Nintendo must heed third-party warning, EA says

Nintendo must heed third-party warning, EA says

By Rob Crossley

March 16th 2011 at 12:23PM

Gibeau says the Wii firm must build an external dev ecosystem

Nintendo must break tradition and build a new console business with third parties in mind, a key EA exec has said.

EA Games Label boss Frank Gibeau said today’s diversity of platforms – each with their own relationships with external publishers and developers – could leave Nintendo stranded.

In an interview with IndustryGamers, Gibeau echoed a frequent claim within the games industry by describing the Wii as a “tough market for a third party”.

“When I look at a development dollar in terms of which teams do I invest in, and what platforms to go at, they [Nintendo] are not very competitive when you look at HD consoles, or free-to-play bets, or things like tablets and handsets”.

He said Nintendo must “think seriously” about crossing thresholds with its next console, likely a successor to the Wii.

“How serious is a third party development community for them on their next platform and their next bet?” he asked.

Nintendo traditionally builds successful consoles via sales of its internally made games.

Titles such as Wii Fit, Mario Kart and New Super Mario brothers have each sold over twenty million units on the platform.

Third party successes, with a few exceptions, are uncommon.

Gibeau said this approach will not work forever.

“[Nintendo] can get to a certain level of success with their own IPs and their own internal development, but if they don’t have that developer ecosystem where it’s frankly easy to make money on the platform, they’re going to see there are too many opportunities in the world right now to go build games on other platforms in a very successful high quality, highly profitable way,” he said.

“They need to take note of that.”