Nintendo's Inconsistent Indie Polices Discussed With Former eShop Head

axiom verge

Let's be real here for a second: Nintendo is on fire. Since the release of their hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, sales for the Big N have been better than what they've seen in a long time. With more third party support than ever before, and a growing library of both AAA and indie titles, it's no wonder that the company saw the comeback of the century following the flop known as the Wii U. That being said, it's not all sunshine and roses, at least according to the former head of digital content.

Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman recently took to a Q and A session held over on Resetera to answer a few fan questions, and the backwards indie policy currently in place definitely came up. His forte revolved around indie titles and his position afforded him an up close and personal vantage point of how everything goes down. To him, it was very disappointing.

The below commentary was spurred when he was asked about his social media disclosure about bringing Axiom Verge over to the Switch:

"Nintendo had two inconsistent policies that I think in retrospect made life very confusing and frustrating for a lot of people," Adelman wrote as an answer to the question. "The first policy was that they were only approving developers who were interested in bringing games that had never released on another system before. The second was that once a developer was approved, that developer could bring whatever game they wanted to the system – including their entire back catalog from other systems.

"As a result, there was a mismatch between the rationale we were give for not being approved – because Axiom Verge had already released on other platforms – and what we were seeing on the eShop, which was lots of ports from other systems. It was especially frustrating since we had been asking for access to dev kits more than a year before the system’s launch, and I told them that I knew from experience that they’d have a period after launch where they’d be starved for content. Sure enough, there was a long stretch in those first few months after launch where there were lots of new Switch owners but no new games, which would have been a perfect opportunity for Axiom Verge.


"I’m a pretty vocal and passionate guy, so I let my frustrations known in ways that may have been less than productive. (I guess I can be a bit of a Walter Sobchak.) I’ve since sat down with some of my former colleagues and buried the hatchet, so I think we’re all good now."

The first year of launch, the Big N did make some strange calls as far as titles being brought in. This does place those decisions in a different light.