Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' Developers

March 18, 2011 -

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that his company will not be doing any business with what it calls "hobbyist" and "garage developers" going forward. While Fils-Aime is quick to point out that he still wants to do business with indies who want to publish games on Nintendo platforms, he points out that the hobbyist and garage game developer crowd - the same crowd that creates small apps for platforms like iOS and Android - no longer have a place at the table.

"I would separate out the true independent developer vs. the hobbyist," Fils-Aime told Gamasutra. "We are absolutely reaching out to the independent developer. Where we've drawn the line is we are not looking to do business today with the garage developer. In our view, that's not a business we want to pursue.

"Look at the music industry. There are certainly highly talented people who work other jobs and have a passion to be in the music industry. They work at it. There are reality TV shows that revolve around this concept. I love it when there's a game that's found that captures people's imagination, just like that...singer toiling in a factory."

Fils-Aime is echoing comments made by Iwata during his GDC keynote, where he took a shot at Apple and its endless ocean of apps and games. He accused Apple of not having a stricter quality control process.

Source: GI.biz


Comments

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

No, it doesn't make sense because the games I listed are right in line with the ones you listed.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

And I'm telling you they are not.  I'm telling you that there is a 0% chance of me liking any of those titles.  I'm telling you that the probability of me liking them is less than the LHC creating a black hole that will consume the earth. 

But you, YOU are pulling an Xibit on me.

"Yo dawg.  I heard you like games, so we put some games in your shovel so you can game while you shovel and shovel while you game".

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

"And I'm telling you they are not."

That's fine.  You're just wrong.

"I'm telling you that there is a 0% chance of me liking any of those titles."

You seem to know nothing about them but if you've made up your mind not to like them then yeah, I'd say odds are nil that you'll like them.

"But you, YOU are pulling an Xibit on me."

I have no idea what that means and the quote doesn't help.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

See reply below

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Plus I think Nintendo won some support after saying games don't nee to be eye bleedingly pretty, they just need to be fun.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

The 3DS isn't around the corner, it's out.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

"And with the 3DS right around the corner in the U.S., it looks like they're going to be dominating the handheld market again for the next generation."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

*shrug* All I know is Gamestop has it for order on their site.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Pre-order, yeah.  It releases on the 27th.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

So one week. I'll be waiting for the first line of used units.

I don't care about it being new, I care about it working.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Got mine on pre-order. I'll be first in line to get it. :D

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Problem is, he's putting ALL home-brew games-writers in the same box as the absolutely tiny minority who choose to make controversial material.

Yes, there is the occasional quality slip in Home-Brew, but need I mention over a million Nintendo cartidges buried in a desert somewhere containing E.T? Or the fact that one of the first controversial games, Custers Revenge, was written for a Nintendo? Full-blown industry projects are no more immune than a guy developing from home.

Interesting part is the future. With no-one being encouraged to learn how to develop on Nintendo consoles, especially if the other main players took a different route, they could end up with the next generation of coders ignoring them because it's easier to develop the skills they already have.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

You get quite a few things wrong here.

ET and Custers Revenge were released for the Atari 2600. Back then there was no licencing required for developers, meaning anyone who could program could release their own game for the 2600. Many companies jumped on this and produced a number of shit games without Atari's consent. One of them, Mystique saw this as an opportunity to produce pornographic games, which included Custers Revenge. 

By the time Nintendo began to join the console market, the loss of publishing control had dealt a serious blow to the image of Atari and other companies. Nintendo's solution to the problem was to improve quality control, by enforcing licencing restrictions on publishers. 

Therefore Reggie's coments a=on "garage" devs aren't surprising or hypercritical. And I don't think Nintendo is interested in changing one of the policies that allowed them to be where they are today.

 

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

I've already covered my error with regards to the Atari cartridges, my fault for posting the minute I'd got in and was doing a couple of other things at the same time.

