Nintendo Says No To Japanese Independent Developers

Nintendo Says No To Japanese Independent Developers

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The licensing department is to blame, apparently. No, I don't get it either.

"We are not accepting applications from developers located in Japan at this time," says Nintendo to anyone interested in developing for the Wii U. This comes courtesy of a survey form sent out by Nintendo during GDC, a form which has attracted a great deal of interest - and not a little condemnation - in Japan. "Seeing 'No Japs' written on an international-looking website is such a terrible sight that it makes me weep," Tweets a Japanese developer from studio Rice Cake, and while there's a little hyperbole in that Tweet, it's not entirely inaccurate. But it's odd, very odd, coming from Nintendo right now, given that Nintendo's supposedly looking to outside developers to boost the Wii U.

It's not entirely clear why this should be so. According to an official statement sent by Nintendo to Eurogamer, the problem lies with Nintendo's licensing department. "The licensing department of Nintendo Co., Ltd is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan," the statement says, but that doesn't really explain anything. It doesn't say, for instance, whether the problem is a legal one - maybe there's some quirk that needs to be ironed out before indies can be welcomed into the Nintendo fold - or a policy issue, or something else. Is this temporary, or something more serious?

Until we know more, the only question worth asking - as Japanese independent developer Toshirou Takahashi has it - is "why, Nintendo, is 'only Japan' excluded from individual registration?"

Source: Eurogamer

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Odd considering how well they've been working with American indies. Still, as the article speculates, maybe it's a legal thing. I'm not exactly up to date on Japanese law. The fact that "at this time" is used does seem to lean towards something temporary. But they better take care of it quickly.

So there's some legal reason why there are no Japenese indies being made, maybe it's either that or nintendo is having a hard time accepting small budget games being made in their country, beats me which is the right answer but I would sure love to see the reason come to light soon for everyone's Sake.........

Yeah that was bad I'll go now.

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.

Nope, I don't see what you did there.

OT. It's temporary, methinks. Once they got enough flak from the devs/consumers or their legal department gets their head out of their sphincter, everything'll be right as rain again.

Maybe they just don't want hentai VN's on the Wii U.
That's basically my familiarity with Japanese independent game development.

Besides Tohou, in which fans just make 3rd party hentai.

With Nintendo the reason could very well be, "Because Miyamoto said it's Tuesday".

mechalynx:

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.

I believe the pun he was going for wasn't playing on their speech, but rather simply that they eat rice.

OT: Gotta say this is a pretty strange turn of events...considering one of the biggest complaints about the WiiU is "there's no games for it". You'd think they'd be accepting towards anyone and everyone that wants to develop for their system. It has to be some kind of crazy legal technicality that bubbled up from somewhere for them to specifically exclude Japanese indies.

Karloff:
But it's odd, very odd, coming from Nintendo right now, given that Nintendo's supposedly looking to outside developers to boost the Wii U.

My first thought was that they are worried that the games might scare off the western market (which they are desperately trying/needing to recapture) because the games might be "too Japanese." There've been a decent amount of articles that point out how many Japanese games don't get ported anymore simply because they never sold well in foreign markets to begin with. When they say outside devs, I'm pretty sure they're specifying outside the country.

I'm just going to go with, "They want more grizzled space marines on their system." Those launch titles sold well after all. Especially in Japan. Right? RIGHT?

RJ 17:

mechalynx:

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.

I believe the pun he was going for wasn't playing on their speech, but rather simply that they eat rice.

or that the company that got rejected that tweeted this news is called "studio Rice Cake"

I imagine there is easing up to for foreign indies as that's where the press is at. They are assuming okay in the US THIS is how its done, get college students to make your line up, indies here are the new hotness and makes us look responsible and lovable. Cool we need that. But Japanese indies means people not in the heirarchy getting their own game line BEFORE Anouma? I can imagine that's a personnel crisis in the making akin to Capcom-Inafune wars.

I'd bet it's just a back log of paperwork that they don't want to get any worse. With Nintendo dominating software sales in Japan they're probably flooded with applications of indies that produce Japan only releases. They probably have a limited number of Dev Kits, and don't want to over supply Japan, and end up shorting Euro, and NA.

Hopefully they're giving priority to big developers that do International releases, but that are still Indie. I'd expect that to be more of a Face-to-Face developer recruitment.

That's odd. They seem to have had lots of success with Nicalis, the indie company who ported Cave Story to a bunch of Nintendo consoles.

Hopefully this is just a miscommunication blunder, because indie support has really become a key feature in the console wars these days.

That is terrible news. Indie games, for th most part, are what keep my gaming addiction going.

Pinkscare:
That is terrible news. Indie games, for th most part, are what keep my gaming addiction going.

It's only japanese indie devs . Which means you still got the entire rest of the world to make your indies .

OT: it has to be a legal thing . Either that or they don't want to help japanese developpers and potentially create competition.

there's probably some legal mumbo-jumbo involved. Nintendo doesn't do things without reason

Could be a billion reasons, not all negative. Licensing sounds spot on though - without a broader idea of what Nintendo can/can't or will/won't do legally, contractually or "at this time", we don't know why Japan has been singled out. To assume that they're simply blocking Japanese developers for giggles is naive though

I assume it's some kind of policy issue, legal or otherwise. Nintendo is pretty much the most Japanese company on the face of the Earth, I can't imagine they'd reject domestic development without some kind of exceedingly good reason. Especially since those are potential future employees/business partners. I really want to know what's up though, because this is most unusual.

As everyone is saying, it's gotta be a legal issue.

Doesn't change the fact that it sounds stupid.

