Nintendo is working with third-party developers to bring exclusive games to the Wii U console. For example, Nintendo will be publishing upcoming action game Bayonetta 2, which is being developed by Platinum Games, a third-party developer. Nintendo is also working with third-party developer Atlus on another Wii U exclsuive title, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. However, the company confirmed today that it wants to work with more third-party developers to produce content for Wii U.
Renowned UK video game publication EDGE has listed the world’s 50 greatest game developers in the latest edition of the magazine. Some of the developers listed may come as a shock, whilst others shouldn’t really be too surprising. Nintendo EAD came in third with Valve and Mojang taking first and second place respectively. What do you think to the list?
3. Nintendo EAD
4. Platinum Games
5. Naughty Dog
6. Rockstar North
9. Arkane Studios
10. Riot Games
11. Epic Games
12. Media molecule
14. Kojima Productions
19. Ubi Montreal
21. Double Fine
22. Terry Cavanagh
27. EA Canada
29. Eidos Montreal
31. Sony online entertainment
38. Ninja theory
39. Quantic Dream
44. Sony Santa Monica
46. Creative assembly
The latest edition of Games Master magazine includes a number of developers offering some insight into the Wii U and its potential power. There’s been a lot of debate regarding whether or not the Wii U is truly a next generation console. Here’s what Ubisoft’s Gabrielle Shrager, Mass Effect 3′s external producer, and more think about this particular issue.
ZombiU senior scriptwriter Gabrielle Shrager:
“Next-gen? Or Next-next-gen? Depends what you mean by that. With the Wii U, Nintendo has definitely recognized the importance of fast chips speeds and cutting-edge graphics, but that is not the hart and soul of the machine.”
Frozenbyte’s Mikael Haveri:
“Wii U is next-gen in the way the Wii was. Clearly revolutionary in many ways, but possibly slightly less on the pure power side. It is a reasonable guess that the next round of competition will trump the specs by a bit, but the important question is if they will also implement a touch interface. So in this way the GamePad is the most important new addition, clearly combining the console experience with the now-very-popular tablets. All of the games are designed whit the GamePad as an integral part, and if that proves to be even nearly as popular as the Wii Remote, then Nintendo might actually define next gen.”
FIFA 13 line producer Matt Prior:
“The Wii U is an exciting new piece of hardware that offer opportunities that other consoles can’t, simply because of the uniqueness of the platform, in particular the GamePad. We wanted to ensure that we utilized that uniqueness and delivered features that utilized the GamePad, not just in a gimmicky way but in ways that added real value and improvements to the game. Just as important, we wanted to use the power of the GamePad to open up the game to more gamers. Graphically, the Wii U is on par with the Xbox 360 and PS3, and we were even able to make some key graphical improvements.”
Mass Effect 3 external producer Melanie Faulknor:
“The way that the GamePad works, where you can take the game that you’re playing on the TV and instantly transition it onto the GamePad, I think that in itself is going to become a household standard, because if you are sharing a television, this constant fight for the TV is no longer an issue.”
Frozenbyte marketing manager Mikael Haveri says indie developers have the privilege of choosing the price of their Wii U products. Patching games can get quite expensive on other gaming platforms, but developers do not have pay to fix their games on Nintendo’s Wii U, according to Haveri.
“We have the power to price our products as we please, with just some basic guidelines from the big guys. The step to this is purely from Nintendo’s side and they clearly see that [their] previous installments have not been up to par. We can set our own pricing and actually continuing on that by setting our own sales whenever we want. It is very close to what Apple and Steam are doing at the moment, and very indie friendly.”
“Simply put, they’ve told us that there are no basic payments for each patch (which were pretty high on most platforms) and that we can update our game almost as much as we want. For indie developers this is huge.”
EA’s president of labels Frank Gibeau thinks that now is the worse time to embark on developing new IP’s for current generation consoles. Gibeau believes that developers should wait for, what he says, are the spectacular next generation consoles.
“The time to launch an IP is at the front-end of the hardware cycle, and if you look historically the majority of new IPs are introduced within the first 24 months of each cycle of hardware platforms. Right now, we’re working on three to five new IPs for the next gen, and in this cycle we’ve been directing our innovation into existing franchises.”
“But, if you look at the market dynamics, as much as there’s a desire for new IP, the market doesn’t reward new IP this late in the cycle; they end up doing okay, but not really breaking through. We have to shepherd the time that our developers spend, as well as the money that we spend on development in a positive way, so we’re focused on bringing out a bunch of new IPs around the next generation of hardware.”
Like any new video game console, it takes time for developers to get used to Nintendo’s forthcoming Wii U. According to a NeoGAF member, developers are definitely becoming more and more familiar with the Wii U, and have apparently managed to increase the framerate of their Wii U projects, and found ways to enhance images, quality and effects of their games. The same member also claims that the Wii U GamePad’s sound quality is surprisingly good.
After asking multiple people, writer Emily Rogers is claiming that developers receive a larger cut of revenue by putting games on Wii U’s Nintendo eShop compared to bringing games to Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network. Apparently, Nintendo is trying hard to convince developers to bring both their smaller-sized titles and full retail games to the Wii U eShop. Rogers also says that Nintendo is “aggressively seeking indie games.”
According to Emily Rogers, a writer for Not Enough Shaders, Nintendo is trying to attract mobile developers toward Wii U. A new game called Star Beast is in development for mobile devices, PC and Wii U, and will be released on the Nintendo eShop. The game’s genre and release date are, as of yet, unknown. Which mobile games would you like to see on Wii U?
IGN recently questioned a large amount of “industry professionals” – who are also video game developers – about the next generation of video game consoles. The anonymous developers claimed that they will release their new video games on the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles during 2013.
The majority of the developers stated that they were pleased with the easiness of developing for the unannounced consoles, while “63% of developers said the Wii U would be the most challenging platform to develop for.”
In the past, known developers have stated that the Wii U is very easy to develop for. We don’t know who the developers are and we don’t know exactly how many were approached by IGN, so let’s wait until E3 next week to find out the number of developers that are supporting the Wii U.
Developers have reportedly received the final development kits from Nintendo. The latest development kits are now marked “mass production,” which means that they will be the final version of the hardware that will ship to the public later this year. Last week a QA tester from Traveller’s Tales posted an image of the latest version of the Wii U controller which was clearly branded Wii U – which means the name is likely to stay.