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Picross developer says collaborating with Nintendo "more difficult than ever"

Jupiter managing director Norichika Meguro is eager to see more Nintendo-themed Picross titles, but says "it's not easy to convince them to say yes."

Chris Kerr

July 31, 2023

2 Min Read
A screenshot from the Switch version of Picross S9

Picross developer Jupiter says collaborating with Nintendo is becoming "more difficult than ever."

During an interview with VGC, Jupiter managing director Norichika Meguro was asked if the studio would be interested in releasing more Nintendo-themed Picross titles, adding to a roster that includes Mario's Picross, Pokémon Picross, and My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

In response, Meguro said the company has pitched Nintendo "many times" but explained "it's not easy to get a yes" from the Switch maker.

"The last title we co-developed with Nintendo was Picross DS, which was the last full retail title. We actually pitched Picross 2 to Nintendo, but they asked: ‘Are you sure you’re going to reach 1 million sales?’ We weren’t able to answer this, so that was the first time we did a licensing deal instead of a direct collaboration, and that’s how the 3DS version of Picross was made," added Meguro, when asked what Nintendo looks for during negotiations.

Although Jupiter continues to release Picross titles on Nintendo platforms, Meguro said projects that actually use Nintendo licenses are "very difficult" to turn around.

"We’re not pitching to Nintendo as much as we used to, knowing that it’s not easy to convince them to say yes. Our expectation is that as long as the Picross game is based on one of their IPs, they’re going to be the publisher, not Jupiter," they continued.

Meguro said Jupiter remains keen to make those collaborations happen, but that it doesn't have the final say when negotiating with the company. For instance, the studio is preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Picross in 2025 and has been pitching Nintendo some ideas, but has so far struggled to make any headway.

"Going through [Nintendo's] approval process has become more difficult than ever, so the easier way to work with Nintendo is to publish something with our own IP, not the other way round where a developer pitches Nintendo and waits for Nintendo to provide the IP to make the collaboration happen," Meguro continued.

Although direct licensing collaborations are becoming difficult to realise, Jupter still understands the value of the Nintendo platform, with Meguro noting that Picross continues to attract new players on the Switch.

To hear more from Meguro, be sure to read the full interview over on VGC.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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