Nintendo Too Secretive Over NX, Says Ori Dev

"At least give me the goddamn specs, so we'd know what to build shit for!"

237 Comments

Ori and the Blind Forest director Thomas Mahler has expressed his frustration with Nintendo, saying its unwillingness to discuss its next platform, Nintendo NX, is making it difficult for devs to start creating games for it.

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Posting on NeoGAF, Mahler--who is also chief executive of Moon Studios--responded to another interview in which Unravel developer Coldwood Interactive said Nintendo isn't offering much information on the NX.

Mahler noted this practice isn't exclusive to Nintendo and said all hardware manufactures are "insanely secretive ... to a stupid degree" about their new consoles.

"This is actually the [single] most annoying thing for every dev out there," he said. "We also talked to Nintendo and got absolutely nothing - I'll never understand that.

"And just to be clear, it's not just Nintendo, every hardware manufacturer is treating their dev kits and their unreleased consoles like they're the second coming and are insanely secretive about it to a stupid degree in todays time. It's not even that the hardware isn't finished (duh), but you could at least give me the goddamn specs, so we'd know what to build shit for!"

Mahler went on to say new games consoles need attractive games to sell them, so limiting the amount of developer kits available to creators could result in a lack of third-party support for Nintendo's new platform.

"What's needed to sell hardware is goddamn good software," he added. "With Nintendo not having any dev kits out there at this point and probably even wanting to sell it in 2016, I can already guarantee that they'll just not have any software support, since nobody can just jumble games together in less than a year. I mean, you can, but it'll be garbage."

Support for popular game development engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine is also crucial for new platforms, Mahler added, and platform holders should be supporting them from the outset.

"Get Unity and Epic to support these consoles way ahead of release. By the time the console launches, it should be easy for developers to develop games for these systems, things shouldn't just only start at this point.

"I want the goddamn devkits or at least proper hardware specs ideally 2 years before release - Keep all the developers updated, start a forum where devs can chat and figure out all the problems everyone's having, instead of everyone just having to deal with it. None of that's happening anywhere and it's just brain damaged."

The Nintendo NX was first announced in March 2015, but Nintendo has repeatedly said it will not discuss the hardware further until later this year. Previous reports suggested the company had started sending out dev kits to select third-parties.

It has been speculated that the NX will come with a console and "at least one mobile unit that could either be used in conjunction with the console or taken on the road for separate use." The NX will also reportedly feature "industry-leading chips" to allow for high-quality visual performance.

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Avatar image for voodoorocker13
VoodooRocker13

The Wii U only came out in in the end of 2012 and they are announcing a new console already? The average console life is 10 years, announcing one now makes it seem that their efforts are going to be going to the new system and not supporting one as much that is only 3 years old at this point does not look good at all. The Wii is known for the shovelware and this on top makes it look worse. Nintendo has a blank check thanks to Pokemon and the things they have done like lack of quality, absence of 1st party titles or new 1st party titles with a console release. Nintendo is protected from the financial aspect as long as Pokemon exits, they won't take a big enough hit for them to change anything.

Avatar image for FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@voodoorocker13: The average console life is not 10 years. That was last generation, and if you remember, developers were complaining back then that it went on for too long. The average lifespan was around 5-6 years before a console developer either released the next iteration, or was announcing it.

Avatar image for voodoorocker13
VoodooRocker13

@FallenOneX: You are right, but back then though companies weren't taking as big of a risk. With the budget and teams required for games now a game requires a lot more development time and resources and I don't see this changing. A few bad game releases can put a company in a bad spot now, they don't have the luxury of switching every five years to learn how to develop for a system. Companies are taking a much bigger risk now with games require budgets that are on par with the film industry along with costs for development and marketing they need to stretch it out.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@voodoorocker13: You're partially right. I think Nintendo is currently on a downward spiral, slowed only by leftover fans. Hopefully they'll use some of their cash reserves to become relevant again. Their biggest issue is that they have no other divisions to make use of any breakthroughs or R&D the way Sony and Microsoft do, and the hierarchy of decision makers is antiquated and really hurts the company. Like you say, though, since their franchises still print money, they may not turn around and introduce new ip an inject their infrastructure with modern ideas and technology before it's too late.

Avatar image for voodoorocker13
VoodooRocker13

@consolehaven: As long as those IP's continue and enough support them do due nostalgia they will not have to change. WWE lives off nostalgia despite fans regularly complaining about the company. Neither has to worry unless fans stop buying things they are unhappy with. Enough people were unhappy with Capcom that the only way SF V was going to be released if a company out right paid for it.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@voodoorocker13: I agree with you absolutely. Are you still looking forward to Mario and Zelda games? Do you think Nintendo should go multiplatform and leave the console space, while maintaining a firm hold in handhelds?

