WiiWare was a great concept, and some of the earliest games on the service proved the Wii could be home to imaginative indie titles. Then support dried up, and it’s hard to blame anyone but Nintendo. Multiple independent studios spoke out on Nintendo’s restrictive policies and strange directives, which pushed many would-be WiiWare hits onto Steam, XBLA, and PSN. Nintendo is trying to reverse that situation on the Wii U, but it needs to try a little harder.
Sony has made a lot of headlines about aggressively courting indies for PS4, and Nintendo needs to do the same, if only to bulk up its slim library. Nintendo needs to incentivise smaller devs--monetarily or otherwise--to start working on Wii U, or else the the eShop selection will stay pretty paltry until then. Nintendo is doing an alright job of stocking the service with originals like Nintendo Remix and Dr. Luigi, but releases like those should be backed up by titles like Thomas Was Alone, Don’t Starve, and other indie darlings. Courting devs working out of their garage might not come naturally to Nintendo, but if Sony could open the gates to smaller titles, then the house of Mario can do it too.