I love reading articles like this because they give me hope for the future of the games industry. The democratization of the game development process is good for everyone: it means more games, more choice, and thus more art. I think that Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins said it best in the following quote from his news post on June 1, 2012 (even though he was technically responding to the issue of offensive content in some games, I think that his point is much more widely applicable).
The answer is always more art; the corollary to that is the answer is never less art. If you start to think that less art is the answer, start over. That’s not the side you want to be on. The problem isn’t that people create or enjoy offensive work. The problem is that so many people believe that culture is something other people create, the sole domain of some anonymized other, so they never put their hat in the ring. That even with a computer in your pocket connected to an instantaneous global network, no-one can hear you. When you believe that, really believe it, the devil dances in hell.
With that said, I was really impressed to see that Nintendo is trying to become a much more viable platform for independent game developers. According to the Penny Arcade Report, I’m not the only one to be pleased with Nintendo’s new policies.
One developer I spoke with said this change in policy may have come a little late for Nintendo, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Being able to control your own pricing, pick your release date, and the affordability of dev kits (Nintendo described the cost as the same as a high-end PC) are all moves that make Nintendo consoles much more attractive to developers.
In fact, I’m going to list what I found to be the biggest takeaways from the Gamasutra interview for anyone who may be interested in developing games for a Nintendo platform (particularly the Wii U). Unless stated otherwise, emphasis in all quotes is mine.
By the way, don’t forget that you can follow Dan Adelman on Twitter if you enjoyed his interview and would like to continue getting the latest information on Wii U development.