Avatar image for voodoorocker13
VoodooRocker13

@consolehaven: Not a fan of Mario or Zelda however, I think it'd be best for them to exit the console market. They cannot compete with Sony or Microsoft and quality of 3rd part stuff for the Wii was awful. The Wii U has mainly been serving on their existing properties with little incentive outside of that. They now have a reputation of the only reason to buy their stuff is the first party titles which are filled with rehashes and hardly anything really fresh. It's sad, but their best days were the Snes and Game Cube when they had strong 3rd party support that didn't consist of crap.

Avatar image for Noonewarrior
Noonewarrior

@voodoorocker13: Saying a console has a 10 year life span these days is a bit of a joke. At most a console should last 5 years before technology passes it nowadays. I mean even xb1 and ps4 have their hardware/software limitations and its only been just over 2 years since they were released. Wii U released too late in my opinion as the hardware was already out dated it failed in comparison to xb1 and ps4. They need to ensure their hardware is up to date before they release it and have a good game library on release, i'd say Zelda NX, Mario NX, and Metroid Prime NX would be a few to name.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@Noonewarrior: A ten year lifespan usually means 7 years on store shelves before the new console releases, with sales of the older hardware expected to remain strong for the next 3 years. Developers can expect to still sell through units of software if they release their game months before a new console releases, and a few years after.

Avatar image for Noonewarrior
Noonewarrior

@Noonewarrior: This saying I definitely think if they do release this year with a solid library then this will be the year that puts Nintendo back on the console map.

Avatar image for TJDMHEM
TJDMHEM

@Noonewarrior: That would be great.

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

why release a console so fast? Wii U has just been launched, or at least the games have just been launched.

The new console better have more games at the start. Also, it better have 4K capabilities, otherwise I don't see the point of releasing a new console.

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shmac

His complaints are valid but his professionalism is nonexistent.

Avatar image for Arguyle
Arguyle

@Nepti: Don't worry they will release a new donkey kong

Avatar image for lvsolja
lvsolja

can we get more third pRty supprt for the 3ds please!!...petitio for companies to make habdheld versions of their consol games again....those that like to travel we need our 3ds games

Avatar image for lvsolja
lvsolja

can we get more third pRty supprt for the 3ds please!!...petitio for companies to make habdheld versions of their consol games again....those that like to travel we need our 3ds games

Avatar image for Kusann
Kusann

There are dev kits around, just not for this small kinda unknown studio, they won't release dev kits for everyone that comes to ask for one, just like Microshit and Sony don't do that either, you can't trust a studio that is barely known to retain secrets about your console.

An interesting point is, by the way, why would Nintendo be so secretive? It's not like MS and Sony are about to release a new console, both are already out. We know Sony LOVES to imitate everything Nintendo attempts but PS4 is already out, they won't go like "LOOK AT THAT THING NINTENDO IS DOING, LET'S PUT IT IN PS4/One BEFORE LAUNCH TOO!!". But, eh, good ol'Nintendo. Hopefully this console is everything the WiiU is not, we can only hope.

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balintcsikos

@Kusann: The problem is that devs don't know which directon should they take. If it's a powerful console then devs can go for maximum graphics quality/high Fps etc., but if it's something like a Wii with less power but included motion sensors, they have to be creative in their next game and build the game around the controls or something.

Avatar image for leon-strife
Leon-Strife

If they would just develop their games for other consoles. They should abandon the home-console development. After the SNES, only the Wii was successful. All other consoles were maybe not failures but compared to the competitors ... well just not that good. They should just concentrate on developing games, because they make fantastic games.

Avatar image for Noonewarrior
Noonewarrior

@leon-strife: Did you even play the N64? Goldeneye007, MarioKart64, Super Mario64, Zelda - Ocarina of Time, Zelda - Majora's Mask, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, 1080 Snowboarding, Super Smash Bros are just a few games to mention are top games that even today people refer to as great games. In my opinion compared to the wii games lineup N64 wins hands down.

Avatar image for leon-strife
Leon-Strife

@Noonewarrior: Actually I played all of them except Goldeneye007 (was sadly banned in germany) and 1080 Snowboarding. I think you are right there were amazing N64 games. Nevertheless, commercially it wasn't that great compared to the Playstation (30 million compared to 100 million units sold). Even the Playstation 2 shipped significantly more than the Gamecube, and the Playstation 2 had a worse lineup in games (my opinion, Skies of Arcadia anyone?). The Wii is just a special case because a lot of casual gamers thought the controls were interesting. Bought it, played a game and then put it on a shelf to collect dust. As a console the Wii and the Wii U are pretty mediocre. I loved the Nintendo games I've played but if Nintendo makes another failure I think they will retreat from the console market. They don't have unlimited money (like Microsoft for example). So, I am kinda excited what is about to happen to the NX. If it's good then great more Nintendo, if it fails then good Nintendo games probably on other consoles.

