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Forums - Gaming Discussion - IPs that saved companies

A clash of titans, this expression properly describes the console wars throughout their history. Big players have been challenged, shaken, some have stood the test of time, some have fallen.

This truth applies as much to hardware manufacturers such as Atari, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, as it does to software publishers (2nd and 3rd party), platform holders (Valve, EA) and developpers.

I would like to invite you to name one player, and a game or a franchise that may have either saved them or nearly saved them from a failed launch, a weak performance, doom, or some other far-reaching negative situation. Also explain what the story was behind it, or what you think it may have been.

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Squaresoft - Final Fantasy

Nintendo Gameboy - Pokemon

At the time Pokemon Red and Blue came out, nobody really wanted to bring anything to the Gameboy anymore and was basically considered end of life. Pokemon gave Nintendos Handheld a second life, and by extension, handheld gaming in general.

Pokemon Gamefreak. Before that, they had Pulseman on Genesis.

I'm going to say Hellblade for Ninja Theory. They were going nowhere after DmC blew up in their face. They became an assist studio with Disney Infinity. They had to cancel one game as well in Razor. They were not in a good place.

Sonic-SEGA. SEGA has much much much better IPs before and post Sonic but Sonic still had that X factor to counter Mario in the 90s and be a great pack in game with a new Genesis. Altered Beast was not going to cut it. Nor was Alex Kidd.

Xenoblade-True Nintendo already bought them by this point. Thing is their previous games were sales disasters. They probably had one last shot at a new IP on a console.

Nier Automata-Platinum games. Scalebound about killed them. NA saved their bacon. Now they are working on Babylons Fall with Square. Just put out Astral Chain which sold 1 million copies. Working on Bayo 3. Scalebound nearly sunk them but NA sold 4 million copies.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Super Mario Bros.: This is perhaps the most important game ever, having arrived at an extremely critical moment in gaming history. If SMB failed to attract any attention, it may have failed to revitalize the console market in North America, and what little success they had in Europe may have been nearly non-existent. While the Famicom was doing well in Japan in 1983-85, at the time the console market in NA had imploded as the public soured on consoles at the time. Without gamers in the West to buy the NES in large quantities, it's entirely possible that Nintendo's foray into consoles may have been short-lived, and if that happens then who knows where they'd be as a company, or if the console market would have ever been fully revitalized. Without SMB, it's entirely possible that the NES would have flopped and consoles would have stayed dead, meaning no 16-bit wars between Nintendo and Sega in the 90s, and no PlayStation or Xbox, either.

Other contenders include Final Fantasy and Halo.

The original Final Fantasy kept Square from failing entirely back in the 80s, and FF7 helped put PlayStation on the map less than a decade later. Had the original Final Fantasy failed, there would likely be no Square in the 90s, and without them the PlayStation would have lacked perhaps its most important title. For all we know, in a world without Final Fantasy, PlayStation as a brand may have failed, or at least not achieved the level of success it did.

And while MS as a company would be fine without Halo, the Xbox brand may have never gotten off the ground if it weren't for the strengths of Halo: CE. Master Chief was Xbox's Mario, and the first two games in the series were by far the best-selling titles on the system. Without Halo, MS may have struggled to make an impact in the console market.


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

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Rareware (and its games: Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, killer Instinct Gold...) for Nintendo 64.

When 3rd parties started migrating away from the N64, It was up to Nintendo to make its own success in such a critical way, for the first time in its run as a console manufacturer.
Of course Nintendo had its impeccable 1st party strength to support it during this challenging time, but the top-notch, steady-flowing content from Rare helped make the N64 a console choice that had weight to it.

KLXVER said:
Squaresoft - Final Fantasy


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Luigi's Mansion 3 saved Next Level Games, after their fiasco with Metroid Prime: Federation Force.

Likewise, Naughty Dog was in pretty deep shit before they made the original Crash Bandicoot games. Anybody remember Way of The Warrior for 3DO? No? It's for the best.

Mario 3D Land on the 3DS. Well it saved the 3DS not so much saving the company.
Wii Sports got Nintendo out of the Gamecube era and put Nintendo back on top.
Zelda BOTW got Nintendo out of the WiiU sales era where everyone was claiming Nintendo was Doomed.

Uncharted 2 for PS3

When it was shown on E3 back then. It blows people mind and make PS3 sold a lot

Halo for Xbox classic 

Without this Xbox should have been dead