July 25, 2013 4:20 PM | Staff
Nintendo has confirmed that a statement regarding Japanese Wii U developers that has been passed around this week -- namely, that the company isn't taking applications from new Japanese developers for the console right now -- is correct.
The Japanese publisher has recently been pushing its new indie-friendly angle, offering numerous features in a bid to be more welcoming to developers. This includes free Unity licenses, self-publishing opportunities, and its Web Framework.
Which is why a Wii U development application form has been turning heads, as it features the statement "We are not accepting applications from developers located in Japan at this time" in both English and Japanese.
Recently, Nintendo told sister site Gamasutra that the statement is official, and still in force.
"The policy in question is the decision of Nintendo's department responsible for licensing activities in each region," a Nintendo spokesperson said, "and the licensing department of Nintendo Co., Ltd. [the official name of Nintendo's Japanese headquarters] is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan."
When pushed for additional comment, or a reasoning as to the move, the spokesperson said that there was "nothing else that I can to add to this at the moment."
However James Mielke, director for the Japanese indie game expo BitSummit, told Eurogamer that developers shouldn't read too much into the statement.
"It's not to say Nintendo won't eventually open things up," he noted. "When you've got franchises like Mario and Zelda, you have to maintain a certain quality control."
"Nintendo may simply still be tailoring their approach or legalese to Japanese indie developers," he continued. "But I do hope they have something in store, because indie development is the water that fills a game library's riverbank. You can be a giant rock sitting right in the center of it all, but that water will flow right around you down other channels if you don't open yourself up to it."
[Mike Rose wrote this article originally for sister site Gamasutra]