News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Author Topic: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?  (Read 5025 times)

McKnight

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Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« on: November 12, 2016, 08:02:09 am »
So, this first came to my attention in another thread I started, but I have noticed that Nintendo, in fact, isn't hosting that many third-party games on the Wii U or 3DS Virtual Console, even though there are still plenty on the oroginal Wii VC.  Most of its third party games are from Capcom or Konami, except for the Game Gear (all by Sega).

I know there's nothing anyone can do about it, but it still strikes me odd.  Might anyone here have any explanations for this?  (I do know, though, that licensing is something of a hassle, even though I don't know what it actually entails.)

Chronosplit

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 08:23:18 am »
Nintendo denied games like Plok, which is now on Steam.

Lilinda

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 11:46:55 am »
Some possible reasons.

1. Possibly Nintendo's terms for this were not to most companies tastes.

2. Perhaps ultimately they didn't make a lot of money off of the Wii VC unless they were Capcom and Square and Konami.

3. Perhaps the lesser numbers of installed users in the beginning was a factor. 3DS had trouble in the beginning that is kind of glossed over today. In addition, the SNES VC only works on the latest 3DS models. An assload of potential VC games cannot be put onto the older 3DS', which are far more numerous in number.
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Bobolicious81

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 11:56:06 am »
Are there even any Square games on the 3DS VC in the US? There's a distinct lack of good RPGs in there...Why no Final Fantasy Legend 2?

Jorpho

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 01:53:50 pm »
Nintendo denied games like Plok, which is now on Steam.
This came up before not too long ago.
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=21836.15
http://www.zee-3.com/plok/index.php?comic=850

It is not on Steam and probably will not ever be.

Are there even any Square games on the 3DS VC in the US? There's a distinct lack of good RPGs in there...Why no Final Fantasy Legend 2?
The rerelease of the Square GB games towards the end of the GB's life was done by Sunsoft somehow.  Maybe there's some strange rights issue?

In any case, if Square thought people wanted to play FFL2, they'd probably localize the DS port.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 07:35:32 pm »
It is not on Steam and probably will not ever be.
Whoops, my bad.

Are there even any Square games on the 3DS VC in the US? There's a distinct lack of good RPGs in there...Why no Final Fantasy Legend 2?
Square-Enix has been weird on these things for a good while now.  My only guess is that by some harebrained logic they figure outside Japan people would always want the PC/mobile ports over what they have on the VC (or PSP for that matter), which means to them less money spent on stuff no one would buy.

KingMike

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 10:05:22 pm »
The rerelease of the Square GB games towards the end of the GB's life was done by Sunsoft somehow.  Maybe there's some strange rights issue?

In any case, if Square thought people wanted to play FFL2, they'd probably localize the DS port.
It looks like Sunsoft licensed a lot of games for reprints late in the GB life. The Square games were probably just the most prolific, due to being released just after FF7 which significantly increased the FF fanbase.
(perhaps other companies as well? I recall there was a Natsume print of Bubble Bobble 2 for Game Boy, in addition to the original Taito print.)

Still, it is strange the Square bothered to rerelease many games on Wii U and 3DS VC in Japan, but none in the west.
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VicVergil

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2016, 07:14:08 am »
The rerelease of the Square GB games towards the end of the GB's life was done by Sunsoft somehow.  Maybe there's some strange rights issue?

Square went Sony-exclusive, tried to get other publishers to drop Nintendo's N64 and handhelds, and then supported the WonderSwan for the openly-stated goal of tanking Nintendo's handhelds.

Yamauchi wouldn't let them ever release any games on the Gameboy Advance until they begged, the former Squaresoft CEO who crossed the figurative Rubicon gone, and then when they released a Final Fantasy console game for the GameCube, which they couldn't do due to contractual obligations with Sony until they set up a shell company to do so, rather than as "Squaresoft".

It speaks volumes that Nintendo would allow Sega games on the Super Famicom, a porn game on their N64-based Arcade system, tons of games from Elf (originally blacklisted), and being very forgiving of Bandai after the WonderSwan (even almost going through with a merger), but no Squaresoft allowed (aside from Sunsoft-licensed re-releases of very old monochrome Game Boy games).

Still, it is strange the Square bothered to rerelease many games on Wii U and 3DS VC in Japan, but none in the west.

The European localizations for all Squaresoft games on Nintendo systems were owned by Nintendo (Square never had an European localization branch until 1998). That's why the iOS releases for many of those were completely retranslated. As for Illusion of Gaia (unless they bothered to dig up the Enix-published prototype) and Terranigma, Nintendo own the English script as well.

It might be a general unwillingness to publish anything on Nintendo consoles outside of Japan unless someone else foots the bill, considering even the 3DS Final Fantasy 1 remake was never translated, let alone the Dragon Quest games. They were already cancelling tons of almost-finished RPG localizations on the DS.

Lilinda

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2016, 02:55:05 pm »
Square went Sony-exclusive, tried to get other publishers to drop Nintendo's N64 and handhelds, and then supported the WonderSwan for the openly-stated goal of tanking Nintendo's handhelds.

Yamauchi wouldn't let them ever release any games on the Gameboy Advance until they begged, the former Squaresoft CEO who crossed the figurative Rubicon gone, and then when they released a Final Fantasy console game for the GameCube, which they couldn't do due to contractual obligations with Sony until they set up a shell company to do so, rather than as "Squaresoft".

It speaks volumes that Nintendo would allow Sega games on the Super Famicom, a porn game on their N64-based Arcade system, tons of games from Elf (originally blacklisted), and being very forgiving of Bandai after the WonderSwan (even almost going through with a merger), but no Squaresoft allowed (aside from Sunsoft-licensed re-releases of very old monochrome Game Boy games).


So, uh.... got any evidence for that?
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Jorpho

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2016, 07:31:08 pm »
It sounded a bit funny to me too, but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_Crystal_Chronicles does indeed suggest that FF:CC was "published by Nintendo and developed by The Game Designers Studio: a shell corporation for Square Enix's Product Development Division-2".  Of course, it's still kind of weird that it has "SQUARE-ENIX" right there on the box.
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VicVergil

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2016, 06:20:17 am »

So, uh.... got any evidence for that?

Which part in particular?

Jorpho

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 09:11:10 pm »
The "they begged" part sounds pretty speculative.

Who "begs" in the business world, anyway?  I would believe "presented a sufficiently compelling financial argument", but not so much "begged".
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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2016, 01:48:25 am »
Nintendo sucks, QED.

VicVergil

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Re: Why are so few third parties supporting the Virtual Console?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2016, 04:39:26 am »
The "they begged" part sounds pretty speculative.

Who "begs" in the business world, anyway?  I would believe "presented a sufficiently compelling financial argument", but not so much "begged".

Weren't they initially denied the GBA SDKs and told by Nintendo they don't want anything to do with them, no ifs ands or buts, as confirmed by Square around 2000 or so? It's not because of the Wonderswan either considering Bandai and Sega were welcomed.
Even the negotiations leading up to Crystal Chronicles didn't start until a year later, and by that time the former Squaresoft CEO stepped down and many of their executives said the bridge burning decisions from 1996 they made were a mistake. Not exactly "begging", but it's quite unusual.

Yamauchi was a bit crazy, and certainly vindictive. Even willing to burn bridges with JRPG devs and throw Mother devs under the bus, just to spite Squaresoft with abrasive comments. His initial rejection of Final Fantasy games coming to the GBA, even as it's suffering from a JRPG drought at launch (in the end, it had just one proper Dragon Quest RPG, compared to the GBC which got much more) isn't necessarily guided by his company's best financial interests.