While Nintendo does work with 3rd party developers and have produced successful games this way, the bulk of their titles for Nintendo platforms are all from in-house developers and this is something that the company is criticized for a lot.
In a recent interview with Gamasutra; Nintendo’s Kensuke Tanabe and Risa Tabata talked about the company’s developer choices and why it prefers to employ in-house developers.
According to them, Nintendo has a unique way of going about pitching and creating projects. Tanabe said that the company does not create a large number of documents at the early stage of development unlike other developers who have stacks of documents lined up, filled with stuff they want to add in the game, before they even start creating.
Nintendo however doesn’t do it like that, while they do create some necessary documentation to get the project running and just to highlight the main core, something that will make the game unique, the rest of the stuff is added along the way to make the project more fun and there are no fixed plans or goals as to what should be added and what shouldn’t be.
This is why the company prefers in-house or long term partnerships, choosing developers they have worked with on many projects since they understand the way thing are done at Nintendo.
The full interview, conducted to discuss a new platformer for 3DS, Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash which is being created by external developers, can be read here.