Nintendo to provide free middleware to Wii U developers

Autodesk Gameware Logo

One very interesting bit of news that has been floating around is that Nintendo have struck deals with Havok and Autodesk that will allow them to provide free copies of these companies’ so-called “middleware” – special software that stands between game developers and the hardware, which automates many complex development tasks.

The package includes Havok’s well-known physics engine, Scaleform (a program widely used by developers to create visual user interfaces), and several other professional tools. Normally, developers need to pay fees to license these technologies for use in their games; but if they’re developing for the Wii U, they get access to them free of charge.

While this won’t affect you directly as a gamer, I thought it was worth pointing this story out because it shows just how far Nintendo are going to gather third-party support for the Wii U. I mean, it doesn’t get much better for developers than free software development tools, right?

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

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  1. Jono

    I wonder if the Wii U will get more exclusives because of this.

    • crackkat

      should do :)

  2. N_S

    Maybe we’ll see more indie titles as a result of this. Can’t complain. They’ll pulling in third party developers and if we really want to be optimistic we can say that they’re creating them, too.

  3. Tails the Foxhound

    This should make developing games for the Wii U easier and cheaper than developing for the 360 and PS3 (if you use Havok or Autodesk in your games).

  4. Flare

    This is excellent, I hope other consoles follow, it is one step closer to giving more freedom to the users to do what ever they want to their hardware, much like the PC in comparison to consoles in anything.

  5. DigitalGreenTea

    Free software developement tools? Nice!

  6. Link_Prime

    For free? You’re sure about it?

    • The Lonely Koopa

      Kinda you will need a wii Dev kit to develop for it which cost money but once you get that you get these Middleware free which is better than having to buy a dev kit than than the middleware which is what you would have to do normally.

  7. Nollog

    :( Joshua from the forum stole my news article and submitted it. My face is so wet from tears I can barely type this.

    Good for smaller companies, this should have a direct effect on the quality of Wii U games they can give me.

  8. This makes me very happy. I happen to be an indie game developer, and since Nintendo’s making it easier for indies to place indie games on their platforms (as well as making their SDKs considerably more affordable), that means that many indie game developers licensed to developer for Nintendo will benefit from this free middleware. Man, Nintendo just keeps making me happier, both as a gamer and a game maker! (I’m currently starting just developing for PC at the moment, but after I can acquire a license, you can bet I’m going to shoot for the 3DS and Wii U!)

  9. Wolvesgod

    That’s one heck of a move, a hell lot better then buying game studios, hell that’s even one way to keep their prices freaken low, for the system’s games too.