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Wii Games

Game Devs Migrating Toward iPhone, Away From Wii 143

A new report by Game Developer Research reveals that the number of developers working on games for the iPhone continues to rise, roughly doubling in number from last year. At the same time, the amount of work done on games for Nintendo's Wii dropped significantly: "Just over 70 percent of developers said they were developing at least one game for PC or Mac (including browser and social games), rising slightly from last year; 41 percent reported working on console games. Within that latter group, Xbox 360 was the most popular system with 69 percent of console developers targeting it, followed by 61 percent for PlayStation 3. While those console figures stayed within a few percent of last year's results, the change in Wii adoption was much more significant: reported developer support for the system dropped from 42 percent to 30 percent of console developers, supporting numerous publishers' claims of a recent softening of the Wii market."
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Game Devs Migrating Toward iPhone, Away From Wii

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  • False assumption? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThoughtMonster ( 1602047 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:05PM (#31047160) Homepage

    The summary seems to create the assumption that the same developers which are abandoning the Wii are moving to the iPhone.

    I'm not even sure how something like this would work. The economics are different, the scale is different, hell, even the target consumers are probably different.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:11PM (#31047192)
    You are right - all of those things are indeed different. Also different is the model of payment. For example a 4 person family buys a game once for the Wii and plays it on one device (but all 4 can play and so can their friends who visit). But with the iPhone you can sell that game to each family member (assuming they are the "dumb, rich" market segment and are both rich and foolish enough to get their kids iPhones). But some developers would be looking at the $$$ from selling a game to the same family more than once.
  • by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:16PM (#31047232)

    Of course it's easier to make a game for the iPhone than the Wii, so more casual developers and small teams are going to start working on them. So as they enter game development, the percentage of Wii developers will decrease. But what about the total number of Wii developers? I am willing to bet they actually increased, stayed the same or slightly decreased. And the two platforms are not really comprable so that all this is, is some meaningless fistclenching by fans of Apple.

  • wrong conclusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fritzed ( 634646 ) <> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:23PM (#31047274) Homepage
    This isn't a change in game developer preference, it is a change in the definition of game developer.
  • like it matters... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:35PM (#31047340)

    mostly all of nintendo's biggest games for wii or any of their platforms are developed in-house anyways, so it'll mean the heaps of crap disguised as games being thrown at the wii daily will be slightly less frequent, while the titles with actual quality behind them (not quality ideas, just quality presentation and design) won't be bothered

  • by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:24PM (#31047646)

    The majority of Wii games are shovelware. These developers don't care about quality games, they care about maximum profit via little investment and ignorance. They probably throw a couple of Collins College graduates at a title and if it turns on and doesn't crash in 5 minutes it is good to go. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them said "learn to code for the iphone in a week, have something we can ship in 8".

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:30PM (#31047698)

    Do you realize that the Wii just had its best Christmas sales-wise due to New Super Mario Bros Wii?

    Third parties abandoning the Wii does not mean the Wii is suffering, for the most part these third parties have been completely useless and only producing garbage that hurts the Wii more than it helps.

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tobor the Eighth Man ( 13061 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:44PM (#31047798)

    The Wii is going to tank? You hope Nintendo has enough cash? Dude, the Wii came out almost three and a half years ago, sales dropping off now means only that it might not have the longevity Nintendo hopes, not that it's tanking, as you say. It's still sold more units than any other Nintendo console. Calling the Wii anything but a success seems silly.

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:2, Insightful)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:49PM (#31047822)

    personally I love the difference in the wii compared to standard sit on my ass and push buttons. i guess that is why msft and sony are both developing motion based controllers for their units.

    If it was such a losy gimmick why is MSFT even bothering withthe tech?

    I like running through a group of bad guys literally swinging my weapons. It is only the childish animation that is annoying and the stupid music that limits it. A good game should leave you tired and sore all over not just your ass.

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CronoCloud ( 590650 ) <> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:02PM (#31047888)

    Why yes, but that means that the Wii is the N64 and Gamecube all over again, where everybody buys the exact same Nintendo games so when you go check out the Nintendo sections of the used games stores over the years, they have 10 copies of Nintendo-foo, and one copy of non-Nintendo-foo great game that no one bought.

    Which do you think is easier to find, the N64 version of Mega Man Legends or the PSone version.

    Or between the Gamecube and PS2 versions of Balder's Gate: Dark Alliance.

    The Wii is like the Monopoly or Life game set that everyone has, but only plays at holiday get togethers. I'd lay odds that PS3 and Xbox owners put far far more hours on their consoles than Wii owners do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:14PM (#31047930)

    Exactly. The barrier for entry to develop for the iPhone is extremely small. Does it matter if there are 100x more "game developers" for the iPhone if 99% of the games are crap?

