Nintendo is Opening the Gates for Indie Devs

How easy is it to get your game on Wii U? Surprisingly, it’s easier than you may think.

While you may have heard the handful of developer horror stories regarding the last-generation WiiWare service, thankfully Nintendo has been working tirelessly to address developer concerns - starting with a clean slate on the 3DS eShop, providing a much better user interface and even a mild bit of editorial review to help push various types of content to the forefront each week. With Nintendo’s newest eShop on Wii U, Nintendo has taken to heart even more common developer concerns to create arguably one of the best digital store fronts yet seen on a home console.

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Donnieboi2026d ago

Good idea. Sony's been using that strategy for the last 4 years, and look at how many great games they've got (like Journey, Swan, SoundShapes and other indie games)

HammadTheBeast2026d ago

looks like M$ has been left behind.

jaymart2k2026d ago

Not to mention that huge fee a developer must pay if they want to update the game.

Heard up to $300,000, not joking.

Zhipp2026d ago

Weren't all those games produced, or, in the case of Soundshapes developed by Sony? Surely there are better games to name than those.

lilbroRx2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

I've been saying this for months just I like I said the sales were gonna spike the week that Monster Hunter Tri came out, and that the Wii U would sell no less than 100k units that month. Every other day, a new indie devleoper announces support for the Wii U. It was a horror game last week, and Two Brothers a few days ago.

But *sigh*. Postive Wii U news and a person rushing to get in a comment boosting Sony before it can even take off. Because good news that has nothing to do with Sony is a sin.

Nearly every positive article about the Wii U goes this route.

If someone says that Nintendo does something great, someone will swiftly rush in the deflect praise to Sony. Go ahead check. Go through this site and click on news that speaks overwhelmingly positive of Nintendo or defends them against bashing and other twisted forms of critism. Someone is going to try to push Sony into the news and into a higher position almost, if not every time.

R00bot2026d ago

Heard a rumor that dev kits were free now, if so then it's great news for indie devs.

dedicatedtogamers2026d ago

My only concern is Nintendo's history with online accounts and online stores.

How often do games on Nintendo's store go on sale compared to XBL, PSN,, Steam, etc? Not very often.

How many games are added to Nintendo's store on a monthly basis compared to XBL, PSN,, Steam, etc? Not very many.

And how does Nintendo handle account changes? Do they have cross-buy between games? Is it easy to transfer your digital games from one WiiU/3DS to a new one?

That's why I'm skeptical this will work out. Sure, the 3DS and WiiU will get some nifty indie games. I'm sure some of them will be cool. But Nintendo has never been known for digital downloads because they are so behind the times compared to other companies.

MikeMyers2026d ago

At least they seem to be trying but you're right, they are very far behind in certain areas after ignoring the market for so long.

It seems to me both Sony and Nintendo are taking a very pro stance on working with developers but you don't hear too much from Microsoft making things easy.

Donnieboi2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

Yeah u make some good points. Plus there's the issue of the small harddrives that Wii U comes with. Hell, I have a hard time juggling games on my 120gb ps3, i can't imagine buying many digital games for Wii U's measly 32gb harddrive.

Then u got certain other headscratching moves Nintendo made, like not including an ethernet port. So people are supposed to download these new indie games via wifi? It's just gonna take twice as long as other wired consoles to download. Not wise of Nintendo's part.

Plus all those other points u made. I wonder if Iwata was even really serious about taking Wii U into the next gen, man...

I mean, WHY omit so much? Then watch a fanboy come on here and defend Iwata by saying none of these features matter. Sad.

The MORE options/features, the better. Options don't hold Nintendo back. A lack of them does. Y'know what, scratch that. We DO have options--and their called ps3, 360, PS4, Steambox, and the next Xbox.

I might pick up a Wii U 2 years from now when the price drops and the obligatory first party games drop. And even then i'll probably get it used. I just can't buy one anytime soon while overlooking all of these issues.

I'm just being honest. Nintendo was cool, but Iwata is clueless when it comes to these weak online issues and tiny harddrives. I'm not spending more money on a bigger harddrive. It's not like Indies will make big games, because they know that MOST wii u owners probably wont spend the extra cash to buy a bigger harddrive to fit their indie games on to.

Seriously impossible to ignore when u stack up all these issues. They may seem small individually, but stacked up, they seem like things were not thought out too well when it came to the Wii U.

Hopefully they figure it out, and maybe this indie stuf can help (if they can fit it on the harddrive and build enough support).

Dj7FairyTail2026d ago

I have a external hard-drive for my Wii U. Over 200GB of space and it the basic model not a problem.

