Wii development in decline - Survey

Game Developer Research finds fewer developers working on Nintendo's console, surging iPhone support more than doubles DS, PSP.

Although Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the Wii has recovered from the 2009 doldrums thanks to a lineup of higher-quality games, the system's future is cloudy when it comes to the quantity of games.

GDR's survey found a significant slide in the number of developers making Wii games this year.

Snippets released today from a Game Developer Research survey indicate that development for the Wii has declined in the last year. The firm polled more than 800 members of the development community about which platforms they were working on, among other topics.

Roughly 41 percent of the respondents said they made games for consoles, with 30 percent of them working on the Wii. That's down from the 42 percent of console developers who said they made Wii games last year.

One possible warning sign of that decline came last month, when Ubisoft said it was refocusing resources on making games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Some 69 percent of console developers reported making games for the Xbox 360, with 61 percent working on the PlayStation 3. Both of those figures were in line with console developers' responses from the previous year's survey.

As for platforms with improved support, the survey found substantial growth in development for mobile phones and the iPhone, specifically. One-quarter of all respondents said they were making games on mobile platforms, up from 12 percent the previous year. The iPhone was the most popular of those devices, accounting for three-quarters of the mobile support and doubling up developer support for either the DS or the PSP.

However, easily the most popular platform for game development was the computer. More than 70 percent of developers said they were working on at least one game for the PC or Mac. As for why the game makers chose the systems they did, ease of development and market penetration were the most often cited factors in their decisions. Also relevant to the developers were their team members' skill sets, the cost of development kits, and how easily code for one platform could be moved to another.

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Discussion

345 comments
hotfiree
hotfiree

@meta_foxx278 Well dont winge then. Its pretty hard to support a system a lot of hardcore games dont even bother buying. No HDD, cant even play DVD's are the main reasons why i will never get it because times have changed. I have lots to put on my HDD and i hate the idea of memory cards. Anyways im done here - the numbers speak for themself

meta_foxx278
meta_foxx278

@hotfiree I am fully aware of the majority of Wii owners, but that doesn't mean that the so-called "hardcore" base can't support the system either. They just choose not too because of the obvious numerous reasons. Now I don't care if Wii does not offer HD graphics (cosmetic make-up does not affect me like it affects everyone else) or a standard controller or whatever the Deathbox 360 or PlayStation 3 has. To me, it's still a great system and I will continue to support it and do my best to gain support for more mature (and I don't mean mature as in M-rated) based games. If you want to support the systems that have nothing but Generic Shooter 2 (Deathbox 360 anyone), that's on you. You support what you want to support and let us Wii supporters support our system.

hotfiree
hotfiree

@meta_foxx278 Thats because a massive amount of the system is owned by non hardcore gamers. And dont tell me there not because thats who its marketed to!

meta_foxx278
meta_foxx278

@hotfiree And I'm saying why is it that M-rated games aren't selling on that system? It's because we as gamers don't support (well I shouldn't say we because I for one do go out and buy these games if they're good). It's funny people support them everywhere else, so why not Wii? They're there, aren't they? I may be the only one who supports M-rated titles on Wii, but I don't care. It's a fight worth fighting to me. And if MadWorld, No More Heroes, and House of the Dead Overkill have taught me anything, it's that these titles can work if effort is put into them and all we have to do is support the system and the games if we want to see more of them on it.

gskywalker09
gskywalker09

It was bound to happen sooner or later..........

buckybuckster
buckybuckster

From some of the comments posted, I think some of you have missed the point. Nintendo could release the most stunningly powerful console the world has ever seen and I'm sure all the top developers would be there to initially support it. However as with the GC and what is now happening with the Wii, if the majority of software purchasing dollars is being spent on 1st party goods leaving 3rd party to gather dust on the shelves...it shouldn't come as a surprise that developers would abandon the Wii to find greener pastures elsewhere, even if it were to be on a less powerful system. This wouldn't be an issue if the games were selling. Sales trumps console power any day of the week.

