Speaking as someone who is interested in game development, I’m happy to announce that according to this article on IGN, Nintendo has changed some of their developer policies that will likely result in many great new games coming to the eShop.
Prior to the changes, independent game developers were required to have a designated office in order to keep their materials secure. That is no longer the case, and comes as great news because many independent developers work remotely, and constantly send files back and forth through the net.
But most importantly, the unit threshold has been eliminated. This was perhaps the worst element of Nintendo’s old policies, and required developers to sell a certain amount of copies of their game before they ever saw any revenue from it. Now that the unit threshold has been removed, developers will receive revenue from the first game they sell, which is incredible! That’s a much better business practice, and how it should have been to begin with.
In addition, Nintendo has promised that there will be improved communication between itself and developers, and that developers can control the pricing of their games. Nintendo has also stated that if a developer needs to bring updates to their games, they can.
So as it stands now, interested parties must form a company and then become licensed Nintendo developers in order to bring their visions to Nintendo platforms.
I am very optimistic about these changes. They come at a great time, too, as the gaming industry is adjusting to all of the studio closures and layoffs that have hit in the last year. I predict that we will continue to see the formation of many new, smaller game development teams, such as Yacht Club Games (creator of Shovel Knight) and with this change in policy, I am sure that those developers will be happy to work with Nintendo.