Iwata: 'Third party devs are not struggling on Wii'

Iwata: 'Third party devs are not struggling on Wii'
Michael French

By Michael French

February 5th 2008 at 8:27PM

Nintendo president says other studios are reaping the benefits of Wii sales and has the figures to prove it

Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, has moved to disprove the theory that only Nintendo games sell well on Nintendo hardware, saying sales figures dispel the myths of conventional thinking.

Speaking to GameSpot, he said: "Every time someone points out to me that only Nintendo games are selling on the Wii, I remind them that the same thing was said for the DS. [Chuckles]

"Last year saw the ratio of DS software flip to the degree that even we were thinking, 'Wow, Nintendo is kind of the second banana here.' It took almost two years for the DS to get to that point, and the Wii has only been out for a year. From here on, we'll see more titles by third-party software makers that they've invested all their energy in, so I believe that with time, this problem will resolve itself.

"I'll also mention that according to last December's top 100 games data from the NPD Group, Wii titles are outselling Xbox 360 titles, and only five of the 20 Wii titles on the list were created by Nintendo, with the remaining 15 from third party developers. But even with those numbers there, that isn't the impression you get. It feels like it takes a bit of time for popular perception to catch up to the actual sales figures."

Iwata added that it was understandable Nintendo would be the first to reap the rewards of software sales and be labeled as most innovative as it was more familiar with the hardware it sells: "As the first party, our primary goal is to make software that people want to play so much that they purchase the hardware, so we were putting all of our efforts into that before the hardware was even released. It's natural, then, that our title lineup still feels a bit more robust. We had to start off at full steam to establish the platform as something with enough of a market to make it worthwhile for other developers to come into."

However, he thinks that in time third-party developers will become just as reviled as Nintendo: "We're also actively working to support these software makers to ensure that this problem will be resolved. It's undeniably in the customers' best interest for other creators with their own aesthetics to come in and make things that have us writhing around saying 'Why didn't we think of that?'"