When did Nintendo start losing 3rd party support?

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MDK12345

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#1  Edited By MDK12345
Member since 2014 • 2528 Posts

Old School Nintendo had a lot of different devs. Did this start happening with N64 or Game cube?

I was just thinking. Bayonetta 2 is real good and I think the upcoming Zelda looks good. So they do have good first party support. But I am wondering why and when Nintendo starting getting less devs. They used to be a top gaming company.

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#2 OneWingedGames
Member since 2014 • 25 Posts

@mdk12345: Personalyl I think third party never really liked Nintendo, even in the Super Nintendo days. Developers were only allowed to release X amount of games a year as part of the contract. Nintendo did this to ensure games were of quality and not poorly made. The moment the Playstation was out and had a large install base. Most third party never looked back sadly :(

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#3 The-Butcher248
Member since 2012 • 466 Posts

Right... i'd agree it started happening back then. Specifically with the Wii/Wii U and their Unique hardware which from my understanding is difficult/expensive to develop games. It seemed like months after the Wii U launch, the major 3rd party developers walked away.

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YearoftheSnake5

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#4 YearoftheSnake5
Member since 2005 • 9313 Posts

Nintendo soured relations with 3rd parties during the NES era with their exclusivity policies. That improved a bit during the SNES era, but many 3rd party developers went multiplatform rather than stick with Nintendo. It made sense from a business perspective not to abandon Nintendo platforms entirely, since they were still quite popular. The N64 era changed everything, though.

Nintendo deliberately made the N64 difficult to develop for, under the impression that it would turn off low-skill developers. This backfired, along with their decision to stick with low capacity cartridges. These caused previously Nintendo exclusive 3rd party franchises, like Final Fantasy, to go to Sony's platform, the Playstation.

Recognizing the mistake made with the N64 regarding ease of development, Nintendo tried to make the Gamecube a developer friendly platform. Nintendo even went with an optical media format. Unfortunately, the media format chosen only held 1.5GB, compared to the 4.7GB available on DVDs. Projects either had to be compressed to fit on the disc, or use multiple. Nintendo also didn't actively approach 3rd parties about their new platform, believing 3rd parties would come to them instead.

There's a really good read on the Gamecube/N64. Here's a link. It's worth your time.

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#5 KBFloYd
Member since 2009 • 22339 Posts

n64

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#6 Megavideogamer
Member since 2004 • 6551 Posts

Nintendo started losing 3rd party support during the Nintendo 64 era, continuing with the Gamecube and Wii finally 3rd Party support is at it's worst during the current Wii U era.

Even though the Wii had lots of games 2100 disc based games. The 3rd party support was a dump a thon of showelware. Only 75 games of the Wii era were Great. Contrast to the Wii U which didn't have the 100 million sales the Wii did. Resulted in 3rd party support all but dying.

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#7  Edited By zaku101
Member since 2005 • 4641 Posts

@mdk12345 said:

Old School Nintendo had a lot of different devs. Did this start happening with N64 or Game cube?

I was just thinking. Bayonetta 2 is real good and I think the upcoming Zelda looks good. So they do have good first party support. But I am wondering why and when Nintendo starting getting less devs. They used to be a top gaming company.

It happened around the end of the N64. It also didn't help that Nintendo made it harder for 3rd parties to develop for their system and also limited them to what they could do. The sad thing is we had such amazing 3rd party titles out on the N64.. Banjo-Kazooie/conker's bad fur day/diddy kong racing/perfect dark/jet force gemini and the list goes on. Now their 3rd party support is pretty much gone.. It's really hurting them as we can all see. Basically put developers were tired of the abuse and when more consoles entered the market they quickly switched over. This is why the PS1 and PS2 blew up.

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#8  Edited By thedude-
Member since 2009 • 2369 Posts

End of SNES era.

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#9  Edited By tocool340
Member since 2004 • 21453 Posts

Its sort of a bumpy ride. NES had iffy support while SNES had decent. N64 had bad support while GC was decent. I think Wii is where it really went wrong though since its so-so 3rd party support carried over to the Wii U, where the support has actually been worse. Its also the start of the era where Nintendo shift their philosophy by releasing clearly underpowered systems and seemingly decided they will no longer compete...