Retail I have
Nintendo Land
Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed

Digital Wii U games I have
Trine 2 Direct Cut
Bit Trip Runner 2
Lego City Undercover
Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate

Good amount.

dungeonboss2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

As a Wii U owner, 360 owner, and someone who has spent a fair amount of time with the PS3, let me clarify a few misconceptions:

First, Nintendo Network is a robust system that's still in it's infancy and is still receiving updates as well. You have a single 'gamertag' (NNID) that you use across games, and you can see which of your friends are online with the tap of a button. The actual online runs smooth with virtually no lag, even with everyone on voice chat. Sure, it isn't quite XBL yet, but it's better than PSN when the PS3 first launched, and cross game chat and in game notifications are planned for a future patch.

The online store (aka eShop) is definitely the easiest to use shop across all three consoles. The interface is cleaner, and it's available within just a single button tap. They allow you to pay the exact purchase price without the need to store up 'points' and they don't require you to keep your payment info on the console (unless you choose to).

If you take a look at the article, you'll see the list of current and upcoming shop games on the Wii U shop. Consider the fact that the Wii U is just over four months old, and that's a fair amount of indie games being released.

Also, Nintendo allows devs to control their prices, and to date, every single indie game on the shop has seen at least one sale, and even several retail games have been on sale. Sales are always advertised on the home page.

Nintendo does not charge developers to patch games. This is huge, as both Microsoft and Sony charge a lot of money, and they also restrict the amount of patches you are allowed to push. These limits don't exist on the Wii U.

Hopefully that squashes some of the rumors posted above that are flat out false.

Now, I DO completely agree that the hard drive is WAY too small. Installing an external HDD is painless, but it should also be unnecessary, especially at the price Nintendo is asking.

There is no file size limitation on the Wii U shop, I've seen games range in size from a few MB to over 22GB.

Also, it is kinda lame that they don't include an Ethernet port for those that want it, although to be fair, I don't use Ethernet for my 360 either. I'm not justifying this one for Nintendo, just recognizing that it is an issue for many that doesn't personally affect me.

Another valid criticism is that the only current way to change your Nintendo Network ID or move it to another console is to call Nintendo. They have stated several times that an update will fix this, but it hasn't happened yet.

For the purposes of indie devs, the shop is leaps and bounds above anything Nintendo has offered in the past, and since it's web based, they are always working on improving it. New features show up almost every other week.

While I can't comment on Sony or Microsoft's upcoming systems as they aren't out yet, Nintendo has created a super robust social network called Miiverse, which is, quite frankly, one of the coolest features to be added to a game console. I-ve heard that PS4 will have a social network, if so, hopefully they take some cues from Miiverse - it is that awesome.

Donnieboi2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )


Well good for u then. But it doesn't counter any of the points DedicatedToGamers has made, nor my points either.

Only the most dedicated of nintendo fans would probably care enough to pay for a larger harddrive on their wii u's, so that means that most devs probably wont have much room for their patches, large download games, etc because most Wii U owners wont have a large harddrive.

So we're back at square one. Oh yeah, and they'll probably only port the tiniest of cell phone style indie games on top of it because of the aformentioned tiny harddrives that most Wii U owners will settle on, combines with the rediculous ammount of time it would take to download a more larger sized, fleshed out download game.

But hey, if your happy, and still see some benefit in all of this for devs, then all power to u.

You've made an expensive investment, so I wish u luck. But will devs wan't to make expensive investments by investing in YOUR expensive investment? Especially when devs can't really count on every Wii u owner upgrading their harddrives...which is sadly exactly what it takes to put larger games like Monster Hunter and the others u mentioned on a harddrive. That is the question.

Edit: And at the comments below me, your still talking as if every Wii U owner also owns a 500gb external harddrive like u do. U say u had no probs with downloads, but of course not when u have 500gb's. But Devs dont know how that u have the extra memory. Their assuming u only have 32gb for all your downloads, OS patches, game patches, Virtual Console games, etc.

But hey, who needs to hear that right? Believe me, devs know.

But i'm out of bubbles, so good luck to all u guys stuck with a Wii U already. I'll hold out though. Peace out.


dedicatedtogamers2026d ago

@ dungeonboss

Thank you for the info! Bubs up for you. I have a 3DS, a Wii, and a DS, and I dislike how the eShops are on those platforms. However, I wasn't aware of a lot of the things you pointed out, so I'm glad you took the time to let us know.

Deku-Johnny2026d ago

Wow, 'dungeonboss' used facts in his argument and hasn't been shouted at for it. I thought the N4G community were allergic to facts?

AKR2026d ago

The Wii U's storage can be easily expanded with the use of an external hard-drive. They aren't monster expensive to buy, you know?

As for Internet connections - the Wii U is also compatible with the "Wii LAN Adapter" add-on, so yes, it CAN use a LAN connection.

