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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Why Nintendo 1st party games hardly go on sales?

Please do not come with the cheap answer "because it sells". Of course it because it sells full price

The question is: What make customers willing to pay full price for Nintendo games years after release whereas most gamers wait for MS/Sony exclusives (or 3rd party games in general) to go on sale?

True, this is overstated concept, as Sony/MS Games tends to be more front-loaded compared o evergreen Ninty titles, most of MS/Sony sales actually are sold from full price in the first 1-2 months. What happens however is after this initial push these games are very likely to go on sale to keep numbers going. Nintendo games not only sell for longer, but also barely need price cuts to keep their numbers stable

The quality (and even the branding) arguments don't paint the full picture. Astral Chain, Yoshi's Crafted World, Arms, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 all sold 1-2 million copies and still largely sold at their launch price

Is this behavioral consumption? We know Nintendo games never go on sale, so are options are either pay 60 USD or just not getting the game we want  

Meanwhile Sony owners know in 6 months they will get a physical version for like 40 bucks or less, so they just wait and buy discounted

If that's the case... why Sony just don't adopt the same strategy? Keep their games full price forever until gamers understand  they have no choice but pay full price

Seems a chicken vs eggs problem. Are we paying more because the prices never goes down, or the prices never goes down because we always pays more?

What about you? Is there  any Switch game you would give a chance if they was sold at 40 USD? Are you currently waiting for any Switch game to go on sale?



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A lot of it is probably because of a lack of software competition with major Nintendo releases. Yes, the Switch has the best third party support of any Nintendo console in quite a while. But I think it says a lot when for example the best selling major third party games on the system only sell about as many units as the most niche major Nintendo products do, somewhere in the Astral Chain - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 tier (and even then, most probably don't make it to the XC2 tier). Whether that's because people only buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games or games that benefit from being on the hardware like indie games, or whether that's because third parties haven't made enough of an effort, it's the case.

I would totally buy NSMBUDXD at $30, by the way. It actually was $40 on Amazon recently, and I would have gotten it, but the last half of the year has actually been pretty packed on Switch for me so I'm more than fine waiting. I'd also like the Wii U ports to get a price cut, yes I'm dirty for getting gifted them and for buying one myself (Pikmin 3's demo was just that good), but they probably should be sold at $40 honestly. Especially Tropical Freeze, that was some bullshit. Oh, and Astral Chain should be $40. People should invest in new IP more and keeping it at a high entry fee isn't the best idea, especially when the game has some obvious weakpoints.



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It's because the majority buy Nintendo systems for the exclusives. PlayStation exclusives can't even sell 10 million unless it's bundled.



IcaroRibeiro said:

Please do not come with the cheap answer "because it sells". Of course it because it sells full price

The question is: What make customers willing to pay full price for Nintendo games years after release whereas most gamers wait for MS/Sony exclusives (or 3rd party games in general) to go on sale?

True, this is overstated concept, as Sony/MS Games tends to be more front-loaded compared o evergreen Ninty titles, most of MS/Sony sales actually are sold from full price in the first 1-2 months. What happens however is after this initial push these games are very likely to go on sale to keep numbers going. Nintendo games not only sell for longer, but also barely need price cuts to keep their numbers stable

The quality (and even the branding) arguments don't paint the full picture. Astral Chain, Yoshi's Crafted World, Arms, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 all sold 1-2 million copies and still largely sold at their launch price

Is this behavioral consumption? We know Nintendo games never go on sale, so are options are either pay 60 USD or just not getting the game we want  

Meanwhile Sony owners know in 6 months they will get a physical version for like 40 bucks or less, so they just wait and buy discounted

If that's the case... why Sony just don't adopt the same strategy? Keep their games full price forever until gamers understand  they have no choice but pay full price

Seems a chicken vs eggs problem. Are we paying more because the prices never goes down, or the prices never goes down because we always pays more?

What about you? Is there  any Switch game you would give a chance if they was sold at 40 USD? Are you currently waiting for any Switch game to go on sale?

