Stick to What You’re Good at Nintendo; Make Games Not Hardware


Nintendo’s influence on the gaming community provides an image so evocative that speaking the very name of the Japanese developer is able to draw out childhood memories as though you were fondly remembering a rite of passage.  Close your eyes and imagine it for a moment; what the word Nintendo represents.  The Mushroom Kingdom and all of its perils.  Late nights spent stealing coins and breaking friendships in Mario Party.  Learning to fly an arwing, or drift on mute city, or edge guard against Marth players.  More than a list of games, Nintendo is a culture of innovation and creativity, which makes you wonder why they would ever bother limiting themselves to one console in the first place.

News of Nintendo’s consideration of mergers and acquisitions to help the company grow has sparked a wide range of emotions in the gaming community; sadness at watching yet another era of gaming slowly creep up is chief amongst them.  But Nintendo’s problem has never been creating amazing games, but rather at being an effective business.  We’ve seen this issue time and again from the N64’s lack of power to keep up with the competition to the Gamecube’s lack of titles to enjoy, and if it’s our job as gamers to keep a developer like Nintendo honest then perhaps it’s time we start with the truth:

Nintendo, you’ve already taken the time to admit you’re not so great at some of the important parts of being a business, now it’s time to pick yourself up and let someone else take over.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been some incredible advances by Nintendo’s design team in the past, and there are many elements of modern gaming would perhaps be nonexistent if not for their brilliance.  Rumble features and the N64 Z-trigger altered the way we looked at controller design, and motion controls (for better or worse) continue to find their way into genres of all kinds.  3D gaming may yet still have a future, and at the very least has shifted the way the average customer views the power that handheld platforms are capable of.

But the advancements to Nintendo’s gaming hardware are limited at best, and the cost of these technological blips has left Nintendo behind in almost every other respect.  Graphically their consoles have always been behind compared to the competition, and third party developers being forced to include random gimmicks into game design doesn’t exactly help foster good working relationships.  Not to mention that online play and communities are fractured by Nintendo’s refusal to invest proper time into updating their restrictive family friendly policies.  Too much creative freedom has left Nintendo as a developer that knows how to create amazing games without the knowledge to market or sell themselves.

The argument that creativity alone sells titles goes out the window when your company declares three quarterly losses and your CEO commits a sort of public financial seppuku as a form of apology, and that’s why we should be so supportive of Nintendo as they do a little soul searching.

What they need is someone to handle everything that isn’t related to the development of an actual video game, another company to help push the advancement of a real console for their games to launch on or a mediary to help build relationships with third party developers.  Nintendo needs to decide once and for all if building a console is really something they should be doing when they could easily make more profit opening their games to every platform, rather than convince everyone that buying a Wii-U to only play their games is the best option.

Most importantly they need to finally be taught that online gaming isn’t something to be afraid of, and that their games can have online functionality that doesn’t compromise the integrity of their family friendly image.  There is no justifiable reason why adults must be restricted from enjoying platform games unless they’re treated like children.

So as the world’s biggest creator of family oriented titles sits back to think long and hard about where they’ve gone wrong, remember that a merger for Nintendo wouldn’t really be the end of the world.  Perhaps it’s just time for them to expand elsewhere and an acquisition could very well mean the end of a publisher that only really publishes one kind of game.  Nintendo is far from a bad company; they just don’t fully understand the market and have only just come around to figuring that out.  It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and it’s good to see that they’re willing to reconsider their current business practices in favor of some real genuine change.  With a little support from us Nintendo can still go a long way.

  • Jamar Moore

    Dude, while this seems like a good idea, Nintendo themselves have stated many times that it wouldn’t be good in the long run. Let it go.

  • gimmegimmekevin

    Everytime someone says they’d make more money or respectable money by being third party they forget the profit they get off every console sold (Not Wii U atm but 3DS) and the 30% cut Ninty gets from all third party games sales. That’s a source of revenue you can never replace as a third party. There is literally zero reason for them to be anything other than a console/handheld maker, even if their console/handheld bases have shrunk. Its like telling Disney to throw away the Disney channel, all their movie companies and just be like every other person trying to get TV shows on networks/films into development.

  • Aiddon

    you are neither original nor insightful in this (especially punctuated with relying on a meme to sound more clever than you really are). They will never go 3rd party. Time to get over it

  • yarinoma

    Here we go again. More of the same “me too” novice hack journalism plaguing the gaming industry. Stop trying to convince the gaming public that this is the right thing for Ninty to do. There’s nothing THAT wrong wit them. The market itself is screwed up because of the generation of gamers that exist. How can you like what Ninty does when your life is so full of dread. Damn near everybody is on drugs of some sort or another. So low on self esteem shrinks are having a field day with the amount of jacked up minds out there. Children who are so depressed and screwed up their only reprieve is to pick up a gun, go to some random, populated area and shoot innocent people dead and then themselves. Very little of Nintys problems have to do with what they are uncompromising on. It’s the limited space in which they exist due to the conditions of society.
    I rarely see any articles that talk about the changes Sony need to make to stay in business. Never mind the PS brand. Millions in one product profit cannot stifle BILLIONS in losses. No, they and MS only get sympathy and support from journalists and gamers alike. No looks at the idea that if these companies were like Ninty

