Nintendo's development charm offensive paying off

Nintendo's development charm offensive paying off
Michael French

By Michael French

June 11th 2007 at 1:15PM

'It pays to be friendly' says New York Times report

Nintendo's history with third party studios isn't exactly perfect. While lately the company is in the midst of a renaissance courtesy of strong sales and positive sentiment off the back of its Wii and DS, it was only a few years ago that tight royalty charges was discouraging publishers from commissioning games for platforms such as the GameCube. And more often than not, when a Nintendo platform does well first party games benefit most, leaving little room on a platform for third parties.

Any negative thoughts over making games for Nintendo's machines may well be a thing of the past however, according to a recent report in the New York Times, as the format holder is starting to share more information with other developers.

"Nintendo was suddenly reaching out to independent developers," said Namco Bandai’s chief operating officer, Shin Unozawa, of a meeting where the Wii and DS manufacturer 'made a sudden appeal for support'.

Reasons for the turnaround are obvious - in losing much of its market to Sony over the past ten years, Nintendo needs to compete in the same way SCE has, by courting third party publishers and developers.

And as many of the studios reading this will know, of late Nintendo has been more active in answering developer questions and providing materials and support for those planning to make DS and Wii games.

The report on the NYT adds a comment from Masayuki Otani, an analyst at Maruwa Securities in Tokyo, who says: "Being cool toward other game developers didn’t work. Nintendo has learned that it pays to be friendly.”