All About endorbr
Saw this article today: http://www.gamespot.com/e3/miyamoto-says-publishers-should-see-game-ownership-like-a-toy-company-6410237/ about Miyamoto's thoughts on publishers and how they see ownership of games. I agree that publishers need to think of games as something other than just a licensing agreement. That change in attitude would earn them a lot more good will from gamers for sure.
I agree with the notion that games should be something that gamers want to go back and experience again over time. I also think that Nintendo has had a difficult time with this idea post SNES. With Nintendo the problem is that post SNES era they've done very little to step away from their comfort zone most of the time with first party titles. You get some occasional stand outs on consoles after that: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and others that tried to really do something different but they're still mired in the same old basic formula and rehash the same IPs over and over. Technologically Nintendo has changed but the games still lean too hard on retreading the same ground. Mario is saving Peach from Bowser yet again, Link is still saving Zelda and the tri-force, Samus still loses all her abilities in the first 15 minutes. And when they do try new things they often turn out to be superficial or mechanics that fundementally alter a series in ways that are more frustrating than fun.
For example: Do we really need another Mario Kart? Yes plenty of people will buy it but is it really different from the previous Mario Kart? The previous 7 Mario Karts? Cosmetically sure. A few new mechanics of course. But its still very much the same basic game as the original. Theres not really an evolution if you say Mario has a raccoon tail now so he can fly but the end result is still "Our princess is in another castle." You did some tweaks to the formula, added some often fun new mechanical differences but didn't fundamentally change anything. There is no real growth happening.
Where's the game where Mario gets captured and you have to play as Peach to rescue him? Or how about no one gets captured and we do something different for a change? Nintendo needs to turn things on their head now and again. Mix it up. Retain the focus of what made these IPs so liked to begin with and ultimately make them fun but don't just keep churning out the same old song and dance with a new coat of paint.
With no change fanboys will keep eating it up of course because they're fanboys. 8 year olds will eat it up because they're kids and they weren't around when the original Super Mario Bros. came out. But what about those of us that have been consumers of their products since before they even made consoles? We know these stories. We know these characters. We've seen what they can do from the time that Mario's girlfriend was named Pauline. Porting old games to the new systems or slapping an HD polish on SNES style games and bringing them to the Wii U and 3DS will work for nostalgia for a while for some but its not going to really do anything new or exciting for your company. There's not really any other incentive for old school gamers to pick these up.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2. Yeah looks pretty much like more of the same game that I played back in the day on my SNES. Fine for a little nostalgia without a complete retread but what's stopping me from just pulling out my SNES and playing the original? Nothing. So why wouldn't I just do that instead if I want to play A Link to the Past again? I'd save myself $40 and get more or less the same experience.
I like to reference this fan made video A Fistful of Rupees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UunpCv7kKHw&list=PL9AB56A1E36D227C8 often when discussing this topic because it shows how you can take the same properties, retain the ideas that keep them recognizable and familiar, but honestly do something different with the idea. Why does Nintendo never seem to be creative in this way any more? They've certainly got talented people on staff, lots of them. But even 30 years into some of these IPs they're still holding on to that same core story and mechanics.
Maybe a little of what made Square Enix Final Fantasy franchise so great needs to find its way into Nintendo's development philosophy. You take the parts that makes the series great and recognizable and fun but you don't just keep making the same game over and over. Now again I'll note that occasionally Nintendo will surprise me here and pull this off with a Super Mario Galaxy (even though it still really only changed the mechanics) or something similar but for the most part post SNES era they seem a little stagnant on the new ideas front outside of fitting their games to their newer console tech.
I don't think I'm asking too much of Nintendo to want them to broaden their wheel house a bit. I want to care about them again as a company. I want to see them do something new and exciting that gets gamers old and new amped for their product. I want to have their console be more than a Netflix viewer. I want to see them design a console that focuses on playing games rather than designing games around their latest gimmick. They really need to make those first party titles not just well made and polished but also something that can recapture our excitement for the long haul so 20 years from now we want to play them again.
We just made you our bitch.
Okay here's my two cents about the Wii U and Nintendo as a company in general. The main thing for Nintendo that will matter in the coming months is sustained sales momentum. If they can't ramp up interest from consumers and begin moving units at retail they will find themselves in the same situation they did with the 3DS before the price drop. The projection of negativity being displayed by journalists (aside from being deliberately sensational to grab attention) is also a show of lack of faith that this will occur. I share this view as well since the lightning in a bottle that was trapped by Nintendo with the Wii just isn't there with this system.
It's partly due to a bad economy and the rest is the fault of Nintendo for poor product differentiation, marketing, and a general lack of understanding of what their target audience wants to see from them. Nintendo suffers from its own success. They fail to learn the lessons of what they continue to do wrong in a business sense because their revenue tends to be steady due to name recognition and past product success. For instance making the standard $300 Wii U. Nobody wants the thing because it has a small HDD and doesn't come with a game. And yet the shelves are flooded with them.
They went with the idea that people would go for cheaper over value but the price difference isn't significant enough to warrant the average consumer losing the benefits offered with the $350 model. If the sales show to be lackluster in the coming months then shareholders are unlikely to remain happy for long and will force the company to take action, much the same as they did with the 3DS. The lifespan of their product is too short to have a sustained lull in sales figures and their window of profitability shrinks as time passes, especially with the expected launch of their competitors new consoles within the next 12 months.
I don't hate or love Nintendo. I just see them repeating the same mistakes as a company and never learning how to maximize their profits by avoiding a lot of obvious hurdles. It's the sign of a company that has never really known true failure. Now the economy has suffered globally for a sustained period and its starting to affect things for them. They need to stop trying to float their product on name recognition and shore up the holes in their business model. You can take risks as a company but you should do it in as logical a manner as possible. And to start they need to understand their consumers.
My Recent Reviews
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Jun 15, 2013 6:45 am GMTendorbr began Following Star Wars: Battlefront
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Jun 13, 2013 11:05 pm GMTendorbr posted a new blog entry entitled I Agree With Miyamoto, Sort Of
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