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deactivated-58bd60b980002

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#10  Edited By deactivated-58bd60b980002
Member since 2004 • 2016 Posts

It is a difficult question because during the NES, SNES and N64 area all consols were vastly different and had very different games and very very very few games were multiplat. At the moment the N64 many big name like Squaresoft went with Sony because of the CD format once that was done the N64 got everything else but they missed a lot of stuff because of that. Then the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox and at this time a little more games became multiplat but it was mostly Ubisoft, EA and Activision most of the other developper were one consol only and they all had something unique to them but the Cube died so quickly after the 4th year when to me they had so many good game and a system way more powerful than a PS2 but then again Squaresoft was with Sony. What saved Xbox is bringing PC games and online.

After that the Xbox got all PC games to their 360 which put them in the lead right away. PS3 was very powerful but way to expensive but again everyone knew SquareEnix would be with them for sure and Nintendo went with the Wii which killed all chance to get multiplat game ... which became something so important because of the 360 that flooded the market with PC games with lesser graphics, PS3 could get them too and they became more of a low budget PC.

So you see ... each gen get us closer to this sad state of video games where PS4 and X1 are nothing more than PC wanabe instead of a consol like Nintendo does. Then advent MS did by bringing PC games to consol kinda killed the uniqueness of playing games on consol and also less and less developpers are now with only one system like they used to.

I don't think there will be another gen after this one.

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#11 demon-returns
Member since 2007 • 1451 Posts

@Coco_pierrot said:

It is a difficult question because during the NES, SNES and N64 area all consols were vastly different and had very different games and very very very few games were multiplat. At the moment the N64 many big name like Squaresoft went with Sony because of the CD format once that was done the N64 got everything else but they missed a lot of stuff because of that. Then the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox and at this time a little more games became multiplat but it was mostly Ubisoft, EA and Activision most of the other developper were one consol only and they all had something unique to them but the Cube died so quickly after the 4th year when to me they had so many good game and a system way more powerful than a PS2 but then again Squaresoft was with Sony. What saved Xbox is bringing PC games and online.

After that the Xbox got all PC games to their 360 which put them in the lead right away. PS3 was very powerful but way to expensive but again everyone knew SquareEnix would be with them for sure and Nintendo went with the Wii which killed all chance to get multiplat game ... which became something so important because of the 360 that flooded the market with PC games with lesser graphics, PS3 could get them too and they became more of a low budget PC.

So you see ... each gen get us closer to this sad state of video games where PS4 and X1 are nothing more than PC wanabe instead of a consol like Nintendo does. Then advent MS did by bringing PC games to consol kinda killed the uniqueness of playing games on consol and also less and less developpers are now with only one system like they used to.

I don't think there will be another gen after this one.

so you're saying gaming will just some how magically stop after this gen?

What kind of dream world do you live in please? It's funny because I read your whole post and thought you sounded like a smart and intelligent guy.... If I had read that last line first I could've saved myself some time

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deactivated-58bd60b980002

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#12 deactivated-58bd60b980002
Member since 2004 • 2016 Posts

@demon-returns:

it will continue on PC, phone and tablet but consol are probably over after this gen.

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#13 Jaysonguy
Member since 2006 • 39454 Posts

This isn't a hard question

Nintendo lost it's third party support during the SNES run.

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#14 demon-returns
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@Coco_pierrot said:

@demon-returns:

it will continue on PC, phone and tablet but consol are probably over after this gen.

no it won't. you really need to be dumb to think that nintendo, sony and microsoft haven't already started doing R&D for their next consoles.... you need to wake up from that dream land you're in my friend.

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#15 Madmangamer364
Member since 2006 • 3716 Posts

I think there are multiple reasons for Nintendo's decline in developer support. Viable competition -beginning with the Genesis in the 16-bit era and the Playstation and Xbox brands later on- was no doubt a threat to Nintendo's super-tight grip on the console market and where third party publishers could best give their products a chance to flourish. This much I think most people agree with, but I also believe that a couple of other factors aren't mentioned as much as they should be.

A more western-centric market and the type of games most top-developers prefer to make also factor into the kind of support that all system's, including Nintendo's, do or do not get these days. The problem with comparing Nintendo's support today with the support of the 8 and 16-bit eras is the fact that many of today's biggest franchises didn't exist, nor were the developers behind the games anywhere near as large or even existent. Frankly, I don't think most of today's games would have done well on the Nintendo platforms of old, and from one perspective, it's almost a miracle that the support Nintendo received through the years lasted as long through the Wii U's first year, given what the market has become for top-tier publishers. Keep in mind that this doesn't just relate to consoles; western AAA support has never been a thing on Nintendo portables, either.

