Monday, December 28, 2009

Nintendo's Third Party Disasters

“Nintendo’s Third Party Disasters”

Ever wonder why Sony dived into the gaming industry suddenly in the 1990s? The major reason: Nintendo’s third party licensing sucks.

Ironically, Nintendo came into the spot light by developing games as a third party publisher party to begin with. In the early 1980s, Shigeru Miyamoto, created Nintendo’s two stars, Donkey Kong and Mario, and began porting their classic arcade games to home systems at the time, which profited the company enormously.

Eventually this led to the creation of the NES later in the decade and the rise of video game fascism would begin. According to David Sheff, author of “Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children,” Nintendo had strict guidelines for its third party publishers, such as:

· Licensees were not permitted to release the same game for a competing console until two years had passed.
· Nintendo would decide how many cartridges would be supplied to the licensee.
· Nintendo would decide how much space would be dedicated for articles, advertising, etc. in Nintendo Power.
· There was a minimum number of cartridges which had to be ordered by the licensee from Nintendo.
· There was a yearly limit of five games that a licensee may produce for a Nintendo console. This rule was made due to caution of over saturation which caused the North American video game crash of 1983.
Simply put: If you didn’t salute the führer of video games of the 1980s and early 1990s your company was out of luck.

Companies such as Konami formed two companies, Ultra and Palcom to get around Nintendo’s rules so that they could publish more games. To me this is ludicrous because if a company can consistently produce quality games why limit them? That’s just outrageous.

Think of the possibilities that could have happened if Square-Enix or Konami wasn’t limited at the time. How many more games would we have to remember? How much more profit would they have made? It just doesn’t make sense to me to put in so many rules and regulations on third party developers.

Earlier in the 1990’s, Sony tried to reach a deal with Nintendo trying to add a CD drive to the SNES that would be attached to the bottom of it. If you don’t believe me, check the bottom of your SNES. See that port on the bottom? That’s where Sony’s CD drive would have gone had Nintendo had their way.

Thankfully, Sony stood up to them and created the Playstation, which many of us have fond memories of.

With increased competition from Sony in the 1990’s to the present Nintendo still hasn’t learned its lessons after being pummeled by Sony and Microsoft over the years. It still has strict rules about what can and can’t be published. In fact, it’s the main reason why Final Fantasy 7 was published on the Playstation rather than the Nintendo 64. Square-Enix was tired of all the red tape and decided to move on.

Fast-forward today and take a look at Nintendo’s Wii. Is there a Final Fantasy on it? Nope. A Metal Gear on the Wii? Won’t happen. Third party publishers are tired of Nintendo’s unflinching desire to just let go of the rules. As a result, the Wii is just a novelity to most serious gamers. It’s something you play when you have your grandma over and that’s pretty much it (excluding a solid game that comes out once a year which is rare).

Nintendo: Either loosen up your third party rules or join the graveyard along with Sega. This isn’t the 1990’s or 1980’s anymore. People are so over Donkey Kong and Mario (including myself, who grew up with them). Get rid of the garbage rules or Microsoft will dominate yet another aspect of our lives.

- Smiling Cobra

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