Nintendo President Says Third-Party Publishers Don't Get It

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Nintendo President Says Third-Party Publishers Don't Get It

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Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime says the dearth of quality third-party software for the Wii is simply the result of game publishers' failure to understand the system and its audience.

While Nintendo itself has met with tremendous success in developing games for the Wii, the results of third-party efforts on the system have been somewhat less than spectacular, particularly when compared with comparable development on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Speaking to Forbes recently, Fils-Aime laid the blame primarily on game publishers who have been hesitant to bring their top games to the Wii despite big interest in those titles among Wii owners.

"I will be able to say our licensees 'get it' when their very best content is on our platform," he said. "And with very few exceptions today, that's not the case."

Unlike Sony and Microsoft, who rely heavily on third-party publishers to support their platforms, nearly all the top-selling Wii games are published by Nintendo, including hits like Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy and many others. But there have been signs recently that Nintendo is being taken more seriously by some external developers: Sega is currently at work on the violent action game MadWorld for the Wii, and if Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS is a success, it could help convince other studios to take a more serious approach to the Nintendo platforms.

And speaking of Wii Fit, if you want one for Christmas you'd better grab one while you can. Fils-Aime said that while he continues to believe Nintendo has a "good shot at meeting demand" for the Wii this year, that won't be the case with the Wii Fit. "With Wii Fit, I know we'll fall short," he said. "That's a product we have consumers lining up for each morning outside of our Nintendo World store."

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Given the number of rather painfull looking gimmicy dance & quiz games that seem to have been shovelled on the Wii (im looking at you Samba Di Amigo), I think I agree entirely with that assessment that 3rd party publishers dont yet get the wii.

Especially they don't get the control scheme. It's not a console for dull shooters or run-of-the-mill games which live only from their bully graphics as is the case on XBox360 and PS3. You have to tackle this console entirely different and with fresh ideas taking advantage of the control scheme since with graphics you won't win a butter bread here.

Nintendo President to Third Party Producers: "Fuck you! Do better!"

Y'know, I was really tempted to get a Wii when I heard that Okami was going to be ported to it; I mean, what better game for a Wii-mote than one that has you wielding an ink brush in-game. Then I heard that they'd botched the controls, and that Red Steel's controls sucked, and that most games by 3rd-party developers weren't too imaginative when adapting to the new controller.

And that's when I stopped thinking about getting a Wii... and why I won't consider getting one until I hear about some games that really take advantage of the Wii-mote + nunchuk system as something other than an expensive rattle.

-- Steve

*cough* Wii Music *cough*

I would have to agree with Nintendo here. It's not the console, publishers just aren't putting the effort or thought required into using it properly.

I can do nothing more than agree (to quite an extent, at least) with what Reggie says. Too many developers try to take the easy way out for Wii software, and the ones who don't are still often stick with publishers that don't take the games seriously enough to market them properly.

@Anton

Really, Nintendo's games aren't too clever with the new controller either, and it's because the Wiimote is frankly garbage to develop for. Out of the four Nintendo games listed in the article, only Wii Sports really uses the Wiimote at all, and the controls in that game are pretty terrible in spots. I wouldn't expect any games with amazing control innovations, because, honestly, the hardware just isn't up to the task.

Nintendo-made games for Nintendo console better than 3rd party efforts.

Same ol' news keeps coming around every few years.

I have to agree, 3rd party companies are not really thinking outside the box, and are using the idea of the Wii being just a gimmick. Granted yes, these companies are selling their horrible games, but it's nothing that creates a new spectacle for gaming. There are plenty of ideas that I, as well as most of the individuals in these forums have, that would make great Wii games.

some of my friends recently developed a game using wiimotes... for the pc. there are no graphics whatsoever, in fact, the screen is black. it's a sex game and you're supposed to time your swings with a "partner", to which you'll get audible feedback on how well you're doing.

while it still has a few bugs, i'd say that the game proves very well how non-gimmicky gameplay with a wiimote could function.

i am unsure on what the escapist's policy on linking to other sites is, but if you want to check it out, it's available for download (this was not mean as an advertisement, but as a proof of concept):

http://darkroomsexgame.com

Of course they don't, but Nintendo aren't doing that much better with their crappy 'toy' games. I hope they won't cancel MadWorld, it might be the first step in getting the Wii taken seriously...

Possibly...
Maybe...
Not...

