There’s a thread on ResetEra today that’s been catching everyone’s eye today as Dan Adelman (Nintendo’s former Head of Digital Content), who has been going into what he refers to as “inconsistent policies” at Nintendo when it came to adding indie titles to the eShop. The entire thread is a Q&A session presented in him answering a question a post, and the entire thing is quite a lengthy read, but it serves as a fascinating look at Nintendo’s policies and decision making at a time when they were launching the Nindies effort prior to PAX West last year. We have one of the more provocative questions below in case you’re interested, this one focused on the time it took Axiom Verge to be added to the shop.
“Last year, in late April, some sites reported that Dan was frustrated with the slow approval process for Switch development. He made a short comment on Twitter saying: “We need to wait for them to say it’s okay. We could’ve had it out at launch.” Could you describe your overall experience with releasing Axiom Verge on the Switch? As the former head of Nintendo of America’s digital content, what is your relationship with Nintendo like nowadays?”
Dan Adelman: Nintendo had two inconsistent policies that I think in retrospect made life very confusing and frustrating for a lot of people. The first policy was that they were only approving developers who were interested in bringing games that had never released on another system before. The second was that once a developer was approved, that developer could bring whatever game they wanted to the system – including their entire back catalog from other systems.
As a result, there was a mismatch between the rationale we were give for not being approved – because Axiom Verge had already released on other platforms – and what we were seeing on the eShop, which was lots of ports from other systems. It was especially frustrating since we had been asking for access to dev kits more than a year before the system’s launch, and I told them that I knew from experience that they’d have a period after launch where they’d be starved for content. Sure enough, there was a long stretch in those first few months after launch where there were lots of new Switch owners but no new games, which would have been a perfect opportunity for Axiom Verge.
I’m a pretty vocal and passionate guy, so I let my frustrations known in ways that may have been less than productive. (I guess I can be a bit of a Walter Sobchak.) I’ve since sat down with some of my former colleagues and buried the hatchet, so I think we’re all good now.