While GDC is often a place to celebrate videogames, there's plenty of room for complaining, too. Nintendo and Apple were both targets throughout the show, as a number of game devs slammed their business practices and the way they've helped to shape gaming.
"We used to have a free and open game business," said EA founder Trip Hawkins. "And then Nintendo came along and introduced a thing called a licensing agreement ... At least Nintendo had the courtesy to tell you upfront that you were going to be screwed."
iOS developer Natalia Luckyanova said that Nintendo's licensing model made it tough for small developers to make a game, and noted the arrogance of the company for criticizing mobile game development, as Iwata had done at his GDC keynote speech.
Apple has been accused of over-encouraging supply, with 350,000 Apps available on iTunes and little chance for the majority of them to compete. In addition, the company charges developer $99 per year and takes 30% of each transaction. Hawkins noted that Apps make $4,000 on average, which "doesn't even pay for a really good foosball table."
While I agree that Apple and Nintendo could stand to loosen up a bit, I'm interested to know when the industry was a better place. Back during the Atari days, when the industry crashed thanks to a slew of unlicensed crap? It's easy for developers to lament the way things are run now, but I'm not totally sure it would be even better in a Wild West market.
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