While hosting nine new titles in the Nintendo booth at the Game Developer’s Conference, Nintendo of America’s Senior Manager of Marketing Damon Baker revealed that 50 new titles are in development with the indie hit engine “Unity.”
Speaking with a representative from Siliconera, Mr. Baker detailed the numbers and time frame for Unity on Wii U,
“Over the course of this show, we have nine games on display,” Baker said. “We have 17 that are currently in the pipeline, that have been submitted. So they will all be out within the next two months.
And then, we have another fifty that are waiting in the wings, that are coming; so we’ve got a lot of Unity content on the way.”
“There are over a million Unity developers, including many in developing countries where the business of dedicated gaming machines is not prosperous. We would like to create opportunities for these developers to have their games available for Wii U.”
Nintendo is considering going deeper with Unity development, and may bring the service to the 3DS as well. Given that the 3DS is the world’s leader in dedicated handheld gaming, it may seem only natural that the unit have access to the largest library of games, and with Unity developers on-board that idea is much closer within reach. Currently, building a game for the 3DS is a proprietary development cycle – you can’t easily take the title to another platform. With a more open system, the 3DS and Wii U development cycle can be done hand-in-hand for many indie teams.
When asked about 3DS’ marriage with Unity, Mr. Baker had a lot to say,
“We’ve had those discussions and we are definitely looking at that. Our priority was to get the Wii U build [of Unity] up and done and ready. Because we need a test environment for it, it’s taken a while for Unity to get finalized on Wii U, so that we can actually test against it. So that has been made available now and that is why we’ve got all of these [game] candidates waiting in the wings that are just going through the submission process at this point.”
Now, we can move on to other platforms and see how we can make those compatible, either with Unity or with additional middle-ware providers as well.”
So, 3DS is definitely an exciting platform for us, because we’ve got a huge install base, and we want to take advantage of that. We’ve got a lot of developers that want to take advantage of it. So, we’re working towards that as well. But nothing to announce at this time.”
Given Nintendo’s stance on originality versus “hardcore” gaming, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see an adaptation for the 3DS to work with Unity. If they choose to leave indies behind on the mobile platform this generation, they may be missing out to something that Sony and Microsoft have taken as a weapon in the PS4 versus Xbox One war – not that this has ever changed Nintendo’s policies in the last eight years.