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You work with Nintendo? Stay there!

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
1,665
The Grudge - Leaving Nintendo or being left alone by Nintendo





Factor 5:
Factor 5 provided technology and tools during the GCN days to Nintendo. They also worked on a Pilotwings game late in the GCN's lifetime which was canned when Factor 5 found high-powered next-gen consoles to be more promising.
Aftermath: Factor 5 went for a long-term partnership with Sony. When both PS3 and Lair sales were lower than expected and Lair's quality and development were anything but perfect (it received gorgeous reviews), Sony retreated from their contract. Factor 5 tried to do some PSN titles, but none of them came to fruition. Other attempts to get a new project included pitching a Man Icarus demo to Nintendo. In 2008, everything looked quite well: A Superman game for all platforms, a Rogue Squadron Trilogy for Wii and a flight game (Pilotwings) for Nintendo. Only when Brash went bankrupt, everything changed. Factor 5 went into bankruptcy, they received no more funds from Nintendo and LucasArts who feared that these would be used to pay off debts instead of producing their games. But the F5 staff had a new idea.
Today: Factor 5 tried a resurrection as WhiteHarvest. Their main work was done on a Wii port of Brütal Legend for EA, cancelled in July. Old fears from LucasArts and Nintendo came back and both Rogue Squadron and the flight game were cancelled at these new developers in spite of being ready for release in the same year. As a result, WhiteHarvest had to close down after only 7 months of operation. Factor 5 and WhiteHarvest has been dissolved with only the German division (approximately not more than five people) remaining.




Fuse Games/ Silverball Studios:
Fuse Games was a company formed in 2002, which focussed on pinball games at first. In 2003, they partnered with Nintendo to work on Mario Pinball Land (GBA, 2004). After that, they worked on Metroid Prime: Pinball (DS, 2005). Nintendo seemed to have trust in the studio and gave them their next franchise: Kirby (DS). More than two years later, in late 2008 or early 2009, this game was canned for unknown reasons.
In the meantime, Fuse Games had opened a second studio to work on Wii games. This studio was shut down in early 2009 due to a lack of interest by publishers (and due to a lack of funding from Nintendo). Nintendo at least somewhat supported Fuse Games for another year; they let them made Active Health (DS, UK-only, 2009) and a pinball game for DSi. In late 2009, Nintendo cut all ties and Fuse Games was bankrupt. The studio was reopened as Silverball Studios.
Today: Silverball Studios has only worked on low-budget titles so far: Thomas&Friends - Hero of the Rails as well as the iPhone game "Mensa Brain Test". Right now, they are working on a multiplatform title.




Headstrong Games:
Nintendo first co-operated with Headstrong Games when they were still called Kuju London. Back then, they worked on Battalion Wars/Advance Wars: Under Fire. When the Wii approached, the partnership seemed to evolve. The studio developed both Battalion Wars 2 and Knight Wars. Sadly, Nintendo did no longer think that Knight Wars was a compelling concept for the Wii audience and thus canned it.
Today: Headstrong acted as a Nintendo-only studio in the meantime and shipped HotD: Overkill and Aragorn's Quest (based on the original Knight Wars pitch). A small part of Headstrong also worked on the DSi (and later DS retail) game Art Academy. Due to declining sales of 3rd party Wii sales, Headstrong recently had to let some staff go. Right now they are working on an unannounced PS3 game, Wii games are not planned anymore.




n-Space:
n-Space is well known for their long-delayed GameCube title Geist. Nintendo had partnered with them on another untitled game for Wii, which was cancelled for both strategic and quality reasons.
Today: n-Space tried to pitch another game to Nintendo, Geist DS, which evolved into CoD DS. Since then the company mostly worked on franchise based titles and various DS iterations of Activision games (James Bond, Call of Duty). Only recently they ran into financial difficulties and had to let some staff go.




