During the 2011 Game Developers Conference, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata took part in the keynote speech on this past Wednesday. For the most part it was the usual Nintendo presentation. Game were shown off and the features of the new 3DS were highlighted. Towards the end of the keynote, Iwata’s presentation took a turn and went on a little polite rant. He began showing slides on “industry concerns.” He said that big app companies were flooding the market with lackluster titles. This would cause game developers to have trouble “making a living.” He emphasized that Nintendo has always maintained high values as a priority. He implied that the app business does not offer the quality of Nintendo.
This makes me wonder if Iwata and Nintendo has looked at the Wii and DS catalog of games. There is no doubt that the games that Nintendo officially publishes are top notch. When you look at the whole catalog of shovel-ware and trash that is constantly released, one must think that Nintendo is doing the same thing as Apple and Android. Both Apple and Android offer market places to which developers can create and publish games. This is the same as with the Wii and DS.
What made this seem strange was the place where Iwata said this. This is at GDC. Where game developers come together to talk shop. Here Iwata is almost trying to scare them into not developing any more games for the mobile systems. The reason why there is over saturation in the handheld market is the fact that is where the developers are. Most developers have embraced the mobile market. Mostly because of the ease of and cost of creating games for the operating systems. Why did EA decide to bring Dead Space 2 to the Iphone and Ipad and not the DS? Short answer – MONEY. They would make more using IOS and spend less; even though they created a completely new game for a touch screen. How many one man studios have built a Nintendo hit? It does not happen, but on handhelds it has happen many times.
The awkward feeling in the room during this part of the presentation said it all. While Nintendo is trying to scare developers away from their competition, Apple was setting up for the new Ipad 2 announcement. I am sure the keynote over there had much more excitement.