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Nintendo Fans: Creative Freedom vs What makes Business sense

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Whenever Nintendo announces some weird, un-expected piece of software, the response is typically mixed. While you get interest among a lot of people, you often also get skepticism and eyerolls. "Why are you wasting resources on (ARMS, Labo, Brain Age, Ring Fit Adventure, etc.) Nintendo? Why not use that money and staff on (insert forgotten Nintendo IP, sequel to popular IP, or New IP in mainstream genre here)!" But I feel like the skeptics who make that argument don't really take into consideration that maybe Nintendo pours money into these IPs and concepts because the development teams want to make them? Rather than higher ups telling them to make these kinds of games.

Now, let's keep one thing in mind, Nintendo is still a large gaming company, who's ultimate end goal is, and has always been to make as much money as possible. Projects need to be run through an executive or two in charge to get approved, and said executives, as well as the Board of Directors, need to be updated on the creative side every now and again, to make sure developers are sticking to budget and time schedules, as well as making sure the product is profitable enough for its intended market. That's how you'd expect any multi-national company in an industry like Video Games to run, and Ninty's no exception. But the thing with Nintendo, is that, they're also willing to let the producers and teams toy around with new ideas and concepts, that could potentially rake in big money, or if not, provide a profitable niche in their lineup.

Nintendo Labo and Ring Fit Adventure didn't get made because some executive came in and told them to make some Pilates Ring Fitness game, or preferate some cardboard for kids. They got made because the directors and programmers were derping around with prototyping sessions, and stumbled on something that could potentially find an audience. And thus got approval from the guys in charge, who felt the same thing. The same is true vice versa, the reason why you're not getting an F-Zero anytime soon is because nobody within the development teams has any ideas for the series that'd be both cool and unique enough, or profitable enough to justify a potentially insane budget, at least, not at the moment.

So the skepticism of when Nintendo introduces something that some hardcore fans don't want or think is too niche or lame, when they could be making some fanboy wet-dream game is kind of confusing to me. I mean, don't you guys want creators and artists to have the power to make the games THEY want to make, and not have corporate breathing down their neck all the time? I understand you need some suits in charge to keep things in order every now and again, but I think some Nintendo fans are too focused on games that would make sense business wise sometimes, and not focused on what the developers and creators want to do. It's why you see all these assumptions of a Super Mario Odyssey 2, or a Tomodatchi Life 2. Sure, that'd be easy money, but is that really what the developers want to make? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, Nintendo is a business, but they're also a entertainment business, with half of their prominent upper management coming from a creative background. So why not foster an environment where the creators have the power to make the games they want, while still keeping things in check to that they're making the company money as well?

Last edited by TheMisterManGuy - on 10 October 2019

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The Nintendo fan is a consumer, therefore what makes business sense is not at all a priority to them and they are totally in the right for wanting product that appeals to them. To expect us to get excited and buy everything they make is silly. Also, Nintendo is atleast less fixated on max profits than some other companys, proven by their lack of lootboxes and microtransactions... for now atleast. I wouldn't even use Labo and Ring Fit as evidence for this as I think they're clearly fishing for another massive hit like Wii Sports.



Every company goes through this question, but it does seem to be a focal point for Nintendo in particular.

I'm of the mindset as a fan where as long as I get the usual games that I'm expecting and hoping for (Zelda, Fire Emblem, 3D Mario, Xenoblade, Smash Bros., etc.) and they're all as good as I've come to expect from those franchises, then they can do whatever else they want on the side. So, I guess I have nothing to worry about because none of those franchises are in danger of going on hiatus or dead like F-Zero or Star Fox... Well, Xenoblade maybe, but between 2, Torna, and the Definitive Editoin of 1, I've got nothing to worry about for now.

