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Game Devs Migrating Toward iPhone, Away From Wii

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the paper-toss-2-the-revenge dept.

Wii 143

A new report by Game Developer Research reveals that the number of developers working on games for the iPhone continues to rise, roughly doubling in number from last year. At the same time, the amount of work done on games for Nintendo's Wii dropped significantly: "Just over 70 percent of developers said they were developing at least one game for PC or Mac (including browser and social games), rising slightly from last year; 41 percent reported working on console games. Within that latter group, Xbox 360 was the most popular system with 69 percent of console developers targeting it, followed by 61 percent for PlayStation 3. While those console figures stayed within a few percent of last year's results, the change in Wii adoption was much more significant: reported developer support for the system dropped from 42 percent to 30 percent of console developers, supporting numerous publishers' claims of a recent softening of the Wii market."

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False assumption? (5, Insightful)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047160)

The summary seems to create the assumption that the same developers which are abandoning the Wii are moving to the iPhone.

I'm not even sure how something like this would work. The economics are different, the scale is different, hell, even the target consumers are probably different.

Re:False assumption? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047192)

You are right - all of those things are indeed different. Also different is the model of payment. For example a 4 person family buys a game once for the Wii and plays it on one device (but all 4 can play and so can their friends who visit). But with the iPhone you can sell that game to each family member (assuming they are the "dumb, rich" market segment and are both rich and foolish enough to get their kids iPhones). But some developers would be looking at the $$$ from selling a game to the same family more than once.

Re:False assumption? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047212)

But some developers would be looking at the $$$ from selling a game to the same family more than once.

In that case, we'd see an exodus from WiiWare to DSiWare, not necessarily one from WiiWare to iPhone apps.

Re:False assumption? (1, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047260)

Just going by the people I know with these devices, I'd say people with Iphones
probably have much more disposable income than owners of dsIs.

Also, the Iphone has sold about twice as many units as the dsI.

Re:False assumption? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047464)

Also, the Iphone has sold about twice as many units as the dsI.

Ummm what? The DS (yes, you have to count all versions in the wild) by far outnumbers iPhones. There is a reason that stupid meme of "printing money" was passed around for such a long time.

Re:False assumption? (1)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047870)

I think that's meant to read DSi, he just capitalised the i and not the DS part.

DS has no app store (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048164)

The DS (yes, you have to count all versions in the wild)

The DSi has both an online app store and a retail channel. The DS and DS Lite have only the retail channel, and retail channels strongly favor major labels, even on fully open platforms such as PC. So among handheld platforms with an app store, I count iPhone+iPod Touch, PSP+PSP Go, and DSi. Of the three, only Apple's app store has an official developer program open to the general public.

Re:False assumption? (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047224)

wrong

each itunes account can support up to 5 computers and as far as i know an unlimited number of idevices like the iphone, ipod or apple TV. you buy something once from the iTunes store and you can play it back on any device associated with that account

Re:False assumption? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049054)

Just watch out if your computer dies and you have no way to start iTunes and click "Deactivate". 5 dead computers later and all your purchases are history.

Re:False assumption? (4, Informative)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049232)

Sorry, but that's bullshit. I've had activated computers die more than once. You load up iTunes (on any working machine), go into "account settings" and click "deauthorize all". You can then freely authorize any five computers.

I've done this multiple times. I've had three different machines die when "authorized", done this each time, yet right this moment I have five different machines authorized to play with the same account.

Re:False assumption? (2, Informative)

atrus (73476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049664)

Deauthorize all has saved me as well. They limit the number of times you can do that per time period, but its not overly draconian.

Re:False assumption? (2, Informative)

bushing (20804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049282)

Just watch out if your computer dies and you have no way to start iTunes and click "Deactivate". 5 dead computers later and all your purchases are history.

... except for the part where you can fire up iTunes on your new computer, sign into your account without activating, and click "Deauthorize All Computers" and then activate your new computer(s).

Wii still outsells Iphone; what about Nintendo DS? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048742)

But this argument doesn't make sense, because the basic facts are that the Wii has sold 67 million, and all of the Iphone models combined are only at a mere 42 million, even taking into account that a family buys more phones than consoles.

And what about the Nintendo DS (that is the obvious better comparison to the Iphone)? At 125 million units sold, the Iphone doesn't come anywhere near close. Then there are the hundreds of millions of phones from other manufacturers, most notably Nokia...

Re:Wii still outsells Iphone; what about Nintendo (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049580)

You forgot to include iPod Touch and projected iPad sales.

Re:Wii still outsells Iphone; what about Nintendo (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049686)

You forgot to include iPod Touch

Okay, that's an extra 20 million. You still lose.

and projected iPad sales.

Ah yes, let's include made up "projected" figures of vaporware that's not been released. Why is there any reason to think future sales of this device will surpass Nintendo's future sales, either of their current products, or others that they may release?

Why Wii and iPhone developers would differ (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047206)

The summary seems to create the assumption that the same developers which are abandoning the Wii are moving to the iPhone.