Silicon Knights:
In 2000, Nintendo bought shares of Silicon Knights. After many delays, they released Eternal Darkness in 2002 and two years later a remake of Metal Gear Solid. For several reasons (Dyack wanted to do Too Human and other cinematic titles, Nintendo didn't; Dyack wanted to work on a powerful console, Nintendo didn't have one; Dyack wanted to increase staff numbers, Nintendo didn't) they parted ways in 2004.
Aftermath: Silicon Knights first managed to get a deal with Microsoft to develop Too Human, back then planned as a trilogy. After various delays and with many shortcoming, the first game was released (getting the critical praise of NeoGAF) in 2008. Low sales and low quality resulted in the cancellation of both sequels.
Besides the Too Human deal, Silicon Knights began work on an ambitious horror game, called The Box or temporarily The Crucible: Evil Within, for PS3 and Xbox 360 which was meant to be published by Sega. In early 2009, however, Sega cancelled a whole lot of games from Western developers - Aliens: Crucible (Obsidian), Cipher Complex (Edge of Reality), Aliens: Colonial Marines (Gearbox) - and another one was Silicon Knights' The Box.
Today: After SK was left alone by both Sega and Microsoft, they were forced to lay off some staff. In the meantime, they received money from the Canadian government to fund a project (Siren in the Maelstrom) which is still to be revealed. Nonetheless, the team helped a little bit on THQ's Darksiders (PS3/Xbox 360) via outsourcing and right now they are hard at work on X-Men: Destiny (all platforms).


Other Studios:
Argonaut Software (shut down)
Left Field Productions (shovelware)
Next Level Games (low budget Wii rail-shooters; Captain America)
Paradigm Entertainment (shut down)


and well...Rare Ltd.
 

Nemo

Will Eat Your Children
Sep 10, 2007
18,377
1
0
Eh, I strongly disagree with the whole heart of the content but otherwise, nice topic
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
55,610
8
1,440
shitty developers don't make any money after they are dropped by their publisher.
 

Speevy

Banned
Jun 26, 2004
62,858
1
0
Nintendo has absolutely no interest in using its partners to create new intellectual properties anymore. If you create games for Nintendo, you're making minigames and/or spinoffs.

Also, let's be honest. Some of these developers are just bad.

I'd like to meet an analyst who wouldn't have advised a company to ditch Nintendo after the Gamecube.
 
Feb 28, 2009
39,032
2
0
Some of those sound like Nintendo's fault, not the studios.

Edit: Ah, I see the header now. Thread title mildly misleading.
 

Mr Sandman

Banned
Jan 11, 2010
1,356
0
0
US
Mediocre developers with a gem or two* get shit sales, thus resulting in lay offs.

*Loved ED, BWs, CoD DSs, MPP by the way.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
4
0
Speevy said:
Nintendo has absolutely no interest in using its partners to create new intellectual properties anymore. If you create games for Nintendo, you're making minigames and/or spinoffs.

Would you like to retract this now or should I name, say, 15 new IPs from outside partners since the DS era has started?
 

Instro

Member
Jan 14, 2009
24,476
1
705
32
California
Speevy said:
Nintendo has absolutely no interest in using its partners to create new intellectual properties anymore. If you create games for Nintendo, you're making minigames and/or spinoffs.

Wat? :lol
 

farnham

Banned
Nov 18, 2006
18,017
0
0
36
Germany (Bayern)
Absoludacrous said:
Couldn't you do this same comparison with almost any publisher?

there are a lot of devs that left publishers and were more successful

infinity ward or level 5 are examples of that.
out0v0rder said:
If i could get on nintendos dime, I would never leave
to be fair when level 5 and silicon knights left . everybody was predicting nintendoom within the next 2 years
 

fernoca

Member
Sep 17, 2006
30,832
3
1,075
Puerto Rico
Didn't Microsoft paid Silicon Knights around $60 million to make the Too Human "trilogy", of which they only made one?