With regards to the whole 'licensing' matter, it's not really that which is the problem, it's the concept that people sitting at home creating their own games are going to produce software that doesn't meet up to Nintendo's standards, it's not a question of removing the goalposts, it's more a question of making sure people remain targetted at it.

I suppose it depends what he means by 'Garage' developers then, doesn't it? Does he mean as in throwing open the marketplace for Nintendo products, or does he simply mean not encouraging wannabe developers, who have limited access to resources, to learn to develop on the Wii. Many indie developers start out as a small collection of Garage developers, just as many large developers started out as a small collection of Indie ones.

If you consider something like the Apple marketplace, then, yes, I agree, that kind of open attitude would not work for Nintendo, anything ok'd for release would have to go through them, but to say that they have nothing to offer is a bit damning, it's more a case of there being almost no system whereby lone or non-commercial coders can put their work forward for inspection.

That said, you are probably right that it would not work for Nintendo, but I still find it a pity because I feel it discourages new developers.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Uhh wha? Check your facts. Those were both atari 2600 games, and were two of the biggest examples of the cause of the videogame crash. Nintendo didn't start video games until after.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Nyarg, you're right, not sure where I got Nintendo from for those, that'll teach me to post just as I get in :/

Either way, the point still stands, that what can be called 'Indie' or full on commercial stuff is no more immune to making terrible games, or even deliberately courting controversy than Homegrown software is, sometimes 'quality control' is a very subjective thing.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

I thought all of their shovelware was made in garages.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

I can see why Nintendo would NOT support hobbyist or Garage Developers, Unlike Apple console systems really dont have the "Walled Garden" IPhone and Ipad has. Also if they were to create such walled garden then you will need to hire people to manage the wall garden. IMHO its not worth the time and effort to create such a structure. It will work for apple since they have that system in place with their store, which sells more than just games. Not to mention many of these structures are reliant on having the internet connected to hardware practically all the time.

Anyone else think of "Hot Coffee" as another reason? If adult games or controversial games started appearing people would quickly blame Nintendo, not the hobbyist or Garage Developer that created the "game".

This way if a game does appear on a Nintendo console they can quickly say its an unlicensed game by a hacker. Which will remove them from all responsibility and possible legal action.

 

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Using the Hot Coffee mod as your example is horrible, since it added into the game by the original developers and then hidden from the public eye by said game. It wasn't created by "hobbyists" or independent developers, merely found.

You cannot blame a man for murder when he all did was find the bodies.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

While I do agree that the Hot Coffee mod is not a good example, I can't really agree with your reasoning as to why. The only way to ever find any of the Hot Coffee assets was to deliberately go in and tinker with the game, or apply a patch by someone who did. As was discussed at the time, it was a lot faster, easier, and cheaper to just take out everything in the game pointing to it than it would have been to take out the entire sequence.

Not exactly "created by hobbyists or independent developers," but if not for them, nobody would have even known the half-finished minigame ever existed.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

I think the issue of not having enough control over the content is a problem. Nintendo would likely be the first in line for criticism of an indie game on their platform.

Nintendo continue to have an issue with "adult" games and they've never sat fully comfortably on their consoles, this would likely exacerbate the problem.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Thing is they still would have control over content. If a game is pushing it too far, don't carry it in the online store. That simple.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

Nintendo's always had trouble opening itself to new ideas: CD/DVD storage, Online play, next-gen graphics... I'm not really surprised by this.

Re: Nintendo Won't Support 'Hobbyist' and 'Garage' ...

oh that's just crap, it's the hobbyists and garage developers that makes programs special, its that ANYBODY can do it, assuming you dont smoke pot while working on the programs!

Hell iPads and iPod touches are more covented than 3D-BS or BIG MONEY GAME consoles like NGP!

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson loves you, so kill for his amusement so we can get money for the new "People's Temple of Jesus Jack Jones Thompson"

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson loves you, so kill for his amusement so we can get money for the new "People's Temple of Jesus Jack Jones Thompson"
 
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