Ultimately, Nintendo started losing third party support when it became obvious that competing with Nintendo on its turf wasn't the only means of survival, as was the case in the NES days. Today, it has become a total contrast; publishers have the opportunity to have multi-platinum software without even thinking about a Nintendo platform of any sort -console or portable. Nintendo's hardware decisions have been very-well documented -probably even totally over-exaggerated at this point- but looking at what the industry is now, I don't think Nintendo had much control of the situation to begin with. Looking ahead, unless a dramatic change to the software market takes place, I doubt Nintendo will ever have what many would consider "good" third party support anytime soon.

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#16 thedude-
Member since 2009 • 2369 Posts

Nintendo is slow to change their set in stone policies. Developers would have enjoyed DLC and online play 2 generations ago.

It has been well documented that the development kits pre release were a mess for devs to deal with.

It would help for NIntendo to give out their SDKs to choice development teams for free as they cost around $1700 currently.

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#17 deactivated-58bd60b980002
Member since 2004 • 2016 Posts

@demon-returns:

It is hard to have an interesting debate with someone saying you're stupid or dumb because he doesn't share your point of view. It may not be over next but it sure will be close to an end. Japan is already leaving consols for good in favor of tablets or phones game that doesn't cost a lot, is short and almost as good looking. Sony tested the water with the PSPgo. It is just innevitable and seeing how most of the games are release on 3 platforms ... seriously one will have to die soon.

Oh and sure they already do some research but who knows where we will be in 5 or 10 years from now. Seeing how digital only start to be very interesting and the cost of AAA games rise, it is obvious that indi will be the thing ... exacly like on phones where you get small games for 5$ or less and whatever. PS4 is already showing that this is the way of the future with so many indi title.

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#18  Edited By IMAHAPYHIPPO  Online
Member since 2004 • 3735 Posts
@Jaysonguy said:

This isn't a hard question

Nintendo lost it's third party support during the SNES run.

^^^ Boom. To elaborate, Nintendo's "Seal of Quality" in the NES and SNES days started the rift between third parties and Nintendo. If a third party game didn't meet Nintendo's standards, they had the right to refuse a game's release on their console. Not to say that was a bad thing for gamers, but it certainly caused some bad blood for developers who spent months to years on a game only to have Nintendo tell them it wasn't good enough.

Then, the Nintendo 64 came. I have a bias for the n64 seeing that it was my first console as a child, but Nintendo choosing to stick with cartridges was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for most third party support. There was a small revival with the GameCube, but that petered out rather quickly.

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#19 silkylove
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The writing was on the wall when Square jumped ship. That was Nintendo's fault. Then it was all downhill during the N64-Wii era. Wii U had a chance for increased third party support, but they refused to bow to EA's wishes and have an Origin run Nintendo Network. Once EA blackballed them Ubisoft decided that the platform was no longer viable and they decreased support. Seeing as those are the two largest 3rd party devs by a wide margin it's clear why Wii U has no support. That's fine by me though. I'd rather the system I have now with all the fantastic games than a trojan horse for Origin. And the reason why many of these games are so polished because Nintendo knows they can't afford a major flop with no 3rd party to rely on. This is some of the best work they've ever done creatively. They can't have a "driveclub" or a "MCC." Everything they release has to be of the highest quality.

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#20 trugs26
Member since 2004 • 7537 Posts

It started on the N64, and became more apparent as the generations went by.

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#21  Edited By superbuuman
Member since 2010 • 6400 Posts

SNES, Nintendo acted like a dictator/tyrant ..then of course Sony release Playstation got FF7, MGS, Resi Evil, & from there its adios Nintendo. :P

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#22 jcrame10
Member since 2014 • 5675 Posts

@demon-returns: actually, many people speculate this to be the truth, as consoles are becoming irrelevant as they become more like PCs. However, even though this logically makes sense, the consumers dont care about the most bang for their buck given the fact that console sales for this gen are pretty high.

