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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Miiverse and Developers

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Overstating importance?

One of KoopaTV's very first articles was about "The Importance of Miiverse". That importance was mostly for Nintendo and for consumers. However, some indie developers are also claiming that Miiverse is good for them, as well. Only if their output is actually quality, of course.

WayForward is putting previously exclusive-to-3DS Mighty Switch Force 2 to the Wii U this October because of Miiverse feedback begging for it after they ported Mighty Switch Force to the Wii U. I was actually looking at this community (Fun fact: the Mighty Switch Force community is the only one actually called a "Headquarters" instead of a "community") as that begging happened in real-time, and, as usual, it's a vocal minority. In fact, the whole community only has less than 15,000 participants. And it's basically the representative community for WayForward to begin with. Obviously, not all 15,000 were begging. More like... 100. Or less. Hopefully the costs of porting it to Wii U are enough to satisfy this vocal minority.

Meanwhile, Two Tribes, best known on the Wii U for Toki Tori 2, is quite active with their Miiverse community. They're so excited they held a drawing contest and have their own developer room community. In fact, they renamed the game Toki Tori 2+. Note the ADDITION SIGN.

"I think it's the best gift I've received in years. It allows us to directly talk to our players through a home console, which has not ever been possible before."

Unfortunately, Miiverse and Nintendo's online in general doesn't have as large a penetration as it should. Nintendo Land has sold over 2.6 million copies, yet less than 1/3 of that amount has participated in its Miiverse community. Note that Nintendo Land literally attacks you with opportunities to participate in Miiverse from in-game. It's impossible to miss these opportunities, yet they aren't taken advantage of anyway. Maybe that's why Two Tribes is asking their Twitter fanbase for strangely worded feedback instead.

The Rayman Legends Challenge App had a huge promotion to it: Available on the eShop for FREE. New content every day! Ubisoft's apology for the delay! Yet only about 250,000 people ever downloaded it, less than 1/14th of the Wii U's base. If Nintendo can't create an ecosystem where people take advantage of free, compelling content, how the hell can any developer do anything with the console?

Only a very small portion of the Wii U userbase is using Miiverse, and a small portion take advantage of free online content. While Miiverse is great in that it's a forum that one must PAY to access, the small install base problem is compounded with an inactive user base problem. So while I love Miiverse, until further notice, I can't take any developer that uses just Miiverse feedback to guide business decisions seriously.

Ludwig's Miiverse NNID is PrinceOfKoopas. Follow him as he tries to influence developers!

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