Siliconera Sounds Off: Western Support For 3DS

By Ishaan . May 23, 2010 . 8:01pm With the Nintendo 3DS set to release sometime within the next year, one of the questions on our minds was how it would fare in terms of third-party support in North America. It’s no secret that the majority of good DS and PSP games tend to be from Japan, with maybe one or two western-developed games filling in the gaps.


Additionally, lately, there’s also been a trend of western publishers backing away from supporting original games on the DS entirely. As part of a larger interview, Renegade Kid (Dementium: The Ward) founder Jools Watsham revealed to us that his company has been having a hard time getting publishers to bite, ever since June 2009. While Renegade Kid currently do have two projects with publisher support, these deals were only struck recently.


Ishaan: Why do you think publishers backed off? Was it just to do with the state of the economy or do you think it’s also the nature of the games you try to create and the platform you work with?


Jools: Due to the fact that we’re nearing the end of the DS’ life, the number of original third-party games will reduce while the number of licensed titles, such as movie licenses, will increase. This has happened with every console. And, we’re not opposed to developing licensed titles. However, publishers are more inclined to use developers who have already produced licensed games rather than go with a developer who has not.


Ishaan: Do you think publishers will be more willing to fund original games on the 3DS? Obviously, there’s a lot we don’t know about the device, but there’s been a lot of talk about addressing the piracy issue from Nintendo. With E3 right around the corner, what’s the general consensus so far among the people you talk to?


Jools: Everyone seems very excited about the 3DS. I know I am. I think the beginning of any new platform’s life is the best time to release original games. They have a much better chance of selling due to the limited selection of games available. And, if you manage to release a good title, there’s the chance of releasing a sequel and a new brand is born.


Ishaan: Do you think the upgrade in hardware is going to catch the interest of third-parties in North America more than the DS? With the exception of a handful of developers — you guys included, of course — there aren’t too many companies that really excel at making good “core” portable games, or even try to, outside of Japan. Do you feel like a more powerful system would make them feel like it’s worth their time?


Jools: Yes, I think the number of US developers supporting the 3DS is going to be larger than it has been for the DS in terms of teams who are focusing on creating original so-called “core” games. I think we’ll see a lot of the current Wii and iPhone developers adding the 3DS to their development plans. However, I don’t expect many 360/PS3 teams to move onto the 3DS due to what is assumed of its graphical power not matching that of the 360/PS3. But, for us the upgrade in graphical power is awesome and exciting.


Ishaan: As you pointed out, iTunes is a growing market and that’s where the majority of the talent seems to be developing. But DSiWare, for instance, has a much stricter approval process. Do you see people just porting their stuff over or will we see, perhaps, a more “fleshed out” library focused on quality?


Jools: Nintendo isn’t going to want a series of direct ports from the iPhone, so in regards to digital titles I expect we’ll see a more robust library of games available for the 3DS. This will be Nintendo’s next iteration on their on-line system, so that should be interesting. If it’s anything like the growth of Xbox Live from the Xbox to the 360 then we’re in for a treat.

Read more stories about & & & & & on Siliconera.

  • kylehyde

    Nice answers from Jools Watsham. Seriously, Nintendo needs to give them to this guys (renegade kid) their own development kit. Maybe their games doesn’t have high scores, but still, their games are really good, also, even being a small development team, they really make a great effort fron bringing many good DS games, a lesson that many medium a big companies (coff coff ubisoft coff coff EA) need to learn.

    For that reason I was outraged when I read that ubisoft probably already has in their hands a development kit for the 3DS when a company that puts too much effort in their titles like renegade kid has no received one yet.

    One thing is sure Renegade Kid deserves their own development kit for 3DS. Reggie, Iwata WTH are you waiting for?

  • kupomogli

    What DS game is that? Is it good?

    • That’s Dementium. And yea, it’s great, if a little bit unpolished. But I believe Dementium 2 resolves a lot of the issues present in the first one. :)

      • cowcow

        its certainly better than Zombie Crisis

      • lostinblue

        And Moon, from the same guys looked amazing.

  • Wow, didn’t expect Jools to show up here! He’s has an awesome insight behind what goes on in the industry:

    I’ve been fallowing his videos (and games) for a while and it seems getting Renegade Kid’s games trough to publishers is an on-going battle. I wonder if South Peak acquiring GameCock had anything to with it, or made it easier or harder. Even with the recognition games like Dementium and Moon get it doesn’t seem to help them out much.

    I’m still not hooked into the 3DS thing, but hopefully it’ll treat Renegade Kid or other smaller developers better this time around.

  • Somehow, I feel that Western support will just fuel graphics whoring in the 3DS.

  • kylehyde

    Renegade Kid deserves their own 3DS development kit. I mean this guys put too much effort in their games that you can notice that they really wanted create a good title for DS.

    Maybe their games present a few flaws, but still, they are good enough for being enjoyed, also, we have to considerer that they are a small company, but they use all their resources for bring a good quality product, an example that many medium and big companies (coff coff unisoft, coff coff EA) needs to learn.

    For that reason I was outraged when I read that a company like ubisoft (main responsible for the shovelware in DS) has pobably received their own development Kit when this guys has no received their own yet. For that reason Nintendo needs to give to Renegade Kid their own SDK fro 3DS.

  • lostinblue

    If the platform is as powerful as it should be, a ridiculously important point for Western developers (seriously), and they don’t develop for it then they are certainly bollocks.

    This seeing as DS western support was always lackluster (and even PSP was better at that, albeit mostly with crappy multiplatform ports and stuff)

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos