It’s no secret that there have been obstacles faced by developers hoping to create new software for Xbox Live Arcade, and while Capcom seems to have been given a pass by Microsoft in regards to the difficulties they’ve encountered, they remain more clearly the exception than the rule. And it’s a situation Nintendo is keen to capitalize on as they prepare the launch of their new WiiWare service to the masses.
Nintendo has taken it to these developers to inform them on what they say is a greater degree of flexibility from their brand, from cheaper development to more flexible pricing, to say nothing of potentially more profitable in the face of Microsoft’s decision to halve royalties on their first-party XBLA games that make under $4 mil to 35%.
Part of Nintendo’s key strategy is a sort of segregation, wherein the retro titles on Virtual Console are kept in a seperate stable from the newer WiiWare merch, something previously complained about by Space Giraffe creator Jeff Minter. “Nintendo has made it very clear to us that we’ll not only be making a better royalty rate from WiiWare games, but we’ll also have a better chance of selling games – the service won’t be clogged up with the retro titles that have blighted the chances of many independent studios on Xbox Live Arcade,” said one studio business development boss, speaking to Develop under conditions of anonymity.
Another unnamed developer added “Frankly, we’re not looking at making games for Xbox Live Arcade because the service is full of sh!t,” he said, pointing towards the service’s number of retro remakes.