Monday, March 7, 2011

Game Devs Unhappy


While GDC is often a place to celebrate videogames, there's plenty of room for complaining, too. Nintendo and Apple were both targets throughout the show, as a number of game devs slammed their business practices and the way they've helped to shape gaming.

"We used to have a free and open game business," said EA founder Trip Hawkins. "And then Nintendo came along and introduced a thing called a licensing agreement ... At least Nintendo had the courtesy to tell you upfront that you were going to be screwed."

iOS developer Natalia Luckyanova said that Nintendo's licensing model made it tough for small developers to make a game, and noted the arrogance of the company for criticizing mobile game development, as Iwata had done at his GDC keynote speech.

Apple has been accused of over-encouraging supply, with 350,000 Apps available on iTunes and little chance for the majority of them to compete. In addition, the company charges developer $99 per year and takes 30% of each transaction. Hawkins noted that Apps make $4,000 on average, which "doesn't even pay for a really good foosball table."

While I agree that Apple and Nintendo could stand to loosen up a bit, I'm interested to know when the industry was a better place. Back during the Atari days, when the industry crashed thanks to a slew of unlicensed crap? It's easy for developers to lament the way things are run now, but I'm not totally sure it would be even better in a Wild West market.

4 comments:

¡ɥsoſ said...

Things were always better back in DA day. Their nostalgia goggles are simply on too tight.

mac-and-me said...

i am quite happy with apple as indie gamedev

Westus said...

I think people just like complaining, the system we have right now isn't perfect, but it works...

Spike said...

well, then WHY THE FUCK IS SO MUCH SHOVELWARE ON THE WII ??
It is a good thing that they have this license agreement. Sure, there are small publishers that want to make good games, but far to many just shit out a game and sell it..

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