My thoughts on the matter, 3rd party devs are being led astray from their need to multi-platform their products. The 360 and PS3 are so similar in design that pretty much anything designed for one will work on the other, while the Wii is vastly different, and as such the devs are forced to choose between their product's availability on one system or two. Add to that, the MS/Sony systems also translate well to PC ports, while Nintendo's Wiimote and other trademark features exclude PC versions of Wii games.

So from an uninformed business perspective, Wii seems like a bad choice because your market is restricted to Wii owners only, while the other market targets PS3, XBox, and PC. But, just because you can release for three platforms, doesn't mean people will buy it on more than one. That in mind, compare the number of 360's and PS3 sales to Wii sales, and Wii becomes the smart choice. Wii has outsold the other two combined, and is still selling like Mountain Dew flavored crack, whereas the PS3 has flopped and a significant chunk of 360 system sales are replacements for RROD corpses.

image

Khell, the 360 and the PS3 are quite different to develop for; hence Valve's fencing off the PS3 (or fobbing their PS3 ports off to another studio) and the terribly variable level of quality between PS3 and 360 ports. The difference in horsepower may not be terribly great (especially in comparison with the Wii) but the architecture is different enough to be a problem when porting engines.

I wouldn't have commented on this if it weren't for the gratuitous RROD macro in a Wii thread.

-- Steve

I think there's also a sort of snowball effect going on. If other developers are slacking with their games, you might slack as well and still be able to sell your game.

eventually, and I am reallllly hoping this is soon, people will start to look up the reviews for games before they buy them, and then none of this 3rd party shovelware will move off the shelf. Then hopefully we will some actual attempts at good games by developers. Maybe MadWorld and Condor will change the theme of 3rd party companies, being those are the only 2 non nintendo games I would even consider buying.

This has been my thinking for a while. In a way, this lack of third party quality is a cycle. People see Wii, think "what a joke" and make cruddy games for it. Then, others see the lack of quality and decide not to make anything good for it. Say what you want, but Nintendo has used its own console pretty well. 90% of the good games on it are by Nintendo. And the wiimote is what developers make it. If they choose (Which they have) to use it as a gimmick, it becomes a gimmick.

theklng:
some of my friends recently developed a game using wiimotes... for the pc. there are no graphics whatsoever, in fact, the screen is black. it's a sex game and you're supposed to time your swings with a "partner", to which you'll get audible feedback on how well you're doing.

while it still has a few bugs, i'd say that the game proves very well how non-gimmicky gameplay with a wiimote could function.

i am unsure on what the escapist's policy on linking to other sites is, but if you want to check it out, it's available for download (this was not mean as an advertisement, but as a proof of concept):

http://darkroomsexgame.com

Err... I'm slightly worried by whoever came up with that as a concept for a game :S

whyarecarrots:

theklng:
some of my friends recently developed a game using wiimotes... for the pc. there are no graphics whatsoever, in fact, the screen is black. it's a sex game and you're supposed to time your swings with a "partner", to which you'll get audible feedback on how well you're doing.

while it still has a few bugs, i'd say that the game proves very well how non-gimmicky gameplay with a wiimote could function.

i am unsure on what the escapist's policy on linking to other sites is, but if you want to check it out, it's available for download (this was not mean as an advertisement, but as a proof of concept):

http://darkroomsexgame.com

Err... I'm slightly worried by whoever came up with that as a concept for a game :S

why? because it is different? maybe if you read about it you'd understand how the thought process began instead of just judging senselessly.

There is a new FPS coming out for the Wii that promises to outdo the predecessors. This game is called The Conduit. This developer is taking the Wii's graphical capabilities to the edge, and giving the controls a lot of forethought.

Anyways check the game out, I'm so far very impressed by what I've seen.

Also, The Conduit has full support for Wii Motion Plus, the recently announced attachment that improves the Wiimote's motion tracking abilities.

Also here's a quote from the Gamespy preview.


Will mentioned the intuitive controls that use a combination of the Nunchuck for movement and Wii Remote for aiming, but it's the mutability of these controls that makes them so easy to get used to. The Conduit features an unparalleled amount of control over how it interprets your movements, so if it doesn't handle exactly how you want it to, you can always adjust it to better fit how you want to play. You can alter the size and proportions of the bounding box, meaning that you can fine-tune when you want the Wii Remote to turn your character and when you only want the targeting reticule to move. The horizontal and vertical detection settings are independent, so if you want to turn quickly but look up and down more slowly you can set the controls to accommodate your preference by scaling the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the bounding box.

