No Mr. Adelman, You're Wrong About Nintendo's Third-Party Situation

If you’re a regular reader of Nintendo news, then you’ve more than likely browsed through a few articles that highlight what former Nintendo-exec Dan Adelman has said about Nintendo’s third-party debacle. Today, I’m here to give my two cents on the matter.

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360ICE1365d ago

I appreciate that someone is willing to write about this in length, but there's no equivalency between the 80's crash and the current indie renaissance.

Towerfall, Velocity 2X, Rogue Legacy, The Swapper, Transistor, Sportsfriends--these aren't exactly E.T. They're highly acclaimed games, and there are many of these exactly because Sony, Microsoft and crowdfunders are willing to absorb risk. And btw, the author has confused Adelman's statements. It's not necessarily about buying DLC or paying companies for exclusive content. It's about investing in developers that might not otherwise make games at all. Sony and MS approach developers and say that they're willing to fund their projects in return for exclusivity. That's how LittleBigPlanet happened. That's how The Order is happening, and that's how Oni and the Blind Forest is happening.

In fact, Nintendo should feel obligated to absorb risk. They're a huge developer with lots of capital, and help a lot of small developers make it. They could even get something in return!

Also, Nintendo hasn't entered the fray in lieu of Sony and Microsoft's war. Wii U has little to no presence. In fact, it's strange that a manufacturer with so many established, popular franchises, can push as few consoles as Nintendo has done thus far.

I'm surprised the article didn't make the argument that Nintendo actually has a lot of indies. Not as many, or as high-profiled ones as Sony and MS, but a fair share.


"Chasing after multiplatforms by money-hatting is merely a short-term success"

Well, Sony has been doing it since PS1. Short term.

eyeofcore1365d ago

Yet Wonderful 101, Bayonetta, Fatal Frame 5, Devil's Third did what you said that "Nintendo is obligated to absorb risk" which is basically saying. Nintendo, burn your money.

3DS sells well and Wii U is at least selling while if you remove all 3rd party support from Xbox One and PlayStation 4, man... Nobody would bought those consoles.

360ICE1365d ago (Edited 1365d ago )

Yeah, those are some examples of Nintendo doing precisely that! Absorbing risk. Bayonetta 2 might not have happened without Nintendo, so all applause to Nintendo for doing that. They should do it more.

Needless to say, absorbing risk doesn't mean "burn your money".

"Wii U is at least selling". What kind of argument is that? PS Vita is also at least selling. They're selling little compared to the competition, is the relevant point.

And why would you remove third party from PS4 and Xbox One? That's like saying "If you were to remove 1st party from Nintendo, there would barely be any games"
and you'd be right. However, Nintendo has lots of first party titles and PS4 / Xbox One lots of third party. Let's deal in reality.

Also, Sony first party tends to be pretty good.

InTheLab1365d ago

Kinda like how no one is buying the WiiU? Remember the WiiU launched with very few titles. Have you forgotten the PS3? Twice the price of the WiiU with a similar 3rd party issues for 2 years but still outsold the WiiU in the same time frame.

And no, I most certainly would not own a PS4 and Xbox One if they were as barren and incomplete as the WiiU. While Sony does have a ton of franchises like Jak, Ratchet, Sly, Uncharted, GoW, Resistance, Turismo, Killzone, Motorstorm,Socom, The Show, and a ton of others, I would not buy a console that does not have multiplatform games.

Nintendo needs to do exactly what Sony has done. Buy up a diverse lineup of developers and have the create titles, and actively compete by buying ads for what few multiplats that are on the system, and paying for their gamers to receive benefits like Sony and MS.

Of course there's nothing they can do now. Most of their major hits are out and no one wants the console. No one wants a gimmick. Imagine if they went out and ASKED developers what they wanted out of a console instead of burying their heads up EAD's a**, and built a console as powerful as the PS4 WITH Nintendo's Legacy franchises. Imagine if they allowed us to play how we want without telling us we need a tablet jammed into a controller or how we need to waggle a remote because it's new and fun. Imagine if Nintendo were the NIntendo I grew up with back in the 80's...the one that simply destroyed the competition with a variety of games with gimmicks like the power glove and Super Scope Six on the side as options as they should be.

That Nintendo would be crushing the competition. What's bizarre is how successful they've been on the other side but can't sell a console to save their lives.

Concertoine1365d ago


I agree. They need drastic reform with their console design. Big mistakes were made starting with the N64's cartridge format.

Im starting to worry it is too late. They would have to not only pull off a great system, they would have to advertise it right to win back their audience (and then some).

Realplaya1365d ago

@ InTheLab They did ask developers what they wanted. Look at the introduction video they had develops left and right talking about things.

They don't need to do like Sony and Microsoft for one as many systems as Sony is selling they are still reporting losses why do you think that is?

If Microsoft sold only Video Game systems they would be in trouble The X Box One has as many games as the PS4 and they only Sold more than the Wii U due to having that 3rd party support.

So what Nintendo does is a gimmick?

Ps3 no motion control and Wii was banging it now they had motion control.

Wii U Dual screen Sony you can use the Vita with the PS4 for Dual Screen so before you throw rocks make sure your house isn't full of glass.

InTheLab1365d ago


The difference is that all of those things are optional on one and built in to the other. That and about 10 million more consoles sold.

The PS division of Sony is making money. What does failed TVs and terrible spiderman movies have to do with the gaming division?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1365d ago
3-4-51365d ago

* Nintendo has put up like 10-15 games to support their own system.

They have DONE their fair share of the work....and then some.

* Dev's & Publishers are making fearful corporate type decisions, based on money and that alone.

It's not wise, and they lose respect in doing so.

3rd party dev's are all just taking the easy route and nobody is taking the " path less traveled ".

