As games have gotten more resource-heavy and expensive to develop, developers around the world have begun to feel the sting of increasing development costs, both in terms of time and money. Nintendo is no exception to this rule, and this is something the company’s investors have repeatedly pointed out at their quarterly financial briefings. The resulting question is always the same: How is Nintendo trying to speed up the pace at which it can release games?
Multiple Nintendo executives addressed this subject at recent financial results Q&A, with president Satoru Iwata going first. Iwata, as always, discussed the importance of giving each individual game enough time to bake, so that it is of high quality when eventually released. He added that DLC such as the upcoming DLC packs for Mario Kart 8 are also proving to be an effective way of releasing more content at a quicker pace, since developing DLC for an existing game is cheaper than creating a brand new game.
This is especially relevant in the case of games like Mario Kart, where typically, only one game in the franchise is released for every Nintendo device. Creating DLC allows the same game to be supported for an extended period of time.
Meanwhile, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto pointed to another strategy—developing spin-off titles pertaining to different Nintendo franchises. This is something the company has already begun doing with games like Hyrule Warriors, and Miyamoto stated that Nintendo intends to continue down this path, in order to create a greater lineup of software for the Wii U.
“Our theme today is how effectively we can materialize our experiences to commercialize our products. This is something I often internally refer to as ‘spinoff software,’ but while we make use of our major game franchises, we want to support our character IP and increase the number of games we develop and release by also creating relatively smaller-scale but fun to play games,” Miyamoto said to investors.
“We’re making preparations to release software within a franchise so that fans of the series will not need to wait for, say, three years in order to play a new experience in that franchise.”
Miyamoto continued, “Finally, even when creating our own franchises, we have been working with a number of outside companies. Looking at this year alone, we have started to work with second- and third-parties that we have not collaborated with before. Since we can collaborate with an increasing number of outside companies, we are now making progress to develop a number of games that will become key software for us. I have a solid feeling that Wii U will have a rich software lineup in 2015. We will do our best!”