Nintendo outlines policy changes designed to bring indies onto the 3DS

The eShop is open for business

Nintendo outlines policy changes designed to bring indies onto the 3DS
Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Nintendo's business development manager Dan Adelman has outlined the policy changes Nintendo has introduced to make the eShop a friendlier place for indies.

But first of all, he wanted to put a misconception to bed.

"You know, it's crazy that there are so many developers who don't realize this, but yes, it is not only possible for an indie to get a game onto the eShop service, we've tried to make it as frictionless as possible," Adelman explained.

Changes afoot

With that out of the way, Adelman went on to explain that Nintendo has abolished its requirement for eShop developers to have a registered office – a policy that prevented bedroom coders and small indies from publishing on the platform.

"I know we've shied away from talking about these things publicly in the past, so I'm glad that I can officially confirm that the office requirement is a thing of the past."

And although Nintendo consoles require custom dev kits, Adelman explained that they're "actually not all that expensive."

"They're about the price of a high-end PC. Nothing that should be a showstopper for anyone."


In another concession to smaller developers, Nintendo has also changed its payment policies for eShop games. In the past, developers weren't paid until their games had sold more than 6,000 units.

"We wanted to have a mechanism that would encourage developers to self-police their own game quality," said Adelman. "The threshold was thought to be a convenient way to go about it."

"Unfortunately, some great games that just didn't find an audience wound up being penalised. So for all systems after WiiWare – DSiWare, Nintendo 3DS eShop, and Wii U eShop, we decided to get rid of the thresholds altogether. Developers receive revenue from unit one."

Courting the indie vote

Nintendo isn't opening the eShop to all, though. "You have to have some experience making games, you have to be able to keep any confidential materials like dev kits secure and you have to form a company," Adelman said.

So while Nintendo isn't adopting an entirely open ecosystem, Adelman's comments suggest it's serious about making its platforms more accessible to indies. Of course, Sony has been gaining publicity lately for its efforts in the same area.

Last week, for instance, Sony announced a strategic partnership with Unity that will be of interest to indie developers keen to develop for the PS Vita or PlayStation Mobile, and at GDC this week, Sony has been talking up its "flexible self-publishing process" and "low barrier to entry."

[source: Gamasutra]

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013