Nintendo: Kicking Fans in the Balls Since the Late 90s

I could go on a lengthy rant about what is wrong with Nintendo nowadays, and I probably will at some point. The main reason why I’ve been pushed away from being a Nintendo fan boy is that they now have decided that in order to make money they will produce the same 5-6 games over and over again, and maybe re-release some older titles from their Golden Age during the late 80s/early 90s. That aside, though, they have done something entirely new to piss me off. Allow me to elaborate.

I spend an inordinate amount of my free time on Youtube and TwitchTV watching amateur and professional gamers doing playthroughs of various video games. To give you guys a few examples I’ll cite the Game Grumps, TotalBiscuit, and the Yogscast. They’re ordinary people like you and I that just play video games all day, recording commentary as they do so. There’s apparently a larger audience for this than most would think, as if you check out the Yogscast’s channel you’ll notice they have over 4 million subscribers.

Most games are thankful for the exposure. Totalbiscuit’s and the Yogscast’s channels both frequently feature “Let’s Play” type videos, which would be videos that show you enough of the game to demonstrate the game play and the premise of the game. These guys can make or break an independent developer just by showing a 20 minute feature of how awesome their game is. Here is the Yogscast playing the developers of the Awesomenauts to give you an idea:

Now the Yogscast typically will feature more indie type games, while folks like the Game Grumps have garnered their audience from their commentary while playing classic console games. Most of the above groups have done podcasts as well, as oftentimes they don’t even need to be playing games to be interesting. Anyway, back to to Nintendo. Totalbiscuit posted this Tweet earlier:

If you follow the link it leads to a Reddit thread where a handful of semi-popular Youtubers have been served notice that the advertising dollars for their videos are now going to Nintendo. There is some debate over what is considered Fair Use of Nintendo’s copyright property, as many of the videos could be considered criticism or reviews which would be protected.  Many are pointing out, however, that a lot of the Nintendo games are pretty simplistic nowadays, and that the playthroughs are pretty much letting people experience the story line without buying the game. Although Totalbiscuit made a particularly good point regarding that…

Instead of getting the message, though, I think Nintendo will ignore any outcry. They’ll just profit from the free advertising they enjoy from their fanbase on Youtube. You can also expect them to continue with their normal business model as well. They’ll release a new console, follow it up with new Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros games, and then scratch their heads when their system doesn’t perform as well as they hoped

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3 comments on “Nintendo: Kicking Fans in the Balls Since the Late 90s
  1. David H says:

    This ham fisted approach to advertising dollars is not surprising. Dying companies with no new ideas and everything to lose will tend to do cheap things like this.

    Nintendo is a frustrating case because of what it was, versus what it is now.

    I don’t have a problem with them re-releasing new iterations of old games. Let’s face it, if people were sick of Legend of Zelda or Smash Bros, Nintendo would have surely gone under years ago, but we buy their consoles for precisely those titles.

    The lack of new IP or good 3rd party IP was and continues to be the problem.

    The reason why they suck so bad now has, in part, to do with the fact that it is a Japanese company, and by now is a fairly old company. That combination of culture and venerability means that they are too set in their ways to change as a business.

    Imagine, for a moment, if Nintendo have up on home consoles and concentrated on having a badass mobile gaming experience. Frankly, their home consoles have been technologically deficient and behind the curve since the GameCube. They do much better at the mobile experience. So… do what you’re good at. In a way, they got the Wii U half right… I think if they had simply made a more badass version of the 3DS, and made it possible to slave 3DS’ together to play on your TV, it would have made more sense.

    Instead they have a mobile and mobile-ish system competing with each other, and the mobile-ish system is going to have its ass handed to it by the PS4 and 720. Because people who shell out for big consoles like games with up to date graphics. I think the market bought into the Wii once, but I am not sure they are willing to adopt another gimmicky product from Nintendo.

    Also imagine that Nintendo licensed its games to the App Store, the Android market, and even other consoles. The amount of money they’d make…

    The thing is, they are worried about people stealing their content or whatever. People already do. You can’t control that, there will always be an end run around it. But you can cater to the people who are willing to play fair and pay.

  2. David H says:

    Also, and this is kind of a funny random thought, but imagine if Apple bought Nintendo? Nintendo’s inoffensive, white friendly, non-hardcore brand would fit.

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