Furthermore, it has been this creative freedom and exploration that has led to some of Nintendo's biggest sellers and A tier franchises right now. (Animal Crossing, Splatoon, Smash Bros.) Yeah, it may lead to a few stinkers or flops every once and a while. But when they manage to find a hit, it's not just a hit, it's a Home Run!



Pancho A. Ovies

Nintendo Switch in Japan (Famitsu): 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=238945&page=2

PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch: 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=239387

Lonely_Dolphin said:
The Nintendo fan is a consumer, therefore what makes business sense is not at all a priority to them and they are totally in the right for wanting product that appeals to them. To expect us to get excited and buy everything they make is silly. Also, Nintendo is atleast less fixated on max profits than some other companys, proven by their lack of lootboxes and microtransactions... for now atleast. I wouldn't even use Labo and Ring Fit as evidence for this as I think they're clearly fishing for another massive hit like Wii Sports.

Nintendo has always been fairly profit-driven. But not really in a scummy EA or Activision sense (well, for the most part anyway). They prefer to instead maximize profits by offering a steady string of quality games for various audiences, exclusive to premium priced platforms that are sold for profit. It's why they're able to make so much money, even when they don't dabble in the less-than-favorable industry trends. Their business model allows for quality and creativity, while also ensuring tons of revenue generated. It's also why Nintendo rarely puts their games on sale in huge amounts. You buy Nintendo platforms, for Nintendo games, and if those games are devalued too much, then people won't buy them long term. It's best to keep them as fresh in people's minds as possible, so that there will always be a marketable lineup of software built-in. To Nintendo, Super Mario Odyssey is as new now as it was back in 2017, so it makes sense to keep selling at full price if people keep buying a Switch for it.



TheMisterManGuy said:

Nintendo has always been fairly profit-driven. But not really in a scummy EA or Activision sense (well, for the most part anyway). They prefer to instead maximize profits by offering a steady string of quality games for various audiences, exclusive to premium priced platforms that are sold for profit. It's why they're able to make so much money, even when they don't dabble in the less-than-favorable industry trends. Their business model allows for quality and creativity, while also ensuring tons of revenue generated. It's also why Nintendo rarely puts their games on sale in huge amounts. You buy Nintendo platforms, for Nintendo games, and if those games are devalued too much, then people won't buy them long term. It's best to keep them as fresh in people's minds as possible, so that there will always be a marketable lineup of software built-in. To Nintendo, Super Mario Odyssey is as new now as it was back in 2017, so it makes sense to keep selling at full price if people keep buying a Switch for it.

It's not instead of, it's in addition to the upfront price for owning the game. Not doing lootboxes and microtransactions only means they're losing out on money compared to selling games that have these schemes. Also Nintendo isn't guilt free of additional monetization. While late, they hopped onto the dlc, paid online, and toys to life bandwagons. That's why I fear it's inevitable that they'll join the lootbox/microtransaction party as well. Mario Kart Tour could very well be a sign of what's to come.

Also, are you saying people are less inclined to buy a game once it's made cheaper, lol what!? There's no good reason why a consumer would want Nintendo to keep prices high, so do you work for Nintendo? If so I want Pikmin 4! xD



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Lonely_Dolphin said:
The Nintendo fan is a consumer, therefore what makes business sense is not at all a priority to them and they are totally in the right for wanting product that appeals to them. To expect us to get excited and buy everything they make is silly. Also, Nintendo is atleast less fixated on max profits than some other companys, proven by their lack of lootboxes and microtransactions... for now atleast. I wouldn't even use Labo and Ring Fit as evidence for this as I think they're clearly fishing for another massive hit like Wii Sports.

The explain why they can get away with porting the Wii U's entire library to the Switch and almost every single game can match or exceed the sales of the original Wii U version (MK8D, Tropical Freeze, Pokken DX, Captain Toad, NSMBU, etc.). Or how Link's Awakening is selling big numbers and may outsell the original despite being $60 for a remake of a Game Boy game. Especially when you look at other remasters like the Crash N Sane Trilogy and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy each going for $40 for 3 games; Or how every 1st party Nintendo game will still sell for full price even years after it came out and still have solid, steady legs. 

