Despite a stonewall of no-comments from Nintendo, and increasingly bizarre behavior by amateur developer Robert Pelloni, MTV Multiplayer's Stephen Totilo stuck with the story of "Bob's Game," Pelloni's DS title that Nintendo declined to support.
Thursday, Totilo finally got an official response on the matter from Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America.
For those who are unfamiliar with Bob's Game, it's a one-man effort, more than 15,000 hours put into a top-down 2D adventure/RPG game. Late last year, hearing nothing from Nintendo about his request for a software development kit, he staged a locked-room protest that didn't get much of a reaction. That was followed by a bunch of strange antics that either were viral marketing ploys, or retconned as such when people started worrying about Pelloni's mental health.
OK, got all that? Now, at last, here is Reggie's side of the story, as told to Totilo.
[Pelloni] did submit to be a licensed developer. We have an evaluation process. We evaluated the opportunity. We decided at this point in time that he did not meet the requirements to be a licensed developer.
Totilo presses Reggie, asking how an amateur developer might get a favorable reaction to his idea from Nintendo. Reggie cites 2D Boy and "World of Goo" as a good example to follow. Totilo points out that 2D Boy and Kyle Gabler weren't "a garage developer," they brought credentials to the table when they asked for Nintendo support. Reggie's response:
There are a ton of stories. "Tetris." Just a guy out of Russia. "Pokemon" is another example. Before that was published in Japan, what was "Pokemon"? I think it's fair to say that Nintendo has a history and a legacy of bringing novel, unique ideas to the marketplace.
So, amateur coders, all you have to do is create the next Pokemon or Tetris and Nintendo will happily back your efforts.
I have some sympathy for Nintendo, because its role in this mess is not unlike a stalked movie star. But what Reggie's saying is sort of what Pelloni had assumed would pay off for him: If the idea and the game are truly compelling, things will fall into place. Pelloni clearly believed his game was that compelling through 15,000 hours of coding it, only to find out Nintendo didn't feel the same way at the critical moment.
Nintendo Finally Comments on Bob's Game Situation [MTV Multiplayer]