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Wii dev: ‘Nintendo broadens audience, Sony & Microsoft have little incentive to follow’

Tuesday, 11th September 2012 13:21 GMT By Dave Cook

Rodney Greenblat – lead designer of Parappa the Rapper and Wii game Major Minor’s Majestic March – has suggested that when it comes to broadening its audience, Nintendo is king. He also suggests that when it comes to creativity, that consumers are lacking, not developers themselves. Set phasers to ‘debate’.

In an interview with Notenoughshaders – by way of Nintendo Life – Greenblat discussed the nature of creativity in the industry.

“I don’t find any lack of creativity in the game makers” Greenblat explained, “but there is a lack of creativity in the game buyers. I think developers would like to make a wide range of interesting games, but they are difficult to sell, so they don’t get made. So it is a problem of economics.”

“The question really becomes how to open up video gaming to a wider audience,” Greenblat continued, “Nintendo works on this question 24/7. Playstation and Xbox have little incentive to do that. The frontier right now is phones and tablets, but once again it comes down to the buyers.”

“What are people willing to pay for a game on a phone or tablet?” he mused, “will these fees generate enough income for the publishers and developers? I hope so.”

What do you think? Are Nintendo the kings of creativity, or Greenblat’s opinions out of step? Discuss below.

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13 Comments

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  1. Moonwalker1982

    Sure…i wouldn’t call TearAway, Rain and Puppeteer creative, right? Or when it comes to MS, well a few XBLA games that i’d call creative.

    So they are already trying and doing it, now it’s just up to us to buy it. I know i will buy all those Sony games i mentioned, and those XBLA games.

    And Nintendo is king when it comes to creativity? Yeah that used to be the case, but it’s no Mario rehash after Mario rehash and so on. I’m not sure what exactly is so creative when it comes to upcoming Wii U games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    Greenblat’s opinions don’t match the headline. What he said was …

    “The question really becomes how to open up video gaming to a wider audience. Nintendo works on this question 24/7. Playstation and XBox have little incentive to do that.”

    The point was about opening up audiences, with the premise that creativity might flourish better there with a different/bigger audience. He didn’t even imply Sony and MS were not creative.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Clupula

    I almost choked laughing when I read the headline, but then in the actual article, it seems more like he’s just trying to defend the, “embrace the casuals” attitude.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @2 bloody hell, you’re right. I missed that. Amending now. Thanks mate, been a crazy-busy day here today.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DrDamn

    @4
    Heh. No worries – good response time :)

    I don’t think you can argue much with the idea that Nintendo has targeted, and won, the broader audience this generation. Has that actually resulted in higher creativity in games on the Wii though? Do publishers take more risks there? That’s a lot more debatable.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 that’s the thing isn’t it? I’d say that many of the experiences were creative at the outset but the Wii was besieged with third-party crap that diluted the novelty of motion control. It was a lot of also-rans looking to make a fast buck. There are some creative games on there for sure, but in the majority, that message has been lost.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. zinc

    Greenbladt has a very good point about consumers attitude though. We’re more than willing to ‘experiment’ with a little indie gem on live/psn/app store etc.

    But when it comes to a full-price triple A game, our tastes are a lot more conservative.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    @6
    Very few titles were properly built around the controller. Too many existing ideas shoehorned in. Boom Blox 1 & 2 were stand out Wii titles for me. Really well thought out and designed around the system. That’s where the WiiU will shine too. Design around the capabilities and don’t just use them as a tack on.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DrDamn

    @7
    Maybe that’s the way it should be? A lot of these ideas I love for a smaller/shorter PSN/XBLA game, but for a full price title? Nah. They’d be hard pressed to sell Parappa for £40 these days wouldn’t they? It’s a £10 game tops by today’s expectations.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    @6

    The fact that the Wii was so much cheaper to develop for compared to 360 / PS3 couldn’t have helped either.

    Shovelware on Wii costs little to produce and can gain potentially maximum sales.

    The Wii U may face a similar problem when the next gen comes out.

    It’s the catch 22 of launching a lower spec machine i guess.

    It should be the opposite, having small development costs should allow devs to really find some interesting ways of using motion control, unfortunatly it didn’t work out like that.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    For me some third party developers did use the wii controller quite well, and some games that were multiplatform on all consoles were better because of this, like pro evolution soccer games on wii, tiger woods games on wii, adventure games, etc, i think there are a few developers that did try to implement really well those controllers, but they were a minority, but at least we have some good games nontheless with well implemented motion controls.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @11
    One of the big problems for me on the Wii was lack of demos. Motion control implementation was so hit and miss, and sometimes down to personal tastes. I didn’t want to take a £40 punt on something which could be ruined by controls I didn’t get on with.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. fearmonkey

    All I have to say is “Kick…punch…its all in your mind….”

    #13 2 years ago