If so, doesn't Microsoft still had bids or something with them, since SK kinda owes money to them? Or did Microsoft just said "well, whatever that was just pocket change"?
 

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
42,341
1
0
31
Florida
Stumpokapow said:
Would you like to retract this now or should I name, say, 15 new IPs from outside partners since the DS era has started?
Can you do it anyway, we could use a bit more lists in this topic.
 

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
1,665
farnham said:
nintendo should have helped factor 5 and silicon knights after their HD flops imo.
also mario strikers..

Nintendo helped F5 with the flight game. It was Brash's fault.

Staying with Nintendo is not always too helpful either, especially when it comes to their own studios (America-only, don't know about their Japanese ones). You don't get too much creativity and the management is kind of difficult to work with, which has led to an enormous turn-over rate at NST. Retro Studios is another example, they pitched various original IPs, but it all came down to the Zelda franchise. When that spin-off was canned and the creative leads left, the team was put on the DKC franchise.

miladesn said:
Aliens: Colonial Marines is not canceled.
It was temporarily cancelled at least (end of 2008-early 2009) and the rebooted. Don't know about its current status.
 

fernoca

Member
Sep 17, 2006
30,832
3
1,075
Puerto Rico
Well, to be fair Rare is still around and making nice games. Not million sellers, but at least on a better position than the other ones mentioned.
 

Captain Pants

Killed by a goddamned Dredgeling
May 1, 2007
5,919
1
0
Boise
"When both PS3 and Lair sales were lower than expected and Lair's quality and development was all but perfect..."

Wait... what? Did they launch two games called Lair on the PS3 and one of them didn't suck? I played the one that sucked.
 

WillyFive

Member
Sep 17, 2009
28,623
2
0
I miss Rare and Factor 5.

Two of my most all time favorite developers are used proof of this curse, and I am starting to believe it.

Sadist said:
What's with the Nintendo threads guys

I heard Nintendo is pretty big in the game industry these days.
 

Cosmonaut X

Member
Jun 5, 2006
9,604
0
0
Scotland
Drkirby said:
Can you do it anyway, we could use a bit more lists in this topic.

Dunno if all of these count, but:
  • ASH
  • Card Hero
  • Chōsōjū Mecha MG
  • Electroplankton
  • Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents
  • Fossil Fighters
  • Hotel Dusk
  • Kurikin Nano Island Story
  • Master of Illusion
  • Project Hacker
  • Slide Adventure MAGKID
  • Soma Bringer
  • Style Boutique

...and that's DS only, and probably missing quite a few titles.
 

Takao

Banned
Mar 19, 2009
50,991
0
0
Toronto, Canada
Stumpokapow said:
Would you like to retract this now or should I name, say, 15 new IPs from outside partners since the DS era has started?

How many of those would be on Wii? How many would be from a Western Studio? Excite Truck/Bots doesn't really count.
 

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
1,665
jump_button said:
No Rare? ^^; sorry had to do it

It would be extremely bad timing to talk about that story in detail. Kinect Sports is launching pretty soon and it wouldn't be fair to reveal all of their canned games/prototypes right now. It would also be way too much for this thread.


Nintendo has absolutely no interest in using its partners to create new intellectual properties anymore. If you create games for Nintendo, you're making minigames and/or spinoffs.
When it comes to Western partners, you are more or less right.
 

Cosmonaut X

Member
Jun 5, 2006
9,604
0
0
Scotland
Instro said:
Speaking of which what happened to those guys who left Retro to form Armature?

They were hiring for an "unannounced project" for an "unannounced publisher" back in May, but nothing else since.
 
