Nintendo has spent much of this year reversing its previous, nose-upturned stance on independent developers. You may remember a couple years ago that Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime stated, "we are not looking to do business today with the garage developer. In our view, that’s not a business we want to pursue."
Things have changed, however, with Nintendo removing some of WiiWare's logistical nightmares -- development office building requirements, payments that are withheld until certain sales thresholds are met -- for a more inclusive and streamlined system. Unity's licensing fees have been waived for Wii U developers and all you need to become a Wii U developer in the US is a $200 business license, which is better than needing expensive office space.
However, things are not so easy for indie developers in Japan. As found by Kotaku, Nintendo is currently refusing developer applications from Japan 'at this time.' According to a Nintendo spokesman, via Eurogamer, "The policy in question is the decision of Nintendo's department responsible for licensing activities in each region. The licensing department of Nintendo Co., Ltd is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan."
So, Nintendo's Japanese licensing department is not accepting Japanese indie developers. Well, that's stupid. Given how Nintendo has reversed its opinion on indie development, I can't imagine this will be the case forever. Maybe we'll hear of an immediate reversal like when Nintendo tried to kill Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO. If not, Sony, and now maybe even Microsoft, are as inviting as ever. And my Vita could use some cool Japanese stuff.
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3:00 PM on 12.15.2014