Nintendo Sticking with Retail
Despite the prevalence of outlets like Steam or Sony and Microsoft’s Playstation Store and Xbox Live Arcade– not to mention its own Wii Shop Channel and Virtual Console or WiiWare offerings– Nintendo has not seriously entertained the idea touted elsewhere as inevitable: the eventual replacement of brick-and-mortar stores with digital distribution. Last month, Edge reports, Nintendo of Europe’s Laurent Fischer said as much. “We have never seen any link between growth in the mobile gaming market and decrease in the normal software market,” said Fischer. “It’s two different markets, two different topics. We couldn’t find any evidence of those two markets being linked.”
Laurent Fischer at the Australian 3DS launch event.
Fischer continued to call digital distribution a “trend” and criticized the industry for being quick to jump on the digital distribution bandwagon, and claimed that those who “talk about the end of physical media don’t share the same daily reality as most consumers.”
In February 2010, Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment estimated that Nintendo’s WiiWare earned Nintendo $59 million and its Virtual Console earned $66 million, with then-bestsellers being Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES, World of Goo for WiiWare, and Super Mario Bros. for the NES.
Source: Edge Magazine
Team Ninja Doesn’t Develop Just for the West
Team Ninja, known for its Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series, as well as its recent entry into the Metroid series with Metroid: Other M, has long been touted for its ability to create diverse genres of games (even if those games are somehow linked into the same series– see Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball vs. Everybody’s Golf). At the same time, video game mainstays such as Keiji Inafune, formerly of Capcom, have criticized the Japanese video game industry for sticking to tradition too much and not diversifying. This, though, seems to be a problem that Team Ninja refuses to be associated with.
As head of the Tecmo-based development studio, Yosuke Hayashi told GamesTM that Team Ninja does not stick to one particular genre or develop for a particular audience. “A lot of Japanese developers have been focusing on developing games designed to appeal to Western audiences, but most of them have failed,” said Hayashi. “It’s a situation we understand but, for Team Ninja, we never intentionally make games for the Western market. We merely try to make interesting games. However, we don’t want to be grounded as an exclusively Japanese developer.”
Hayashi also mentioned that Team Ninja is open to collaborating with any partner companies who were “enthusiastic”, though at least in the online article he did not mention Nintendo in particular. The full interview can be found in issue 106 of GamesTM magazine.
Yuji Horii Talks Puff-Puff Jokes (and DQVI)
As just about every gamer knows, Yuji Horii’s a household name in Japan– but not so much outside of the country. However, GamesRadar had a chance to interview Horii on everything from why Dragon Quest VI was not localized until very recently (heralding the release of the DS remake of the game, and the first time it’s ever been released outside of Japan), to the oft-forgotten Nintendo/Square Enix collaboration for the DS, the board game Itadaki Street. The Enix mainstay especially had much to say about the localization, especially regarding such things as the infamous “puff-puff” gags from Japan that once were quickly censored outside of Japan. GamesRadar also interviewed Yuji Horii about any video games that he played in his off time, though other than the Playstation 3’s Heavy Rain, Horii doesn’t seem to have played anything.
All that’s known about the Wii DQ is this dev logo.
Horii also talked a little bit about the next Dragon Quest game for the Wii, though nothing important other than the fact that Square Enix is working on it– and poked a little bit of fun at people who call Dragon Quest too “conservative” as a role-playing game series, and then go out and buy the games anyway. Finally, when the subject of a Dragon Quest VII remake popped up, Horii and Yuu Miyake (executive producer of the DQ series) stayed mum– though with some semblance of levity.
The full interview can be found on GamesRadar.
By the way, there’s a new Iwata Asks out here. They’re always incredibly interesting, so you’d be doing yourself a favor by reading it! –A.H.