V

Vilix

Unconfirmed Member
While the OP makes some good points, as a business owner your ambition will always be to expand where you can. Yes, you want to remain stable. But, I will always go by the motto that "Those who dare win." Devs/pubs, especially smaller independent ones, will want to move on to new challenges. Wether that is with Nintendo or someone else.
 

jooey

The Motorcycle That Wouldn't Slow Down
Jun 10, 2004
9,918
0
1,535
Cosmonaut X said:
Dunno if all of these count, but:
  • ASH
  • Card Hero
  • Chōsōjū Mecha MG
  • Electroplankton
  • Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents
  • Fossil Fighters
  • Hotel Dusk
  • Kurikin Nano Island Story
  • Master of Illusion
  • Project Hacker
  • Slide Adventure MAGKID
  • Soma Bringer
  • Style Boutique

...and that's DS only, and probably missing quite a few titles.
so nintendo hates whitey
 

Shiggy

Member
Jun 10, 2004
26,711
1
1,665
Instro said:
Speaking of which what happened to those guys who left Retro to form Armature?

Thousands of prototypes were done. Their EA project might've been cancelled though (it was under the Blueprint label which no longer exists).
 

Starwolf_UK

Member
Dec 5, 2008
17,023
0
0
twitter.com
I wonder how rare the Nintendo bail out is (not as in developer leaving but developer being consumer). I can think of HAL and Retro as the biggest ones. I know there was also the whole "oh god nobody is developing for the N64 lets create some studios like Ambrella" (I think that is the only one that you could describe as active nowerdays)

Shiggy said:
Factor 5 provided technology and tools during the GCN days to Nintendo. They also worked on a Pilotwings game late in the GCN's lifetime which was canned when Factor 5 found high-powered next-gen consoles to be more promising.
They also provided the voice compression technology* for Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2 (I wonder if there lack of demand for technology on the audio side of things these days as it seemed they were good at it):

(they didn't for the Japan-only version)

*-I was convinced they did the voices as well but thats probably wrong. Its a shame the franchise has ignored that voice style (it kept the tone of the Game Boy sounds while mixing it with some more realistic sounding than the bleeps...but as the Dragon Quest battle sound effects show...some things you're stuck with

ntropy said:
didn't Next Level Games develop Punch Out Wii?
Yep and by extension Doc Louis Punch-Out. They also developed Super Mario Strikers and Mario Strikers Charged (that reminds me the EU Club Nintendo code for that expires on the 25th...time to register)
 

Hsieh

Member
Jun 22, 2004
532
0
0
DMA Design:
DMA Design originally partnered with Nintendo to bring out their first console game, Uniracers, for the SNES which was published by Nintendo. At one point, DMA was developing a game named Kid Kirby about Kirby as a kid for the SNES. Later, DMA signed up as a member of Ultra 64 Dream Team where they would make an exclusive game for Nintendo which Nintendo would publish. They eventually made Body Harvest for the N64 but Nintendo wouldn't publish it, so they shopped around for another publisher and eventually Midway published it. They also later made Space Station Silicon Valley for the N64.
Aftermath: DMA was bought out by Take-Two and renamed Rockstar North. After breaking up with Nintendo, they later released Grand Theft Auto III for the Playstation 2. Since then, their Grand Theft Auto franchise has become one of the biggest franchises in gaming.
 

seady

Member
Oct 31, 2009
4,387
1
670
Hong Kong
If you worked for Nintendo and you betray/leave Nintendo, you die.

It's a curse that no single company ever escaped from. Look at how low Rare is now.
 

Instro

Member
Jan 14, 2009
24,476
1
705
32
California
Shiggy said:
Thousands of prototypes were done. Their EA project might've been cancelled though (it was under the Blueprint label which no longer exists).

Hm yeah I remember hearing about their EA project getting canned. Weren't they part of the EA partners program at one point or something?
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
4
0
Takao said:
How many of those would be on Wii? How many would be from a Western Studio? Excite Truck/Bots doesn't really count.

Yeah, I think you should know why this is a dumb question. Nintendo is a disproportionately Japanese company that disproportionately does work with other Japanese companies. They also disproportionately have provided software support to their handheld, not their console.

