Good read on how Nintendo takes 1 step forward and 2 steps towards a cliff.
Anonymous Indie Dev #1
I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Nintendo for many years. We’ve gone out eating and drinking multiple times, and I consider many of them to be my friends. I’ve always brought my A game to Nintendo platforms and have been responsible for some of the highest rated games on their systems, so it had always been a good relationship. I reached out to them very early on back when the Switch was still called NX and people didn’t even know if it was a handheld or a console. It was a bit of a slap in the face that after all of the years of partnership, I would get very formal corporate responses to my emails.
I had always felt that Nintendo was trying to help us succeed in the past, but now that they’re the only platform with a new system, they’re just turning their backs on their most loyal partners. It felt very impersonal and arrogant. I’ll still probably make games for the Switch once I’m let in, but as soon as the honeymoon phase for the system is over, they are going to be way down on my list. From this point on, I no longer feel like I have a personal relationship with Nintendo. It’s 100% transactional.
There’s no doubt that Nintendo systems have been plagued by shovelware over the years. But Nintendo’s solution to this is broken. First, they’re being very inconsistent. Their stated policy is that they’re not allowing any ports. And yet, about half of the games are ports! Second, because the people in charge of making the decisions are marketing people with no experience on the development side, they don’t know how to evaluate games that are still in development. They look at a game that’s 20% complete and then they can’t extrapolate what it will be like after an additional year or two of development.
It’s a huge step backward for the industry for indies to be put in a position where we have to pitch games to a marketing guy who’s never made a game before. That’s the way the industry was ten years ago when the only way to release a game was through a publisher. Now indies should be able to go directly to consumers. And it’s the height of arrogance for Nintendo to think that it can predict where the next big hit is going to come from. Didn’t they learn anything from Nintendo 64? They tried this same approach back then and lost virtually all publisher support.
Nintendo. All you have are your first party games and indies. That’s it. Don’t kill the indies and attempt to sell hardware based solely on your IPs. It didn’t work for the Wii U, it won’t work here.