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Noonewarrior

@leon-strife:Playstation 2 had good games though, Final Fantasy 10, Dragon Quest 8, Tekken Tag Tournament, GTA san andreas,Shadow of the colossus, Kingdom hearts, Beyond Good and Evil, Jak and Daxter, Half Life, Killzone I can keep going with the awesome array of games they bought out ( so I wouldn't say the worst line up ) I agree with you about this being Nintendo's last shot at a decent console though. They need to blow people out of the water with their console, and have not only a great line up of Nintendo games, but they need to get the support from 3rd party publishers as well if they want to lift their console off the ground. If they fail on this there is no coming back.

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Leon-Strife

@Noonewarrior: I didn't say worst I said worse compared to Gamecube. For me that is true. Also, worse doesn't mean that PS2 was bad, just that the Gamecube had a better lineup in my opnion. I loved Eternal Darkness and Skies of Arcadia.

And the truth is: FF10 felt like kick in the nuts after FF9. :-) This ruined a lot for me ...

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@leon-strife: Would you really still be saying that if the first ever Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Pokemon/Donkey Kong/Kirby/Smash Bros game Nintendo they released for PlayStation/XBOX/PC ended up being the quality of modern Sonic games? Last I checked, SEGA HAD talent too (formerly: Yuji Naka and Yu Suzuki, currently: Toshihiro Nagoshi) and it didn't stop SEGA from losing it post-Dreamcast.

Avatar image for leon-strife
Leon-Strife

@nintendoboy16: So you think their quality in games would suffer if they don't build their games for their own console? I don't really believe that. Also, SEGAs games were never THAT good to begin with. But that's subjective.

By the way: Even if it is sad (and it is), natural selection applies here too.

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@leon-strife: Quite frankly, YES I do. It happened before and it will happen again. Their popularity will dwindle even more too because, like I keep saying, the PS/XBOX/PC crowd, no matter what damage control they spout, hardly even cares what Nintendo releases as they'd rather play something else.

Avatar image for leon-strife
Leon-Strife

@nintendoboy16: So, if a new Zelda or Mario game would be released on all consoles it would be bought less? I just cannot believe that. They already play with the mobile market and I'm afraid they make a big blunder. I'd rather see a mario on a playstation than a f.... smartphone.

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@leon-strife: I believe so, yes. Especially when the likes of Elder Scrolls exists. And believe me, I don't like their mobile practices either.

Avatar image for observer98
Observer98

Wait.

So some random indie dev complains he hasn't received an NX dev kit and now suddenly people are saying the NX lacks third party support?

Am I missing something here? People just love to bash Nintendo.

Avatar image for deactivated-591a658d5ed11

@observer98: I think people just like bashing anything whether it's a good product or not !

Avatar image for Veemon_X
Veemon_X

@observer98: Well if they don't know enough about the NX, they probably don't want to develop for it. I hope when it comes out, it will be intriguing enough for developers.

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@observer98: "But... we LOVE Nintendo and only want them well. We bash because we love."

Yeah, I guess the Griffins (from the lies of Brian and Lois, abuse from Peter and occasionally Chris, and the sinister behavior of Stewie) must LOVE Meg by that logic.

Avatar image for luigitornado
LUIGITORNADO

Nintendo must be doomed because some small indie dev is annoyed that they haven't heard any word on the NX.

You people are literally too stupid.

I have my reservations about the NX, and I don't need some indie dev complaining on Twitter about Nintendo for proof. The proof is in their history.

But seriously, calm down.

We already know that NB is working on NX games, (proof enough that Nintendo isn't so mum on NX within the game industry) then there was that rumor that Nintendo has been having meetings with EA.

Relax. And wait.

Avatar image for Oogazi
Oogazi

People are still assuming this is some kind of traditional console.

Avatar image for TheZeroPercent
TheZeroPercent

--man
--are they really expecting to make this system do any better than wiiU with ZERO multiplats and only nintendo games?
--hint
--yall already tried that with wiiu

Avatar image for nicemouse
NiceMouse

@TheZeroPercent: Compounded by the fact that they don't even make much in the way of major titles anyway.