I see a bunch of cowards.

360ICE1365d ago (Edited 1365d ago )

1) We're discussing third party. No one is arguing that Wii U is a bad console or that first party support hasn't been excellent. It has.
2) Every corporation ultimately acts based on money. Nintendo is no exception. Wii U and 3DS weren't exactly a high-dare.
3) 3rd party devs are all taking the easy route? What a ridiculous thing to say. Is it the easy route to make brand new IPs? No? Because, we've seen more new IPs the last two years, than the five years before that thanks to third party.

3-4-51365d ago

Yea, they hopped on the Wii wagon, then jumped ship to the ios train.

That is the "easy route".

So yes, a huge majority of them did just that.

What a lot of them don't understand is by being on of the ones who DO release there game on Nintendo's Wii U, it actually would stand out because the competition is less.

They would have less to compete against.

truechainz1365d ago

I agree with you in a lot of your points. There is definitely an importance to absorbing risk of developers, especially indies, and as eyeforce said Nintendo is doing that in a number of ways.. I think this past fall should be a big wake-up call to the parallels that do exist in the 80's crash to the big budget game space.

I applaud Sony for their drive with indies, and I think they set the standard for that right now, but I definitely agree with the author in that we have too much power in the big budget space. We have gone through a particularly bad period where both PS4 and X1 have had 1st and 3rd party releases this fall that were released at a quality level that is unacceptable. The QA is not extensive enough and I can't say for sure but the message I see is that these companies are putting money over quality with their games.

So if Nintendo does more risk absorbing to get more games, it will likely be in a space like smaller games or indies that have a low margin, and are arguably providing the most innovation in gaming today. But the problem with that is I don't see having an awesome set of indie support as a way to help Nintendo in sales. I don't have any hard data but I would hardly believe that the PS4 and X1 are selling what they are because of indies. I think they are selling because of big budget 3rd party games, and that means that the big 3rd party publishers have all the power in this industry. I think that can and obviously looks great right now (given high console sales) but I am worried because that doesn't feel like a sustainable structure.

Overall I am interested to see where this industry goes though, and I feel like Nintendo is going to position themselves in a way where they will be here in 30 more years even if gaming isn't(hyperbole of course).

wonderfulmonkeyman1365d ago (Edited 1365d ago )

"No presence" doesn't get you over 9M consoles and a legion of people who claim to wish that they had some of your games on their systems.
Just saying.XD

Nintendo does do risk-absorbing moves.
They just don't do it for every third party under the sun.
They're more selective about it.
And considering how third parties treated the system during its first year, with bad port after bad port that rarely if ever had all its content, can we really blame them for not going out of their way to moneyhat people like Ubisoft for more multiplats like AC?

Nintendo isn't obligated to support developers that don't treat their fanbase the same way they treat other fanbases. That's all I'm saying.

And as for indies?
This gen is WAY better for them than last gen was, in terms of treatment.
We're seeing quite a few games coming to the Wii U from indies, so Nintendo really IS absorbing some risks.
No one would want to develop for them out of that space, otherwise.
The only difference is in the kinds of games that they support.

360ICE1364d ago (Edited 1364d ago )

Wii U has been out for a year longer than PS4 and Xbox One and sold much less. You say nine million as if we lived in the 80's and that number was somehow supposed to conjure up awe.

Yes, they do absorb risk (like I said, many times), but not quite enough compared to Sony and MS. It's really a question of exclusive third party content, and one can see where it is. For every Assassin's Creed, there's at least one Cuphead, The Tomorrow Children, you name it. I think games like that are phenomenally exciting, but if

Yes, indies are doing better on Wii U than on Wii. Yet again, we need some perspective. World of Goo is still highlighted on the Wii Store! Whereas PS4 and Xbox One get indies every month, many of them great.

Spotie1364d ago

Nine million after two years when everyone else has surpassed it in half the time?

Some presence.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1364d ago
DualWielding1365d ago

the fanboyism is strong in this one..

LOL_WUT1365d ago

Agreed this guy has actually worked with the company and has more insider knowledge than anyone else in here. Time for Nintendo to adopt or embrace western games/ideas this arrogance of theirs is whats ruining them. ;)

SliceOfTruth8881365d ago

wow where did one get this much kool aid? There must be gallons and gallons of it

Magicite1365d ago

Most people prefer console where you can play latest COD/GTA/AC/FIFA, thats a big reason why WiiU isnt selling.

LOL_WUT1365d ago

Every console released after the NES with the exception of the Wii has had its sales dwindle one could say the reason for that is the lack of 3rd party multiplats ;)

Locknuts1365d ago

Adelman is right in my opinion. If Nintendo want third party support, they pretty much have to pay for it. Will that leave them profitable? I guess Nintendo thinks not. They're a business. If it was obvious that they would make more money by moneyhatting third parties then I'm sure they would, but getting into a bidding war against Microsoft is not something I'd be doing.

Xof1365d ago

Nintendo can't even get third parties to get old games up on their Virtual Console... One can only assume that, as was the case with the Wii eShop last gen., Nintendo is actively discouraging third parties.

The reasons for a lack of third party support, all the way down to this most basic level, are myriad, and bespeak a fundamental problem with Nintendo's general attitude toward everyone else.

Locknuts1365d ago

Actively discouraging is a bit strong, but they're certainly not doing what needs to be done.

Xof1365d ago

Do you not remember how they treated 3rd parties on the Wii? They had to meet a sales quota before Nintendo would give them any money. If they failed to meet that quota Nintendo would pocket 100% of the profits.

And given the fact that the WiiU's third party support is so much worse than the Wii's, especially when it comes to the VC, it stands to reason that Nintendo is still doing something like that.