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Nintendo's indie guy Dan Adelman has left the company
Nintendo's indie guy Dan Adelman has left the company
August 4, 2014 | By Mike Rose

August 4, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    22 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



We already knew that things weren't so hot between Nintendo and its indie guy Dan Adelman, but now Adelman has confirmed that he has left the company after nine years.

Adelman was banned from posting on Twitter by Nintendo last year, after he spoke ill of the company's region locking exploits. Now Adelman has told Kotaku that he left Nintendo last Friday.

The industry veteran says that he was frustrated with Nintendo's acts to clamp down on actions that did not gel with its corporate message, such as the banning of his Twitter account.

"I think people were kind of on pins and needles about anything untoward I might say," he noted. "And every once in a while, I'd give an answer that people didn't like, and some people would freak out, so they tried to scale things back. First they had me do interviews with someone from PR or marketing. Later they just decided that I shouldn't be in the press at all anymore."

"I had been strongly encouraged to stay off of Twitter or at least say only things that were clearly safe so after the region-locking comment they just said I needed to stop completely," he added. "When people started complaining that I wasn't active on Twitter anymore, it was suggested that a PR person could just post in my name. I thought that was about the worst idea I'd ever heard, so I left it as is and let the silence speak for itself."

Adelman will stay in the industry as an independent marketing and biz dev specialist for indies. He also stressed that there is still a team at Nintendo dedicated to helping indie devs bring their games to Nintendo platforms.

You can read the full interview at Kotaku.




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Comments


E Zachary Knight
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This is actually very disappointing to hear. Dan was doing a great job as far as I am concerned. It is a shame that Nintendo let some spat over independent thought prevent them from effectively using their independent games guy from doing his job.

Best of luck to Dan in his new endeavor. Best of luck to Nintendo in finding a better way than silence to actively court independent developers.

But I will say this in regards to region locking, this has been a major bit of friction between Nintendo and its fan base for years. It came to a head with Operation Rainfall on the Wii. The region locking issue was one of the major hurdles preventing people from playing games they actually wanted that Nintendo failed to bring to the US. This defense of region locking and the refusal to bring interesting games to the US resulted in a LOT of discussion about modding the Wii to remove the region lock, thus opening up consoles across the US to the ability to play pirated games easily.

So removing region locking would have removed another reason why people might resort to piracy.

Saurian Dash
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I really don't understand Nintendo's stance on region locking at all. Take for example what happened with Osu Tatakae Ouendan on the Nintendo DS; the overseas sales success of the Japanese version of the game led to the developer creating a US-localised version (Elite Beat Agents). This was purely a case of word-of-mouth generating a viable platform for a release which would never have seen the light of day outside Japan.

It is also unreasonable to expect customers to buy multiples of a console simply for the privilege of having access to the entire game catalogue of the system. I would love to get hold of a 3DS as there are some superb Japanese games I would love to play, but of course this will make it impossible for me to pick up the odd game in my home region unless I buy a 2nd 3DS for this purpose.

Nintendo really need to look at this situation with a fresh pair of eyes. I fail to understand how being able to buy games not released in your home territory can be a harmful practice, it actually costs more to import so it cannot simply be down to price fixing.

Region locking, as the previous poster quite rightly stated, encourages piracy. It is actually far cheaper and more convenient to mod a Nintendo console and play pirated copies of overseas titles than it is to import legit copies. All Nintendo are doing with this anti-import stance is punishing the people who simply want to buy games unavailable in their regions.

I was commissioned to do some promotional work with Nintendo last year which completely fell apart before any work could be done, twice. I understand exactly how difficult a company they are to work with and I sincerely hope that they will take a look at their policies and see that they are not doing themselves any favours by sticking so doggedly to them.

Rob Wright
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Disappointing to hear but hardly surprising, right? I mean, in light of Adelman's Twitter "ban" and the stumbles of the company with its indie strategy, I'm actually a bit shocked this didn't happen sooner.

P.S. Brandon Sheffield's piece (linked in the article) about trying to track down and speak to Adelman -- and Nintendo's corporate stone-walling -- is a great read, well worth your time.

Benjamin Quintero
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region locking is a way to increase profits. It avoids "loss" in cases were imported games make less money than selling them locally. I'm not money wiz, but I think the issue was the weak US dollar against a rising Yen at the time they made that decision.

Either way, it's dumb and only leads to piracy, hacked consoles, and less sales overall than just shipping a single device that works in all regions..

George Menhal III
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Geez I don't think I've ever seen anyone get banned on Gamasutra before. I didn't even know that happened around here.

But to be honest, I don't see the point in this. Is it really that important to be able to tweet, that you would sacrifice an important position with Nintendo? I think this guy is crazy.

E Zachary Knight
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When you hire a guy to be the public goto guy in courting independent developers and then actively hinder that guy's ability to communicate effectively with independent developers, it can cause some major friction. This is the inevitable result of said friction.

Steve Cawood
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Nintendo. The last time I thought highly of them was when the SNES was released. Coffin dodgers for sure.

Theresa Catalano
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No, Nintendo still makes amazing games, and they absolutely deserve to still be around. They are just as relevant as ever. Which is why this corporate mentality is disappointing.

George Burdell
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As relevant as ever? What? You mean that, right now, they are as relevant as when they fundamentally reinvented motion controls? Or when they invented most of gamings iconic games and even entire genres?
Ladies and gentlemen, I know you have a soft spot for the Nintendo you loved and grew up with, but please face reality: It isn't what it used to be.

