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Why do people keep saying Nintendo is milking their franchises?

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pokoko said:
I understand your point, but ... Mario. They brand so many things as Mario. I'm surprised Pikman wasn't a game where you control a bunch of miniature Mario pawns. I'd bet anything it was considered. And how Animal Crossing escaped Mario branding I'm not sure. Mario Crossing sounds so very Nintendo. Honestly, that's a read turn-off for me, especially since the Mario characters are so flat and uninspired. It just feels like a complete absence of creativity.

I guess I shouldn't argue with success, though. I think it's entered Pavlovian territory at this point. People would buy a Mario game about mucking out stables or sorting garbage and they would decide they liked the game even before they played it. I'm sure Sony or Microsoft would to have a brand they could exploit to that level.

It just seems kind of blah to me to start with "OK we need to make another Zelda game, any ideas?" or "someone had a good idea for a game, let's make it a Mario title". You know? I don't necessarily blame Nintendo for milking those cows but it's not a practice that appeals to me, either.

Pretty much this, and just because Sony and Microsoft milk the shit out of their franchises doesn't at all contradict the idea that Nintendo are world class milkers. They all do it, sure, but by shoehorning Mario into everything Nintendo just manages to seem more monotonous about it.

Also, I'm kind of butthurt that they do this while totally ignoring my favorite franchises like Mother, Star Fox, etc. Maybe other people feel the same way. So to the extent this is just us lashing out, you shouldn't take it to heart.



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Well, they are milking their franchises. Last year we got two different NSMB games. Year before that we got Super Mario Land and Super Mario Kart, as well as Zelda Ocarina of Time and Zelda Skyward Sword. Year before that we got Super Mario Galaxy 2. Year before that we got New Super Mario Bros Wii. Etc

Nintendo does rely pretty heavily on franchises, and the general point is not that we only get at least one particular flavor of the Mario franchise ever year, but that Mario is featured in at least one game every year without break, often times within months of each other.

Of course, what people seem to forget is, Nintendo is not the only company that relies on names and franchises to sell software. Pretty much EVERY publisher does what Nintendo does, with the same if not more frequency. Yearly Assassin's Creed, yearly Call of Duty, yearly Halo, bi-yearly Gears of War. Sony, too, released two different Uncharted games within months of each other. Handheld version was made by a B team much like NSMB2, but they were still essentially the same kind of game, just on a different platform. People didn't complain, either. Little Big Planet got two games this year (including a cart racer) and one last year, one two years before that and another one the year before that. Don't be surprised if we get another Halo, another Dance Central, another Uncharted, and another LittleBigPlanet game announced this year.

The question isn't whether Nintendo milks their franchises. They do. A given series of game may only get one or two releases on a platform in it's life span, but they still milk franchises. The question is why people are singling Nintendo out for this complaint, when the industry as a whole, including companies, journalists, and consumers, get excited for, mostly make, and mostly buy nothing but sequels. This isn't a Nintendo problem. It's a game industry problem. And it's one that isn't really a problem because these games are still often pretty damn good, which is why people buy them, which is why companies make them.



Mario is quite ubiquitous these days. I never thought I'd see the day when I was tired of seeing him, but lately that's the feeling I'm getting. I'm not sure about games with other characters but Mario is definitely being used aggressively. But to be honest, Nintendo brings the goods and to me the quality of the franchises people claim are being milked are not going down. It would be nice if they introduced more new IPs though.



 

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Sony + Nintendo = WIN! PS3 + PSV + PS4 + Wii U + 3DS


Lets be honest. We have Mario. Which has been heavily milked as of late. Hard to not be called milkers when you are caught milking.



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Actually, on second thought, the main reason is probably that Nintendo has had such shit third party support. Of the games that people have traditionally associated with Playstation, most of the biggest ones are third party. So thanks to Metal Gear, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, and what have you, Sony is freer to focus on its smaller stable of first party IPs without making their whole platform seem like it's just a GodofWarStation.



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pokoko said:

I understand your point, but ... Mario. They brand so many things as Mario. I'm surprised Pikman wasn't a game where you control a bunch of miniature Mario pawns. I'd bet anything it was considered. And how Animal Crossing escaped Mario branding I'm not sure. Mario Crossing sounds so very Nintendo. Honestly, that's a read turn-off for me, especially since the Mario characters are so flat and uninspired. It just feels like a complete absence of creativity.

 I guess I shouldn't argue with success, though. I think it's entered Pavlovian territory at this point. People would buy a Mario game about mucking out stables or sorting garbage and they would decide they liked the game even before they played it. I'm sure Sony or Microsoft would love to have a brand they could exploit to that level.

 It just seems kind of blah to me to start with "OK we need to make another Zelda game, any ideas?" or "someone had a good idea for a game, let's make it a Mario title".  You know? I don't necessarily blame Nintendo for milking those cows but it's not a practice that appeals to me, either.

That's funny. You know what Pikmin was based off? :D

 



osed125 said:

The problem is Mario as a character (and some of the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom). Because he appears on so many games (Mario Party, Mario Golf, Mario Kart, etc) it gives the thought that he's being used a lot even though the games are completely different genres.

Nintendo milks the Mario character, they don't milk anything else.


THIS!



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J_Allard said:
It's not so much milking franchises so much as it is milking characters.

Though, I can't fault them for it. If Sony or MS had characters nearly as iconic as Mario or Link or Luigi or Donkey Kong etc etc, they'd do it too.

God bless you.

 

Of course everyone will do it.

I WILL DO IT! AND I WILL BE SO HAPPY TO BE CALLED MILKER - FLAt UNISPIRED MILKER!

With only a difference Mario is evertyhgin except flat an unispired.





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pokoko said:

that's a read turn-off for me, especially since the Mario characters are so flat and uninspired. It just feels like a complete absence of creativity.


What would you do if you owned Mario?



Switch!!!

I feel it's just that we're going through a bit of a Mario over-exposure period at the moment, and I may be way off on this but I think it's because of the 3DS' slow start and subsequent price cut.

Mario is a safe bet, he is the face of gaming and will sell no matter what. In the past 2 years Nintendo have launched two new systems and what they learnt from the 3DS they applied to the Wii-U. Launching 3DS at a high price without Mario caused a panic price cut and a lot of lost money. When two games with Mario in appeared simultaneously, plus the big price drop, suddenly the thing started selling like hot cakes.

From this, Nintendo were never going to launch the Wii-U without their star. It's just unfortunate that two 2D platformers starring the plumber appeared in the same year, and that we've also had Mario Tennis plus the Mario Kart & 3D Mario we had in 2011. And when the Wii-U launched out the gate below expectations, although not the centre of the showcase - more Mario was shown (3D & MK).

Basically, as other people have said, it's more Mario over-exposure than milking franchises. And I don't blame Nintendo. They want their systems to start doing well early, and Mario games are nearly always among their highest selling. I don't even think things are that bad, Pikmin is the current franchise they're promoting for Wii-U which has been absent for 8 years and won't even get close to Mario's sales. And since I believe a big focus of Nintendo Direct was Monolith's game and Wind Waker, that's good too. It's just a shame MK & 3D Mario were thrown in there too. I'm very much looking forward to them, but the complete lack of information about them suggests to me a Nintendo in panic mode, hoping that even more Mario is what the Wii-U needs.

Which is probably does, I guess. This post got a bit longer than intended and I'm kinda tired, so sorry if it doesn't make a lot of sense. It sounded right in my head :(