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Gusto voices Wii development concerns

Supply shortages, poor quality games could pose serious problems for developers

Simon Phillips, managing director of Gusto Games, has voiced a number of concerns about development for Nintendo's Wii.

While Phillips is enthused by the success of the format and the support Nintendo is giving to developers, he has raised a number of issues such as product shortages, an influx of 'me too' products and the sheer amount of product on the shelves as possible long-term problems for the system.

Firstly, the much documented supply shortages aren't just a retail and consumer issue, as Phillips points out.

"It does create a number of concerns," said Phillips, speaking exclusively to

"Obviously development has a huge lead time on it, so, we assume that the supply problems will get ironed out by the time that our products launch — hang on, weren't we saying that last year? — but unfortunately it makes people nervous.

"As projections are re-cast and supply shortages effect growth, money men can get twitchy. Which isn't great for us. On the flip side, demand is outstripping supply and I'd almost certainly rather be in that situation than there being no demand at all," he added.

As more developers and publishers back the Nintendo format, there are also concerns that too many titles could lower the quality threshold for the system, flooding the market with poor products and swamping quality releases.

"It could be a massive problem. Nintendo has to be fairly strict on what comes through to stop this," said Phillips.

"But it is so innovate at a hardware level and the audience is typically quite different to that of the other formats that it can support a much wider range of titles. As long as the quality thresholds are in force hopefully it will be okay."

This summer, Gusto opened a new studio in Derby to focus purely on development for the Wii and DS, and Phillips is confident of his own teams' ability to deliver quality products that will shine in a crowded market.

"For Gusto, I am confident that our titles will stand out, not only because of the backing of the publisher, their distributors and the weight of their brands but because we strive to not be a 'me too' and hopefully will offer something a little different and fresh.

"I worry that some people are developing for the machine because it's a bit 'cheaper' to develop for rather than their products being suitable," he added.

Although Nintendo is currently reaping the rewards of Wii success, Phillips hopes that to keep the momentum going the company will support its third-party developers in a bid to keep the format fresh.

"I'll have to hold my hands up to being a little pessimistic initially about this, but the demand is still there and Nintendo has certainly opened up a much wider audience that previously was hard to reach, which is perfect," he said.

"The best thing Nintendo can do is keep supporting the development community and we will naturally innovate and deliver. It's great that they have chosen a slightly different path to the other format holders as it gives us more diversity, and that after all is the spice of life,"â he added.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.