The Wii U’s Indie Friendly


As you’re all aware by now, Microsoft Xbox Live Marketplace and, to a lesser extent Sony’s PlayStation Network aren’t quite as welcoming to indie developers as they should be. Pricing is determined by platform holders – and developers have to cough up huge sums of cash to patch their own games – which is why the delightful brain-bending platformer Fez will remain forever broken on the 360. The Wii U is different.

“That’s what we love about the new eShop, we have the power to price our products as we please, with just some basic guidelines from the big guys,” said Frozenbyte Marketing Manager Mikael Haveri to IGN regarding the release of Trine 2 on Nintendo’s new eShop.

“We can set our own pricing and actually continuing on that by setting our own sales whenever we want. It is very close to what Apple and Steam are doing at the moment, and very indie friendly.”

Nintendo also won’t be charging developers a cent to issue patches – which is a great thing for developers, but could have the unintended side effect of making it so developers needn’t worry about quality assurance.

“Simply put they’ve told us that there are no basic payments for each patch (which were pretty high on most platforms) and that we can update our game almost as much as we want. For indie developers this is huge,” Haveri said.

It seems that with the Wii U’s eShop, Nintendo’s learned from past mistakes and is actually doing its best to court smaller developers this time around.

“Nintendo messed up the worst last time around. Now they really know that they have to make a huge improvement to get back into the game,” he said.

“What I have seen and heard so far is amazing and it’s definitely going in the right direction as far as small developers are concerned.”

I have a feeling that the eShop is going to play a large role in the Wii U’s future – and this treatment of Indie developers, who’re more likely to come up with ground-breaking new ideas, could see he Wii U (along, of course, with the PC) as the go-to place for games that break the mould.

Trine 2 is available on the Wii u’s eShop right now. There’s a bit of concern as to whether or not the eShop’s even going to be available locally. We’ve contacted Nintendo for a bit of clarification – but it seems nobody really knows right now. Be prepared to create faux accounts, just as we did with Xbox Live.

Oh, here’s the wonderful Trine 2’s Director’s Cut Launch Trailer, showing off the game’s rather beautiful environments.

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Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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