You're likely right. I imagine the recession starting in 2008 has slowed major label video game development in general, and a different group of developers are doing things on the iPhone. Unlike Wii Shop Channel, which requires developers to have a dedicated office and a successful commercial title on another platform, Apple's App Store model (almost an exact copy of Microsoft's Xbox Live Indie Games) is much friendlier to 1- and 2-man shops.

Re:Why Wii and iPhone developers would differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047820)

You have your timeline back to front. Microsofts Indy games for live is the copy, the app store predates it

XNA was first by 7 months (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048120)

Microsofts Indy games for live is the copy, the app store predates it

XNA Game Studio 2.0 [wikipedia.org] (which introduced what is now Xbox Live Indie Games): December 2007. App Store [wikipedia.org] : July 2008. When I first read about the App Store's business model, I found the $99 fee and the 70/30 split to be suspicious similarities.

Re:Why Wii and iPhone developers would differ (0)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049158)

Every other phone is friendlier still - no payment, no permission required from the hardware company, and freedom to host wherever you like.

Re:Why Wii and iPhone developers would differ (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049820)

Every other phone is friendlier still

You haven't seen feature phones that use BREW [wikipedia.org] . It's reportedly even more of a pain in the behind than iPhone.

Re:False assumption? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047378)

Well, it's not completely wrong.
We did some video games on Nintendo DS, it was easier for us to get a Wii (because we didn't have to do all the paperwork again and Nintendo knew us already) so we tried that.
But it didn't work so well. If you don't sell more than 2000 or 3000 games on WiiWare, you don't get any money (and... we got nothing yet :) ).
We tried a game on DSi (DSiWare) and our engine was already cross-platform so we ported it on the iPhone.
I don't know if every studio like us did the same thing, but the Wii is dead. We don't know yet if the iPhone will be a viable platform for us, our game isn't out yet.

Re:False assumption? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048580)

I'm sure it will be much easier to pump out shit games on the iPhone and make a bit of money.

From my experience most publishers/developers complaining about their performance on the Wii are release sub-par software and assuming it will sell because casual gamers are stupid.

Re:False assumption? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048592)

If your game is high quality, you need to hit Steam.

But steam users love to complain about unstable shit, so if it isn't high quality, stay away. :P

PC party games (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048874)

If your game is high quality, you need to hit Steam.

Top sellers on Wii include Carnival Games, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart, and similar party favorites. These video games allow up to four players to join in without having to own a separate console, monitor, and copy of the game per player. The PC app store Steam, on the other hand, is limited by the comparatively small median monitor of a PC, where it's difficult for four players holding gamepads to see the screen. True, it is fairly easy to connect a PC to the VGA or HDMI input on an HDTV, thereby forming a "home theater PC". But I get an impression from other Slashdot users that the number of HTPC owners is nowhere near enough to support a major-label development budget.

Re:PC party games (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049428)

What does console vs PC have to do with it?

Steam is a market. If your game gets on steam, and it's good, you're guaranteed 5 digit sales. Those are sales you would not have if you stuck with console-only distribution - and apparently the amount of sales is far superior to the Wii Shop channel.

Your arguments are poorly thought out. Most console ports support the same controllers - often they require them for the best experience.

is limited by the comparatively small median monitor of a PC

What is this? Are you a console fanboy?

My PC is more than capable of powering games across multiple monitors. It could do it with a combined res of 4096x1152 just fine, giving almost 50 inches of beautifully dense pixels.

But no PC games that I know of support such a hotseat mode. The limitations are with the software - not the hardware. (which is way way way superior)

Berate PC games as being buggy featureless pieces of crap if you must, but don't insult the hardware. The hardware is awesome.

Re:PC party games (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049796)

What does console vs PC have to do with it?

Steam is a market. If your game gets on steam, and it's good, you're guaranteed 5 digit sales. Those are sales you would not have if you stuck with console-only distribution - and apparently the amount of sales is far superior to the Wii Shop channel.

Your arguments are poorly thought out. Most console ports support the same controllers - often they require them for the best experience.

is limited by the comparatively small median monitor of a PC

What is this? Are you a console fanboy?

My PC is more than capable of powering games across multiple monitors. It could do it with a combined res of 4096x1152 just fine, giving almost 50 inches of beautifully dense pixels.

But no PC games that I know of support such a hotseat mode. The limitations are with the software - not the hardware. (which is way way way superior)

Berate PC games as being buggy featureless pieces of crap if you must, but don't insult the hardware. The hardware is awesome.

You've never met tepples before, I see. He's had a hardon for split-screen type play from PCs for years, since he doesn't like the console lock-in.

One person does not a market make. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049800)

If your game gets on steam, and it's good, you're guaranteed 5 digit sales.

On a 6 digit budget game?

But no PC games that I know of support such a hotseat mode. The limitations are with the software - not the hardware.

