Wiiware Support For Flash Met With Fear, Derision:Analysis

Reports came out this week that Nintendo would start supporting Flash as a development platform for Wiiware. While there was some positive support, for the most part, this news was met with derision, fear and hand-wringing from the Wii gaming communities.


At Cubed3:

“Nintendo does have strong policies and quality control with WiiWare, so expect many of the rubbish Flash-based proposals to receive a big no-no. ”

..and then some responses from their users :


Nintendo shouldn’t allow Flash games in WiiWare, it’s a waste of time and money. I hope consumers realize that.”

There are very few flash games that I have actually thought should be in stores

In Support:

“That’s great news.”

At WiisWorld:

“No doubt this makes WiiWare a viable option to a whole host of new developers, but the worry is that a slew of shovelware could follow?”

..and then some responses from their users :


Man, there are going to be so many crappy games on there now

In Support:

This is amazing news. There are games on Newgrounds that are at least 10x better than all of the wiiware games combined together (no joke).

At NintendoLife:

“for every decent Flash game there are about 10 less desirable ones, so hopefully this won’t signal a drop in quality on WiiWare”

..and then some responses from their users :


“This sounds more worrying than exciting.”

“I think Flash belongs to the Internet Browser and nowhere else”

“I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not.”

Sound crap-tastic.

Bring on the countless tower defence clones..

In Support:

More games is good news

At WiiNintendo:

“I wonder how much the quality of WiiWare games will change once Flash becomes widespread with WiiWare developers”


So why the consternation (for the most part) from Wii Blogs and their fans?

Some of it might have to do with Nintendo itself. Nintendo is still seen as the premiere game design company in the world. You might not look to Nintendo for the latest and greatest FPS technology, but you certainly would expect great new game designs and innovations from them. Hardcore Nintendo fans know this, and they simply do not want to see the Wii platform watered down with loads of me-too games that appeal to the casual audience and push innovative new games off the shelf. This is understandable. The sheer amount of mini-game collections for the Wii proper (some of them decent, but that’s not the point), have overshadowed some very good games on the platform.

Some of it is misconception too. Many comments on the blogs were about the “Wii Opera browser”, and improving the “Wii Internet Channel”. If Flash for Wiiware is a reality, it has nothing to do with either of these. It is about Flash running native on the Wii OS, just like you can do on a PC or Mac as an executable or with Adobe Air. In fact, to Wiiware purchasers, there should be very little indication that game was built in Flash for the system.

At any rate, here are four reasons why I do not think Wii fans and pundits need to worry about the possible availability of Flash as a platform for Wiiware games..

1. Nintendo has a very strong vetting process. It is not easy to became a Wiiware developer, and it is not easy to get your game into the Wiiware store. This will not change if Flash is supported. It just means that there is another development platform for the few serious developers qualify to make games for the system.

2. There are 1000’s of professional artists and developers who work in the Flash game field right now. This may open-up the platform to their talent, which could only mean BETTER games for Wiiware, because there is a larger talent pool of developers to choose from.

3. Flash is not the issue, the issue is quality control. The iPhone does not allow Flash applications, and it is FLOODED with cheap and crappy shovelware. It’s a logical fallacy to think that just because Flash technology is available to wide audience, that it means you will see more crappy Wiiware games. Games are crappy because developers don’t take the time to make them good games, or are looking for a quick source of income. They are not “crappy” only because of the platform they are developed upon.

4. Most innovation comes from the viral Flash game market these days. Flash Games are breeding ground for new ideas. In some ways, this fits with Nintendo’s long history of great game design. In this way, the Wiiware platform can only be enhanced with new ideas and game play from Flash developers.

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