Nintendo Owns Stake in Fatal Frame IP
Nintendo and Tecmo Koei have obviously developed a very good relationship; they worked together on Pokémon Conquest, Nintendo is publishing the upcoming Wii U version of Ninja Gaiden 3, and Tecmo’s Team Ninja developer Metroid: Other M. This relationship has now jumped over into the realm of the camera-centric horror franchise, Fatal Frame.
The latest entry in the series came out for Wii, though only in Japan, and the recent 3DS title, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memory was a spin-off. The copyright for the IP has recently been updated and Nintendo is now listed as a co-owner of the main franchise, and the absolute owner of the Spirit Camera name.
What this means is that the series will not be showing up on any other consoles without Nintendo’s permission. Also, while the series is perhaps labeled as being a cult hit, it is a mature franchise that is all but guaranteed to have a significant presence on Nintendo platforms going forward. All that is left to be seen is whether or not the games will actually find their way out of Japan.
Epic Developer Postulates on Game Design and the Growing Market
Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski has long been one of the industry’s more outspoken developers, having grown in notoriety alongside his hugely successful Gears of War franchise. He now believes games have grown more linear and much easier as a means of expanding audiences.
“The more I play games like that the more I turned off to them and just want to get back to systems interacting with systems, and get back to a game that, you know, when was the last time a game really challenged you and asked something of you, right?” said Bleszinski.
The straightforward nature of contemporary design is leading to less experiences that are less compelling.
“I came around the same exact corner and saw the same exact plane crash, the same exact enemies, there’s nothing unique,” he said, “It feels like a lot of quick-time-events.”
While this might be drawing in newer and less experienced gamers, Bleszinski believes there is something of a backlash going on among core audiences, with the recent success of the extremely difficult Demon Souls and Dark Souls being cited as prime examples.
Nintendo Patents New Uses for Wii U and 3DS Connectivity
Nintendo has mentioned on numerous occasions its intent to tie 3DS and Wii U together for gaming purposes, but they are also toying around with other uses, both practical and unique.
One idea is to have you Wii U and/or 3DS welcome you home. When the 3DS comes into wireless range of the Wii U, they will be able to examine its clock and pedometer to determine if you had likely left your house for a while, and thus welcome you back.
However, a much more immediately useful idea is to take advantage of Wii U’s constant internet connectivity to fulfill the function of 3DS’s SpotPass ability. Instead of waiting to be in Wi-Fi to download updates to your 3DS, Wii U will know what games you have, download the content immediately as it becomes available, and stream it to the 3DS when it comes back in range.
Of course these ideas are just patents at this point, effectively meaning Nintendo has thought up these ideas and knows how to implement them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will see the light of day.