Block! Block! Apparently Nintendo has been watching Old Spice ads, as CVG is reporting that the company has indeed confirmed its alleged blockage of Japanese indie developers from pitching Wii U games.
The news comes as a follow-up to Kotaku’s original report, which described a Nintendo GDC questionnaire with a disclaimer at the top stating “We are not accepting applications from developers located in Japan at this time.”
In talking with CVG, Nintendo had the following to say.
The policy in question is the decision of Nintendo’s department responsible for licensing activities in each region, and the licensing department of Nintendo is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan.
This policy is in surprisingly stark contrast to Nintendo’s approach stateside, where the company is dishing out free Unity game engine licenses and even allowing straight-up self publishing in those cases.
Talking to Eurogamer on the subject, director of BitSummit indie game expo James Mielke (hey, I remember Milky!) had the following to say.
I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s not to say Nintendo won’t eventually open things up. When you’ve got franchises like Mario and Zelda, you have to maintain a certain quality control. But you’ll note in that leaked document that it says ‘developers located in Japan at this time.’ Nintendo may simply still be tailoring their approach or legalese to Japanese indie developers. But I do hope they have something in store, because indie development is the water that fills a game library’s riverbank. You can be a giant rock sitting right in the center of it all, but that water will flow right around you down other channels if you don’t open yourself up to it.
Dude, I used to watch you on the 1UP Show! Anyways, Mr. Mielke has a good point – there’s no indication or confirmation as of now that this isn’t temporary. For all we know, it could just be “legalese,” as he said, and rather than get everyone all confused and involved with jargon they don’t understand, Nintendo has opted to “block” Japanese indies until it’s all sorted out. Whatever the reasoning, let’s hope that said developers can get their games through in the near future.