Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

WiiWare threshold is misinterpreted - dev

"Sounds a lot more evil than it is."

An anonymous developer has confirmed to Eurogamer that a WiiWare sales threshold - below which a studio makes no money - exists, but says it has been misinterpreted by the press.

"I'm concerned this recent threshold news is generating an artificially negative wave of press. The spirit of the threshold was never to screw the developer - it was, as far as I can tell, a quality control mechanism to prevent the service from getting overrun with a bunch of crappy games," the source told us.

"Once the threshold is crossed, the developer is retroactively paid for every single unit sold below the threshold. I know there has been confusion on that point in the past."

The threshold, according to a freshly-published report by Kotaku, is 6000 copies for a game bigger than 16MB in North America. Smaller games need to sell 4000 units. In Europe the bar is halved, as bigger games need to top 3000 copies and smaller games need to break the 2000 mark.

The report claims WiiWare titles have two years to reach their target. If successful, Nintendo gives the developer 65 per cent of the money made.

"From the stats I've seen and heard developers report, the threshold is easily surpassed within the first day, or at least the first week, for many games," the source explained.

"I hear rumours within the dev community that Nintendo recognises a problem here, where occasionally an entirely legitimate game just doesn't make it, and is looking for a way to make exceptions, to ensure small devs are paid even if the threshold is not reached. Just rumours though, so who knows.

"I just fear this is one of those things that sounds a lot more evil than it actually is," added the source.

Nintendo has refused to comment on the existence of the WiiWare sales threshold, telling us anything that goes on between itself and developers is "private and confidential".