During his investor’s question and answer session, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed Nintendo’s stance on third party developers and how they operate versus what Nintendo does to embrace or ignore them. Plenty of interesting information cropped up during the discussion, including the fact that Nintendo refuses to offer money for exclusives from these developers. Iwata states that if the company started such practices, it would be a never ending cycle.
Instead, Iwata stated that he’d prefer to rely on sustainable relationships with third-party publishers.
“In terms of how we view our relationship with third-party publishers, I think it is natural that there is a difference between publishers who have the software development resources like Nintendo’s to build a software lineup of their own and publishers who do not.
Since former President Yamauchi passed away, I have been considering what he taught us in the end, and his words that the worst thing we can do in entertainment is to follow what others are doing spoke directly to my heart.
Following and imitating others is the kind of reasoning that Nintendo tries to avoid the most, and while we certainly do not have a negative attitude toward strengthening our ties with third-party publishers, employing the same methodology as the other manufacturers would only lead to the most simplistic competitive approaches, such as price wars or money-giving that would never end. We would like to take a unique approach of our own and build sustainable relationships with our third-party publishers.”
A lot of what Iwata says makes sense from a business perspective, as Ubisoft has been one of the biggest supporters of Nintendo’s system, while EA who has not continues to make platform exclusive deals for the next generation Xbox. This stance on lack of exclusivity also explains why Nintendo has such a good relationship with indie developers, as both Microsoft and Sony often require a platform exclusive period for indie developers before they are allowed to release on another console.