Major publishers ‘not interested’ in DS games

With the immense popularity of the DS and DSi across the world, you’d think publishers would be falling over each other to put as much stuff on Nintendo’s handheld system as possible. According to Big Blue Bubble, developer of Fighting Fantasy: Warlock of Firetop Mountain, you’d be wrong — it’s just not easy to make a DS game these days.

We were struggling to find a publisher for the title,” explains CEO Damir Slogar. “Everyone we showed the game loved it but the ‘big guys’ like EA, Ubi or Activision were not interested in DS only titles.

Another challenge was the high cost of manufacturing because the game is using one of the largest cart sizes and largest save EEPROM (in part because you can draw on the in-game map using the stylus). Last year we managed to sign the game with one publisher, but as the global economic crisis hit everyone hard they went out of business.

“Luckily we finally met Aspyr and they really understood the value of the FF brand and technology behind the game.”

At least things turned out well, but I can’t say I fully agree that publishers aren’t interested, especially looking at the amount of kiddy crap that Ubisoft has flooded the DS with. Let’s be honest here … if you say to people “Oh hi, we’re making a game about an old geeky book series that only a handful of virgins and Jim Sterling remembers,” then publishers are bound to get leery. 

I am still really excited for this game, though, even if Ubisoft wasn’t.

Jim Sterling