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Nintendo's new, relaxed restrictions for eShop indies


One rule that kept some indie developers off of WiiWare and DSiWare was that Nintendo required its developers to have a physical office space. That rule is "a thing of the past," eShop business development manager Dan Adelman told Gamasutra. It was originally in place to make sure dev kits and confidential information was kept secure.

"More and more people are working from home, and we recognize that developers are forming virtual teams around the world," Adelman said, so it became necessary to reevaluate the rule to make the Wii U and 3DS eShops more attractive to indie developers. "We really have only a few requirements to sign up as a licensed developer with Nintendo," he summarized. "The most notable ones are that you have to have some experience making games, you have to be able to keep any confidential materials like dev kits secure and you have to form a company. None of these should be prohibitive to any indie developer." Furthermore, becoming a licensed developer lets you release your games on the eShop anywhere in the Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe regions.

In other welcome news, the sales threshold – which kept developers from earning any money on their games until they'd sold 6,000 units – is also gone. Originally conceived as a measure to force developers to "self-police their own game quality" in the absence of publishers, it led to unintended consequences. "The threshold was thought to be a convenient way to go about it," Adelman explained. "Unfortunately, some great games that just didn't find an audience wound up being penalized. So for all systems after WiiWare -- DSiWare, Nintendo 3DS eShop, and Wii U eShop, we decided to get rid of the thresholds altogether. Developers receive revenue from unit 1."

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