Nintendo requires developers to partner with Japanese companies in order to release games in Japan
If you’re a game developer who is solely (or majority) owned by folks who are not Japanese, Nintendo says you’re going to have to partner up with a Japanese company if you want to release your game in that region on one of their consoles. It’s an interesting rule to have in place, and one that doesn’t affect too many publishers– but indie developers get hit pretty hard when trying to bring their games overseas.
Various developers have chimed in on the subject below:
“Unless you own a Japanese company, you are required to partner with a Japanese company. This results in shared royalties, which is not ideal. Not all developers are willing to go through the hassle of releasing their games in Japan, which reduces the number of games available in that market.”
– Renegade Kid’s Jools Watsham
“Our opinion on the rule you talk about is honestly moot. We have no desire to tell others how to do their business, and if they require 51% of publisher’s stocks to be Japanese owned, we’ll work around that if we want to release in Japan; and will find a publisher who meets that criteria.
“Do we wish we could self-publish in Japan? Certainly. But we trust that they have their reasons for the above rule, and we will do our best to get our games to eager Japanese fans, whatever it takes.”
– Gaijin Games
“I think Toki Tori 2 is interesting for the Japanese market, but as I said before we have to find a good publisher first.”
– Two Tribe’s Shan Poon