Nintendo wants to work with indie devs, as long as they’re not Japanese
Nintendo has been making an effort to be more open toward indies, including dropping their requirement that software developers work from a physical office. This push for the support of smaller developers also includes working with indies to supply them with development kits for Nintendo hardware.
Kotaku published a story about a questionnaire for Wii U development kits that is making the rounds in the Japanese development community. “We are not accepting applications from developers located in Japan at this time,” the statement reads.
This attracted the ire of many in the development community. Kotaku quoted the Japanese developer Studio Rice Cake as equating the policy to a sign that says “No Japs.”
Nintendo did not reply to Kotaku's request for comment, but ultimately did reply to Eurogamer with a statement that confirmed the policy without providing the reasoning behind the decision.
“The policy in question is the decision of Nintendo's department responsible for licensing activities in each region,” a spokesperson told Eurogamer. “The licensing department of Nintendo Co., Ltd is currently not accepting subject applications from individuals in Japan.”
There is much speculation about why the policy might be in place: Some are saying that Nintendo might be trying to protect their third party partners within Japan, while others have suggested it's a temporary measure while they tailor their legal stance toward the specific challenges of working with Japanese indies.