New details of Nintendo’s WiiWare strategy have been released, and the bar for entry by independent developers is set rather low.
WiiWare, a service that will bring independent developers and downloadable games to the Wii, is set to go live in 2008. Some of Nintendo’s strategies to bring these independent developers tot he table were revealed during IGN’s “Wii-k in Review” podcast.
According to IGN editors Matt Casamassina and Mark Bozon, developers will be free to price their games as they see fit. Moreover, in order to prevent a deluge of sub-par games, Nintendo will be imposing a one game upload per month limit. Developers will also be facing a strict 40 MB size limit.
Profits from games sold on WiiWare will be distributed 65:35 in favor of the developer. Nintendo is willing to act as a publisher for some cash-strapped developers, but another available option is third-party publishers, who are offering one-time deposits, profit-sharing and a number of other deals to developers.
Finally, to keep the 512 MB flash memory of the Wii from filling too quickly, Nintendo is tying games’ file size to the sales they must meet before the developer gets paid. Theoretically, smaller games would mean shorter development cycles and earlier paydays for developers.