I say this as a Nintendo fan: Nintendo fans are some of the biggest sheep in gaming. 



Pancho A. Ovies

Nintendo Switch in Japan (Famitsu): 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=238945&page=2

PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch: 2018 vs. 2019
http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=239387

Lonely_Dolphin said:

It's not instead of, it's in addition to the upfront price for owning the game. Not doing lootboxes and microtransactions only means they're losing out on money compared to selling games that have these schemes. Also Nintendo isn't guilt free of additional monetization. While late, they hopped onto the dlc, paid online, and toys to life bandwagons. That's why I fear it's inevitable that they'll join the lootbox/microtransaction party as well. Mario Kart Tour could very well be a sign of what's to come.

With Mario Kart Tour, their hands were simply forced by the market conditions of mobile gaming. Most of their other games had lukewarm profits, and Gatcha games have literally been the only consistent hit for them so far. With Mario Kart being such a big brand, there was a ton of pressure on Tour to deliver real results. I doubt this will be the norm for Nintendo, but it does show they will get their hands dirty if push comes to shove. At the end of the day, they're a publicly traded corporation owned by shareholders. If they're not making enough money in a lucrative market like Smartphone games, investors are naturally going to be annoyed.

As for other things, Nintendo has a strict policy against starting development on DLC for a game until its finished, or near finished its core development cycle. With Nintendo DLC, they often arrive months after the game itself launches, and its usually reasonably priced. The worse they've gotten was some overpriced Fire Emblem DLC in the past.

With Paid Online, Nintendo's service is at least much cheaper than the other services. It's nowhere near as robust, but you're getting about what you'd expect for a $20 service, and Nintendo has at least been making good on their promise of expanding its features and value, even if its only a little at a time.

Also, are you saying people are less inclined to buy a game once it's made cheaper, lol what!? There's no good reason why a consumer would want Nintendo to keep prices high, so do you work for Nintendo? If so I want Pikmin 4! xD

I'm saying that people aren't going to keep buying a game if you're dropping the price only a few months after release to clear shelf space. That's the traditional 3rd party model of selling a AAA game. They put it out, get most of the sales early, and then clear it out once the next shinny toy arrives. Nintendo games are designed to sell the entire generation, as they function to get people to buy the hardware. Keeping the game full price, with only a few sales a year is a smarter way to create longer lasting sales potential. Just look at How BotW and Smash Bros. still regularly chart high despite being 1-2 years old.



PAOerfulone said:

The explain why they can get away with porting the Wii U's entire library to the Switch and almost every single game can match or exceed the sales of the original Wii U version (MK8D, Tropical Freeze, Pokken DX, Captain Toad, NSMBU, etc.). Or how Link's Awakening is selling big numbers and may outsell the original despite being $60 for a remake of a Game Boy game. Especially when you look at other remasters like the Crash N Sane Trilogy and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy each going for $40 for 3 games; Or how every 1st party Nintendo game will still sell for full price even years after it came out and still have solid, steady legs. 

I say this as a Nintendo fan: Nintendo fans are some of the biggest sheep in gaming. 

lol I'd say humans in general are sheep, but in the case of the Wii U ports, it makes sense they sell better on a much larger installbase. Also in regards to full price games selling great for years, that's pretty silly, as if after an arbitrary amount of time it suddenly becomes bad to buy the game, that only the people who got it at launch were right to do so.

TheMisterManGuy said:

With Mario Kart Tour, their hands were simply forced by the market conditions of mobile gaming. Most of their other games had lukewarm profits, and Gatcha games have literally been the only consistent hit for them so far. With Mario Kart being such a big brand, there was a ton of pressure on Tour to deliver real results. I doubt this will be the norm for Nintendo, but it does show they will get their hands dirty if push comes to shove. At the end of the day, they're a publicly traded corporation owned by shareholders. If they're not making enough money in a lucrative market like Smartphone games, investors are naturally going to be annoyed.

