Nintendo is doing their best to make it clear that helping out third-party developers is high on their list of priorities. Their reasons for doing so probably go much deeper than Nintendo’s general manager of marketing, Shinji Hatano would have us believe (to maintain a level of quality), but I’m trying my best to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, we all remember the GameCube days.
While addressing a group during a Q&A session, Hatano remarked that Nintendo is still being questioned by developers about how to best leverage the unique platforms of the Wii and the DS. Not one to blow the literal smoke up one’s backside, he opted for the sensible answer:
“Since we should not be telling these third party developers what they should do in terms of the game content per se, we are offering advice and cooperation in order to produce software which is accessible to users with the least possible stress. Of course, we can not assign too many of our internal developers for all these projects, so we are asking the third party developers to create their own internal team which can work closely with our developers.”
With the witch doctors of gaming (analysts/anal cysts, depending on who you talk to) declaring that a glut of third-party titles is the calling card of a healthy console, it seems that Nintendo is not only aware that anything outside of a first-party game on the Wii has “potential disaster” written all over it — but they are taking the proactive stance on the whole thing.
When you are dealing with a console that is not only loved by the casuals, but has a quirky controller and less under the hood than the other guys, one simply cannot be too careful. Give a couple of loose cannons a unique control scheme without any real sense of direction, and you’re liable to suffer a console lifetime of mindless and goofy mini-games and watered down ports of the good stuff. For the sake of the Nintendo brand (and fans everywhere), don’t let out the leash too far. We’re counting on you to protect us, Ninty.