 20 years.

I get what they're trying to say, and I can't say I don't agree with it, but the way they are approaching the issue just keeps making them sound even worse. Forget about putting your foot in your mouth, I believe they're almost at their knee by this point.

I'd have thought of a good comment by now, but I'm filled with too much shock and rage to do so.

Oh well, I'm going to go play "Paper Toss" on my iPhone for a bit.

It seems that they are trying to justify paying much more for there crap while trying to make the appstore,android market, etc. crap sound worse even though if i get burned for a dollar for some crap i got off said appstore i am not nearly as pissed as when i get burned 30 times that amount with the crap in the wii. All my wii is for is pretty much waiting for the big franchises to come out like zelda, mario, blah blah blah. Other than that it pretty much collects dust while i play my other systems.

B-rad747:
I might have to save this article for whenever I need to show someone a perfect case of irony.

Already added the bookmark, mate.

Greg Tito:
I'm just waiting for someone to ask Iwata or Fils-Aime about the shovelware that's available on the Wii. Where's the value there?

You're barking up the wrong tree. It's funny how nobody blames Apple for the ton of worthless games and applications in the Appstore, yet so many people are pointing their finger at Nintendo for the shovelware on the Wii. Nevermind that it is third parties that are responsible for producing both.

Lordofthesuplex:

MB202:
Oh my GOD, what freaking hypocrites, talking about "garbage games" for the Xbox Live Arcade and Apple's App store, while their consoles are the ones who's best know for having the most shovelware out of all of them!

Meh, pretty much every developer on the market these days is a hypocrite if you ask me. Why should Nintendo be any different?

Well, I'm just saying Nintendo is hypocritical in this particular case.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:

Greg Tito:
I'm just waiting for someone to ask Iwata or Fils-Aime about the shovelware that's available on the Wii. Where's the value there?

A renewable source of fuel?

Lower cost per kilojoule than any other combustive fuel.

Klumpfot:
"it's ultimately the most innovative content that will rise to the top" - a Nintendo employee.

HAHAHAHA!

Edit: I should probably write something more substantial. Ahem.

I find it hilarious that a company like Nintendo makes a statement like that, when their primary strategy the past decade appears to have been to essentially remake and/or re-release everything they did before said decade.

Pretty much. Even by the sound of those 3DS titles, everything is just "Remember that one game X: 3D!"

Conceivably, more thought went into Angry Birds than the past decade of Mario spin-offs. That is not even treading into the notorious Wii shovelware Nintendo's been coughing out, either.

Woodsey:

"Most of it is based off of insecurity or attempting to justify for one's self not owning a Wii and missing out on some of the most fun and creative games of this generation."

I owned a Wii. I'm not missing out on anything - and I imagine that's the opinion of most people who used to belong to the club (or who still do and have just forgotten about it). Its not mindless hate.

Ayup.

Of the "current generation consoles" I only own the Wii, and I think it's a colossal piece of shit. You know what my Wii is good for? Gamecube games. Why? I never owned a Gamecube, because its selection of third party titles was also shit.

The Wii became so profitable because of fad-mentality. In practice, the motion controls don't add dick to a game. I can count on one hand the number of Wii I've seriously considered buying in the last 3 years on one hand and not for a lack of trying.

Nintendo is in no position to preach on the matters of supporting quality third party projects when they have consistently failed to so themselves FOR THE LAST DECADE.
Now, I hope they try to fix that, because it would be great to see quality gaming back on their system again that isn't fucking Mario, Metroid, Zelda, or Kirby.

I had a Wii. Sold it off once I got a PS3 and 360.

The Wii felt meh. At times it was okay, but the games were always "bleh".

And I found having to pay the same price as a new copy for a used or old game or even used and old copy was B.S. just because Mario or Zelda was in the title.

I know this has been said before, but, darnit, Nintendo! Stop making Mario, Zelda, Kirby and Metroid games as your main base. Seriously, I dare you to try and name a console from Nintendo that didn't have Mario on it.

Even the 3DS is getting a Mario game. I like those games, but honestly, do something new. Change the characters, get a new title...

 

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