And why does this software have such a limitation? Based on everything I've read in other Slashdot comments, it's because there aren't enough customers in the PC gaming market who have the appropriate hardware. Major-label PC games aimed at the median PC gamer are designed for the median PC monitor, which is smaller than the median console monitor. This in turn is because the median PC gamer is less of a hardcore enthusiast than someone like you who runs dual head 1080p-class monitors. One person does not a market make.

Good point, but... (5, Interesting)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047422)

I largely agree with your statement, but I would imagine that there is are least *some* developers jumping ship from Wii (or, more likely, DS/DSi) to iPhone/iPod. And they're probably making games for the older consumers that Nintendo has been courting in recent years.

For all the talk of Apple's restrictive policies, Nintendo's stance towards developers is almost draconian by comparison. Development kits for Nintendo hardware run into the thousands of $$$ -- assuming Nintendo even sells you a devkit, which they won't unless you're an established developer or you're being published by someone with a known track record. And unlike Apple which takes 30% off the top, Nintendo's cut is largely determined on a case-by-case basis (EA probably gets a much more lucrative deal than a small publisher.

Re:Good point, but... (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048634)

That will be the same for any console developer. iPhone is different in the sense that is much cheaper and anyone can buy a licence but then you also have to deal with the fact you can't compete directly with Apple or that your app will disappear from the app store or stupid reasons like mentioning Android.

I think you're under-estimating Apple's nazi-like control over the app store. At least Nintendo won't let you release a game and then yank it off the shelves after it has launched and they will allow you to make Mario-like games where as Apple won't allow you to create a browser, anything that runs code they don't approve, etc.

Personally I think it's a bit silly to claim one system is better than the other. If you want complete freedom develop for Symbian or Android. The trade-off is that you have to cater for multiple phone types rather than having one set of hardware like the iPhone or Wii.

Re:Good point, but... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049218)

I agree that there are open systems like Symbian or Android, but:

The trade-off is that you have to cater for multiple phone types rather than having one set of hardware like the iPhone or Wii.

There have now been three different Iphones, with differing hardware, so I'm not sure why this is any different to developing for more than one Nokia phone?

Re:False assumption? (1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047524)

From what my honest personal experience is, nobody moves away from the Wii, everybody loathes the iPhone, and the whole article is a straight out lie.

Maybe we live in different universes. Or just in different countries.
Here, this “article” is seen an yet another blatantly obvious Apple marketing blob that got on Slashdot.

By the way: Is there any way to filter all Apple-related stories out? (Everything that includes the words “Apple”, “Steve Jobs”, “iPhone”, “iPad”, “OS X“ or “Mac” in the title, text or tags.)
It should work in Thunderbird’s RSS reader too.
Would be much appreciated.

Re:False assumption? (1, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047754)

If you're logged in, you can set what sections show on the front page (one of which is an "apple" section.)

If you're using RSS, you'll have to filter it yourself, or use the individual section RSS feeds.

Re:False assumption? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049178)

This used to work fine, but now the Apple spamadvertising invades other sections too (mobile, or as in this case, games).

Re:False assumption? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048382)

You may not realize this, but what you just found out with this post is that your honest, personal opinions are wrong. I'd tell you to think about it and figure out how that works, but since you're dumb enough to make the mistake in the first place, it's not likely you're capable.

Re:False assumption? (2, Insightful)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047646)

The majority of Wii games are shovelware. These developers don't care about quality games, they care about maximum profit via little investment and ignorance. They probably throw a couple of Collins College graduates at a title and if it turns on and doesn't crash in 5 minutes it is good to go. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them said "learn to code for the iphone in a week, have something we can ship in 8".

Re:False assumption? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048180)

Exactly. The Wii had the largest number of incompetent developers, by far, attracted by the smell of a quick buck from shovelware... and it's probably a good thing that they're jumping ship to an even more exploitative, fad-driven device.

Hell, if a bunch of Wii developers move to the iPhone, the average quality of developers on both will rise. I don't think any important developers are going to abandon the Wii.

Re:False assumption? (0, Flamebait)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049818)

The majority of Wii games are shovelware.

I got an iPod Touch with part of my tax refund, and I find the same thing to be true there. It's $300 of fancy technology that doesn't actually DO anything. Jailbroken or not, the selection seems to consist of shovelware games, 350 different "boobz!" galleries which cost $0-5 for a viewer full of broken deep-links, and corporate whore "Here's our app! Give us more money with it."

Between CFW PSP, DS + Supercard, and every console from the last 3 gens except the PS3, I'm all set for games, thanks, and $300 is a bit too steep for a handheld, hard-to-type-on ssh client, so does anyone have any recommendations for how to make this thing NOT a phenomenal waste of money?

Re:False assumption? (3, Interesting)

^_^x (178540) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047726)

Exactly... if you program something for the iPhone, and Apple approves it, it's on the store. On the big 3 consoles, even if you're an amateur studio who gets their game published on there, you're still semi-pro - I guess a bit less so on XBLA since they're pretty open.