So yes, it's true, Nintendo has not pumped out new IPs with western developers on the Wii. They've pumped out games with western developers on the Wii, they've pumped out new IPs with developers on the Wii, and they've pumped out new IPs with western developers, but never three qualifications at once*.

* provided that you're okay with excluding Excite Truck/Bots for some reason.
 

Discotheque

Banned
Oct 5, 2009
51,291
1
0
DMA Design pimp-slapped Nintendo pretty bad.

And this thread is kind of disconcerting. It makes Nintendo just seem like an unreliable company to partner with.
 

Ignis Fatuus

Banned
Feb 17, 2009
12,539
1
0
Shiggy said:
Lair's quality and development was all but perfect
Wait, what?

Silicon Knights first managed to get a deal with Microsoft to develop Too Human, back then planned as a trilogy. After various delays and with many shortcoming, the first game was released (getting the critical praise of NeoGAF) in 2008.
Oh, I get it.
 

Takao

Banned
Mar 19, 2009
50,991
0
0
Toronto, Canada
Stumpokapow said:
Yeah, I think you should know why this is a dumb question. Nintendo is a disproportionately Japanese company that disproportionately does work with other Japanese companies. They also disproportionately have provided software support to their handheld, not their console.

So yes, it's true, Nintendo has not pumped out new IPs with western developers on the Wii. They've pumped out games with western developers on the Wii, they've pumped out new IPs with developers on the Wii, and they've pumped out new IPs with western developers, but never three qualifications at once*.

* provided that you're okay with excluding Excite Truck/Bots for some reason.

Well I only brought up those questions because the OP only lists western developers who partnered with Nintendo on console games (one exception though, being the Pinball people), bringing up Japanese releases, or DS games wouldn't really cut it in that regard.

The only reason I disqualify the Excite series is because of Excite Bike. Only GAF remembers that game, but that alone makes that part of a series rather than a new IP.
 

donkey show

Member
Oct 16, 2006
21,344
2
1,420
Hsieh said:
DMA Design:
DMA Design originally partnered with Nintendo to bring out their first console game, Uniracers, for the SNES which was published by Nintendo. At one point, DMA was developing a game named Kid Kirby about Kirby as a kid for the SNES. Later, DMA signed up as a member of Ultra 64 Dream Team where they would make an exclusive game for Nintendo which Nintendo would publish. They eventually made Body Harvest for the N64 but Nintendo wouldn't publish it, so they shopped around for another publisher and eventually Midway published it. They also later made Space Station Silicon Valley for the N64.
Aftermath: DMA was bought out by Take-Two and renamed Rockstar North. After breaking up with Nintendo, they later released Grand Theft Auto III for the Playstation 2. Since then, their Grand Theft Auto franchise has become one of the biggest franchises in gaming.
Wow... who would have thought Rockstar North had its origins in creating Uniracers. Loved that game to death back in the day.
 

Starwolf_UK

Member
Dec 5, 2008
17,023
0
0
twitter.com
Rocksteady33 said:
What did Nintendo do with Argonaut Games besides Star Fox 2?
(in reverse order) Argonaut assisted Nintendo with Stunt Race FX, programmed Star Fox 1 (I think Nintenod did graphics and story), designed the Super-FX chip and made X on the Game Boy (IIRC Argonaut imported a Game Boy and reverse engineered it then went to Nintendo with their technical demo).

In a way you could say Q-Games are an extension of Argonaut but in a sense that is due to their founder, Dylan Cuthbert also working for Argonaut (also some of the Star Fox 2 ideas being used in Star Fox Command, X-Scrape/3D Space Tank being successor to X goes without saying) but Q-games are not a Nintendo exclusive developer (though neither were Argonaut games).

InfectedZero said:
Oh man Body Harvest was fucking awesome, DMA rocks my world!
Apparently the testers for the game nicknamed it "Shoddy Harvest" due to it being buggy. In a way looking back you can see how both the DMA N64 games were essentially Sandbox (oh god did I say that really...I could say Super Mario 64 was as well...)