And that sucks, but it's not the end. Hopefully they'll find their place soon enough and we can say things like "As relevant as ever" with a straight face.

Rob Wright
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@George Burdell

Or, I suppose more accurately, Nintendo IS what it used to be. And that's the problem.

Theresa Catalano
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I'll say it with a straight face because I believe it's true. Right now, Nintendo is the one of the most important game developers out there. The games that are coming out on the Wii-U and 3DS are some of the most exciting things happening in the gaming world now. I don't like some of their business practices, but they are extremely important to me right now. I feel like we can't afford to lose them.

George Menhal III
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100% correct.

Just try to imagine how bland and homogenized E3 would have been this year without Nintendo. The biggest problem with Nintendo is that they never get as much positive affirmation from the gaming community / press that they truly deserve, for all the good they do.

I understand that Nintendo screws up and isn't perfect, but compared to what? To Sony and Microsoft? People need to get real.

Theresa Catalano
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To be fair, they deserve some flak for the way they treated this guy. I hate how insular and corporate they can be sometimes.

But you're right... E3 without Nintendo would have been a snooze-fest. They almost single-handedly made it interesting. They don't get nearly enough credit from the gaming press. It's very important to say that.

Bob Johnson
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I think he was probably treated pretty well. I don't think telling an employee not to criticize corporate policies in public is akin to treating them badly unless there is something I am missing.

Pretty typical of any corporate environment (or any large company environment) to not have the freedom to go publicly bite the hand that feeds you sorta speak.

Theresa Catalano
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It is typical. And understandable in some cases. But in this case, I think a little more leniancy would have been beneficial to them.

Jarod Smiley
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@George Perhaps It would have been bland because games on the other platforms just aren't ready yet? Or did we forget Rime? Everyone Gone to the Rapture? The Infamous The Last Guardian? Sony in particular green light and develop in house innovative and unique titles all the time. (Warhawk, Rain, Folklore) So tired of seeing this Nintendo is some savior of the industry rhetoric, they keep rehashing ideas over and over again just like every company. Simply because they've made there franchises with kid-friendly icons does not mean they are still innovating. Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D World, the Yoshi games, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, etc...all fun games sure, but how much different are they from previous iterations? Not only that, Nintendo NEVER drops there f'n prices on there software!

Sony started PS+, which if you subscribed early have now over 100 games in your library for paying $50 (and sometimes less) a year. There controller are always more comfortable and feel of higher quality. They released a game that completely flipped the industry on its head in storytelling and constantly green light "different" projects that could flop like Heavy Rain, Puppeteer, Ico, etc...I don't even like Xbox, but they absolutely made the online experience on consoles waaaaay better, and ushered in the FPS genre with authority. Nintendo comes out with Splatoon and its suddenly the most innovative thing anyone has ever seen? Oh, lets forget Bungie practically made the entire shooter genre popular on consoles in the first place? Or are trying hard to adapt an MMO style gameplay in a shooter in Destiny? Or lets ignore Indy devs who make stuff like Sport Friends which uses the Move Controller in a way no one ever though of.

Nintendo is hands down, not more important than MS nor Sony. Making unique games every now and then is not the full picture. There hardware is lousy, online is behind, and yes, I take issue with that because I feel it holds back Japanese development on titles like Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest. They rehash more than any of the other two, and charge ridiculous life-time prices for there software. Yes, Nintendo screws up, and yes compare them to Sony and MS, our industry would be craptacular without the other two pushing tech forward.

Oh, and lets Ignore Minecraft, WoW, LoL? All titles innovating the industry which Nintendo have absolutely NOTHING to do with. Yes, I love there philosophy on quality gameplay first, but don't exaggerate there relevance. I'm getting my WiiU with smash Brothers. I'll buy Zelda HD Remake, Mario 3D land and Mario Kart. I'm not saying these games are amazing and have super high replay value. But Nintendo = Sony. They both strengthen the industry in different ways. MS less so in regards to software, but moreso on the backend of online gaming, the console OS, controller tech etc...We do need that, the tech push by the other two shouldn't be dismissed.

George Burdell
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@Theresa Catalano

I'm not here to bash nintendo, and I will acknowledge that I'm far more interested in them than in either sony or microsoft (or any of their "important" third party games).

And it's true that what I remember as "what nintendo used to be" is not actually what nintendo used to be.

But if I think about the games that have truly meant something to me in the past 5 years, and I compare them to the games that meant something to me before that time I see a big difference in the amount of Nintendo games.

Nintendo continues to make a certain set of very high quality games that target an audience to which I unfortunately do not belong. If you do, I envy you, but please realise the audience is no longer aligned with what is, unfortunately, "mainstream gaming" and, as such, nintendo simply loses its influence and relevancy compared to the time where it did serve that audience.

The most important game of the previous 5 years is arguably minecraft. Minecraft is a game that arguably suits nintendo's style.
Minecraft has not yet been released on any nintendo hardware.
I'm not aware of any attempts from nintendo to tap into minecraft audiences.

There's just so much. :(

Jarod Smiley
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double posts

Benjamin Quintero
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Nintendo, pride is the silent killer.

Kujel Selsuru
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Yes unproductive pride is definately a sin.

Kevin Fishburne
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They should have encouraged him in order to gauge consumer opinion on various issues, not fired him. This is a common technique in interrogations (switching interrogators), often called somewhat imprecisely "good cop, bad cop". An honest and unafraid ambassador to the indie scene would have served Nintendo well. They've made one more mistake, and they can't afford those right now.

Jim Burns
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Not as big of a deal as some are making it out to be.


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