Friend codes, thing of the past?
A major third-party publisher will reportedly release an online Wii game in 2009 that is unrestricted by Friend Codes
According to IGN's latest Nintendo Voice Chat podcast, the developers of the title discovered that it was possible to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection without them, and built a custom engine that did so. The quote about this shows up about 49 minutes into the original podcast.
IGN's access to well-placed sources is unimpeachable, so there's no reason to seriously doubt this claim. Right now the game in question is unnamed and possibly unannounced -- Joystiq independently confirmed that it wasn't The Conduit. My money would be on it being an Electronic Arts title, since they've got a better track record for building their own online infrastructure for consoles than almost any other publisher right now. What's your guess?
Either way, this is news to be excited about. Assuming Nintendo doesn't stop the publication of the game or force in Friend Codes, one third-party publisher pulling off online multiplayer free of the Friend Code system means others are going to follow. It'll be a much-needed shot in the arm for the Wii's appeal to the hardcore crowd.
Wow. I'm not too sure if Nintendo will like this one, but the removal of game codes would be quite nice.