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Nintendo struggles to find US dev partners

Bemoans "business for business' sake" focus.

The Nintendo producer responsible for liaising with the platform holder's US-based studios has admitted that it's been tough finding suitable Western developers to partner with.

Speaking in an interview with Edge, Kensuke Tanabe, who supervised development of Donkey Kong Country Returns at Texas-based Retro Studios, explained that Nintendo saw Western developers as an important part of its set-up.

"I absolutely believe so. I work with other development partners, such as [Punch Out!! developer] Next Level Games in Vancouver and Monster Studios [of Pilotwings Resort] in Minneapolis.

"And they, much like Retro, really get our development philosophies. I want to find as many people as we can, as many great companies as we can to get involved with. I'm really looking for developers with a sense of craftsmanship."

He apparently then admitted suitable studios had proven difficult to track down.

"There's a real increase in the number of companies that look like they're really running a business for business' sake. There are many of those certainly within the midst of the gaming industry as a whole, or at least I feel that way."

Aside from the aforementioned trio of developers, Nintendo works with relatively few Western studios these days. Most recently, NST, based out of Redmond, Washington works on the Mario vs Donkey Kong series, while UK outfit Headstrong Games helped develop Art Academy for the DS.

Earlier this week a Capcom producer admitted to believing Western developers had a more casual work ethic than their Japanese counterparts.

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About the Author
Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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