The digital downloads store on Nintendo’s new Wii U console has been praised by the creator of Trine 2 for its indie-friendly system which allows developers to set their own prices and choose when they have sales.
Speaking to IGN, Forzenbyte’s marketing manager Mikael Haveri says the Wii U eShop functions in a similar manner to Steam and Apple’s App Store, giving developers a level of autonomy when distributing their games.
“That's what we love about the new eShop,” said Haveri.
“We have the power to price our products as we please, with just some basic guidelines from the big guys. The step to this is purely from Nintendo's side and they clearly see that [their] previous instalments have not been up to par. We can set our own pricing and actually continuing on that by setting our own sales whenever we want. It is very close to what Apple and Steam are doing at the moment, and very indie friendly.”
Haveri added that Nintendo does not demand basic payments from developers who issue patches on their games – an issue that’s come to the fore with the developers of Polytron and Braid stating Microsoft charged tens of thousands of dollars for updates to XBLA titles.
“They have pushed away all of the old methods that have been established before,” he explained.
“Simply put they’ve told us that there are no basic payments for each patch – which were pretty high on most platforms – and that we can update our game almost as much as we want. For indie developers this is huge.
“Nintendo messed up the worst last time around,” Haveri said of the company's earlier digital distribution attempts. “Now they really know that they have to make a huge improvement to get back into the game. What I have seen and heard so far is amazing and it's definitely going in the right direction as far as small developers are concerned.”
Nintendo’s Wii U eShop launched this weekend in the US with 23 titles available for purchase online, including New Super Mario and Assassin’s Creed III. There is a separate section for indie titles, which include Trine 2: Director's Cut, Chasing Aurora, Little Inferno, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition and Nano Assault Neo.