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

Same here, guitardude. There's quite a few gems, like Muramasa, the upcoming Sin & Punishment, Super Mario Galaxy and more... but I, myself, only own 4 Wii titles, versus 30 PS3 games, since I bought both systems in Fall '07. I own more Virtual Console titles than I do tangible ones.

daveg1
daveg1

surprising since its the market leader..i bet if it had next gen hardware devs would be flocking to it plus more seriouse gamers...

guitardude1243
guitardude1243

I enjoy the Wii and it has fantastic games, but it's true I've only really BOUGHT about 4 of those games over it's lifespan as compared to the total 28 of PS3 and 360 (combined).

hotfiree
hotfiree

@meta_foxx278 Im saying - why would devs bother developing for a system their games wont sell on? Go check out the sales for any mature game on the system - or a 3rd party game beside Monster hunter.

oneligas
oneligas

The Wii is the same as the Atari 2600 in the quality of it's games and hopefully the Wii and its games end up just like the Atari, in a hidden landfill in the desert.

galerian86
galerian86

I'm quite glad actually. It means that we need to sift through less crap to find the gems.

devildothack
devildothack

@ lovets no developers?? 30 % still seems much more than no developers don't you think?? also remember that you buy the wii not for 3rd party games but for 1st party which is nintendo..so with either 3rd party support or not, it a)sells more than xbox/ps3, b) makes profit for nintendo since day 1 c) is leading this console gen war so i failed to see your argument here

Pattonfiend67
Pattonfiend67

though i should say that you guys are missing out on things like wiiflow... complete disc-free loading from usb hdd... good stuff... and i guess we do have super mario galaxy 2, metroid other m, the majoras mask sequel coming out, monster hunter tri, and a few others, but we have no good shooters, and high voltage screwed us and gave everyone the grinder (which will be nothing for the ps360 owners who have a million shooters already) ho, hum... well, at least i have all my old classics, i suppose...

LordelX
LordelX

Like the N64 and Gamecube, developers have trouble competing with the mass appeal of Nintendo's first party software. New Super Mario Bros Wii sold like hot cakes, unfortunately most Wii owners only buy one game a year, if that. Nintendo needs to develop more games, and develop new franchises. Yeah, Wii Sports and Wii Fit are newer, but only two new franchises in a generation? C'mon Nintendo...

sal5555
sal5555

Wii is better because then PS3 and 360 because it has more then gay third party mini-games set games. It has sport games, adventure games, Nintendo games, party games (not those games that have mini-games in it), and multiplayer games. PS3 and 360 just have third person shooters.

Pattonfiend67
Pattonfiend67

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

lovets
lovets

I said this all along, when the Wii first came out i said because of its lack of power compared to xbox 360 and ps3, no developers will work on it, and even though there was a wii craze and evreyone bought it, i said that after a few years it will cool down and no one will buy it anymore. And i was right but evreyone said i was a fanboy lol

UnknownForm
UnknownForm

Its not the PC that's "dying", its the Wii....

edwise18
edwise18

And they say pc gaming is dying, yeah right.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Could be good: less shovelware shadowing a rarely good game in Wii. I still try to convince myself that the problem it's not about the graphics, but the fact that the Wii can't run the games of this generation. Imagine how good could be playing RE 5 with Wii scheme, or Dead Space (the original, not the on-rails shooter) with Wiimote and nunchuk. Or even a "gears-of-warish 3rd person shooter".

pogswarts
pogswarts

HA! PC is the most popular platform for development. The computer is really "dead" now!

laofuzi300
laofuzi300

But Nitendo still have hope on Its hand held system. (I like the DS)

laofuzi300
laofuzi300

no suprise most will game is about sports, remake, spin-off or sequal of old Nitendo classic games. Very few new games are populer on wii system. so people lose intrest in them very quickly. Also the graphic on wii can't compare with PS3 or Xbox360.

KamikazeCanuck
KamikazeCanuck

That's what I said! I wonder what has more impressive specs? The Wii or The PSP...

nineteen93
nineteen93

@-Skeletor- Wii is a joke that should be forgotten by Nintendo and they should move on by using the money that they got from the sales of the Wii and make a real console which can run games which are graphically on par with PS3 and Xbox 360.

-Skeletor-
-Skeletor-

yes the Wii technology is so pathetic that the other companies are ripping off motion controls this year. way to go cool guy.

Ogelthorpe
Ogelthorpe

Quite Frankly, the wii is a pathetic piece of technology that is way past its expiration date. I seriously think that the last generation ps2/xbox games look infinitely better than the piles of turd that the wii is pumping out at the moment. Pathetic.

-Skeletor-
-Skeletor-

@nineteen93 they did it's called Wii Motion plus and it's awesome for the games that support it.By the time Sony Arc comes out with anything useful, Zelda will have already cemented the groundwork standard for sword fighting like it did with Z-targeting in 3D games from Ocarina of time.

nineteen93
nineteen93

Nintendo have failed epically this generation and should try making a controller that actually works next time.

nineteen93
nineteen93

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

redskinStu
redskinStu

It's hard to believe cell phone games are such a big deal. I never saw that coming.

enoslives7
enoslives7

The rats are jumping off the sinking ship.

