Nintendo neglecting Japanese Indie developers
Nintendo has an interesting independent developer policy. The company is attempting to be more welcoming to indie games than it has in the past, and even unveiled new tools called Unity for the Wii U and Nintendo Web Framework.
These tools, revealed during this year’s GDC, aim to make the Wii U more developer-friendly and opens up the console for independent developers. In fact, according to Retro City Rampage creator, Nintendo is even sending out free development kits to indie developers.
There is an exception, however. According to the questionnaire from GDC, they are not accepting applications from Japanese developers (this is stated in both English and Japanese on the form).
The policy has confused several indie developers. “Why, Nintendo, is ‘only Japan’ excluded from individual registration?” asked one indie dev named Toshirou Takahashi. Another added on, “Seeing ‘No Japs’ written on an international-looking website is such a terrible sight that it makes me weep.”
There were Japanese developers that applied for the kit before they were aware of this restriction, the second developer had added. He went on to say that soon after, an email stated something like, “It is difficult to support indie developers living in Japan, so this dev kit offer will not work out.”
Could Nintendo be preparing to unveil a Japan-specific dev kit? Are they simply discriminating against Japanese indie developers? Or do they have some other, unknown reason for denying Japanese indie developers?