Changes to the terms and conditions for publishing a game via Nintendo's eShop service have opened up the digital store to a greater range of indie developers.
Nintendo is typically cagey over its policies for indie developers who hope to publish a game via the eShop stores, but in a recent interview with Gamasutra, Nintendo's business development manager Dan Adelman discussed the more relaxed nature of Nintendo's current developer requirements.
"You know, it's crazy that there are so many developers who don't realize this, but yes, it is not only possible for an indie to get a game onto the eShop service, we've tried to make it as frictionless as possible," said Adelman.
"Developers have always been able to make their content available on our systems since the WiiWare days, without the need for an intermediary publisher between the developer and Nintendo. Nor do they need to mount a big PR campaign just to be allowed onto the service. Our philosophy is that if you believe enough in your game to build it, we want to do what we can to support you."
Adelman goes on to detail the most important terms more specifically. "They do need to become licensed Nintendo developers, since they will need access to our development tools. It's actually pretty easy to become a licensed developer. We really have only a few requirements to sign up as a licensed developer with Nintendo. 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."
Adelman notes that, previously, the latter requirement for 'security' meant a developer had to have an office. But the increasing prominence of developers working at home has prompted a change of policy at Nintendo.
"more and more people are working from home, and we recognize that developers are forming virtual teams around the world. I know we've shied away from talking about these things publicly in the past, so I'm glad that I can officially confirm that the office requirement is a thing of the past," he said.
Trine developer Frozenbyte has openly praised Nintendo's eShop for being 'more indie friendly' than other consoles, with a model more on par with Apple's App Store and Valve's Steam.