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Nintendo will distribute/publish more Japanese 3DS games in the west, Iwata on third-party Wii U support, more

Posted on February 3, 2014 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Wii U

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata addressed the topic of third-party support – for both 3DS and Wii U – during the company’s investor briefing last week.

Regarding 3DS, Iwata says the platform has become “the number one dedicated video game system that Japanese third-party publishers are focusing on” due to its “overwhelmingly strong presence in the hardware as well as software markets”. Nintendo will continue to distribute and publish some Japanese titles “this year and the next.”

The situation is different in the west, as publishers tend to focus more on consoles as opposed to handhelds. However, Iwata noted: “the fact that Nintendo 3DS has now sold over 10 million units in both the U.S. and Europe seems to be news for third-party publishers, and we have recently been receiving more proposals from third-party publishers.”

When it comes to Wii U, “opinions significantly differ among third-party publishers.” There are still some publishers – particular those “that has great affinity with audiences that Nintendo has historically been strong with” – who continue to support the console and even look to assist Nintendo in getting people to upgrade from Wii to Wii U. “On the other hand, software publishers are not necessarily keen on making games in genres that have weaker affinity with audiences that Nintendo has not been as strong with, where making a huge investment does not guarantee a sufficient return,” Iwata explained. Ultimately, Iwata believes Nintendo must “create a strong foundation in areas Nintendo excels at and achieve a sufficient sales volume,” which is the first step for the company.

“… in terms of third-party support, while many point out that Nintendo has traditionally been weak in terms of acquiring it, if you consider the Japanese market, it is fair to say that the number one dedicated video game system that Japanese third-party publishers are focusing on is Nintendo 3DS. This is because Nintendo 3DS has an overwhelmingly strong presence in the hardware as well as software markets for dedicated game systems, meaning that it would be illogical not to do business on Nintendo 3DS, and we are cooperating with third-party publishers in a variety of ways as long as we can establish win-win relationships. On the other hand, if you turn to the overseas markets, as home consoles are more popular, many publishers are not as focused on handheld devices. In such an environment, while we are certainly not satisfied with its overall unit sales or the results from the last year-end sales season, the fact that Nintendo 3DS has now sold over 10 million units in both the U.S. and Europe seems to be news for third-party publishers, and we have recently been receiving more proposals from third-party publishers. However, as many overseas software publishers are specialized in developing games for high-end home consoles, while they are very interested in Nintendo 3DS, it appears that they are currently investigating what they want to develop on our platform. Also, we sometimes distribute, or even publish depending on the circumstances, games that were made by Japanese software publishers in the overseas markets, and you can expect to see more examples of this this year and the next. As for Nintendo 3DS, as I mentioned before, its total global sales have already exceeded 40 million units. As for Wii U, opinions significantly differ among third-party publishers. Software publishers that develop content that has great affinity with audiences that Nintendo has historically been strong with, namely children and families, are still very active supporters of Wii U, and their enthusiasm for Wii U can also been seen from the fact that they have even reached out to us to help people upgrade from Wii to Wii U. On the other hand, software publishers are not necessarily keen on making games in genres that have weaker affinity with audiences that Nintendo has not been as strong with, where making a huge investment does not guarantee a sufficient return. With regard to Wii U, we first need to create a strong foundation in areas Nintendo excels at and achieve a sufficient sales volume. If we manage to do so, those publishers in the overseas markets who are currently not interested in Wii U will be attracted to the Wii U platform, as they were to Nintendo 3DS. This is going to be our approach in the near future.

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