I wouldn't be surprised if the raw number of developers was even 10x higher on iPhone - it's somewhere between computer and console in terms of available software. Now if companies like Capcom, Konami, Square-Enix, Sega, Namco, etc started dropping their other projects in favour of the iPhone, then it would be a story.

Re:False assumption? (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047738)

The summary seems to create the assumption that the same developers which are abandoning the Wii are moving to the iPhone

It creates no such assumption. The summary never says that the same developers are migrating.

Re:False assumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048290)

The title, however, does create that impression.

So what... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047162)

Without reading TFA or TFS this is obviously because Apple fabois are easier to con into buying
overpriced fisher price junk than Nintendo fanbois.

Apple knows how to sell products better than anyone.

They're selling an ebook reader that wont read books.

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2010/01/28/ipad_no_uk_ibooks/ [reghardware.co.uk]

Re:So what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047178)

-1, Offtopic

They're giving it 160%! (0)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047176)

61% + 69% + 30% = 160%
No wonder the hours for game develoeprs suck!

Re:They're giving it 160%! (1, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047246)

because no one has ever released a game for multiple platforms.

Re:They're giving it 160%! (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047762)

Which I suppose makes the whole 160% thing the GP pointed out actually rather interesting; wouldn't a percentage that low indicate that far more titles are single-platform than multi-platform? I thought releasing your game on every damn platform possible (or at least 360/PS3) was the thing that everyone did now...

Re:They're giving it 160%! (1)

Amanieu (1699220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048410)

There are quite a lot of engines which are PC and Xbox only because they only have a DirectX renderer and don't have the time or experience to make one for the PS3 (Source engine). I don't know any exact numbers, but that could explain the results.

Lies, damned lies and statistics. (1, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047232)

Of course it's easier to make a game for the iPhone than the Wii, so more casual developers and small teams are going to start working on them. So as they enter game development, the percentage of Wii developers will decrease. But what about the total number of Wii developers? I am willing to bet they actually increased, stayed the same or slightly decreased. And the two platforms are not really comprable so that all this is, is some meaningless fistclenching by fans of Apple.

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics. (4, Funny)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047400)

Nice way to cover your bet: "I am willing to bet they actually increased, stayed the same or slightly decreased.", and still say nothing at all.

wrong conclusion (5, Insightful)

Fritzed (634646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047274)

This isn't a change in game developer preference, it is a change in the definition of game developer.

Re:wrong conclusion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047930)

Exactly. The barrier for entry to develop for the iPhone is extremely small. Does it matter if there are 100x more "game developers" for the iPhone if 99% of the games are crap?

Re:wrong conclusion (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048210)

Does it matter if there are 100x more "game developers" for the iPhone if 99% of the games are crap?

True, barriers to entry like having a dedicated office and having a prior commercial title on another platform (source: warioworld.com) are ostensibly supposed to sort wheat from chaff. But they also increase the chance of falsely rejecting a viable work, which means games not really meant for a PC at all have to get released on PC because neither of the two console makers with reliable hardware (Nintendo and Sony) will give a micro-ISV a chance.

Seventh Gen losing steam (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047308)

Four years is around the time it took for the 5th and 6th generations to lose steam. Difference is next-gen no longer impresses anyone.

People just want smaller, quieter, lower power.

like it matters... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047340)

mostly all of nintendo's biggest games for wii or any of their platforms are developed in-house anyways, so it'll mean the heaps of crap disguised as games being thrown at the wii daily will be slightly less frequent, while the titles with actual quality behind them (not quality ideas, just quality presentation and design) won't be bothered

Re:like it matters... (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048754)

mostly all of nintendo's biggest games for wii or any of their platforms are developed in-house anyways

What is the Wii's most successful third-party game, anyway? And how does it compare to the success of first-party titles? Does anyone know?

migrating does not necessary mean leaving (0)

ardiri (245358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047392)

i think this information is out of context. it is very unlikely developers will be abandoning platforms like the wii, ps3 et al - they will most likely be looking to use the iphone as a complimentary development platform more than anything else. there is just as much business everywhere; and if everyone was moving to the iphone - i would probably get out of it :) i was there from the beginning as a hobbyist - and it already is getting flooded and saturated.. it is a pity honestly.

Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

cstec (521534) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047454)

One possible factor here is that Nintendo has historically been fairly hostile towards developers, with licensing terms and an attitude that encourages potential developers to walk away. On the flip side, Apple will just give you the tools (assuming you have a Mac) and not require the rectal exam before they'll deign to allow you to send them money.

