Nintendo’s been criticised in the past for its lacklustre attitude towards online services, but with the Wii U and the eShop, this situation looks like its changing — at least as far as indies are concerned. Reports suggest the eShop could be a great place for small-time developers to flourish, thanks to a lack of restrictions on updates and self-publishing.
Develop’s Craig Chapple spoke to Trine developer Frozenbyte about the eShop, with vice-president Joel Kinnunen mostly positive about its prospects. Rather than use Microsoft’s archaic approach of charging devs to update their titles, Nintendo allows you to do it free. And getting a game approved is a speedier process than that offered by its rivals:
“There’s still a certification process in most cases but it’s much faster than on the other consoles, and the financial burden is basically non-existent … At the moment it seems like it’s combining the best of both worlds — the fast and free nature of PC updates and the ‘it works like you expect and won’t break your system’ certification requirement of console updates. We could probably work with no certification at all, but it’s easy to understand the need for it in the larger scale, and in that sense the eShop is a great combination.”
Kinnunen also mentions that Nintendo not only lets them self-publish, but that it doesn’t have a problem with games not being exclusives:
“[Self-publishing] is a big thing and very important. We’ve also been relieved that Nintendo isn’t that concerned about the ‘competitors’, they haven’t given us any demands when it comes to other platforms, and that’s the kind of attitude the industry could use a lot more of … In a way, the eShop has restored our faith in the potential of console downloadable games. We’ll see how it goes in the next year.”