Some developers were quite livid with Nintendo’s approach to downloadable games with the Wii Shop. However, it appears Nintendo’s newly launched eShop for Wii U dramatically improves the experience for devs. According to Frozenbyte, the studio behind Trine 2, the eShop is competitive to services like Apple’s App Store and Steam.
“That’s what we love about the new eShop,” marketing manager Mikael Haveri told IGN. “We have the power to price our products as we please, with just some basic guidelines from the big guys. The step to this is purely from Nintendos’s side and they clearly see that [their] previous installments have not been up to par. We can set our own pricing and actually continuing on that by setting our own sales whenever we want. It is very close to what Apple and Steam are doing at the moment, and very indie friendly.”
Developers have complained about the lack of price flexibility on Xbox Live Arcade. In addition, title updates can prove to be quite costly on both PSN and XBLA–a non-factor for Nintendo’s new system. Haveri also said the company isn’t charging basic updates or downloadable content, and can update almost as often as they’d like. “For indie developers this is huge,” he said. On the other hand, he did note that he expects Nintendo to require an approval process, which would make it “longer than what Steam has, but still very competitive” with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 approvals.
“Nintendo messed up the worst last time around,” Haveri said. “Now they really know that they have to make a huge improvement to get back into the game. What I have seen and heard so far is amazing and it’s definitely going in the right direction as far as small developers are concerned.”