Of course Apple's just as bad on the back end, in some ways worse, since Apple will let you develop anything you want but then, -after- the development is done, refuse to allow you to sell it or arbitrarily allow one version of it only to reject the point release with bug fixes. But at least Apple put the tools in dev's hands without insulting them one day one.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (3, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047652)

Nintendo isn't very hostile anymore, especially not enough to make ignoring half the console market worth it. Third parties only make godawful games for the Wii to prey on "stupid casuals" while putting anything worth buying on the 360 and PS3, then they proclaim that third party games don't sell on the Wii. I don't know if they honestly believe the bullshit they've been spouting but they act like Nintendo is some magical being that does not follow the rules of the market that the rest of the world follows and is inherently the only company capable of making games sell on the Wii. No matter how many stupid prejudices you have about the Wii userbase, there should be no reason that the next big thing on the system can't be made by a third party instead of Nintendo but the third parties don't think of ideas like Wii Fit until Nintendo does it first, grabs the whole market and shows them how it's done properly (at which point third parties will release shoddy knockoffs that will not convince anybody to buy a non-Nintendo game). If you only offer products that have been done before and better how do you expect to compete?

For visualization, look at these lists [nintendoworldreport.com] and imagine you aren't informed as to which games are good, wouldn't you likely end up with a few duds and associate those company names with crap? I've seen user reviews on Amazon for a shitty Wii Sports knockoff by Activision and these "non-gamers" swore to never buy a game from Activision again because they felt cheated out of their money. Is that how you develop a positive brand image?

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048020)

I'm not sure I agree with you here. Yes, for the most part, the Wii is the land lf third-party shovelware, yet the few good third-party games don't sell all that well either, so why bother? No More Heroes - 0.5M. A Boy and His Blob - 0.08M. Resi 4 - 1.67M. Okami - 0.3M. de Blob - 0.77M. Geometry Wars Galaxies - 0.1M. I surely missed quite a few games, but out of this lot, only Resident Evil 4 could be considered a good success.

Then you have Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (7.54M 67% average), Carnival Games (3.55M 56%) and more (sorry, Metacritic's search just decided to drop out). Sometimes it makes you think people like shovelware, which probably makes a lot of developers ponder on whether it's a good idea to work hard on developing a polished and original experience when all the consumers want are crappy minigame collections.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048880)

Of those third party titles you list that were great games, but unsuccessful which were marketed well by their publisher? Which were ports? If you consider rational factors for why these wouldn't sell well, it narrows that list down considerably and shows a lack of true development/publisher support for the Wii. It's not without reason that Nintendo's Iwata or Miyamoto came out and criticized publishers for not putting their best teams on the Wii. In my view of the world, if you put shit in you get shit out.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048924)

Games sell on quality and brand recognition. So you do get some good games that don't sell well or some awful games that sell well because they feature something popular. Mario games are generally high quality and to a lesser extent so are Sonic games. So it's no surprise that Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, which combines those two names with a hugely popular event from that time would sell well.

No More heroes didn't sell loads but it must have done well enough for them to consider a sequel on the Wii. Most of Grasshopper Manufacture's games don't do big numbers on most systems and again that's down to recognition.

Okami was awesome and didn't sell well on the Wii but again it did better than it did on the PS2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okami#Sales [wikipedia.org]

Personally I think the media is more critical of the Wii because it's by far the number one system and historically 3rd parties have had it harder competing against Nintendo which is no surprise when Nintendo probably has the highest, on average level of quality out of any developer.

If they would analyse 3rd party sales even more for other system you'd probably find similar trends. Edge magazine ran an article a few months ago where developers were complaining that the Xbox live isn't the money maker it's made out to be for indie developers. I don't think that's a surprise. Most games are unknown but then there are so many games it's hard to get noticed. If gamers try a few unknown games and they're shit they'll give up on that and stick to the well known ones like Doom.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048266)

Nintendo isn't very hostile anymore

True, Nintendo is far less hostile than it was in the NES days when it was found either guilty or liable (I forget which) of monopolizing the market for video game consoles by demanding exclusivity agreements from developers and retailers. Competition from Sega, Sony, and Microsoft has scaled some of Nintendo's hostility back, but some indies still get shafted by Nintendo's policies requiring a dedicated office and apparently a prior commercial title on a non-Nintendo platform just to get the SDK. See also Bob's Game [kotaku.com] .

90% of EA and Ubisoft titles for Wii are crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049212)

If you only offer products that have been done before and better how do you expect to compete?

For visualization, look at these lists [nintendoworldreport.com] and imagine you aren't informed as to which games are good, wouldn't you likely end up with a few duds and associate those company names with crap?

That's a great thread -- it shows the full panel of titles released by each third party, which makes it very easy to see that maybe 1 in 10 are worthy.

Much of the rest is just shameful crap which damages the EA/Ubisoft/Activision brands and harms confidence in the *entire* Wii shelf at Walmart and Target.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048414)

The problem is all the game consoles and most (all?) of the cellphones are DRM encumbered. Nobody can publish a program for these systems unless they get the personal approval of the manufacturer or use an "illegal circumvention device."

With both Microsoft and Apple both deep into DRM, one has to wonder if their ultimate goal may be to convert general purpose computers into the same censored kind of device. It is asinine when you buy hardware and are not allowed to install whatever software you legally own or create on it. It goes against the basic fundamentals of property law.

