Nintendo's president responds to concerns regarding publishers' wavering support for Wii U.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata acknowledged concerns over Wii U third party support, and conveyed that Nintendo believes its upcoming first party titles and successful new third party releases are critical to building healthy third party lineup for Wii U.
During the Nintendo General Meeting of Shareholders question and answer session, a question was posed regarding Wii U's flagging momentum and third parties announcing games for competing consoles and not Wii U. While Iwata was quick to point out "other big publishers have made all of their main titles available for the platform", and decisions regarding Wii U support are made on an individual publisher basis, he agreed that "it is desirable that many developers support Wii U and release a lot of games for the platform as soon as possible."
Mr. Iwata explained that the company is taking a two-pronged approach to improve third party support "right away." The first is to begin "seamlessly" releasing first-party titles on a regular basis to demonstrate that there is a market on Wii U with money to be made, since third parties "tend to avoid investing in a platform with little presence." The second thing Iwata wants to see happen is successful third-party releases for Wii U. Iwata expressed his position that much of the lackluster performance of third party releases thus far have been due to the fact that they were previously released on other platforms; when high-profile multiplatform games are released on Wii U concurrently with the other versions, Iwata predicts that if Wii U versions perform much better in the marketplace than expected, publishers will take notice. "Even if these publishers did not have any concrete plans to develop Wii U software, they will swiftly change their minds when they see the successful examples from others."
As part of his response to the question, Iwata signaled that sweetheart deals with third parties are not in the cards. Iwata explained that "if we tried to do nothing but buying our way to create such a good condition for developers, our own business could collapse." While Iwata did not elaborate on what he meant by "buying our way", it strongly suggests that Nintendo will not begin actively subsidizing Wii U versions of multiplatform games or buying third party exclusives to prop up third party support.