Nintendo Says No To Japanese Independent Developers

Karloff

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Oct 19, 2009
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Nintendo Says No To Japanese Independent Developers



The licensing department is to blame, apparently. No, I don't get it either.

"We are not accepting applications from developers located in Japan at this time," says Nintendo to anyone interested in developing for the Wii U. This comes courtesy of a survey form sent out by Nintendo during GDC, a form which has attracted a great deal of interest - and not a little condemnation - in Japan. "Seeing 'No Japs' written on an international-looking website is such a terrible sight that it makes me weep," Tweets a Japanese developer from studio Rice Cake, and while there's a little hyperbole in that Tweet, it's not entirely inaccurate. But it's odd, very odd, coming from Nintendo right now, given that Nintendo's supposedly to boost the Wii U [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125193-Shigeru-Miyamoto-Urges-Developers-To-Embrace-Novelty].

It's not entirely clear why this should be so. According to an official statement sent by Nintendo to Eurogamer, the problem lies with Nintendo's licensing department. "The licensing department of Nintendo Co., Ltd is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan," the statement says, but that doesn't really explain anything. It doesn't say, for instance, whether the problem is a legal one - maybe there's some quirk that needs to be ironed out before indies can be welcomed into the Nintendo fold - or a policy issue, or something else. Is this temporary, or something more serious?

Until we know more, the only question worth asking - as Japanese independent developer Toshirou Takahashi has it - is "why, Nintendo, is 'only Japan' excluded from individual registration?"

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-23-nintendo-is-not-accepting-submissions-from-japanese-indie-devs]


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Mr. Omega

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Jul 1, 2010
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Odd considering how well they've been working with American indies. Still, as the article speculates, maybe it's a legal thing. I'm not exactly up to date on Japanese law. The fact that "at this time" is used does seem to lean towards something temporary. But they better take care of it quickly.
 

CyberMachinist

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Oct 8, 2012
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So there's some legal reason why there are no Japenese indies being made, maybe it's either that or nintendo is having a hard time accepting small budget games being made in their country, beats me which is the right answer but I would sure love to see the reason come to light soon for everyone's Sake.........

Yeah that was bad I'll go now.
 

mechalynx

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Mar 23, 2008
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DVS BSTrD said:
That's not very rice of them.
They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.

Nope, I don't see what you did there.

OT. It's temporary, methinks. Once they got enough flak from the devs/consumers or their legal department gets their head out of their sphincter, everything'll be right as rain again.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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Maybe they just don't want hentai VN's on the Wii U.
That's basically my familiarity with Japanese independent game development.

Besides Tohou, in which fans just make 3rd party hentai.
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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mechalynx said:
DVS BSTrD said:
That's not very rice of them.
They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.
I believe the pun he was going for wasn't playing on their speech, but rather simply that they eat rice.

OT: Gotta say this is a pretty strange turn of events...considering one of the biggest complaints about the WiiU is "there's no games for it". You'd think they'd be accepting towards anyone and everyone that wants to develop for their system. It has to be some kind of crazy legal technicality that bubbled up from somewhere for them to specifically exclude Japanese indies.
 

TiberiusEsuriens

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Jun 24, 2010
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Karloff said:
But it's odd, very odd, coming from Nintendo right now, given that Nintendo's supposedly to boost the Wii U [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/125193-Shigeru-Miyamoto-Urges-Developers-To-Embrace-Novelty].
My first thought was that they are worried that the games might scare off the western market (which they are desperately trying/needing to recapture) because the games might be "too Japanese." There've been a decent amount of articles that point out how many Japanese games don't get ported anymore simply because they never sold well in foreign markets to begin with. When they say outside devs, I'm pretty sure they're specifying outside the country.

I'm just going to go with, "They want more grizzled space marines on their system." Those launch titles sold well after all. Especially in Japan. Right? RIGHT?
 

FogHornG36

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RJ 17 said:
mechalynx said:
DVS BSTrD said:
That's not very rice of them.
They do pronounce n's, you know. Unless you were going for lice.
I believe the pun he was going for wasn't playing on their speech, but rather simply that they eat rice.
or that the company that got rejected that tweeted this news is called "studio Rice Cake"
 

Darmani

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Apr 26, 2010
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I imagine there is easing up to for foreign indies as that's where the press is at. They are assuming okay in the US THIS is how its done, get college students to make your line up, indies here are the new hotness and makes us look responsible and lovable. Cool we need that. But Japanese indies means people not in the heirarchy getting their own game line BEFORE Anouma? I can imagine that's a personnel crisis in the making akin to Capcom-Inafune wars.
 

medv4380

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Feb 26, 2010
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I'd bet it's just a back log of paperwork that they don't want to get any worse. With Nintendo dominating software sales in Japan they're probably flooded with applications of indies that produce Japan only releases. They probably have a limited number of Dev Kits, and don't want to over supply Japan, and end up shorting Euro, and NA.

Hopefully they're giving priority to big developers that do International releases, but that are still Indie. I'd expect that to be more of a Face-to-Face developer recruitment.
 

sethisjimmy

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May 22, 2009
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That's odd. They seem to have had lots of success with Nicalis, the indie company who ported Cave Story to a bunch of Nintendo consoles.

Hopefully this is just a miscommunication blunder, because indie support has really become a key feature in the console wars these days.
 

Pinkscare

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Jul 19, 2013
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That is terrible news. Indie games, for th most part, are what keep my gaming addiction going.
 

krazykidd

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Mar 22, 2008
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Pinkscare said:
That is terrible news. Indie games, for th most part, are what keep my gaming addiction going.
It's only japanese indie devs . Which means you still got the entire rest of the world to make your indies .

OT: it has to be a legal thing . Either that or they don't want to help japanese developpers and potentially create competition.
 

Verlander

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Could be a billion reasons, not all negative. Licensing sounds spot on though - without a broader idea of what Nintendo can/can't or will/won't do legally, contractually or "at this time", we don't know why Japan has been singled out. To assume that they're simply blocking Japanese developers for giggles is naive though
 

shirkbot

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Apr 15, 2013
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I assume it's some kind of policy issue, legal or otherwise. Nintendo is pretty much the most Japanese company on the face of the Earth, I can't imagine they'd reject domestic development without some kind of exceedingly good reason. Especially since those are potential future employees/business partners. I really want to know what's up though, because this is most unusual.
 

Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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Like others I'm gonna assume it's for legal reasons, mainly because we'd never get an actual reason as to why from the company. Heck Sega still never gave their reason for taking down all the Shining Force videos from YT and that was ages ago, and the wounds are still there.
 

Marak Daga

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Feb 1, 2012
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As a indie dev living in japan this disappoints me. Hopefully its sorted out soon the wii-u was my next target system. Sigh.