Nintendo Decides to License Amiibo Figurines to Third-Party Studios

For fans of certain arcade and video game titles, it’s not enough to simply purchase a tabletop arcade machine version – they may want to own additional merchandise as well. Or, in the case of a Nintendo Amiibo figure, another way to enhance game play and transfer information between devices. But while Amiibo figures and the technology behind it is licensed by Nintendo, they have recently allowed a third-party game developing studio to design and create their own Amiibo figure, a move that could prompt many other indie game makers to do the same.

What is a Nintendo Amiibo?

An Amiibo is a device that uses near field communication technology to save data on a device shaped like a character from a game. The characters are compatible between Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems. The product line has so far produced a significant amount of sales for the company, selling a total of 14.7 million between the launch date of November 21, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight Amiibo

In 2014, independent developing company Yacht Club Games released Shovel Knight to rave reviews by gamers and critics alike. It sold thousands of copies on both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems. Most likely due to this widespread success, Nintendo and Yacht Club Games announced the development and release of a Shovel Knight Amiibo figure, though a price and release date have not yet been named.

This marks the first time Nintendo has allowed a third party game studio to create an Amiibo figure, though they have received numerous proposals from many game developers. As far as the Shovel Knight Amiibo goes, the figure will supposedly unlock additional game modes and specific customization options otherwise unavailable on both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms. It may be in Nintendo’s best interests to look into further Amiibo development with other game studios if the success of Shovel Knight forms stronger gamer loyalty to their platform and technology capabilities.