Nintendo wants to help more indie developers join its eShop
Nintendo has been changing its policies to make getting games on the eShop service an easier process for indie developers. The company is trying to make it as "frictionless" as possible.
Developers will need to become licensed to access Nintendo's tools, but it's relatively easy, said Dan Adelman, the company's business development manager, who regularly works with indies.
"We really have only a few requirements to sign up as a licensed developer with Nintendo," he told Gamasutra. "The most notable ones are that you have to have some experience making games, you have to be able to keep any confidential materials like dev kits secure, and you have to form a company. None of these should be prohibitive to any indie developer."
Indies can also set their own prices for Wii U and 3DS content, and "if they find an issue they need to fix, they can," said Adelman.
Nintendo wants to build a trusting relationship with these smaller studios, and that means listening to their thoughts and suggestions.
"We try to take a proactive stance with developers and solicit feedback from time to time," said Adelman. "How can our development tools be better? What kind of functionality do you want to see in the eShop? How can we improve our processes to make life easier? I kind of see a big part of my role as representing the indie community inside Nintendo to make sure that we can make our systems as friendly as possible."
The company is also trying to give every new game some visibility at launch — which is even more doable thanks to the current flexibility of the eShop — but otherwise, it's letting the market decide which games are good.
"That said, there are a few times when we do take a little editorial license," said Adelman. "Sometimes there's a game that we recognize is a great game for a niche audience or is trying something so new that people may not get it right away. In those cases, even if a game doesn't have big numbers right away, we want to make sure that we give it time to find its audience."
Developers seem to be happy with the sales numbers they're seeing, he said. He also pointed out games like Little Inferno, Mutant Mudds, and Fractured Soul as examples of games that are doing it right.
The bottom line is, "if you believe enough in your game to build it, we want to do what we can to support you," he said.
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