It has been revealed by a London based developer that Nintendo doesn't like having sales numbers of games made for the Wii released to the public.
Icon games is the company behind such PC and mobile titles as Vertigo, Bashi blocks and pool hard pro and it recently published a year in review that showed off how many copies of its games had been sold. However, just a few days later Nintendo made it pull the sales figures of all Wiiware titles.
To his credit, "Rich" discussed this in a second blog post, condemning what Nintendo did and provided several examples where publishing sales figures can be incredibly important for smaller developers.
"Imagine going into a Bank, VC, Business Angel or some other source of finance and saying - we're planning this game(s) for Nintendo's download service and we need to raise finance to help with the costs. The first thing they would ask would be to see detailed sales projections and market research. What do you do?"
Another obvious one he points out is employee job security. If you're looking to work for a gaming firm, you probably want to be hired by one with a history of successful games, or at the very least a company that has a profitable back catalogue.
"Any decent studio owner wants to offer their employees a stable working environment; a job with prospects and opportunities for the future. Of course no-one can guarantee this, but without any form of realistic forecasting and planning the chances of offering job security are next to none."
Rich took this opportunity to slam other Nintendo policies, including the fact that once published, you can never change the price of your WiiWare title, or run "any sort of promotion, offer demos of indeed use any of the other tools that publishers traditionally use to maximise sales." Oof.
The post finishes its condennation of the Japanese gaming firm by stating, succintly: "Nintendo's policy actively makes life as difficult as possible for the smaller studios, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk."
What's great about this whole thing however is that while the Nintendo figures have been removed, you can still figure out how many were sold compared to other platforms by looking at the other sales numbers.
PSP minis/PSN: 146,691
Total sales across all platforms: 255,763
Considering earlier in the post the developer claims that PC numbers weren't included, we can deduce that Nintendo sales were 40,810. This makes it the poorest seller out of the three platforms taken into consideration.
I can't help but wonder that with all the points raised by Icon, if Nintendo weren't so closed off and subversive in its dealings with developers, perhaps there would be higher sales on the platform. I doubt that that's everything, but it surely must contribute. No?