This is good news for us players. Many more aspects of the controls are able to be tailored to our tastes, which already promises to improve the overall quality of the controls.

Anton P. Nym:
Khell, the 360 and the PS3 are quite different to develop for; hence Valve's fencing off the PS3 (or fobbing their PS3 ports off to another studio) and the terribly variable level of quality between PS3 and 360 ports. The difference in horsepower may not be terribly great (especially in comparison with the Wii) but the architecture is different enough to be a problem when porting engines.

I wouldn't have commented on this if it weren't for the gratuitous RROD macro in a Wii thread.

PS3 and 360 have different core OS's, different hardware, and some lil other differences, but they are far more similar to eachother than they are to the Wii. And their differences are not as insurmountable as the Wii's are. Never said cross-console development was easy, but with those two systems it is possible. T'was much easier with the PS2 and the original XBox, but even with the current gen it can be done. The biggest factor is knowing ahead of time if you're going to cross-platform because certain considerations have to be taken into account from the start. A game exclusively designed for 360 cannot be later ported to the PS3, but one that was pre-coded for the possibility might. Either way, they both port to the PC easy enough (easy compared to dual-console porting).

Khell_Sennet:

PS3 and 360 have different core OS's, different hardware, and some lil other differences, but they are far more similar to eachother than they are to the Wii. And their differences are not as insurmountable as the Wii's are. Never said cross-console development was easy, but with those two systems it is possible. T'was much easier with the PS2 and the original XBox, but even with the current gen it can be done. The biggest factor is knowing ahead of time if you're going to cross-platform because certain considerations have to be taken into account from the start. A game exclusively designed for 360 cannot be later ported to the PS3, but one that was pre-coded for the possibility might. Either way, they both port to the PC easy enough (easy compared to dual-console porting).

Regardless, the PS3 is the most difficult console to develop for (ever). The Force Unleashed during its development cycle was significantly delayed because of the PS3. Also, saying the PS3 has "different hardware" is a bit vague especially considering the fact that the Processor alone is so radically different. Now programming for 7 cores already is a bit more time consuming. The biggest factor in the PS3's hardware that makes it so hard to develop for is the asymmetrical design of the Cell processor.

Also any game that is developed starts its life on the PC. Engine coding and 3D artwork are all done on the PC. The development kits for the PS3 and 360 are more like PCs then they are Consoles. In fact the dev kits are so different that some bug that would never appear on the dev kits will rear their ugly heads on the test kits or the console itself (Test kits, for all intents and purposes ARE the consoles, minus a few software differences).

SuperFriendBFG:

Regardless, the PS3 is the most difficult console to develop for (ever).

Any proof, or are you just pulling that out of your ass?

theklng:

why? because it is different? maybe if you read about it you'd understand how the thought process began instead of just judging senselessly.

Judging senselessly is maybe being a bit harsh. I see what they're doing in design terms, and I think the gameplay idea is very imaginative. I just think the package they chose to wrap it in is slightly bizarre/worrying.

I phrased my first post badly and didn't explain what I meant. Sorry.

thebobmaster:

SuperFriendBFG:

Regardless, the PS3 is the most difficult console to develop for (ever).

Any proof, or are you just pulling that out of your ass?

I'd say a little from column A, and a little from Column B.
No proof to back this, but I've always been told that the PS2 was absurdly hard to program for (as opposed to the PSX which was apparently shit-easy) which led to such a long time between when the PS2 launched, and the first actually decent games began to come out. My guess is the PS3 probably isn't any more friendly to work with.

The Wii is an underpowered console that on many occasions doesn`t get any attention because it is just not worth it. All previous attempts on greatness from the third party have failed, and only Nintendo has titles that were actually any good and even Nintendo is running out of ideas - Wii Music said it all.

Khell_Sennet:

thebobmaster:

SuperFriendBFG:

Regardless, the PS3 is the most difficult console to develop for (ever).

Any proof, or are you just pulling that out of your ass?

I'd say a little from column A, and a little from Column B.
No proof to back this, but I've always been told that the PS2 was absurdly hard to program for (as opposed to the PSX which was apparently shit-easy) which led to such a long time between when the PS2 launched, and the first actually decent games began to come out. My guess is the PS3 probably isn't any more friendly to work with.

