WiiWare wins praise despite harsh payment policies

WiiWare wins praise despite harsh payment policies

By Rob Crossley

May 22nd 2009 at 11:18AM

Nintendo finally receives praise for its digital service after issuing its strict and prohibitive sales requirements

Young aspiring game designer Fabian Akker has praised Nintendo’s WiiWare service, stating that the digital platform is easier to develop for than Microsoft’s XBLA.

Akker, who works for Dutch start-up group Ronimo Games, had very recently completed work on the studio’s new WiiWare title, Swords & Soldiers (pictured).

In an interview excerpt posted on CVG, Akker discussed why the game was made for Nintendo’s online platform rather than rub shoulders with XBLA giants such as Castle Crashers, Braid and Geometry Wars.

"It's so easy to get your games [on WiiWare],” he said. “It's much harder on Xbox Live.”

Akker, who has never been credited as a developer of an XBLA game, said that WiiWare was “an open platform, relatively cheap, and it gives you loads of freedom.”

Various development sources have recently stated that Nintendo will not issue checks to WiiWare developers unless their games meet minimum sales requirements. This threshold is thought to be in the mid-four figures range in North America, though less so in Europe.

This policy in itself, which has never been confirmed by Nintendo, is directly at odds with the spirit of creating risky, original indie content.

Akker stated that it was initially tough for the developer to even obtain a licence from Nintendo, though the clout of publishing partner THQ provided them with the kind of leverage that many small talented indies will envy.

Ronimo Games was founded by graduates of the Utrecht School of the Arts. The group’s breakthrough occurred when a THQ executive was impressed by the team’s freeware PC edition of de Blob. The publisher subsequently acquired the rights to the game and commissioned the development of the successful Wii edition.