An increasing problem for Nintendo is its current lack of third-party support. E3 2013 clearly saw a slew of first-party exclusive titles for both the Wii U and 3DS, but its third-party software was few and far between. The good thing is Nintendo has recognised it needs to do something – and fast – but their current focus is on providing first-rate exclusives for the home console in order to bolster third-party support.
The company has previously said it has some great third-party games coming to the home console, including such anticipated titles like Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell Blacklist. Nintendo insists their upcoming releases for the Wii U will drive sales and will, in time, bring back the third-party support, but there’s still a long road ahead. In an interview with IGN, president Satoru Iwata and NoA’s Reggie Fils-Aime both say it is time to regain the momentum of the Wii U.
“What we need to do is regain the momentum of the Wii U in the marketplace and establish successful examples of third-party Wii U software,” Iwata said to IGN. “Our focus is, first of all, to regain the momentum of the Wii U towards the end of this year, and then we’ll try to establish successful third-party Wii U software titles. I believe in the importance of third-party support for Nintendo platforms. I’m very willing to change the current situation.”
Reggie explained he understood why third-party companies were waiting in the wings, but he also stressed the importance of driving first-party content to boost sales of the Wii U, saying there needs to be a range of titles to satisfy the consumer.
“Looking at this through the prism of a business decision, if I’m a third-party publisher, what I want is that I want a large, diverse installed base to invest in my development and be able to monetize against that large installed base. That’s why, from a Nintendo first-party perspective, we have to drive the installed base. We need a diverse group of consumers. Not just core, not just casual, but a broad, diverse group of consumers within that installed base, so that whether you’re Ubi with Assassin’s Creed or with Just Dance, you’re feeling confident that your game is going to find a home. You’ll be able to monetize your development.”
Though a diverse range is needed to satisfy consumer support, there needs to be some soft of balance. Iwata concluded that Nintendo’s resources are limited, and they do need third-party support to help them develop and drive the success of their platform.
“If we had an infinite amount of resources, development resources, we might be able to satisfy any and all needs of game players and non-game players all over the world. But our resources are always limited. The fact of the matter is that there are some areas of game creation that Nintendo is very good at, but there are other things that Nintendo is not very good at. There are huge numbers of fans of Nintendo software, but at the same time, those types of players still sometimes want to play something else on our platform. Because of that, we always need third parties to support us, in order to make our platform complete.”