Zhipp2026d ago

I'm actually kind of surprised that so many people care so much about the lack of an ethernet port. I haven't used one in over 5 years, and I haven't really missed it. Then again I get aroudn 25mbps DL, and my router's maximum speed is 54mbps, so I guess my internet is too slow to tell the difference?

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2026d ago
Ck1x2026d ago

Well funny you say that because I've bought most of my games full digital download on the WiiU and haven't had a problem yet! Nintendo already stated that pricing of games on the eShop is up to individual developers not Nintendo... When I went from my 3ds to the 3dsXL the process was fairly simple to get all my original content that I purchased back. I'm not sure how the process is with the WiiU but I would think that it has to be similar probably. People aren't giving Nintendo enough credit, because getting 10% back on all digital purchases for those that bought a deluxe WiiU is very smart. I've already earned $60 back from the indie and full digital games that I've purchased and they load nicely from 500gb usb drive...

Dj7FairyTail2026d ago

1. 3DS eShop get sales often not Wii U eShop why because it still early.

2. Same as above 3DS gets it because it been out for two years now.

3. That will be fix in a update but you can transfer you 3DS stuff to another 3DS or 3DS XL.

You can transfer Wii stuff to Wii U.

Heisenburger2026d ago

I honestly can't tell if that list is supposed to be pros or cons.

They REALLY read like cons, yet I have a feeling that you were defending(for lack of a better word) Nintendo.

That list just makes me glad that I didn't get one yet.

lilbroRx2026d ago

Actually, sales on the Wii U eshop are great to my understanding. I've looked into and the devs were fairly happy with their sales. I've yet to see a single dev voice criticism for the Wii U eshop.

dungeonboss2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

Also, to address the other questions:

As far as "cross buy", I'm not sure if you meant like PS3/Vita, and if so - then no. There's a similar deal with Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate - BUT... you have to buy both the Wii U AND 3DS versions to do the cross play. That does suck a fair bit of value out (although some retailers offered a package discount if you bought both versions).

If you meant like if you buy a Virtual Console game on the 3DS or Wii can you transfer it, the answer is "sorta, not really". haha

You CAN transfer 3DS and DSiWare games to another 3DS.

You CANNOT transfer 3DS games to a Wii U.

You CAN transfer all content purchased on an original Wii, through a semi-laborious process that involves SD card swapping, a wi-fi connection, 2 TVs, a linked Club Nintendo account on both your original Wii and the Wii U, and then having to deal with the "Wii inside of a Wii U" setup. Once it's done, it's painless, but you will spend a good hour or two transferring all of your WiiWare and Virtual Console purchases to the Wii. TO be fair, though, this is the fault of the Wii with it's crappy non-account-based issues.

HOWEVER, your Virtual Console transfer will only be accessible via the "Wii-in-a-Wii U". You cannot access WiiWare or VC games from the Wii U menu. Some argue it's to combat piracy, but the 3DS can do it with DSiWare, so whatever. AND when the virtual console launches officially on the Wii U, they will allow you to purchase an "enhanced" version of the Wii VC games you already bought, but at a discounted price. You get Miiverse support and Save States. If that's worth it to you, then pay up. It isn't for me, I'll be content to have all of my Wii downloads on the Wii menu of the Wii U.

As far as transferring data from one Wii U to another, that's part of the whole "account" thing mentioned in the post I made earlier this morning. All of your purchases are tied to your Nintendo account, which Nintendo says they will let us move in the future - but it hasn;t happened yet. Meaning if your Wii U dies and you go swap it at the retailer, you just got screwed - so a warning to early adopters: CALL NINTENDO before returning a Wii U - they can issue you a free replacement if still under warranty and you will get to keep your NNID and eShop purchases (until Nintendo addresses the whole moving your account to a new console thing...)

So there ya go, hopefully that addresses a few of your (actually legitimate) concerns. They weren't enough to kill the deal for me by any means, at worst, they are a minor inconvenience, but I could see it being an issue for some gamers and casuals alike.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2026d ago
millzy1022026d ago

my launch 360 only had 20gigs and I got a 32gig Wii u so the memory doesn't bother me, I like to buy all retail games in physical form because I have a massive collection of games and I like them on the shelf, the only games I download is indie games. I hardly download dlc and my 160gig ps3 is full of mandatory game installations, something the Wii u doesn't need to do because it has 3x faster disc read than ps3. even if I do chose to go digital I will purchase a external HUD for about £40 of amazon. a lot of people make issues out of nothing. forgetting how easy it and cheap Nintendo have made there eshop for developers and that is the point of the article.

Moncole2026d ago (Edited 2026d ago )

Its been like this for a while. Indie devs never needed a publisher to put their game on a Nintendo system. Many indie games came to WiiWare but not PSN or XBLA because it had no publisher.