Perhaps spotting a chink in the enemy's armour, Nintendo appears to have rejuvenated its efforts to win favour amongst indie developers.
I've seen personally, first-hand, Nintendo making a big move to try and get smaller, unique, independent games on Wii U downloadable,” Capybara Games' Nathan Vella, of Sword & Sworcery fame, told VG247.
They have a really great team there – [Nintendo's indie liaison Dan Edelman who runs that division is one of the raddest dudes in video games, and I would say easily one of the most respected people by the independent community.
Nintendo is reaching out and trying to do something. They're playing catch up, obviously, and that's a hard spot to be in when it comes to getting the new stuff, but they're really putting in.”
Edelman himself told Gamasutra why he thinks Nintendo is a great prospective partner for indie devs.
You know, it's crazy that there are so many developers who don't realize this, but yes, it is not only possible for an indie to get a game onto the eShop service, we've tried to make it as frictionless as possible,” he insisted.
Developers have always been able to make their content available on our systems since the WiiWare days, without the need for an intermediary publisher between the developer and Nintendo. Nor do they need to mount a big PR campaign just to be allowed onto the service.
Our philosophy is that if you believe enough in your game to build it, we want to do what we can to support you.
We really have only a few requirements to sign up as a licensed developer with Nintendo. 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.”
Of course, a fresh push behind indie games isn't the only advantage that Wii U will have over its market rivals. It doesn't limit pre-owned and you're free to play it offline, too.
The handheld sector is a completely different kettle of fish, however. Sony has successfully released an impressive – and still growing – selection of indie titles on Vita.