Fils-Aime criticizes third-party Wii efforts

Some people just don’t get the Wii. According to Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo’s third-party partners aren’t getting it either.

In an interview with Forbes published yesterday, the intimidating Nintendo of America president had harsh words for third-party companies struggling to find a viable consumer market on Wii.

According to Fils-Aime, their games just need to be better.

Fils-Aime says … third-party publishers still don’t understand the Wii audience. Tweaking the gameplay mechanics is only part of the equation. This audience, he believes, is just as interested in games that do well on other systems — but, to date, publishers have been reticent to bring those to Wii.

“I will be able to say our licensees ‘get it’ when their very best content is on our platform,” he says.

“And with very few exceptions today, that’s not the case.”

Other top Nintendo executives have made similar statements since the Wii launched two years ago, citing lackluster software and poor development efforts as the causes of third-party Wii struggles.

In an infamous Apr. 2007 interview with Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal, Nintendo development guru Shigeru Miyamoto called for third-party developers to assign their “number-one teams” to Wii software.

“If there’s only one piece of advice that I could give to the managers of third-party companies, it would be that a lot of times it seems that when they’re putting games out on Nintendo hardware, those games are being developed by their third-string team or their fourth-string team.

“When Nintendo puts out a title that is designed to support and sell its hardware, that title is always developed by one of our number-one teams. And so I think that when it comes to the question of trying to compete with our software, I would really like to see the parties try to do that with their number-one teams rather than with third- or fourth-string teams.”

For the full interview, in which Reggie also discusses Nintendo’s plans for community on Wii and supply for the holidays, check Forbes.

According to VGChartz, 29 Wii games to date have sold one million or more copies worldwide. Fourteen were published by third-parties.

SEGA’s Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games leads all third-party Wii software with 5.78 million copies sold worldwide. RedOctane’s Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock, Global Star’s Carnival Games, SEGA’s Sonic and the Secret Rings and Capcom’s Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition round out the top-five best-selling third-party Wii games to date.