Nintendo platforms have a reputation for being... not so friendly for third-party developers.
But Nintendo is hoping that its next-generation Wii U, launching this weekend, will come out of the gate with a reputation for hosting a variety of games, both from first parties and third parties.
Gamasutra spoke with a handful of third-party developers working on Wii U launch and launch window titles, such as Aliens: Colonial Marines, Darksiders II, ZombiU, Mass Effect 3, and others. It's early on, but these developers are cautiously optimistic about the future of Nintendo's unique new console, and the opportunities for third parties.
On Third-Party Support
Albert Reed, CEO and co-founder, Demiurge Studios, Aliens: Colonial Marines
"The hardware is much more powerful than previous generations. The online implementation is much more comprehensive and flexible. Our belief is that Nintendo has taken initiative here -- making the console a more compelling destination for third-party entertainment.
"This is at least partially borne out through the list of third-party launch titles. There are a number of products there that you never would've seen launch alongside previous generation hardware."
Pierre Leroux, producer, Ubisoft Quebec, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
"I think Nintendo answered this [third-party support] question best at their event earlier this month -- they announced the biggest line-up of their history, showing that developers have faith in this new product and the possibilities it can bring. More than 50 games from 18 publishers will be available before March 2013. That is a big statement."
Sebastien Dostie, project manager, THQ Montreal, Darksiders II Wii U
"Time will tell, but just look at the announced titles and the especially the launch titles. There are some very big titles from a variety of third-party publishers."
Guillaume Brunier, producer, Ubisoft Montpellier, ZombiU
"If the past few months provide a glimpse into the future, then it's quite bright. Nintendo has fully supported third-party developers and we've developed a close relationship with them."