Nintendo aims to increase third-party support

Infendo

Nintendo has a message for its third-party partners—there’s still plenty of room in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Speaking Tuesday with the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo of America president Reggie-Fils Aime said he hopes to increase the percentage of Wii games published by third-party companies by 15 percent.

Fils-Aime’s goal would raise the third-party Wii share from 55 to 70 percent, roughly the same as the split for the Nintendo DS.

In addition to improving publisher relations, increasing the third-party presence on Wii would also strengthen the diversity of games available, a cyclical benefit Fils-Aime says helps sell Wii hardware.

“In order to achieve high levels of sales of hardware, we need all genres in the market,” Fils-Aime told the Wall Steet Journal.

Though often accused of showing little concern for the success—or lack thereof—of its publishing partners, Nintendo is making atypically assertive efforts to cultivate the third-party environment on Wii.

Electronic Arts will debut Nintendo’s highly anticipated MotionPlus controller peripheral June 8, packed alongside Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 in both North America and Europe. In addition, EA will release a second MotionPlus-supported release, Grand Slam Tennis, the same day, more than one month ahead of Nintendo’s first such title.

Both games have received extremely positive previews.

Allowing EA to release the first games to support MotionPlus, let alone include the peripheral as a pack-in, seems to represent a shift in philosophy within Nintendo. Some developers expressed frustration when the company announced MotionPlus at last year’s E3, blindsided by a peripheral they were completely unaware of and could’ve been implemented into their own applicable games months prior.

What a difference a year can make.