"Intellectual Property" companies tried to get the SSSCA [cryptome.org] passed to require by law all devices which even touched multimedia content have DRM. It is also interesting these companies have been trying to obscure the fact it is DRM by calling it a "security" technology.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048606)

Android phones involve downloading Eclipse and plugging a standard mini USB cable into your phone. Hardly what I'd call DRM encumbered.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049198)

The problem is all the game consoles and most (all?) of the cellphones are DRM encumbered. Nobody can publish a program for these systems unless they get the personal approval of the manufacturer or use an "illegal circumvention device."

Surely there's only one mobile phone company that this applies to (Apple)? The rest, you are free to write apps for them.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (0, Redundant)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048426)

And heck, if you really release something good, Apple might just decide to ban your app and release their own copycat app!

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048834)

You have to remember the fact that console gaming died because of the pile of shit that was being dumped onto those systems. Nintendo was strict but to be quite honest it was needed at that point. Nintendo isn't that strict any more. Perhaps the last time they were was on the N64 which arguably helpful towards publishers as well since it was such an expensive platform to develop for due to the use of carts.

Nintendo's requirements are going to be the same as any other console developer except for maybe those creating indie games for xbox live and to be quite honest their requirements aren't that bad. You can see them here: http://www.warioworld.com/apply/ [warioworld.com]

Asking that you're actually proper business isn't that bad and considering Wiiware game are developed by small timers including 2D Boys' World of Goo so it's not like you have to even be a big company. You just have to be a legit development company and in return they'll do more to promote your game than Apple will.

People forgot that, as you mentioned, Apple does freely let anyone start development and you can publish your app easily as long as you don't compete with them or do something that will run unapproved code and you can deal with your app potentially being removed after its launch. Something that won't happen on the consoles. So I would agree that it is worse on the iPhone.

If people want true freedom then need to develop for any other phone using an OS like Symbian, Windows Mobile or Android. Then you can do whatever you want but live with the fact that you have to consider many more variations in hardware.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048972)

Console gaming has died? Looks like nobody told the hugely profitable manufacturers about that.

Re:Nintendo does it to themselves (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049078)

I'm talking about pre-NES console gaming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983 [wikipedia.org] and if you can find a copy, read Game Over http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Over_(book) [wikipedia.org]

Which is about Nintendo's history. It'll show how strict Nintendo was during the NES days but will also give some insight on what Nintendo was up against after Atari screwed up console gaming.

The obvious solution is to make an (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047474)

iWii

to iPhone? mhm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31047566)

maybe to Ipad, games on that device will look really impressive.

Bye-bye Wii (-1, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047640)

It's been really obvious to me, at least, that the Wii is going to tank. From day one, it's been an entire platform built around a gimmick. Graphics, playability, storage, etc was all sacrificed for the ability for grandma to be able to wave around a controller to pretend that she's bowling. Of course developers are leaving Wii development. Sales of games are way down, and they're going to continue to plummet. We'll be playing the PS3 and the XBox 360 years from now, but I'm guessing that the vast majority of Wii's that aren't already collecting dust in the bottom of closets will be in the next few years. Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot with the Wii. Not only did the sacrifice everything for the silly controller gimmick, but they also continue to focus on games with storylines that only appeal to small children. Of course, you can get shoot 'em up games for the Wii, but most of the Wii development seems to focus on Mario and Zelda and characters that were innovative 20 years ago, but now only appeal to ... well... honestly, I don't know who they appeal to. I don't know anybody that plays a Wii with any kind of regularity. I hope that Nintendo has enough cash to get them to their next console that will, hopefully, have more longevity than the Wii.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047698)

Do you realize that the Wii just had its best Christmas sales-wise due to New Super Mario Bros Wii?

Third parties abandoning the Wii does not mean the Wii is suffering, for the most part these third parties have been completely useless and only producing garbage that hurts the Wii more than it helps.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (2, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047888)

Why yes, but that means that the Wii is the N64 and Gamecube all over again, where everybody buys the exact same Nintendo games so when you go check out the Nintendo sections of the used games stores over the years, they have 10 copies of Nintendo-foo, and one copy of non-Nintendo-foo great game that no one bought.

Which do you think is easier to find, the N64 version of Mega Man Legends or the PSone version.

Or between the Gamecube and PS2 versions of Balder's Gate: Dark Alliance.

The Wii is like the Monopoly or Life game set that everyone has, but only plays at holiday get togethers. I'd lay odds that PS3 and Xbox owners put far far more hours on their consoles than Wii owners do.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (5, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047798)

The Wii is going to tank? You hope Nintendo has enough cash? Dude, the Wii came out almost three and a half years ago, sales dropping off now means only that it might not have the longevity Nintendo hopes, not that it's tanking, as you say. It's still sold more units than any other Nintendo console. Calling the Wii anything but a success seems silly.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (2, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048662)

Plus, every new game Nintendo releases is a hit. Nintendo seems to make their own success rather than depending on third party developers.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (1, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047822)

personally I love the difference in the wii compared to standard sit on my ass and push buttons. i guess that is why msft and sony are both developing motion based controllers for their units.

