Nintendo Strangling Profits For WiiWare Developers

Illustration for article titled Nintendo Strangling Profits For WiiWare Developers

According to "multiple developers" speaking off the record to news site Gamasutra, Nintendo are operating a "minimum sales" policy on their WiiWare service, where developers only see profits if their games sell a certain amount.

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These developers claim that, in the US, a WiiWare title is tasked with selling "in the mid-four figure range", while in Europe, the bar is set a little lower. If a game sells under this number? The developers don't get paid.

While Gama speculate that this policy was originally introduced to stop the WiiWare service being flooded with shovelware (oh, the irony), they then mention that "some lower-selling WiiWare games may have done worse than Nintendo expected".

Indeed, one small studio they spoke with reckon they'll never hit the threshold, and as such, won't ever get paid.

We contacted Nintendo for comment, but they would only say "Nintendo does not discuss its internal business dealings."

Report: WiiWare's Minimum Sales Threshold Affects Developers [Gamasutra]

DISCUSSION

No, i´m not into flaming Nintendo, but when some people talk utter nonsense i have to correct some things:

-No, its not typical in the industry that one gets no advances of any kind and then has to sell middle 4 diggit counts before getting paid. In other areas one either gets an advance or sales equalling 500 $ or less are enough to get paid. I think its perfectly fine to have such a "minimum number of sales required until you get your first check" rule because it makes sense businesswise (If a developer only has one sale, wiring money to him would be a minus business for both sides due to transaction costs being higher than what he earned).

To set the target number to a mid 4 digit count is a mistake though, because it automatically endorses more showelware (the higher your sales numbers have to be before you see any money/profit, the higher is the risk for a developer hence, the less sense it makes to invest lots of time/money into a title).

Its many things coming together there like not letting indies from their home office in (you know the people who maybe actually really have creative unique ideas), having no kind of propper promo from console manufacturer side for the wiiware stuff etc etc.

Its obvious when one looks at the wiiware stuff and then looks at which percentage is really good stuff.

There are the perls in between, there are also success stories, but overall there´s lots of showelware and most publishers are moaning about no good sales on wiiware so that pushing out showelware to keep risk low problem won´t go down a lot until Nintendo changes their policy some.