Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Of Course We Don't GET IT... We Don't HAVE IT!

I recently read the lower two articles about American developers having a difficult time developing for the DS, which I at first wrote off to conservatism of US based publishing companies. However, then I read the article about a student DS development camp where students created games for the DS.

OK. So let me get this straight. People in Japan that want to learn to make games get a chance to work on the DS? Um, why aren't they doing this in the US? Developers here can't get their hands on DS development kits, let alone students.

Of course we don't get the system. We're not really being given a chance. What about a US development camp where people can go play and learn the DS hardware for a couple of weeks with Nintendo developers on hand to help them learn the tricks of the trade. Hell, why stop with just the US and Japan. You're not going to get the most interesting and innovative games unless you start to let more people into the magic circle of licensed developers.

Nintendo Exploiting Student Labor!
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is making games developed by students at its Nintendo Seminar 2006 available for download via the DS Station. Starting late last week and appearing every two weeks after that, the games are totally free. Games include one that has players swing a steel ball to destroy obstacles and help mice captured by cats or another one that has players shout things at inappropriate times. These games, like so many good things, are Japan only.
How Western game developers fail to score with Nintendo DS
The DS is, of course, a famously innovative console. And it seems that Japanese developers, who lean far less on movie licences or formulaic sequels (think how Mario is reinvented from console generation to generation) have been most able to get to grips with it.
This is where things get really interesting – when you realise that the highest-scoring non-Japanese DS game is Tony Hawk's American Sk8land, in 16th position with (a very respectable) 84 per cent. We then have another Activision title, Ultimate Spiderman, in 34th place, and then another Tony Hawk's title, Downhill Jam, in 40th.
Western Devs Don't Get the DS
Tony Hawk, the West's great hope in DS gaming.

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