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:49PM (#31048142)
    A bit of thought, if you're willing to invest it, should make you very embarrassed that you said all that publicly. The Wii could stop selling NOW, and it's doubtful the 360 or PS3 would EVER catch up to it. Nintendo has already won this console generation in terms of sales, profit, and popularity.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:51PM (#31048164) Homepage Journal

    The DS (yes, you have to count all versions in the wild)

    The DSi has both an online app store and a retail channel. The DS and DS Lite have only the retail channel, and retail channels strongly favor major labels, even on fully open platforms such as PC. So among handheld platforms with an app store, I count iPhone+iPod Touch, PSP+PSP Go, and DSi. Of the three, only Apple's app store has an official developer program open to the general public.

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @07:07PM (#31048634) Homepage
    That will be the same for any console developer. iPhone is different in the sense that is much cheaper and anyone can buy a licence but then you also have to deal with the fact you can't compete directly with Apple or that your app will disappear from the app store or stupid reasons like mentioning Android.

    I think you're under-estimating Apple's nazi-like control over the app store. At least Nintendo won't let you release a game and then yank it off the shelves after it has launched and they will allow you to make Mario-like games where as Apple won't allow you to create a browser, anything that runs code they don't approve, etc.

    Personally I think it's a bit silly to claim one system is better than the other. If you want complete freedom develop for Symbian or Android. The trade-off is that you have to cater for multiple phone types rather than having one set of hardware like the iPhone or Wii.
  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @07:12PM (#31048662) Journal

    Plus, every new game Nintendo releases is a hit. Nintendo seems to make their own success rather than depending on third party developers.

  • by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @08:59PM (#31049386)

    If anything, it's the 360 that has crap for local multiplayer: How often do multiplayer games require a second console, and a second copy of the $60 game to run? And how many of the few games that support local coop do it through a badly implemented split screen?

    The best selling games on the Wii are mainly multiplayer games, look it up.

  • Re:Bye-bye Wii (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @10:36PM (#31049802)
    Yeah, it must really suck to TOTALLY DOMINATE both the handheld and livingroom console markets for three years straight. Yup, Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot there all right.
  • Every other phone is friendlier still

    You haven't seen feature phones that use BREW []. It's reportedly even more of a pain in the behind than iPhone.

  • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:48AM (#31050684)

    There are three issues that the wii presents for most game developers used to developing traditional console or even PC games.

    All three of these issues can be summed up as that the Wii presents a completely new gaming paradigm for developers. I think the biggest issue is that the wiimote presents a very different interface than traditional console and PC games. I bet most developers have no idea how to take advantage of the wiimote and the motion-sensitive options it provides. The few games that have used the wiimote hasn't used it well. This is because the wiimote isn't terribly accurate, even with the motion plus. I think most developers still have the "hardcore" mentality, where motion sensitivity has to be fairly accurate. If you look at the games that nintendo creates, you'll notice that most of them aren't made with accuracy of the wiimote feedback in mind. In terms of how much leeway the games provide the player, and how "difficult" the games are, they both lean towards the simplistic.

    The second issue is the user base of the wii. For systems like the xbox or the PS3, the install base is fairly well known: hardcore games who like fancy graphics, difficult combos, in-depth storylines, and action of some form. The wii install base is very diverse, from hardcore gamers, to more casual gamers, to social (party) gamers, to non-games, to senior citizens. It is very difficult to come up with a game that caters to all of these groups, and effectively makes developing for the wii very discouraging. Add to that a group of "hardcore" nintendo fans that will easily love everything nintendo but will treat 3rd party games with a far more critical eye, and intersperse them within the other gamer types, and you have a recipe for disaster if you're not nintendo but try to copy them.

    The final issue is the fracturing of the wii install base that accessories like the balance board and the motion plus cause. It's pretty impossible to write for those games, as that's literally taking away your user base. Nobody will do that, so few developers are willing to write for those accessories, instead opting for writing for the base system. That is very limiting considering the above two issues. Granted, developers can work around it by making the accessories optional, but even that is a complete paradigm shift away from traditional console and PC games.

    It boils down to this: large game development studios are as risk-adverse as the movie and music industry. They're going to go the safe route--do the things nintendo has done successfully. They're not going to try something different, like what smaller developers would be willing to do. Where a smaller shop may be willing to develop games specifically for the wii and try to work around or work with the three issues I listed above, the larger ones will only want to put out what's been tried and true, but prettier, or more realistic. The problem is that nintendo, through their wiiware developer policy, isn't letting small developers thrive. Whether by being overprotective or being greedy, they're strangling their own infant ecosystem. And if they don't change this soon, they're soon going to have a lot of competition from more hardcore motion systems.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?