FFX came out not too long after launch.

whyarecarrots:

theklng:

why? because it is different? maybe if you read about it you'd understand how the thought process began instead of just judging senselessly.

Judging senselessly is maybe being a bit harsh. I see what they're doing in design terms, and I think the gameplay idea is very imaginative. I just think the package they chose to wrap it in is slightly bizarre/worrying.

I phrased my first post badly and didn't explain what I meant. Sorry.

it wasn't how your first post was phrased, it was the content i was referring to. explain to me why it is "slightly worrying"... and compared to what. i'm trying to make you see that your way of looking at things is limited by your "normalization", which is a judgment set by society.

don't let society dictate your rules, form your own opinions out from what you think and feel, and stop comparing everything to "the norm". there's a world out there that you're missing out on because of this.

So, games that actually mock the Nintendo's carefully built image as a family friendly company are the only ones who understand what the Wii wants from third party support? Am I the only one who doesn't get this?

Also, whats the big deal about Chinatown Wars, wasn't there a GTA game on the GBA?

thebobmaster:

Khell_Sennet:

I'd say a little from column A, and a little from Column B.
No proof to back this, but I've always been told that the PS2 was absurdly hard to program for (as opposed to the PSX which was apparently shit-easy) which led to such a long time between when the PS2 launched, and the first actually decent games began to come out. My guess is the PS3 probably isn't any more friendly to work with.

FFX came out not too long after launch.

I know it's treading dangerous ground, but one could argue that FFX wasn't that great.

Khell_Sennet:
My thoughts on the matter, 3rd party devs are being led astray from their need to multi-platform their products. The 360 and PS3 are so similar in design that pretty much anything designed for one will work on the other, while the Wii is vastly different, and as such the devs are forced to choose between their product's availability on one system or two. Add to that, the MS/Sony systems also translate well to PC ports, while Nintendo's Wiimote and other trademark features exclude PC versions of Wii games.

So from an uninformed business perspective, Wii seems like a bad choice because your market is restricted to Wii owners only, while the other market targets PS3, XBox, and PC. But, just because you can release for three platforms, doesn't mean people will buy it on more than one. That in mind, compare the number of 360's and PS3 sales to Wii sales, and Wii becomes the smart choice. Wii has outsold the other two combined, and is still selling like Mountain Dew flavored crack, whereas the PS3 has flopped and a significant chunk of 360 system sales are replacements for RROD corpses.

image

so thats what the red ring of death looks like, you really gotta have balls too have a indicator for when your systems dead..

Khell_Sennet:

thebobmaster:

Khell_Sennet:

I'd say a little from column A, and a little from Column B.
No proof to back this, but I've always been told that the PS2 was absurdly hard to program for (as opposed to the PSX which was apparently shit-easy) which led to such a long time between when the PS2 launched, and the first actually decent games began to come out. My guess is the PS3 probably isn't any more friendly to work with.

FFX came out not too long after launch.

I know it's treading dangerous ground, but one could argue that FFX wasn't that great.

Just as one can argue that any game wasn't that great. For example, I don't really like Metal Gear Solid, due to the stealth gameplay. That doesn't stop it from being critically acclaimed, just like FFX. FFX has a Metacritic score of 92% after 53 reviews , whereas Metal Gear Solid has a 94% on Metacric after 20 reviews. So the point can be made that, critically at least, FFX is truly considered a great game.

Funny. The DS has more hardcore based games on their console, like Castlevania and Dementium. Honestly, I thought the Wii would gain a lot of controversy with this console. The controls seem ideal for a first person, horror, or a stealth game, and even the sheer amount of interaction using motion controls would make it a bit of a controversy. Snapping necks with the nunchuck and wii remote, or even beating people with a bat using the remote seem possible with that controller. but I imagine that too many people would piss and moan, and that would destroy their reputation as a family friendly company.

That's the problem with the demographic the Wii is aiming for. It inspired too many developers to submit their own family friendly bullshit gimmick games, and as a result, it's loaded with more shovelware than mobile games.

L.B. Jeffries:
*cough* Wii Music *cough*

*cough* Is actually good *cough*

Seriously though given EA's propensity to heap shovelware onto the Wii for the longest time (not sure if they're still doing it since EA is pretty much dead to me), I would definetely say that third parties really don't get it.

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