Nintendo: No financial incentives for third-party Wii U support

Satoru Iwata asks investors to keep faith in first-party despite its competitors' strategies

Satoru Iwata has ruled out the possibility that Nintendo will address the lack of software support for the Wii U by offering third-party companies financial incentives.

In a call with investors, Nintendo's president responded to a question that referred to "another company" that planned to invest "tens of billions of Yen" into gathering third-party support for its hardware. However, Iwata intends to keep faith in Nintendo's own development teams.

"I think it is natural that there is a difference between publishers who have the software development resources like Nintendo's to build a software lineup of their own and publishers who do not," he said.

"Since former President Yamauchi passed away, I have been considering what he taught us in the end, and his words that the worst thing we can do in entertainment is to follow what others are doing spoke directly to my heart.

"Employing the same methodology as the other manufacturers would only lead to the most simplistic competitive approaches"

Satoru Iwata

"Following and imitating others is the kind of reasoning that Nintendo tries to avoid the most, and while we certainly do not have a negative attitude toward strengthening our ties with third-party publishers, employing the same methodology as the other manufacturers would only lead to the most simplistic competitive approaches, such as price wars or money-giving that would never end. We would like to take a unique approach of our own and build sustainable relationships with our third-party publishers."

Nintendo's half-year fiscal report showed only modest growth in sales of the Wii U, and the company's investors have started to take notice of a lack of third-party product support, including both full releases and post-release DLC.

Nintendo's investors also questioned the company's full-year revenue forecast of ¥920 billion, despite having only booked ¥196 billion in the first half of the fiscal year. On that matter, Iwata reiterated the importance of the "year-end sales season" to the games industry as a whole.

"There would of course be a significant difference between the most optimistic and the most pessimistic scenarios," he noted. "This is the inevitable fate of any video game company, and even if one may hope it to be more foreseeable, we operate in an environment where it is impossible to know the outcome of a product we have produced until consumers have tried it for themselves.

"What is more, how players influence the value of our products and turn them into hit titles through interacting with each other, and thereby creating buzz in society, is simply beyond our reach. All we can do is offer the best entertainment that we can and do our best to motivate our consumers to talk about our products, but there is inevitably a fair degree of uncertainty in our performance."

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Latest comments (6)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany8 years ago
"Employing the same methodology as the other manufacturers would only lead to the most simplistic competitive approaches"

At least they would be able to compete that way. Nintendo seems to behave in a quite stubborn way; the lack of games is dynamiting the sales of the Wii U since a good number of the old-school Nintendo loyalist now have a X360 and they will hardly come back if they are not offered something unique. The sooner Nintendo realizes this, the better for them.
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe8 years ago
Good for Nintendo.

I admire that they're always playing the long game, sticking by their long-standing philosophies and refusing to bow to market and investor pressures. Long term, let's be honest, they've always done rather well for themselves. I rather suspect they're internally very confident in what they're doing.

If I wanted to make a safe bet on who is still around in this industry in 25 years, I'd bet on Nintendo.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
I'd rather see Nintendo throwing money at expanding their first party studios than on paying for third party games. Nintendo can rely on their own studios to stay on board their formats through thick and thin; the same cannot be said for third parties, who will quite rightly head to formats that better match their needs.
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes8 years ago
Throwing money at 3rd parties makes no sense for Nintendo, people will or will not buy a Wii-U based on the strength of Nintendo's first party titles, not whether or not Activision/EA/Ubi or anyone else releases product for it. And from a Publisher perspective no amount of money would get me exclusively on Wii-U!
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Id rather see nintendo invest money on first party studio and exclusive IP rather than pour money into studios that really have no interest in dealing with them. Because those third party studios will easily disappear and wont be there in the long term and will probably put out half baked products.

Finally I think all 3 companies are struggling with software right now, as alot of major titles for XB1 and PS4 have been pushed back till 2014. Most games being first person shooters or mature oriented games. Nintendo can fill that void with there products which are aimed at a larger group of people, children and families. However they have a killer line up of games for 2014. Bayonetta 2 and "X" both looked awsome.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
I gotta agree with Richard, theres no real incentive to release an exclusive third party game on the Wii U based on console sales alone. Things should get better now that we're finally in the busy holiday season but theres still a chance they won't. But I also agree with Nintendo's decision because at this point it doesn't seem like it would really help them anyway.
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