Retro City Rampage On WiiWare Is Fan Service, Plain And Simple

One that is personally costing the creator $20,000.

by on 4th Mar, 2013

As noted last week, the WiiWare release of Retro City Rampage is the story of an impossible dream actually happening, as well as a tale of something coming full circle at long last.

What began initially as an attempt to create an open world game on the Nintendo eventually grew in size and scope, to become something much more than just a simple tech demo. Over time, it became a slightly different kind of animal and went eventually find itself on a variety of platforms, everywhere except for where it originally designed for.

As time passed, the likelihood of it appearing on WiiWare seemed impossible and illogical. Mostly due to the fact that it was never the best platform of indie game developers at its height, and these days, it's more or less a graveyard. Still, the game's creator, Brian Provinciano, was determined to see a WiiWare version of Retro City Rampage come to light.

Why? Because he wanted to keep his word. When speaking with NintendoLife, Provinciano explained: 

"… It’s only being released as fan service. A $20,000 gift to the fans.

I could’ve saved around $20,000 – not even including my salary in porting it… However, I wanted to keep my word and didn’t want to see it go to waste."

Provinciano goes on to explain the rules that Nintendo had in place if developers wished to see their games on their WiiWare platform. There were two that caused him the biggest headaches:

"The first was the office space requirement. As a mostly one-man company, I could have worked from home but instead needed to get an office, just for myself and the development hardware. This ended up draining a significant chunk of the bank account which I’d saved to for so many years to fund the game’s development full time.

Secondly, it became public knowledge on Gamasutra in 2009 (one year before RCR’s announcement) that a sales threshold is in place, whereas, if you don’t sell enough copies, you don’t get paid a cent. This had the best intentions, to avoid shovelware, but the problem was that WiiWare wasn’t the hit that it was anticipated to be and while there are millions of consoles out there, a very small percentage of those consumers were downloading these games."

As Provinciano goes on to explain, the two aforementioned rules is why so many WiiWare titles that had been announced would eventually be cancelled, and also why many indie developers never bothered to get involved in the first place.

He also states that Nintendo has listened to feedback and said policies are no longer in effect for the eShop. Furthermore, things are are good between himself and Nintendo.

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