Wii U

Nintendo Open To “Unprecedented” Third-Party Partnerships For Wii U


At an analyst Q&A session following Nintendo’s E3 media briefing last week, company president, Satoru Iwata, fielded a range of questions pertaining to both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Nintendo’s plans for both devices. During the Q&A, one analyst asked if Nintendo planned on using their considerable financial resources to secure exclusive third-party games for the Wii U.


“While Nintendo is not entirely opposed to exploring that option, I don’t think it would be an appropriate course of action for Nintendo to get into a battle with a company like Microsoft over the cost or the expense of trying to go head to head in a situation to try to obtain exclusive rights,” Iwata stated in reply to this query.


However, Iwata continued, Nintendo would be willing to work very closely with third-party developers who came up with unique ways to use the Wii U.


“However, now we have a totally new device, the Wii U GamePad,” Iwata pointed out. “If a third-party developer or publisher has come up with an idea of a potentially very unique use of the Wii U functionality with such a device, there is a high possibility that Nintendo will be a partner with that third party in an unprecedented manner (thereby reducing their development risk significantly). I do intend to work hard so that next year you will not criticize Nintendo’s use of its resources.”


Iwata has made similar comments regarding relations with third-party developers creating games for the Nintendo 3DS as well. Late last year, he stated that he felt the 3DS presented a “great opportunity” for Japanese game publishers to expand their market outside of Japan. In order to support this, he shared, Nintendo would identify third-party 3DS titles with strong overseas potential and would collaborate with their publishers to turn these games into hits.


A few examples of third-party collaborations already exist on the Wii U—Nintendo will be publishing Tecmo Koei’s Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and TT Games’ Lego City: Undercover in the west. They’re also publishing PlatinumGames’ Project P-100, directed by Bayonetta designer, Hideki Kamiya.

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.