Nintendo: We love indies

Nintendo: We love indies
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 30th 2013 at 12:50PM

Fils-Aime discusses how the firm is working on improving developer support

Nintendo is working hard on building an infrastructure to support independent developers on its 3DS and Wii U platforms, says Reggie Fils-Aime.

Speaking to IGN, the Nintendo of America president said the firm, which in the past has been criticised for its indie support and lack of online focus, is spending more time than ever on learning how to support developers.

He admitted that its unique hardware, such as the dualscreen nature of the 3DS and the use of a second-screen on the Wii U, meant it wasn’t always easy for developers to get to grips with its platforms without experience.

“The independent developer, especially those developers who have experience, who’ve shown real capabilities, we love those independent developers,” said Fils-Aime.

“And what we’re doing is creating even more of an infrastructure for a brand-new independent developer, someone who’s never created content before, to be effective on our platform. So it’s an area that we’re spending a lot more time and a lot more energy to create the infrastructure to help these developers publish their content and be effective. It’s something that we have had to learn how to do. Because our systems aren’t straightforward for a developer who hasn’t had a lot of experience.”

As part of its efforts to attract indies, Nintendo has created tools such as the Web Framework, which supports the development of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS apps on the Wii U.

Nintendo has also signed a deal with Unity, which means it can distribute the engine to external and third-party Wii U licensees, enabling them to make for the console games with the development platform.

Fils-Aime was keen to point out the company is working on discoverability issues, such as by allowing content to display on the same storefront alongside Nintendo’s own titles.

"You’ll see that we’re merchandising indies’ content right alongside our content," he said.

"There’s no separate area. There’s no challenge of discovery to find this content. That’s what the independent developers really love, because they know that consumers are going to the eShop looking for. If there’s a value program for some Virtual Console content, or if we’ve re-released a new piece of content, and right alongside that is going to be indies’ content. They love that.”