Wii U’s Indie-Friendly eShop Restores Developer’s Faith In Consoles

Wii U’s Indie-Friendly eShop Restores Developer’s Faith In Consoles

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.”

Indies praise lack of restrictions on Wii U eShop [Develop]


  • Seriously can’t wait to see what Indie devs do with the Gamepad/Asymmetric-multiplayer aspects of the Wii U. I really hope it takes off.

  • Do Nintendo still have the requirement that you have to work out of a building that isn’t a house? That could still be a bit of a set back for some indie devs.

  • Not much content in Oz yet…. but the Wii U has so much potential. Played heaps of Mario and slowly working through Nintendoland. Lots of retro surprises in both!!!

  • This is what happens when a console isnt focused entirely on graphics as the major drawcard. It offers opportunities to indie developers to come up with clever ideas to use the gamepad as another way of creating a successful game. Unlike the next playstation and xbox which will be probably all about power. Those small and indie developers cant hope to compete with the big publishers like Activision, EA, Ubisoft etc to make high production value games which can cost millions of dollars of investment.

    Nintendo seems to be working hard to please indie developers. they dont charge fees for updates unlike the other two console makers so thats even more ways Nintendo is trying to help out indie developers. We should see alot of indie games appearing on the Wii that can try to use the gamepad in new and different ways and be cheap and affordable. That offers excellent variety, the Wii U can still bring in the premium titles plus offer the cheap and affordable yet fun indie titles. Brilliant

  • Smart move, Nintendo. Very smart. Maybe this is what they meant by catering to the ‘hardcore’ crowd with the Wii u.

  • It sounds like Nintendo may have learned something from it’s previous failures with indie development on the Wii and DSi. Hopefully this, combined with Sony’s efforts to encourage indie development will also prompt Microsoft to stop burying the XBLIG channel so deep and to bring it to more countries.

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