If it was such a losy gimmick why is MSFT even bothering withthe tech?

I like running through a group of bad guys literally swinging my weapons. It is only the childish animation that is annoying and the stupid music that limits it. A good game should leave you tired and sore all over not just your ass.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048138)

A good fuck should leave you tired and sore all over

FTFY

not just your ass.

You must be a faggot.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (3, Funny)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048140)

A good game should leave you tired and sore all over not just your ass.

Uh, what? I hesitate to ask which game you were playing. The Wii controller does NOT go there!

Re:Bye-bye Wii (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048142)

A bit of thought, if you're willing to invest it, should make you very embarrassed that you said all that publicly. The Wii could stop selling NOW, and it's doubtful the 360 or PS3 would EVER catch up to it. Nintendo has already won this console generation in terms of sales, profit, and popularity.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048496)

Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot with the Wii.

Wii has been a runaway success of such gigantic proportions that no-one really expected Nintendo to pull something like that off. You don't have to like the device or the games, but don't be an idiot: stuffing your fingers in your ears and going lalalaa won't make the console go away.

The game market mechanics are different with Wii, this was obvious to anyone with half a brain: after all, Nintendo managed to sell consoles and games to a totally new market.

I don't know who they appeal to. I don't know anybody that plays a Wii with any kind of regularity.

Hi, long time gamer here. I've owned both playstations and quite a few earlier games systems, as well as gamed on PCs when I was younger (on anything between an 8088 and whatever gear was state of the art ten years ago). Wii is my first Nintendo device and I've been quite happy so far.

In other words: you don't need to understand why people do what they do (not everyone is good at that), but accepting reality as it is helps when you want to have a discussion with other people.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048990)

There are a lot more grandmas (and grandpas like my dad) than there are people like you. Hence the Wii's enormous popularity. My dad mainly plays racing games with a couple of kiddy titles for the grandkids when they come round.

Re:Bye-bye Wii (2, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049802)

Yeah, it must really suck to TOTALLY DOMINATE both the handheld and livingroom console markets for three years straight. Yup, Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot there all right.

I Got A Wii Too...! (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047702)

Having been a lead tester and Nintendo guru at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company, two different owners, multiple identity crises), this is a natural trend with Nintendo. Development for the Nintendo 64 was nearly dead when the Nintendo GameCube came out. Development for the Nintendo GameCube was nearly dead when the Nintendo Wii came out. When Nintendo is the only company making games for their console, a new console [crunchgear.com] is just around the corner.

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047718)

And the NES....?

Market leader consoles live longer.

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047804)

When I came into the video game industry in 1997, the Nintendo 64 was one the way out. Duck Dodgers [ign.com] was the last game I worked on for that platform.

I think Sony has a bigger problem with their consoles. Playstation 1 was still kicking long after Playstation 2 came out. Playstation 2 was still kicking long after Playstation 3 came out. That might change if Sony comes out with a Playstation 4 sooner [geek.com] .

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31047944)

The frakkin PS2 just won't DIE!. There's still new games made for it...mostly RPG's it seems since they take soooo long to develop, we're probably seeing the tail end of those. And unlike the Gamecube, you can still buy new PS2's and all the DualShocks, memory cards and games, new, on the shelves.

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048148)

Honestly, I think we'll see at least 2 more years of PS2 games. The much lower cost to develop for the PS2 vs the PS3, and the huge install base, makes it an attractive platform.

Disc games vs. retail games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048344)

The much lower cost to develop for the PS2 vs the PS3

Is that really the case? I'll grant that PS2 disc games are cheaper to develop than PS3 disc games, but unlike the PS2, the PS3 also has an online app store, and app stores in general tend to be cheaper than retail distribution. PhyreEngine [wikipedia.org] appears to be Sony's attempt to compete with XNA Game Studio; the one question mark is how to get a game published on any Sony platform if you're not a medium to large business.

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048806)

Judging by the all the shared titles, it also seems relatively easy to port PS2 games too the Wii and vice versa. The PS2 usually gets the better end of the deal because it doesn't have to deal with waggleware. The wiimote is designed like an NES controller and has two more buttons (not counting home). God forbid any developer actually use them!

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048896)

It's fine to port PS2 titles to the Wii as long as they don't come across as being a PS2 port. Nintendo gave developers hell for doing that on the Gamecube. If you want Nintendo approval to release a game for their console, the PS2 port has to be identifiable as a Nintendo title with all the buttons and all the eye candy. God forbid if someone mistaken a Nintendo title for a PS2 port.

Re:I Got A Wii Too...! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049032)

I think everyone is a bit wary about moving to the next generation. I think MS and Sony would like to milk this generation as long as possible and there should be no reason not to if the best selling system has nearly last gen graphics.

