Though Nintendo capitalises on nostalgia probably more so than any other gaming company, one thing it continually struggles with is turning out enough first-party games starring its iconic characters to keep fans sated throughout the year.
This was one of the key points of criticism brought up to Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, during his sit-down with IGN’s Jose Otero. During that interview, however, Fils-Aime said the company is working on multiple ways to alleviate the company’s “software droughts” between major first-party game releases.
“First, we’re doing much more second-party development,” Fils-Aime said. “Everything from ‘Bayonetta 2,’ which is an exclusive to Wii U game, ‘Devil’s Third’ is an exclusive to Wii U game… all of these key games coming in the near term. We think it’s this pace of product launch that we need to really drive momentum for Wii U.”
Fils-Aime said Nintendo wanted to launch many of its key games, such as ‘Pikmin 3’ and ‘Super Mario 3D World,’ much earlier in the system’s life to create “the momentum that we wanted.” But with the recent release of ‘Mario Kart 8’ in late May and ‘Super Smash Bros’ for Wii U just on the horizon, Nintendo is finally reaching that desired “pace” Fils-Aime referred to.
Besides contracting third-party studios to directly work on various licenses owned by Nintendo, Fils-Aime said the company is also working much more with independent developers:
I would argue that this is a big industry shift that’s happened over the last couple of years. You look at all of the developers that have left the large major third-parties to create their own small studio. We’ve been able to attract them not only with some of the tools made available, like Unity. But also the fact that these developers love having their content merchandised in our eShop right alongside Mario and right alongside Zelda versus putting them in separate area with all other indie content. We merchandise it along with all of our other key games, which really helps sell through of this independent content.
Fils-Aime said Nintendo is also still working with third-parties like Ubisoft, Warner Bros., and a number of Japanese developers to build more Wii U titles.
“For us, that’s how we have to mitigate this potential of longer wait times between product launch[es],” Fils-Aime said.
Check out IGN for the full interview with Nintendo’s president of North America.