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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Should Nintendo try and seek out second-party start-ups (ala HAL, IS, Grezzo, etc.)?

Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has never historically been one for big game studio buyouts. With a few exceptions, company execs like the late Satoru Iwata expressed that the problem with that approach is that you can buy the building and the name, but you don't buy the talent or culture that makes that studio special. The company has instead preferred the "Keiretsu" or Second-party model, where they would invest in or form strong exclusive relationships with independent development studios to create first party content outside of Nintendo's own internal game staff.

Companies like Intelligent Systems, HAL Laboratory, Game Freak, Grezzo, Good-Feel, Skip, indieszero, Camelot. None of these are Nintendo subsidiaries, but are generally considered "Nintendo studios" since they've developed almost exclusively on Nintendo platforms and the majority of their releases were published and co-developed by the Big N itself. Many of Nintendo's biggest or most beloved IP even came out of this model including Kirby, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Golden Sun, etc.

However, Nintendo is beefing up its game development capabilities to maintain a steady stream of games. Meanwhile, Sony has been seeking out start up studios such as Firewalk and Deviation games to co-develop PS5 exclusives with PlayStation Studios. So should Nintendo EPD do the same? Seeking out start up studios that could be potential "Keiretsu" partners in both Japan and abroad to help their expansions? It'd be great if EPD can find and raise a new generation of "second parties" along the likes of Intelligent Systems, Grezzo, or HAL Laboratory. Platinum Games seems to be the biggest candidate at the moment, and I think Nintendo's been doing a decent job working with western partners like SFB, Velan, and Mercury Steam. But I think they could be a bit more pro-active at the moment. Maybe find some of the scraps leftover from JAPAN Studio, there's gotta a bunch of people who want to start their own studio.



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I'm mixed on it. On the one hand, I think it could possibly improve Nintendo's first-party output by pumping more money into those studios than they have otherwise.
On the other hand, it just makes Nintendo more powerful than they already are. And right now, they are plenty powerful.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 144 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million, then 125 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

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TheMisterManGuy said:

Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has never historically been one for big game studio buyouts. With a few exceptions, company execs like the late Satoru Iwata expressed that the problem with that approach is that you can buy the building and the name, but you don't buy the talent or culture that makes that studio special. The company has instead preferred the "Keiretsu" or Second-party model, where they would invest in or form strong exclusive relationships with independent development studios to create first party content outside of Nintendo's own internal game staff.

Companies like Intelligent Systems, HAL Laboratory, Game Freak, Grezzo, Good-Feel, Skip, indieszero, Camelot. None of these are Nintendo subsidiaries, but are generally considered "Nintendo studios" since they've developed almost exclusively on Nintendo platforms and the majority of their releases were published and co-developed by the Big N itself. Many of Nintendo's biggest or most beloved IP even came out of this model including Kirby, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Golden Sun, etc.

However, Nintendo is beefing up its game development capabilities to maintain a steady stream of games. Meanwhile, Sony has been seeking out start up studios such as Firewalk and Deviation games to co-develop PS5 exclusives with PlayStation Studios. So should Nintendo EPD do the same? Seeking out start up studios that could be potential "Keiretsu" partners in both Japan and abroad to help their expansions? It'd be great if EPD can find and raise a new generation of "second parties" along the likes of Intelligent Systems, Grezzo, or HAL Laboratory. Platinum Games seems to be the biggest candidate at the moment, and I think Nintendo's been doing a decent job working with western partners like SFB, Velan, and Mercury Steam. But I think they could be a bit more pro-active at the moment. Maybe find some of the scraps leftover from JAPAN Studio, there's gotta a bunch of people who want to start their own studio.

I rather Japan studio that was shutdown to be rebuilt again on Sony I really miss Gravity Rush.



Yes, the games that they worked with second parties have been great.



    

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Wouldn't mind seeing Nintendo buy some smaller indies like Sidebar Games, Moonsprout Games, Brace Yourself, Image and Form, Playtonic, Super Giant Games, Wayforward, Yacht Club games.



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Nintendo works in the same building as HAL, Gamefreak and other studios. While technically they’re third parties, I believe they’re basically operating as a de facto singular company—more or less first party. Rather than the old “second party”/“Dream Team” studios like Rare, Iguana, or DMA, who were close with Nintendo, but had a much greater deal of autonomy.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Does Nintendo need to "go after" developers at this point? The Switch has sold 115 million. Developers should *want* to develop for Switch by now :)



OneTime said:

Does Nintendo need to "go after" developers at this point? The Switch has sold 115 million. Developers should *want* to develop for Switch by now :)

That works too. But with the Switch's successor inevitable at this point, and game development being a lengthy process. Nintendo should also be doing everything they can to secure more game development resources for their own purposes.



I think they and MS should do it, and even Sony should that it even more. There is a lot of space to make startup devs on Africa, Oceania, South America and some key European countries that doesn't have big studios yet. That would foster more unique titles, increase the number of good games and strength the brands.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."

OneTime said:

Does Nintendo need to "go after" developers at this point? The Switch has sold 115 million. Developers should *want* to develop for Switch by now :)

Insomniac always worked well with Sony, but after they were purchased they had a very big jump in quality due to investments made on them. So there would be benefit for dev, Nintendo and customers if Nintendo fostered small independent devs to later incorporate them to their first party roster.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994

Azzanation: "PS5 wouldn't sold out at launch without scalpers."