It should come as no surprise to Nintendo that third-party developers are beginning to complain about the company's online presence (or lack thereof). In fact, they're calling the company out. In a time when a game's online component is nearly as important as its single-player campaign, the online offering for the Wii is simply not up to par.
From the confusing 16-digit friend codes that must be shared for matchmaking to the lack of localized promotion, Nintendo has not made it clear that the company takes online gaming seriously. Sure, the Virtual Console is solid and there are a handful of compelling titles available on WiiWare, but the vast majority of regular disc-based games on the Wii seem left in the dark.
Aside from Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros., online gameplay on the Wii is almost nonexistent. Even though the Wii is equipped with wireless-networking capabilities, it remains the least-connected home console. Wii online play seems to have taken a backseat, whereas it's one of the most sought-after features on other consoles.
Of course, this attitude trickles down. With the lack of an online presence, third-party developers who are responsible for most of the software on WiiWare have a hard time finding an incentive to continue making games. If no one is going online with the Wii, why should a developer spend the time, effort, and money in creating a download-only title?
It seems, though, that Nintendo is getting the hint. Netflix compatibility with the console has recently been confirmed and the company has stepped up efforts to advertise WiiWare and DSi downloads in the U.K.