@demon-returns said:

@Coco_pierrot said:

It is a difficult question because during the NES, SNES and N64 area all consols were vastly different and had very different games and very very very few games were multiplat. At the moment the N64 many big name like Squaresoft went with Sony because of the CD format once that was done the N64 got everything else but they missed a lot of stuff because of that. Then the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox and at this time a little more games became multiplat but it was mostly Ubisoft, EA and Activision most of the other developper were one consol only and they all had something unique to them but the Cube died so quickly after the 4th year when to me they had so many good game and a system way more powerful than a PS2 but then again Squaresoft was with Sony. What saved Xbox is bringing PC games and online.

After that the Xbox got all PC games to their 360 which put them in the lead right away. PS3 was very powerful but way to expensive but again everyone knew SquareEnix would be with them for sure and Nintendo went with the Wii which killed all chance to get multiplat game ... which became something so important because of the 360 that flooded the market with PC games with lesser graphics, PS3 could get them too and they became more of a low budget PC.

So you see ... each gen get us closer to this sad state of video games where PS4 and X1 are nothing more than PC wanabe instead of a consol like Nintendo does. Then advent MS did by bringing PC games to consol kinda killed the uniqueness of playing games on consol and also less and less developpers are now with only one system like they used to.

I don't think there will be another gen after this one.

so you're saying gaming will just some how magically stop after this gen?

What kind of dream world do you live in please? It's funny because I read your whole post and thought you sounded like a smart and intelligent guy.... If I had read that last line first I could've saved myself some time

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#23 MirkoS77
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@YearoftheSnake5 said:

Nintendo soured relations with 3rd parties during the NES era with their exclusivity policies. That improved a bit during the SNES era, but many 3rd party developers went multiplatform rather than stick with Nintendo. It made sense from a business perspective not to abandon Nintendo platforms entirely, since they were still quite popular. The N64 era changed everything, though.

Nintendo deliberately made the N64 difficult to develop for, under the impression that it would turn off low-skill developers. This backfired, along with their decision to stick with low capacity cartridges. These caused previously Nintendo exclusive 3rd party franchises, like Final Fantasy, to go to Sony's platform, the Playstation.

Recognizing the mistake made with the N64 regarding ease of development, Nintendo tried to make the Gamecube a developer friendly platform. Nintendo even went with an optical media format. Unfortunately, the media format chosen only held 1.5GB, compared to the 4.7GB available on DVDs. Projects either had to be compressed to fit on the disc, or use multiple. Nintendo also didn't actively approach 3rd parties about their new platform, believing 3rd parties would come to them instead.

There's a really good read on the Gamecube/N64. Here's a link. It's worth your time.

This article says pretty much what needs to be said, but in today's paragraph tl;dr culture, unfortunately I doubt any will bother to read it.

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#25  Edited By trugs26
Member since 2004 • 7537 Posts

Started on N64. Became very apparent on GameCube onward.

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deactivated-5e90a3763ea91

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#26 deactivated-5e90a3763ea91
Member since 2008 • 9437 Posts

Yeah it was definitely because the N64 was difficult to develop for and all that. I mean, the SNES days certainly weren't much better, but I think Nintendo got too high and mighty and made themselves some competition (and rightly so) with Sony. But the Gamecube was the last system where we saw truly decent 3rd-party support. Devs went to greener pastures because they were sick of trying to deal with Nintendo's weird hardware and design choices, and they found much more success going multi-plat.

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#27 sonic_spark
Member since 2003 • 5740 Posts

@IMAHAPYHIPPO said:
@Jaysonguy said:

This isn't a hard question

Nintendo lost it's third party support during the SNES run.

^^^ Boom. To elaborate, Nintendo's "Seal of Quality" in the NES and SNES days started the rift between third parties and Nintendo. If a third party game didn't meet Nintendo's standards, they had the right to refuse a game's release on their console. Not to say that was a bad thing for gamers, but it certainly caused some bad blood for developers who spent months to years on a game only to have Nintendo tell them it wasn't good enough.

Then, the Nintendo 64 came. I have a bias for the n64 seeing that it was my first console as a child, but Nintendo choosing to stick with cartridges was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for most third party support. There was a small revival with the GameCube, but that petered out rather quickly.

To be fair NES dominated in 3rd party support because there was essentially no competition.

That said, the Nintendo Seal was not that hard to obtain, considering how much junk was released on the NES.

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#28 linkyshinks
Member since 2006 • 1332 Posts

Whenever they release comparatively weak hardware////

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#29 Kuromino  Moderator
Member since 2009 • 1602 Posts

Year old thread. Will need to lock this.