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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Two Tribes Diatribe?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This isn't actually a diatribe, but man is that title cool.

If you have a Wii U and you're actually trying to have a good time with it, then you probably know what Two Tribes is. They're one of those indie developers who put a lot of work into fan feedback and also into a game called Toki Tori 2. In fact, KoopaTV briefly talked about them before and had a whole article on using Miiverse for feedback. Well, they're gone now. Which is a shame, considering all the effort they went into helping Miiverse out.

So the question is: Why, and what ramifications are there? According to them,
"When Toki Tori 2 ended up taking way longer than expected and not achieving the sales we needed, it basically took the company down with it."
If you look at their About page, they put a lot of emphasis on closing with Toki Tori 2 on Wii U. So... that means that the reason the whole company fell apart is because of Wii U owners not buying the game.

In other words, it's our fault. And Two Tribes was pretty well-known on Miiverse. Now think about what other and less-established indie developers are going to think about developing for the Wii U! The system doesn't even have the install base to support a celebrated indie! Disregard that the Wii U still has more systems sold than the other systems in its generation (for now... as of publishing...I think). But the Wii U needs these indies or else there won't be any Western studios supporting the console. Which isn't a complete loss, but people generally like that.

Also, I want to use this as a clear counterexample to those who bashed Capcom for not making Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies a physically-distributed game. Yes, I did just write an article actually bashing Nintendo concerning this very subject, but Capcom still did the right thing. (Nintendo did at least two WRONG things.) Ace Attorney is a niche franchise. Think for a moment: What if Two Tribes somehow distributed Toki Tori 2 via retail? Do you think that the added revenue via alternate distribution channel would outweigh the cost of the distribution channel? Every company, including big ones (in size, not cash reserves) like Capcom, face those business decisions. Obviously there were other considerations like Two Tribes specifically not wanting a publisher giving demands, but just disregard even that for the thought experiment.

Now, making decisions for the 3DS might be less nauseating than the Wii U, due to the drastic difference in sales success between the two devices. But retailers never liked Ace Attorney, and they also don't like the Wii U now. So those circumstances are kinda similar.

So what can Nintendo do about spooked out developers? Maybe do what Yamauchi said not to do, pull a Microsoft, and bribe more developers. KoopaTV would love to be bribed, by the way. We're not expecting to get Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! licensed or anything, but...

Ludwig has never played a game made by Two Tribes and doesn't plan to, so he's also to blame for their demise. If you're still interested in helping Miiverse be better, then Following him at NNID PrinceOfKoopas is one easy way to do that!

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