As for other things, Nintendo has a strict policy against starting development on DLC for a game until its finished, or near finished its core development cycle. With Nintendo DLC, they often arrive months after the game itself launches, and its usually reasonably priced. The worse they've gotten was some overpriced Fire Emblem DLC in the past.

With Paid Online, Nintendo's service is at least much cheaper than the other services. It's nowhere near as robust, but you're getting about what you'd expect for a $20 service, and Nintendo has at least been making good on their promise of expanding its features and value, even if its only a little at a time.

I'm saying that people aren't going to keep buying a game if you're dropping the price only a few months after release to clear shelf space. That's the traditional 3rd party model of selling a AAA game. They put it out, get most of the sales early, and then clear it out once the next shinny toy arrives. Nintendo games are designed to sell the entire generation, as they function to get people to buy the hardware. Keeping the game full price, with only a few sales a year is a smarter way to create longer lasting sales potential. Just look at How BotW and Smash Bros. still regularly chart high despite being 1-2 years old.

You're just waffling now. The point is Nintendo is currently leaving money on the table, something they wouldn't do if they were truly all about maximizing profits.

I'm not following your logic regarding price at all. That 3rd partys pump out yearly sequels don't mean a price drop would lower consumer interest. Yes let's look at BotW and Smash Bros., ok and? You seriously think they'd sell worse if they were lowered to $40? I can tell you if Smash was $40 right now I'd own the game. Again, why are you defending this, why do you want to pay more for your games?



Lonely_Dolphin said:

You're just waffling now. The point is Nintendo is currently leaving money on the table, something they wouldn't do if they were truly all about maximizing profits.

I'm not following your logic regarding price at all. That 3rd partys pump out yearly sequels don't mean a price drop would lower consumer interest. Yes let's look at BotW and Smash Bros., ok and? You seriously think they'd sell worse if they were lowered to $40? I can tell you if Smash was $40 right now I'd own the game. Again, why are you defending this, why do you want to pay more for your games?

The Point is that there's no reason for Nintendo to change their business model because as the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Nintendo has relied on its premium, yet affordable pricing model for decades, ever since its first console. Why is there any reason to change that significantly now? Because everyone else is doing it? Nintendo lives or dies by how good their software makes their hardware look. If people keep buying Smash Bros. with a Switch, what good would it do to slash the price not even a year later?

I'm arguing about this from a business perspective. There's little financial gain in Nintendo doing heavy price drops for their games in a short time frame when it's been proven time and time again, they'll still get just as much sales from keeping them full price over a longer period of time. Again, just look at the NPD results and other international charts. Nintendo games from 2-3 years ago still regularly chart in high positions.



TheMisterManGuy said:

The Point is that there's no reason for Nintendo to change their business model because as the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Nintendo has relied on its premium, yet affordable pricing model for decades, ever since its first console. Why is there any reason to change that significantly now? Because everyone else is doing it? Nintendo lives or dies by how good their software makes their hardware look. If people keep buying Smash Bros. with a Switch, what good would it do to slash the price not even a year later?

I'm arguing about this from a business perspective. There's little financial gain in Nintendo doing heavy price drops for their games in a short time frame when it's been proven time and time again, they'll still get just as much sales from keeping them full price over a longer period of time. Again, just look at the NPD results and other international charts. Nintendo games from 2-3 years ago still regularly chart in high positions.

Well your point is irrelevant then, I never said anything about whether or not they should maximize profits, only that they aren't when you said they were.

From a business perspective ok but why? You don't work for Nintendo so you gain nothing by defending them, in fact you only stand to lose. I used to defend Pokemon, and then we got Pokemon Let's Go. Criticizing is always better than defending, that's how stuff improves and gets better.