Why the Lack of Third Party Support May Be a Blessing

By Jason On 25 Jun, 2014 At 05:27 AM | Categorized As Articles, Blog, Features, Opinion Piece | With 23 Comments

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No one can deny that 3rd party developers have pulled back support for the Wii U.  This looks ugly on its own: a large portion of the game libraries on the other systems are 3rd party, multiplatform games.  The reality is that without strong 3rd party support, the library of a system dramatically reduces in number.  It is, then, assumed that a “healthy” library for a system will naturally have a large portion of 3rd party, multiplatform titles on it.  So why is the title of this article stating that we may actually benefit from this on the Wii U?

One word: money.  Nintendo still has it, and plenty of it.  The lack of 3rd party support puts a strain on Nintendo, but a good one.  Let me remind you that Nintendo will never publish or put its name on a game that will end up on another system.  Sony and Microsoft also do the same.  The difference here?  Nintendo won’t spend money wooing over 3rd parties to support their system, they’ll instead spend this money funding a project exclusive to the Wii U.  Let’s face it, 3rd party companies just want money, and what’s better than to have one of the financially healthiest gaming companies pay you to create an exclusive title for their system?

This is the blessing in disguise: Nintendo will most likely never try to woo 3rd parties like the gaming community wishes.  Instead, they will strike deals with 3rd parties in order to create an exclusive title for their system.  This all sounds so obvious now, but it has been an opinion of mine held in the early days of the Wii U that Nintendo is going to do nothing to get the 3rd party support back, but instead work with them to create titles exclusive to their system.  This creates something better than a “healthy” library: it creates a “unique” library.

One only needs to look at games like The Wonderful 101, Lego City: Undercover, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the hotly anticipated Hyrule Warriors, the upcoming Bayonetta 2, and now also the upcoming Devil’s Third, all games exclusive to the Wii U, none of which are developed by Nintendo, only published (with the exception of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate).  To top it off, there is already news that more titles like these are in the works.  This is Nintendo’s solution, and it’s a great one.  Instead of having to worry about having a powerful system to get a version of a multiplatform game that is on par with its other versions, why not just have a game no other system gets so you don’t have to participate in the pissing match of power?  It’s a far more mature approach to the matter.  The only person you need to beat is yourself, and that’s usually how the best get better.

So you’re worried about the droughts this creates?  Allow me to return to my opening line of paragraph two: money.  Nintendo has been slow to employ this solution, but it’s clear their silence is not a matter of sitting idle, but working out deals and intelligently spending their money.  Sure, there are some sizable gaps between titles, but I’ve filled those gaps in with indie games that I’ve learned to appreciate for their creativity and simplicity.  I also understand that a gamer with more time dedicated to playing videogames may exhaust the supply of indie games as well, and state there is a drought simply because they choose to dedicate so much time to games that one major game a month is the minimum requirement.  I respect that, and can see why a person of such nature would disagree with me.  There is also the fact that not everyone can afford more than one system, and that these people want one system that “has it all”.  Naturally, that system will never exist, as the nature of competition is to have something your competitors don’t.  It also does not change the point of the matter: the droughts are only leading to exclusive titles that you cannot get anywhere else.  Patience is a virtue.

And this, my friends, is why I have not been one of the people calling for Nintendo to “do something” to win back the 3rd parties.  There is no point in doing so anymore, as it will only force Nintendo to join in on one of the least useful aspects of gaming: power.  We don’t play games for power, we play games for entertainment value, and most importantly to enjoy ourselves.  If the sales of the Wii U really pick up and 3rd parties come crawling back, I can see Nintendo simply allowing them to put their games on the Wii U.  However, in terms of Nintendo spending money to get them to come back, I see no reason to do so.  Let Nintendo create a “unique” library, because let’s face the truth: a strong library of exclusive titles is more “power” to a consumer than gigaflops.

 

About the Author:

Jason (ZyroXZ2) created a web series called “The Wii U Five” on YouTube to show his love and support for Nintendo and their latest console…  And also because he’s sarcastic, loving to make people laugh and go into deep thought.  People can do both at the same time, right?

About - Jason (ZyroXZ2) created a web series called "The Wii U Five" on YouTube to show his love and support for Nintendo and their latest console... And also because he's sarcastic and loves to make people laugh and go into deep thought. People can do both, right?

  • Alejandro A

    Totally agree and it has been my feelings on the matter as well. I’m open to the system receiving multiplats but I’d rather have a console with unique titles and third party exclusives and I think it would only benefit Nintendo in the long run.

  • TehEngineer

    I agree with this.

  • David

    So instead of ting third party games people want, Nintendo will pursue games no other publisher would touch with a ten foot pole and then get a library of games nobody wants to buy. And this is a solution.

    • http://www.youtube.com/zyroxz2 ZyroXZ2

      Sure, because the death threats made by Bayonetta fans over Bayonetta 2 being an exclusive totally prove that no one cares, right?

      • David

        It proves a tiny number of people are insane, and no-one apart from the tiny number of crazy people give a shit about that game.

        If Bayonetta had anything approaching a sizable fanbase, Sega wouldn’t have refused to fund the game.

        • djcaetano

          Yeah, because Sega only does the right thing, right? ;)

  • David

    *Sigh* A third party game you have to pay for isn’t third party, its second party.

    • http://www.youtube.com/zyroxz2 ZyroXZ2

      Wow, no. Not only is the term “second party” not even a formal term, but the IP would have to belong to the publisher to not be considered a “third party” game. This would only apply to Hyrule Warriors and possibly The Wonderful 101 (depending on the contract). The Bayonetta IP belongs to Sega, the LEGO IP belongs to TT Games, the Devil’s Third IP belongs to Valhalla… These are all 3rd party exclusives, funded by Nintendo without owning the IP.

      • David

        When has IP ownership ever been close to relevant in the slightest regarding whether a company is first party or not?

        Lets see what the definition of a second party studio is.

        “Independently owned studios who take development contracts from the
        platform holders and what they produce will usually be exclusive to that
        platform.”

        Huh, its almost like that is exactly,. to the letter, what is going on here. But yes, you are technically correct, that doesn’t make them second party – it makes them first party, not even close to third. If you have to pay someone to get them on your system, it is not, and never will be, third party.

        • djcaetano

          Sega, Platinum, TT and Tecmo Koei are not programming only games for Nintendo (WiiU/3DS), so they cannot be qualified as second parties. They are third parties that are developing some exclusive games for Wii U and 3DS partially (or totally) funded by Nintendo.

          • David

            Uhuh. Tell me, who is second party Sony developer Insomniac making games for now? Oh, Microsoft? A company that isn’t Nintendo? And yet they’re still considered second party? Its almost as if you didn’t know a single thing of what you were talking about.

  • uPadWatcher

    Two thumbs up on your article. Nintendo is truly doing an outstanding job on funding both Bayonetta 2 and Devil’s Third. I hope that the company will continue the trend… especially the three top secret Wii U exclusive games coming from developer Valhalla Game Studios.

  • Epic Markell Joshua

    Having to get a secondary console due to no third party support is no blessing yeah there is a small bright side with more unique games but it isn’t a blessing lol.