The recently announced Wii/DS-specific studio Jet Black isn’t calling anyone “stupid,” but the company agrees that Nintendo was smart to think a bit differently this generation.
When asked in an e-mail whether or not Nintendo was the “smart” one this generation for leaning towards interface innovation as opposed to high-grade tech specs, Jet Black CEO Roger Freddi answered, “I would say so. They’ve certainly widened the demographic that these games appeal to. It’s opened up a whole new market.”
Clearly, Freddi and Vancouver-based Jet Black are putting that faith in Nintendo’s strategy into practice. The company is creating licensed and original IP-based games exclusively for the highly successful Nintendo DS and very promising Wii.
Jet Black Games, announced in mid-April, has three founding members: Freddi, Stephane Jacoby, technical director and Raffaele Freddi, director of administration and business development.
With five people currently in the studio and a total of 13 staff projected “in the short term,” Jet Black is a small developer. But Freddi said that staff size shouldn’t keep smaller developers from focusing on development on any of the new consoles.
“I think the DS and Wii present tremendous opportunities for smaller developers to get a start,” he said. “PS3 and 360 obviously require larger team sizes, but with the current plethora of outsourcing opportunities and the right team, I think it’s still possible to build a small studio focused on these platforms.”
However, in particular, the Nintendo consoles are nicely suited for Jet Black’s ambitions.
“Focusing on Nintendo platforms allows us to work in smaller teams where each person is able to feel a greater sense of contribution,” said Freddi. “The platforms also allow a developer to focus more on the creative aspect of making games rather than the technical aspects.”