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Nintendo to Revise Their DSiWare Royalty Plans

by Pedro Hernandez - August 24, 2009, 1:19 pm PDT
Total comments: 17 Source: Pocket Gamer

The new initiative hopes to attract more independent developers to DSiWare.

Nintendo has announced that they will revise their DSiWare royalty plans as a way to inspire more independent game developers to create games for their DSiWare service through an easier method.

While the current prices will remain intact, Nintendo will have some control over the prices by charging developers different royalty rates according to the size of the title. A title priced at 500 Points will have to be 20 MB or less in size, or else the royalty fee will be higher for Nintendo. With this plan, Nintendo hopes developers will price their titles as premium content.

A similar strategy is being done by Sony with their PSP Minis downloads, and both are being done to attract more independent game developers to create exclusive game downloads for their respective handhelds.

Talkback

PlugabugzAugust 24, 2009

So what they are saying is, a larger (and likely more fuller-featured game) will cost more to the developer?

BlackNMild2k1August 24, 2009

I think it is saying that a larger (and likely more fuller-featured game) will cost the same to the developer, but a smaller, half assed effort, similar to what many 3rd partease are releasing on the Wii will cost you less. Just dump it all here.

Maybe if Nintendo charged itself licensing royalties, they'd release better DSiWare.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorAugust 24, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Maybe if Nintendo charged itself licensing royalties, they'd release better DSiWare.

Minis March Again. :(

KDR_11kAugust 25, 2009

Suujin Taisen.

YmeegodAugust 29, 2009

Well that's not exactly what Sony did.

Alot of small independent developers complain about the royalty fees placed on them by the console manufactures where else on the PC there isn't a fee.

Only a small fraction of these types of games even break even so paying royalties becomes an issue.  What sony started to do was come up with "free" to play and make up the revenue loss with in game ads--well they are taking about doing it anyhow.

With ads enabled the developers would get the full $5 for themselves instead of splitting with the manufactures.

Aren't there royalty fees to get a game on something like Steam on the PC side?

TJ SpykeAugust 29, 2009

Yes, it's been confirmed many times that Valve charges a royalty rate for Steam. The amount is unknown (pesky NDA's), but Valve does make money from every game sold on their Steam service.

Then I really don't see how they have grounds to complain about them on the consoles, unless they're significantly worse. Sure, you could go it alone with just your web site but every cent you don't have to pay in royalties you're going to lose in sales because you don't have the exposure that being on Steam provides, and that being on WiiWare/XBLA/PSN/etc. provides.

steveyAugust 29, 2009

I don't really see a problem with this,

$5 * .05% = .25¢ per game download
30MB of bandwidth =  0.3¢
Nintendo net profit per game = -0.05¢
Total downloads: 10Mill
Total net income: $-5,000.00

Swimming pools of money don't fill themselves! New royalties are probably a flat rate + bandwidth.

Yes, I know that Nintendo charges way more than .05% per wii point but than again people with no SD card download more than once so it balances out....

YmeegodAugust 29, 2009

But MS doesn't charge a fee for Windows--they might charge a fee for direct x but alot of these games don't need 3d hardware anyhow. 

Not really sure how this is good news?  Sounds like Big N is going be charging more not less?  Example you make a 20MB game and you still pay the flat rate for the royalty and you get 4000 downloads at $5.  Not 100 sure what the royality rate is but lets say you get to pocket 3 out of the 5 so you net $12,000.  Vrs example B you make an ass kicker game at 100MB but you had to charge more to make up the additional royalty costs and ended up with only 2500 downloads at $10/per.  Since Big N charges a higher rate you only get 5 out of the 10 so you net only $10,000.

Now what they could do is charge developers based on downloads--namely if the title is popular then charge them more since they have more capital going to them vrs x game that's been downloaded less.  That would make sense to me anyhow.

broodwarsAugust 29, 2009

So in other words Nintendo is just ensuring that DSiWare continues to be a festering pile of crap filled with things like clock apps, right?  If the developer gets any more ambitious and decides to put actual effort into their release, Nintendo rakes in more money.  It's looking like a good thing I didn't pick up a DSi more and more with every passing day.

YmeegodAugust 29, 2009

What kills WIIWare is the fact the games have to be downloaded a certain about before the developers even see a dime.  It has to sell 6000+ before Big N pays them anything.

Also it was 65% out of the sales the developers got to keep--well that was the flat rate anyhow and that's changing. 

So yeah the royalites MS charges is about the same unless you have them advertise it and they take an % you might only get 50% of the revenue.  This is after the price cuts from last year.

 

Quote from: Ymeegod

What kills WIIWare is the fact the games have to be downloaded a certain about before the developers even see a dime.  It has to sell 6000+ before Big N pays them anything.

Also it was 65% out of the sales the developers got to keep--well that was the flat rate anyhow and that's changing. 

So yeah the royalites MS charges is about the same unless you have them advertise it and they take an % you might only get 50% of the revenue.  This is after the price cuts from last year.

 

Unless someone can provide proof that there have been any good games that failed to meet that threshold I'm in favor of that policy as it provides at least some kind of defense against spamming shovelware.

Quote from: Ymeegod

But MS doesn't charge a fee for Windows--they might charge a fee for direct x but alot of these games don't need 3d hardware anyhow. 

Steam is really the best comparison, though. Like Steam, Nintendo hosts the games, provides a bit of publicity, and provides the shop and interface for it. The retailer always gets a cut, and Nintendo and Steam (and Sony and Microsoft and Apple and whoever) are essentially the retailer. If developers don't like the royalties they can sell it themselves on their site and tell people to install it on the Homebrew Channel.

KDR_11kAugust 30, 2009

Quote from: Ymeegod

But MS doesn't charge a fee for Windows

That's why they've made the XBox to rectify that.

Quote from: Ymeegod

What kills WIIWare is the fact the games have to be downloaded a certain about before the developers even see a dime.  It has to sell 6000+ before Big N pays them anything.

It doesn't kill WiiWare, it's a trivial hurdle and developers have confirmed that most games pass it on their first day. It would be a hurdle for XBL indie games but that's because that service is swamped and people have no way to tell gems from crap and the sales numbers average around 1k (several developers have complained that XBL indie games aren't profitable, not because of royalties but because the sales numbers just aren't there).

YmeegodSeptember 01, 2009

Not sure where you read that but in GI they stated they opposite--true there isn't much competion of WIIware titles but there isn't much of a consumer base vrs XBLA of even Sony.  Alot of that has to do with the fact people are going online to download DLC for their games so there's a reason to go online other than MP of course.  Big N really hasn't had any DLC for any of it's games and it's MP is all but broken so alot of WII owners haven't bother to even go online.  EA's Boom Box Party is the only game I could think of that I actually downloaded some extra levels and the last time I checked the store was about a month ago. 

Also Big N still doesn't offter "demos" even though they stated they would prior to lauch.  I know alot of gamers who logs in simpy to check out the new demos.  Getting them online is the battle Big N is losing.

---------

NinGurl69 *hugglesSeptember 01, 2009

ahahahahahhhhahahahhah GI

ahahahhahahhhahahaah

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