Like others I'm gonna assume it's for legal reasons, mainly because we'd never get an actual reason as to why from the company. Heck Sega still never gave their reason for taking down all the Shining Force videos from YT and that was ages ago, and the wounds are still there.

As a indie dev living in japan this disappoints me. Hopefully its sorted out soon the wii-u was my next target system. Sigh.

Nintendo has allways been a control freak when it came to what gets onto their systems.. maybe they are for some weird reason afraid of letting indies onto their consoles because its a very dynamic market?

As far as i know there is little to no patch support for nintendo games... but indie games are notorious for being patched all the time.. take minecraft for example.

Maybe Nintendo don't want their consoles flooded with poorly made interactive eroge novels?

The corporate structure in Japan is very different from the rest of the world. Things such as healthcare, pension, and so on, are usually provided by the corporations. That they dislike japanese indies might be rooted in a fear that the indies will undermine Japanese society. (not that this is wrong, as it really could use an overhaul.

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

So I'm really curious about this, was he suspended jokingly or did someone honestly think this racist or whatever?

Aiddon:
there's probably some legal mumbo-jumbo involved. Nintendo doesn't do things without reason

bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive.

The Developers would of made more money on a cross platform release, but with the dismal sales of Wii U's, they stand to lose money because Nintendo wanted an exclusive.

how does Nintendo not do things wihtout a reason again?

Tinybear:
The corporate structure in Japan is very different from the rest of the world. Things such as healthcare, pension, and so on, are usually provided by the corporations. That they dislike japanese indies might be rooted in a fear that the indies will undermine Japanese society. (not that this is wrong, as it really could use an overhaul.

That was exactly what I was thinking, too. Nintendo's exclusion of indie devs may be an internal effort (they'd probably rather hire on some of these developers or bury the threat they perceive) or it might be due to pressure from other corporations that work with nintendo (publishers or material providers that have a tangible fear). It wouldn't surprise me if there was a bit of disdain for indie devs seeing as they aren't doing things 'properly' by getting employed at one of the larger companies. Either way, I suspect this is probably one of the first things that's made international headlines about Japan's corporate culture and their fear of an upcoming social upheaval (with a population in decline like that and a growing number of youth that refuse to participate in the old salaryman employment system, it's pretty much inevitable that something is going to happen and it'll probably involve riots and flipped over cars).

Or it could be because of some old bit of fine print in nintendo's corporate charter. Who knows?

to many tentacles spoil the game...

thats pretty dumb since some might make the wii u more interesting or at least spice the game pool up a little.
on the other hand they dont port games to the west that people in the west would die for to be able to play on their region locked consoles.

or they fear they have to make a bigger investment in the long run on hiring people to keep the wii u store free from offensive content.

MichaelMaverick:

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

So I'm really curious about this, was he suspended jokingly or did someone honestly think this racist or whatever?

probably the low content rule at work.

rhizhim:
to many tentacles spoil the game...

thats pretty dumb since some might make the wii u more interesting or at least spice the game pool up a little.
on the other hand they dont port games to the west that people in the west would die for to be able to play on their region locked consoles.

or they fear they have to make a bigger investment in the long run on hiring people to keep the wii u store free from offensive content.

MichaelMaverick:

DVS BSTrD:
That's not very rice of them.

So I'm really curious about this, was he suspended jokingly or did someone honestly think this racist or whatever?

probably the low content rule at work.

Awww come on I have seen him/her post shorter than that and not get blocked. It may have been "racist" but that is shenanigans IMHO.

Could it not be something as simple as Nintendo getting a separate Japanese department to handle Japanese indie games?

Nintendo are currently basing their indie approach around the Nintendo Web Framework system, which I believe is being run by guys in their western departments, NoA and NoE. I know that the guy in charge of Nintendo's entire indie system is American. Could it not just be that rather than putting Japanese developers through a system designed to cater towards western English-speaking developers, Nintendo are working on a system that is a better fit for native Japanese developers?

I mean, that makes a lot more sense than Nintendo bending over backwards for western indie developers while arbitrarily shitting all over indie devs from their own country.

Kalezian:

Aiddon:
there's probably some legal mumbo-jumbo involved. Nintendo doesn't do things without reason

bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive.

The Developers would of made more money on a cross platform release, but with the dismal sales of Wii U's, they stand to lose money because Nintendo wanted an exclusive.

how does Nintendo not do things wihtout a reason again?

Bayonetta 2 was dead until Nintendo picked it up. They're the only reason Platinum got to make it at all. Whatever sales the game ends up achieving, they'll still be a whole lot better than 0, which is what they'd have otherwise been.

Karadalis:
Nintendo has allways been a control freak when it came to what gets onto their systems.. maybe they are for some weird reason afraid of letting indies onto their consoles because its a very dynamic market?

As far as i know there is little to no patch support for nintendo games... but indie games are notorious for being patched all the time.. take minecraft for example.

Actually, games on eShop can be patched as many times as developers want, for free.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Could it not just be that rather than putting Japanese developers through a system designed to cater towards western English-speaking developers, Nintendo are working on a system that is a better fit for native Japanese developers?

This is a stretch, but it's the least insane reasoning I've seen.
The Japanese gaming market has been increasingly exclusionary since the recession, to the point where they're practically separate from the global market. A separate, more-favorable system for domestics would make sense, I guess.

Apart from that, the next semi-sane explanation would be some domestic law, but I can't imagine why it would require something different from what regular publishers use, legally speaking. They may be independent, but they're still a business.

It may not be law law but regulation and again perception. If some guy off the street gets the regional manager position for opening a competing business while you worked your way up and stuck it out through the lean years... you'd be PISSED.

Nice to know its been lifted.

Seriously? Its not as if Nintendo is in a position to turn down people wanting to make games for them.

 

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