Damon Baker Nindies September 2 Feature

Damon Baker on Nintendo’s relationship with indies

Nintendo’s Damon Baker gave a few interviews at PAX during this past weekend where he talked about Nintendo’s relationship with indie developers, helping them achieve a greater visibility and the unique conditions Nintendo platforms can offer to them, among other things.

Below, you can find a video interview with GameXplain, followed by a few quotes from an interview with GameInformer:

Explaining how Nintendo’s hardware can be a benefit for developers:

“You look at our hardware, it’s unique, it’s different, and it allows for different experiences. It allows for developers to utilize the features and functionality in a unique way where they can use the touchscreen, they can use a second screen, they can use 3D and they can use that to realize their vision differently than they can on any other platform. We have the same mentality from a first-party perspective as well.”

On how Nintendo sometimes helps out with brainstorming with indies:

“Sometimes we’ll be proactive in reaching out to different developers and publishers to say, ‘Hey, this is a great idea. What do you think about utilizing it on our platforms? It would be perfect to use a second screen, or it would be awesome with a touchscreen to be able to manipulate these characters or movements.’”

On exclusive indie games:

“We’re not known for exclusive [indie games] in particular, and that’s because we’re not throwing around a lot of cash. We also don’t see a huge benefit to developers in driving exclusive deals with platforms and consoles. They need to do what’s right for them from a business perspective, and we want to help complement that and make sure that they’re making the most from the experience on our platforms.”

On why Nintendo encourages indies to release on all platforms at once:

“We very much encourage all of our development partners to release simultaneously across all platforms. We’ve seen the data that proves that the developers are the ones that are going to benefit from that versus going with an exclusive arrangement. We’re certainly not going to frown upon those people that are bringing exclusive content over to us, because we will make the most of it and make sure they are doing a great job with it. I think that we have a strong focus on multiplatform content, and that’s because we do have a point of differentiation with our control schemes and what these developers can create in a unique environment.”

On how indie games inspired by Nintendo’s past can leverage that as an advantage:

“The fans are familiar with Nintendo content; they’re familiar with some of those retro games, so when they see a game that is inspired by that or takes things to the next level, I think they’re willing to jump in because it feels trusted or something that’s familiar to them. I think that can work to the advantage of developers and to Nintendo in general, but in the end, it always comes down to that gameplay experience.”