Avatar image for Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

Nothing has change , good old prehistoric Nintendo :D

Avatar image for nicemouse
NiceMouse

You know, I check for genuine input from Nintendo on a daily basis but it's just been nothing, nothing, nothing for months now.

I can understand why the guy is pissed, they're overly secretive and then under perform anyway.

Avatar image for cboye18
cboye18

Nintendo without the former Rareware is just a shell. RareWare, now THAT was top-tier studio back in the day..

Avatar image for nicemouse
NiceMouse

@cboye18: Iwata and Miyamoto who both worked on making games, didn't like the fact that RARE's games were receiving more attention as time went on and once Hiroshi Yamauchi retired and Iwata took the helm, he gave the go ahead to change RARE's newest game Dinosaur Planet to a Starfox game so they could retain the rights and promptly tossed RARE out the window and scrapped all their upcoming Gamecube games. Truth is only part of one of the RARE teams had left while most stayed on (they hadn't fallen apart as apologists like to believe and it was a well known fact that Miyamoto disliked the enormously popular DCK series (which he later denied) and having a reputation for being the best game designer at the time probably saw himself as more of a celebrity and likely resented RARE's growing popularity. iwata had made him a higher ranking manager and he began to clamp down on other 2n'd parties as well. Sticker Star being a good example as he ordered Intelligent Systems to remove the story elements from their games and absolutely forbade them to create their own additional characters and races to the Mario universe only allowing them to use characters he created, (same thing with Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam).

Iwata and Miyamoto made some enormous contributions to gaming as game designers (which I still respect them for) but did a horrendous jo running the company itself later on.

Avatar image for cboye18
cboye18

@nicemouse: Yeah I know about that story and completely agree with your last statement. I mistakenly gave Iwata credit for making the GameCube as it was the last Nintendo console I thoroughly enjoyed, until I found out it was Hiroshi who was at command at the time. Iwata was at the helm with the Wii (my most hated console ever; I felt betrayed) and worst selling console, the Wii U.

Avatar image for nicemouse
NiceMouse

@cboye18: Games for Gamecube like the Metroid Primes series and Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door were started while before Iwata took over which is likely why they were so good where as after that they were ordered to tone down the creativity in later titles. While Yamauchi made some blunders with 3rd parties on the N64 and Gamecube, I genuinel feel he was pushing to have the best games be they in-house 2nd or 3rd party games, whereas Iwata just opted for faster and cheaper money making schemes. When Miyamoto made the declaration that "Today's games are too large!" I new it was the beginning of the end. We went from slogans such as "Now you're playing with power", "Advanced game system" or "Biggest adventure yet" to "We don't need a powerful console", "We don't need good graphics", "We don't need up to date features" and "We don't need large games" "Are focus is fun" as a way to trick people into buying a sub par console with 3rd rate games. Now don't get me wrong, gameplay is the most important aspect of games, but unless you live up to to your end of the bargain, then the argument is meaningless. Advances in technology do in fact make games more fun in many ways and the fact that so many got bored with the Wii and rightfully stayed away from the Wii U helps prove that.

Avatar image for wolfnet16
wolfnet16

Nintendo has always been stubborn.they do things there way.they have already sent out Dec kits to developers they personally want to devel op e games.I guess this guy wasn't one of them.I never have bought a Nintendo console since 1997 simply because of Nintendis way of thinking.the rumor going around now is this new nx system is supposed to be 2 time more powerful than ps4 and 3 times more than xbox one.well don't believe the hype.Nintendo never made consoles with any power they banked on their in house games to deliver.until Nintendo listens to what the fans want and stop being so stubborn I'll spend my money some where else

Avatar image for Fia1
Fia1

nintendo should just stick pumping mario, zelda and another smash brothers, they gave the middle finger to third devs long time ago, and its not going to get better, just pitch that mario party 20 already...

Avatar image for mtm2490
mtm2490

Ah, so continues Nintendo's bad relations with 3rd party developers.

When the nx does release, it's popcorn time

Avatar image for MAXTHUNDER99
MAXTHUNDER99

Doesn't matter if Nintendo shows off the specs because even if they did and game makers made games for the new console those games would sell poorly and you would never make a game again for it.

Avatar image for Brettsky128
Brettsky128

He makes some good goddamn points. I have to goddamn agree with the guy. I mean, I goddamn love Nintendo, but they do need to be a bit more gaddamn supportive of third party devs. Hopefully the goodam NX is better than the gundam Wii U. I mean, the Wii U was goddim OK, but the gaddum NX needs to be better. Goddamn.

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No_one

I only buy for Zelda and Bayonetta, just like the WiiU.

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BattleStreak

Completely agree with this guy.