Is Nintendo Going to Release Smartphone Games?
Nintendo has taken up a majority of the past week’s gaming industry news - and unfortunately it hasn’t been great. The company announced a $211M loss of income for Q4 2013, attributed to low Wii U sales over the holidays
Just yesterday morning, president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced that he’d be taking a 50% cut in salary, while other execs would face a 20-30% reduction in pay. While the company is known for going against the grain with its non-conventional systems (compared to the Xbox and PlayStation), Satoru did admit that Nintendo “misread the market”, and is possibly looking at a new business structure.
Perhaps one of the most interesting rumors to come out of these announcements is Nikkei’s report saying that Nintendo plans to release trailers for new games on smartphones (presumably Android and iOS), as well as "free mini-games." Yesterday, Nintendo released a statement, quickly denying the rumors.
That’s not to say that Nintendo smartphone games won’t happen though - after all, the company previously denied rumors about a larger 3DS system, only to later release the 3DS XL. Do you think Nintendo will make a move to smartphones? And do you think having more AAA titles on the smartphone platform will be good for the industry?
Is Open Development Good or Bad?
It’s common for AAA and big-box video games to be in a closed development environment, while indie games are mostly open development - often turning their ear to the community and customers for ideas and updates. A recent debate has brought up the subject of whether games should be open development, closed development, or in-between.
The debate started with an article written by John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun - outlining his thoughts of why open development doesn’t work. His main argument was that a democratic development process cannot work, because the input from ill-informed people will lead the developer astray.
Simon Roth of GamaSutra quickly followed up in defense of open development - arguing that it’s essential for providing the users with the information they need, and communication channels required to allow them to critique your work, and not about compromising the design process in an effort to pander and please.
Another GamaSutra article described being on both sides of development, open and closed, and what does and doesn’t work - which can be read here. What are your thoughts on open development? Do you think it’s essential for video game success?