Our publisher back in 2001 was interested in continuing Message in a Haunted Mansion‘s success by porting it to Game Boy Advance. We contracted the development to a 3rd party and I managed the project.
It was my first time working with a 3rd party developer except for animation, music and testing.
I really wanted to redesign the game, especially to fix issues we learned after the game’s release but more importantly to design for the platform. But we decided instead to do a straight port.
Nintendo was interested in the project and we got to go over to their offices a couple of times. They had whiteboards that would print what was written on them!
While the product was very different than any other in the market and we got a good review from Nintendo Power, it never really took off.
Ultimately, I think it’s very difficult for a 3rd party developer to succeed in the console space. Console purchases can be trendy and if support is dropped by retailers, the audience or the platform maker then you’re stuck with inventory that’s difficult to move.