KamikazeCanuck
KamikazeCanuck

If the Wii flopped Nintendo would have folded which would have been a real shame. However the Wii exploded and saved their lives! Time to take all that money and invest in making a new system. If they came out with a system even more poweful than the PS3 and 360 they could keep their momentum going. People forget that Nintendo used to always have the most poweful system. The Wii is a departure from that because Nintendo was about to go the way of Sega and it was their last final chance to stay alive.

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

tbh i'm happy developers put the sick dog out of its misery.. i know that people will rail at me over this but let me explain.. when your no.1 selling game for a console is STILL one of the first games released for it we need to consider how much of a "success" that platform has been. clearly its just more half baked "ooh look what i can do with motion sensing" not "lets make a game and make it right for the wii" now there are exceptions to my rule such as trauma center but one or two good titles cant save a system. wii needs to pick up its slack now otherwise its going to falter and die off. watch im putting money on it it will die out by the middle of 2011 and get thrown into the same bin as the atari jaguar, virtual boy, n-gage, etc.

MacBrother
MacBrother

Doesn't matter now, as long as Nintendo can continue making casual games that appeal to people like WiiFit it will continue doing well.

-Skeletor-
-Skeletor-

people keep bringing up Madworld, House of the Dead Overkill, NMH etc.. which are all flawed examples of mature games that didn't sell well.. sure they were fun BUT, They were VERY SHORT games especially the first 2, niche titles even to hardcore gamers and if anything contained repetitive minigames as replay value that gets old quickly over time. Even if these titles were on other consoles.. Who in their right mind would pick any of them up for $50 over something like Final Fantasy, Mass effect, LBP ?? These so called great 3rd party games were no more than rentals compared to the Nintendo must own first party. My $50 went to games like Galaxy, Zelda, Metriod... I bought NMH/Madworld when it was used for $10-$15 As I and many others say before, it's the 3rd parties that are failing themselves.. None of them has ever made a game on the Wii that compares to what Nintendo has put out this gen.

Barighm
Barighm

Not that surprising. At first, everyone bought a Wii because it was innovative, inexpensive, and it had some great exclusive properties. The hardcore gamers have long since moved on, the cheaparse gamers now have other options, the gamers who like innovation are complaining few games use the Wii-motes very well, and the only major segment of gamers left are the casual gamers who buy a few games they like and very rarely buy anything else after that (like my cousins who are perfectly happy to play Ms. Pacman on their NES for 15 years now).

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Well fewer, better quality titles can only be a good thing. There is an awful lot of rubbish for the Wii out there with a few good/innovative titles in-between (Mario Kart/Party/Smash Bros/Sports Resort/Fit etc )

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

The only problem wii need to be addressed is the fact it is still not in HD, which makes it hard to compete with the big league. I hope Nintendo can do something about it if it wants fit the evolving taste of gamers around the planet, not only in Japan.

bschroth
bschroth

@Tri-Enforcer harping on someone for being bias is like getting yelling at someone for breathing to stay alive. everyone is bias to some degree. only dead people are unbiased. and if you don't like the story you shouldn't click on it because you just gave gamespot a little extra ad dollars.

truelove79
truelove79

Abberon is correct. Real gamers stopped caring about the Wii a long time ago.

Abberon
Abberon

I think this boils down to nothing more than the Wii's short life cycle. To put it simply, the Wii was technically obsolete before it even came out. The novelty is wearing off now and while it will continue to sell well for the time being, I think developers are smart enough to see that it's time to start moving on.

bschroth
bschroth

My only thought on this issue, they should change the title of this story to: "Wii development in wiicline - Survey"

guichan
guichan

its easy to make sh*t hard to innovate that's what this prove

tmorri603
tmorri603

@meta foxx278 I just wanted to do a little research before I replied back. Sega published Madworld. Platinum Games is the developer. The same with Ubisoft. They published No More Heroes but Grasshopper is the developer. This is what I found about Sega and their Wii outlook, "On January 4th, 2010 it was announced that Sega would unlikely make any future M rated video games for the Wii." I still think we will see Sonic and games like that from Sega but it puts a hold on any serious games from them. The main thing about me is I am not a fan of Nintendo, Sony or MS. I am a fan of games and the system that gives me to most games that I like to play. Right now, the Wii does not do that. If the Wii came out with serious games in a regular basises, I would want it. I wish Nintendo all the luck in the world because I loved the NES and SNES, but I can't go with what they are doing now.

Alter_Echo
Alter_Echo

This goes back to the bad apples analogy. If you carry around a basket full of rotten apples ( games ) eventually the other apples will spoil or, in this case....get up and go to someone else's basket.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Well the other systems are about 10 year consoles; not Nintendo's so maybe it time for the Super Wii HD!