Nintendo seems like a different company of late, one who's actually willing to see the wider gaming landscape beyond their own first-party exclusives. Case in point: a deal that will see the Unity development platform rolled out to Nintendo's first and third party partners. More excitingly, though, this new arrangement will also give the 1.2 million registered Unity developers a way to easily deploy their games onto the console.
"Nintendo's unfettered access to Unity will produce a wealth of insanely good games from knowledgeable Nintendo developers and the Wii U deployment add-on will create an amazing opportunity for our massive community of developers to showcase their incredible creativity on one of the most anticipated and innovative gaming platforms to date," gushed Unity boss Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason.
The Unity engine is proving to be an exceptionally reliable foundation for smaller studios and major outfits alike (inXile's Wasteland 2, Molyneux's Curiosity and current Humble Indie Bundle star Rochard all use it, amongst countless others), and is currently a convenient way to deploy games onto PCs, browsers, mobile devices and home consoles. Elaborating on the press release to EDGE, Helgason suggested that the new relationship will be mutally beneficial to both parties.
"Basically, we can bring a lot of awesome developers, both big and small, and a very large number of indie studios with very creative games and game ideas to the Wii U ecosystem."
“It’s kind of emerging as two ecosystems – one is Unity, which is new and fresh, and one is Nintendo’s, which is old and formidable. After 120 years, they have a pretty big developer ecosystem, right? That’s kind of how we think of it, and it’s really exciting.”
It is "really exciting," actually. The Wii U absolutely has to provide a wealth of varied games to succeed, and its online marketplace needs to offer much more than the paltry Wii and DS store. Though Nintendo has previously stated that "garage devs" aren't welcome on the Wii U or 3DS, a strong helping of downloadable titles will do the console a world of good, as well as allowing an enormous stable of new developers to use the hardware in exciting new ways.
That said, of course, we'll have to wait and see just how open Nintendo are willing to make their new platform.