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Nintendo won't fund your indie game, but promote it? Sure!

"Really, our point of differentiation is on the relationships that we build with those guys. We invest a lot of time and energy and internal resources supporting these guys."
"Really, our point of differentiation is on the relationships that we build with those guys. We invest a lot of time and energy and internal resources supporting these guys."
- Nintendo of America senior manager of marketing in the licensing department, Damon Baker This week, Gamasutra published a huge interview with Damon Baker and David Wharton, who work with independent developers on getting their games onto Nintendo's systems, and its digital storefront, the eShop. If you haven't had time to read it in full, that's understandable, so here we're breaking out one of the most important bits: What Nintendo is looking for in its relationships with independent developers. One thing the company doesn't do is fund indie games: "No. We don't have a Pub Fund type of thing," says Baker, referring to Sony's funding scheme. What Nintendo's looking for, though, is to build relationships with developers who have "done their research, they're integrated into the community, they've talked to other developers that have brought content to Nintendo platforms, and they already have some idea of best practice." "If you've got a developer that is reaching out to us, that is communicating with us, that is giving us advance notice on when their release is coming out and where it is in the pipeline, what they're doing to help promote it, then we are much more prone to helping promote their content when it becomes available." According to Wharton, the eShop offers multiple opportunities to promote games, and his team pays close attention to what's doing well -- "and sometimes there's a sudden spike in interest around a title and we'll just bring it to the forefront to see if we can amplify it." "I think the message is, we don't want to send out an assumption that if you bring out content on the eShop that you're automatically entitled to success. Any developer has to put in the effort on their side; they have go out there and promote their own game, market it. They have to create their own success. But we're there to help amplify that," says Baker. The company also promotes indie developers at trade shows like IndieCade and on its YouTube channel -- the image above is Baker interviewing one of the developers of Sporstball at IndieCade. The full interview, which has much more information on how Nintendo works with indie developers, is live now on Gamasutra.

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