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Nintendo explains "garage" dev claim

"We embrace independent spirit."

Nintendo has moved to calm reaction to US boss Reggie Fils-Aime's controversial comment that the Japanese company refuses to do business with "garage" developers.

"Nintendo always appreciates good quality content regardless of whether that's coming from an indie developer or a more established publisher," Nintendo director of PR Marc Franklin told Gamasutra.

"For example, we've worked with 2D Boy, the people behind World of Goo for WiiWare. This is a group of guys who don't even have an office.

"So we embrace that kind of independent spirit and it's ultimately the most innovative content that will rise to the top."

Fils-Aime's comments sparked anger from some indie game developers, but it was CEO Satoru Iwata's Game Developers Keynote, in which he criticised mobile and social developers for creating games without value, that set the wheels in motion.

Indeed Fils-Aime's comment was itself a response to the reaction to Iwata's presentation, which was seen by many observers as a thinly veiled attack on Apple's App Store - and the many thousands of games available to download from it.

"I would separate out the true independent developer vs. the hobbyist," Fils-Aime said. "We are absolutely reaching out to the independent developer. Where we've drawn the line is we are not looking to do business today with the garage developer. In our view, that's not a business we want to pursue."

Franklin's comment will be seen as a climbdown of sorts, but it may be too little too late. Only last week Nintendo 3DS boss Hideki Konno dismissed the threat of cheap $1 smartphone games.

"We're not going to try to match that," he insisted.

"We're just going to continually strive to not just maintain, but increase, the quality of the entertainment that we're providing, and let it sort itself out. Again, we're not worried about competing at a price point level."

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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