I do think Sony will do its best to beat MS to launching a system. Quite frankly the PS3 has performed better than the 360 when compared to the same time frame (ie launch year vs launch year) and that's why the PS3 has managed to catch up and could possibly over take the 360 by the end of this year.

So if Sony gets out the door first then the odds are pretty good they'll have the lead over Microsoft.

What hurt the Wii... (1, Funny)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048556)

...was its very weak multiplayer capability. The Xbox 360 player puts on the headphone/mic headset and is instantly talking to his circle of friends over the internet while navigating through a virtual world with them. The Wii does not allow the two-way voice communication with other players. If the Wii players want to gather in the same room and play they will find that there are very few Wii games with split-screen multiplayer capability. Taken together, this means the Wii is by and large, a solitary experience unless the players take turns watching each other play.

When the Wii first came out, it offered very innovative motion sensitive wireless game controllers and built-in Wi-Fi in a very compact, well-designed piece of hardware for a bargain price of $249. For whatever reason, though the game capabilities and selection just never came close to the xBox 360 platform and now the writing is showing up on the wall. The Wii had so much potential (and maybe still does) but it has just never been able to harvest that potential into a killer game experience.

Re:What hurt the Wii... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048922)

What hurt the Wii [...] was its very weak multiplayer capability.

Wii supports four Wii Remotes and four GameCube controllers per console. Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii allow for up to four players, and I've read about Wii games that allow for up to five.

The Wii does not allow the two-way voice communication with other players.

They're in the same room; turn your head and speak to them. If not, try Wii Speak.

If the Wii players want to gather in the same room and play they will find that there are very few Wii games with split-screen multiplayer capability.

That's because a lot of popular game designs, such as those of Bomberman series or Smash Bros. series or New Super Mario Bros. Wii or several scenes in Mario Party series, show all player characters within the confines of a suitably small room. If you can fit four players in one view, why split?

Re:What hurt the Wii... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048954)

The Xbox 360 player puts on the headphone/mic headset and is instantly talking to his circle of friends over the internet while navigating through a virtual world with them. The Wii does not allow the two-way voice communication with other players. If the Wii players want to gather in the same room and play they will find that there are very few Wii games with split-screen multiplayer capability. Taken together, this means the Wii is by and large, a solitary experience unless the players take turns watching each other play.

Turn based board games are hugely popular and social, ten pin bowling is hugely popular and social and in the same way the fun of the Wii isn't the four way multiplayer it's the social interaction amongst people playing the game. Jeering from the sidelines is just as much fun as playing the game. I think you should try watching non-geeks play the thing and you might change your opinion.

Re:What hurt the Wii... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049052)

If the Wii players want to gather in the same room and play they will find that there are very few Wii games with split-screen multiplayer capability.

Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, New Super Mario Bros Wii... there are still plenty of simultaneous multiplayer games. Even Super Mario Galaxy has a limited 2-player mode.

Taken together, this means the Wii is by and large, a solitary experience unless the players take turns watching each other play.

This is pretty much the opposite of my experience. Also, don't discount taking turns: playing something like WarioWare or Wii Sports is still a social, multiplayer activity.

Re:What hurt the Wii... (1, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31049386)

If anything, it's the 360 that has crap for local multiplayer: How often do multiplayer games require a second console, and a second copy of the $60 game to run? And how many of the few games that support local coop do it through a badly implemented split screen?

The best selling games on the Wii are mainly multiplayer games, look it up.

Migrating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31048640)

Game devs migrate towards India, away from America.

Wii isn't going anywhere (1)

BurgEnder (698732) | more than 4 years ago | (#31048852)

Nintendo did what they had to do survive this generation: If they had just released another console with a normal controller and either slightly less power than, equal power to, or more power than X360 & PS3, the hardcore crowd would have just written it off as "kiddy" like they do all Nintendo consoles. I don't remember people complaining about the high amount of crapware on PSOne, another insanely popular system, but I guess if the system is made by a megacorp people don't seem to care.

are there that many masochists out there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31049774)

I'm tentatively starting coding again after a long lay off (used to love it, then i hated it, but was good for sod all else) and unfortunately it's for the mac.

I must say Objective-C is the possibly the most appaling looking "language" I've seen for..well...ever. I'd rather program in Forth that this demented POS. Like PHP, it's appaling syntax foibles are due to the original implementer being either unable to unwilling to write a decent processor/preprocessor. low and behold 20 years later millions of us poor saps are having to struggle with sticking @s or $s or []s all over their once readable source code. I hope these fuckers wake up screaming every night for what they have done.

fortunately this is gonna be a very very small part of my job, or i'd bloody quit. When I had a hackintosh installed on my home machine I couldn't work out why lots of decent, free, useful things weren't available for the mac (causing me to go back to windows). After coding objective-C for half a day I'm not bloody surprised.

and these people CHOOSE to code in it?

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