Dan Adelman is the former head of digital content at Nintendo of America. Many people might remember how outspoken Adelman was about some of Nintendo's digital practices. This issue came to a head when Adelman spoke on Twitter about how him and Thomas Happ could have had Axiom Verge on Switch at launch, but Nintendo's process held it back. In an interview with Resetera, Adelman further discusses the subject.
Nintendo had two inconsistent policies that I think in retrospect made life very confusing and frustrating for a lot of people. The first policy was that they were only approving developers who were interested in bringing games that had never released on another system before. The second was that once a developer was approved, that developer could bring whatever game they wanted to the system – including their entire back catalog from other systems.
As a result, there was a mismatch between the rationale we were give for not being approved – because Axiom Verge had already released on other platforms – and what we were seeing on the eShop, which was lots of ports from other systems. It was especially frustrating since we had been asking for access to dev kits more than a year before the system’s launch, and I told them that I knew from experience that they’d have a period after launch where they’d be starved for content. Sure enough, there was a long stretch in those first few months after launch where there were lots of new Switch owners but no new games, which would have been a perfect opportunity for Axiom Verge.
I’m a pretty vocal and passionate guy, so I let my frustrations known in ways that may have been less than productive. (I guess I can be a bit of a Walter Sobchak.) I’ve since sat down with some of my former colleagues and buried the hatchet, so I think we’re all good now.