Frontier Developments had something short, but special, on their hands when they launched Lost Winds via Nintendo’s WiiWare service last month. It received mostly critical acclaim, numerous downloads, and is currently the number one WiiWare download in Europe. As Frontier boss David Braben sees it, the game provides evidence that the development process it came out of is constructive.
What Braben refers to in the Game Industry article is the internal development process at Frontier, but I’d take it a step further, and say that Lost Winds validates Nintendo’s spin that WiiWare could be something different on the digi-distro scene.
The “different” part is a relatively hands-off approach from Nintendo with higher profit for developers. In Frontier’s case, this meant they could continue to implement their “Game of the Week” spin cycle game development process, wherein the entire company picked and poked at various game ideas until the best of them floated to the surface. We got Lost Winds, and they got a hit on their hands. Oh, and some cash in hand for Lost Winds 2, too.