Developing Consoles Games Is Expensive; Here’s What Nintendo Plan To Do About It

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Nintendo are collaborating heavily with third-party developers and publishers to create games for the Wii U. PlatinumGames are working on Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101, TT Games on Lego City Undercover, Namco Bandai on Super Smash Bros. and Atlus on a Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem crossover RPG.


In a recent Nintendo Direct presentation, company president, Satoru Iwata, said that other such collaborations are underway as well. The reason Nintendo are going out of their way to do these collaborations, he explained in a financial results briefing this evening, is that game development costs are on the rise, and it’s becoming harder for companies to develop exclusive games for a single console.


“As the developing cost of games for home consoles has been high, it has been very difficult for third-party developers to take a risk by developing games only for one home video game console,” Iwata said. “We therefore have had various discussions with software developers for the projects.”


He added later: “We are willing to actively cooperate with software developers to produce something new beyond the traditional licensing business. We believe that this is possible because Nintendo is not only a platform holder but has a powerful in-house software development team.”


In addition to these collaborations, Iwata adds that Nintendo also plan to make it easier for independent developers to create Wii U games using web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript and Unity. Nintendo will demonstrate their efforts to bring these technologies to Wii U at GDC.


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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.