    • Kioran

      You’re worse for the things you’re accusing this writer of by 100x or more. More “me too” novice hack social scientist/psychologist plaguing the internet. What a hypocrite, at least people believing that nintendo should do things one way or another doesn’t cause harm, but misleading people about mass shootings, drug use, and our youth actually DOES cause harm (people believe -anything- they want to, and too many people don’t know the difference between a credible voice and a non-credible voice).
      Look at how biased you are, and the worst part is you’re actually deluded into it that you don’t even know there isn’t a general consensus on half of the dribble you’re spewing. You don’t know anything about this generation of gamers, or people and it’s not like any of the points you tried to hit on held any actual support to your argument and were just veiled criticism and bitterness (actual shrink reporting in). The fact that you just want to silence someone’s opinion with your own, is just laughable. If you don’t like his slant, than write your own (if you can, and professional writing would have none of the unfounded “evidence” or personal attacks such as the ones above, so in short I actually doubt that you can). Your last paragraph was acceptable, and a good example of how to make a thoughtful retort.
      Keep pressing those keys, internet.

      • yarinoma

        Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I was too busy doing actual work, not pretending to analyze what people are thinking by a self professed title I gave myself.

        So without going at length of my first statement about gamers and depression and mass shootings, here are a few websites that you should have actually been researching that could help you do your shrinking better than I feel your doing now. Maybe after reading just a few of these THOROUGHLY, you would reconsider calling me misleading and being a credible voice.

        (Please read all points but especially points 25,26

        Now with that out of the way, my first statement about hack journalism is very true and needs no provided proof other than you actually surfing Ng4 and other sites that have 1000s of doom gloom articles about Nintendo. Now there are a slew of other things going on in the industry and yet the one thing that gets more ticks for a pretend journalists sites is Nintendos woes.

        He writes about Nintendo having 3 quarterly losses as a reason for them to close up shop and pimp their franchises to other gaming companies. Seriously? Sony and Microsoft have had nearly 2 decades of losses NOBODY that I know of or read suggested Sony close down their gaming division.

        There is an incredibly small amount of articles about the near death of the Vita. All good news and support for Sonys dying portable system. Nintendo? 3DS? Death Nell for the system before it finished its first year. Now it outsells even the PS4. But I dont see that many articles on this amazing event. You dont consider that hypocritical?

        You think that gamers and alleged journalists feverishly writing Nintendos obituary year over year is not actually harming people? YOU are wrong. So every time someone says Nintendo is a poorly run company and should go 3rd party, there is at least one child or parent that may read that and decide not to get a Wii U. Not only does that hurt the company but hurts a potential buyer and keeps them from purchasing a product that would otherwise bring them joy and not break their wallets in the process. This writer is no different. Although he did give little credit to Nintendos achievements His solution to their issue is one and ONLY one that so many other novice journalists can come up with. Hence ME TOO journalism. Every system he speaks of I have. I have lived through almost every era of Nintendo. And although theyve had some slips, they have, thus, far been the most successful gaming company in the history of the industry. They have the highest hardware quality rate than ANY other system developed over the history of gaming hardware. (Have you watched any of the tests performed by random people and gaming sites professing the durability of Nintendo hardware?)

        And the most important thing about Nintendo is…they consider the mentality of the children that play their systems. Its not just about the bottom line like with Sony and MIcrosoft. They could care less about the crack they peddle to their customers, thus, my statement about Nintendos limited space due to social mental disparity is still true.

        You call me a hypocrite but whats more hypocritical than a gamer or journalist wanting to herd a company into obscurity just so they can play their IPs and franchises on a system of their choice and preference? The whole Idea of it for Nintendo is just ridiculous! And yet here is another game writer suggesting it.

        I dont like Sony all that much. But their have been plenty of games I wanted to play that were exclusive to the PS. Guess what though? I didnt buy that system but certainly I didnt push for Sony to go out of business.

        Thank GOD it is just an opinion piece but its one that I have heard a thousand times before and am tired of hearing. And please dont tell me to read something else if I dont like his piece. He needs to stop writing puff pieces like this to increase his likes from other bias gamers who side with his slant.

        I dont need to be a psychologist to understand people and apply my common sense to things I see and hear everyday. Obviously YOU need a degree and professional title to do so. Here. Why dont you read some of these objective articles to get an Idea of a true journalistic piece and if you are really a shrink then you need to learn how to observe and analyze both sides of the argument and not just the side that everyone else is leaning on.

        (Notice and read THOROUGHLY the disclaimer in the beginning of this artile)