SNK Playmore USA President Ben Herman believes that third-party Wii publishers are gonna have to wait longer than expected for an invite to Nintendo's online network. "Nintendo is still not letting Wii third-party publishers include online capabilities in their games and it doesn't look like they will during 2007," Herman told Spong.
Six of the seven (Blazing Angels is out, Metroid Prime 3 still up in the air) announced Wii titles that are expected to support online multiplayer are first-party projects, suggesting that Herman's speculation might not be far from the truth; 2K's The BIGS is the only third-party title said to feature online multiplayer that should hit retail before the year is up. If BIGS is online, how did 2K manage to gain access to Nintendo's network -- and why are other publishers apparently being denied?
But if BIGS is benched? Well, then it's possible Wii owners won't play a third-party online multiplayer match until 2008. That might be easier to swallow if most of us weren't still waiting for our first 'first-party' online experience.
[Note: while third-party publishers and developers have yet to feature online multiplayer modes in their Wii titles, Nintendo has permitted some basic usages of the WiiConnect24 service (e.g., Elebits' level trading).]
[Via Wii Fanboy]