So I was surfing the web and I've always wondered, why Nintendo has always struggled with 3rd party support for nearly every console besides the NES and SNES?
The reasons I hear most from people is was cause the "N64 used cartridges which were expensive and couldn't hold much storage which pissed off developers","the Gamecube used small DVDs which were too small to hold PS2/Xbox games", and "the Wii and Wii U were severely underpowered to get multiplats".
These are reasons that for a long time I held that belief that it was the reason why they've struggled with support. However,while most of these reasons definitely contributed a lot to a lack of 3rd party support for these systems, I started to have my doubts that these were the ONLY reason why developers left after thinking about the PS2 and PS3, both systems were considered difficult to develop for yet they've had plenty of 3rd party support, even with the Switch right now despite being quite underpowered and having somewhat expensive cartridges they're getting great 3rd party support. So what was stopping Nintendo from getting 3rd party support on other systems especially the GameCube where the small Discs from what I heard wasn't a huge problem for most game developers.
I began to research deeper into Nintendo's history, stuff that mainstream gaming media won't really discuss and I found out very interesting things regarding Nintendo's history with 3rd parties.
This video gives a good idea of how anti-3rd party Nintendo was when developing the Gamecube, the video is 11 minutes long but long story short, this is all the things Nintendo was doing when developing the gamecube:
-Delayed Development Kits
-No urgency to gain 3rd party support
-Didn't approach 3rd parties
-Satoru Iwata and Hiroshi Yamauchi "didn't believe in overwhelming 3rd party support"
-Charged much higher licensing fees than Sony & Microsoft
-Shortage of development kits
-Called 3rd parties "useless companies"
-Felt PS2 wasn't a threat
Hiroshi Yamauchi was quoted saying that "People think Sony already won just cause they got all software developers on their side. However, times are different now its no longer a race to see how many useless companies you can get on your side."
Satoru Iwata and Hiroshi Yamauchi both had the same philosophy that they didn't need 3rd party support and in fact criticized 3rd parties for porting the same game on all consoles, they stated they didn't believe in 3rd party support.
We had Sony and Microsoft embracing the flood of 3rd party developers and encoraging them to develop for their systems through lower licensing fees and more monetary incentive, while Nintendo was outright REFUSING to gain 3rd party support.
This makes it clear to me that Nintendo didn't give a shit about 3rd parties at all and the discs issue with the Gamecube wasn't the biggest issue at all, it was Nintendo's refusal to gain any support.
Their actions do speak even louder than their words though, since the NES they've seemingly been anti 3rd party. In the NES they've charged high licensing fees and prices for cartridges, essentially forced 3rd parties to abide by an exclusivity contract where you could only produce 5 games a year and a very strict quality control policy. Purposely prioritize manufactering THEIR games while 3rd party games deal with shoratges, ect...
The N64 I'm sure one of the reasons why they've chose cartridges was to profit off of cartridges purchased by 3rd parties, they didn't give a shit about 3rd parties feelings regarding cratridges and how expensive they are.
I already went over the Gamecube.
And with the Wii, Wii U and Switch. Nintendo didn't want to become a 3rd party system so bad that they outright decided to go into a different direction not directly competing with Sony and Microsoft's multiplat systems. I know people may argue back saying that with the Switch and Wii U Nintendo was approaching 3rd parties. However, if they really prioritized getting full 3rd party support on those systems, they wouldn't have created those systems as underpowered as they were and use a foreign architecture compared to their competitors. Also, I'm sure if Nintendo gave some sort of extra monetary incentive to 3rd parties they could've gotten even more, which is a standard for Sony and Microsoft to do.
It seems bizarre to me that Nintendo would go so out of their way to deny 3rd parties on their system. It seems too lucrative of an opportunity for any video game console company to give up. Especially when you're Nintendo where the ultimate system that has Nintendo's great 1st party games along with full 3rd party support seems like it would dominate the industry and leave Sony and Microsoft in the dust.
It really makes me wonder, why?? Why would Nintendo just refuse to be an all in one 1st and 3rd party system and downright hate and deny 3rd party developers.
This article gives a good idea of why Nintendo simply didn't want 3rd party support, and based off the sounds of it Nintendo just didn't want to create a console that was too similiar to their competitors, Nintendo has always had a philosophy that they still hold to this day that "we don't follow trends,we create them" and it seems like Nintendo just wanted to make a system that stood out to people with their 1st party games being the forefront of their successes. To them, making a console similiar to Sony and Microsoft it boring for them.
My theory is this, Nintendo is more than a company full of business men, they are also passionate game developers. My theory is that Nintendo developers sort of felt envy and hatred towards 3rd party games since they compete with their own games for attention and Nintendo developers might feel some type of way knowing that people prefer 3rd party games over their own games. Also, it seems like Nintendo couldn't understand the appeal of violent games and seemed to hate it, according to a former Nintendo employee, one Nintendo executive supposedly stated," Consumers don't want fun anymore, they just want to kill people in HD" when trying to explain why the Gamecube was failing. Nintendo execs didn't want to create a console where violent games were the forefront, they couldn't understand how it was fun to consumers and wanted to create a system that fit their own image, they didn't WANT create a system similiar to the PS2 and Xbox where they all had the same violent games, to them making a system like that is boring. Even if it meant losing millions Nintendo was willing to do this to create the system THEY want, not what they should do.
What do you guys think, why do you think Nintendo has always hated 3rd party developers for most of their history?