A recent interview with former head of indie relations at Nintendo Dan Adelman revealed his feelings on letting any developer create and publish content to the Nintendo eShop. Adelman, who worked for nine years helping indie developers get their games on Nintendo consoles, feels that the market needs to be open but also regulated to avoid poor content.
Nintendo’s approach has always been on the side of approving developers rather than approving content. The idea is that if you’re a trustworthy and capable enough developer to make games for the platform, then beyond that it’s up to you. Unfortunately, shovel ware is a very predictable byproduct of an open marketplace. The onus to ameliorate this issue ultimately falls on the platforms. It used to be that the preferred solution was to have a gatekeper model, but that had real drawbacks, because you can miss you on some amazing games.
Whenever I see a really successful game, I often ask myself whether I would have been able to predict it. Some games have success written all over them and it’s easy. Sometimes it’s much harder. How many people can honestly say that they knew Minecraft would be a huge success early on?
Adelman goes on and relates the gaming experience to movies, saying it’s easy to think a movie is going to be bad and then it turns out to be a big hit.
The gatekeeper definitely keeps out a lot of crap, but you run a huge risk of a false negative — flagging a game as being low quality only to see it become a huge hit somewhere else.
— Dan Adelman
The method of processing and approving games on a console can be very costly and time consuming. Adelman explains that by having a more self service system the games themselves can be more inexpensive. He also realizes that having a gatekeeper is a “clumsy” solution to an otherwise deeper problem.
This is a really complex problem that everyone’s working on but no one has really cracked. Netflix does a pretty good job. So does Pandora. Steam’s solution seems to be focused on crowd-sourcing. Still, no one has really nailed it, and I’m not sure anyone ever will.
— Dan Adelman
Do you agree with Adelman’s feelings? Is this a problem we’re ever going to be able to resolve as an industry? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Go Nintendo