But that's the answer: because they sell for a long time at full/nearly-full price!



People tend to wait for deals if they know ot will happen down the line



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Probably the lack of competition for Nintendo.



Well firstly let's kill the myth that Nintendo games keep their price because they keep selling.

Plenty of Nintendo releases pull modest numbers, for every Animal Crossing there is a Yoshi's Yarn, Arms, Xenoblade, Fire Emblem, pokemon Dungeons, Paper Mario, Labo, Pikmin, Hyrule Warriors, Metroid etc. Particularly prior to the Switch these niche 1-3m selling titles made up the vast majority of Nintendo's output, hell even mainline Zelda would peak at 5m (windwaker, Skyward Sword, majoras mask etc). Still their pricing policy remained what it is. The sales tactic is based on their principle of pushing the value of their titles/brand + maintaining high profit margins from this, regardless of whether the title sells 2m or 15m. It's a tactic which works for them especially as third party interest in their platforms is very low. Its the reason why the Switch has record sales but very few million sellers not from Nintendo.

Secondly, who said people do not wait to buy Nintendo games? What's actually very typical is that their sales start off slower but just maintain healthy legs. By definition that is people waiting. I think the key difference is years down the line every big playstation game has been replaced by similarly big genre competitor or successor on the platform., Hence why you see them at reduced prices, fighting for visibility whilst also making room for new games to succeed at full price.

If there was only 1 call of Duty, 1 Assassins Creed, 1 Fifa released each gen they would be selling 20m+ on playstation alone and likely maintaining their price. Less saturation would mean less need for people to cut prices to compete next to them as well.

Sony and many 3rd parties could do the same but considering there are literally 4x more retail releases on playstation every month, it wouldn't be healthy for them or 3rd parties. The same principles of "Must Have" software exist on playstation/xbox but it's just spread through far more releases in a year... looking at big releases this year on PS4 we've seen Final Fantasy VII/TLOU2/Ghost of Tsunami/Marvel Avengers/Fifa and coming up we'll see Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Cyberpunk, Spiderman... All bar Marvel will be 5m+ sellers by early next year.
Nintendo however will likely end the year with only 1 title released in 2020 which sales will pass 5m (Animal Crossing). In one quarter we're seeing 4x the same number of big releases than Nintendo has managed its whole year. So Nintendo's flagship titles will sell more on average but there will be far fewer of them. 

Last edited by Otter - on 01 November 2020

I have always bought most of my games at launch regardless of platform, so I would have never known this was an issue until people told me about it. I barely ever see a price tag under 60 USD personally.

Having said that, I think it comes down to when they go on temporary sales on the eshop. For example, a game on PS4 gets a permanent cut and there is still no rush to go out and buy it. A Nintendo game goes on sale on the eshop, and it instantly shoots to the top of the chart. Having the full price at 60 USD makes people feel like they need to grab it when it goes on sale, and a full price cut just doesn't motivate people to move the same way.



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people expect the price to remain at 60 for most of the game's life, so they buy them at 60, and it sells a BUTTON whenever they DO go one sale like, once a year.

contrary to your belief though, nintendo DOES permanently slah the price of thier games.... around the last couple of years of the console's lifespan, as nintendo selects.

The difference here is timescale.

there is usually no real direct competition to a nintendo game, so both you and nintendo know you are going to buy it eventually.

meanwhile with other games thats not a mostly guarentee'd thing. and new games get forgotten by 6 months down the line.

meanwhile nintendo continues to promote thier earliest titles at full price well into the latter half of the system's lifespan.

since you are going to buy it anyway, it just makes finantial sence to not lower price.



Because Nintendo wants to keep their titles at a certain perceived value.

As I mentioned in that thread:

The consensus a few years back was that third parties games tend to drop the price fast, that's why their value is perceived as lower since the publishers do sales a few months down the line. If you can just wait those few months and get the game at half price, then the game wasn't worth the full asking price at launch.

Last edited by TomaTito - on 01 November 2020

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