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

Because Nintendo wants to maintain the image that their products are higher quality or premium in a sense. It's also why 3d Mario all stars will end selling in March. It's because Nintendo thinks it's devaluing their IP so they are saying we are gonna throw you a bone with this deal but don't get used to it. It's kinda like apple where you know somethings are priced way more than they should just to maintain that image



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The yearly thread on this question comes back !

Without going into details here, it's all about the perceived value nourished by years of conditioning with their customer base and a lack of strong competition in a similar fashion to what they produce.

Though Rol explained some of those points so well that I don't even need to say anymore.



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freebs2 said:

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RolStoppable said:
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Very good points and I think I agree with both of you. If your value proposition is based on technology enchantment and high-budget production and scope your game will be outdated in 2 or 3 years. Sony stratey of selling a gaming for less than needed  only to increase numbers for bragging rights also makes sense, however I lowkey want Nintendo to make the same for their titles. I think most people would give their smaller IPs a chance if they got discounted

Sure Animal Crossing absolutely don't need a pricecut, but I can't see why Astral Chain can't be sold at 40 USD, it will take a while to reach 2 million and is a new IP. More people would give the game a chance if it was discounted. 



IcaroRibeiro said:
freebs2 said:

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RolStoppable said:
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Very good points and I think I agree with both of you. If your value proposition is based on technology enchantment and high-budget production and scope your game will be outdated in 2 or 3 years. Sony stratey of selling a gaming for less than needed  only to increase numbers for bragging rights also makes sense, however I lowkey want Nintendo to make the same for their titles. I think most people would give their smaller IPs a chance if they got discounted

Sure Animal Crossing absolutely don't need a pricecut, but I can't see why Astral Chain can't be sold at 40 USD, it will take a while to reach 2 million and is a new IP. More people would give the game a chance if it was discounted. 

Problem is the discount approach impacts the returns a game can make, Astral Chain selling 1m at full price likely made more than what some games made selling 3m at bargain bin prices that for Nintendo is more key than numbers being a solely gaming focused company this is why they have discounts as part of their online subscription because they still make up what they lost from reducing the price.



Wyrdness said:

Problem is the discount approach impacts the returns a game can make, Astral Chain selling 1m at full price likely made more than what some games made selling 3m at bargain bin prices that for Nintendo is more key than numbers being a solely gaming focused company this is why they have discounts as part of their online subscription because they still make up what they lost from reducing the price.

It's a new franchise, it's more important to be know for as much people as possible in order to break a niche. With only 1 million sold I think it will hardly have an anticipated sequel 



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IcaroRibeiro said:

It's a new franchise, it's more important to be know for as much people as possible in order to break a niche. With only 1 million sold I think it will hardly have an anticipated sequel 

It's better to have a consistent fanbase than a flash in the pan moment all of Nintendo's franchises started this way and built themselves up over time through the brand's reputation for quality. The 1m who bought it with out issue will likely stick with with it much like the Metroid fanbase have with their series and Xenoblade has shown the growth not only happens with out what you suggest but it's more organic growth that is consistent in the long run, dropping a game to bargain bin prices also doesn't guarantee sales look at the original Bayonetta when it was on PS3 and 360 it only manage 2m total at those prices the second game with less sales made more money that it.

This is why it's best they stick to their approach because for all you know you can drop prices and it'll only sell to the same people who would have bought it anyway.



IcaroRibeiro said:
Wyrdness said:

Problem is the discount approach impacts the returns a game can make, Astral Chain selling 1m at full price likely made more than what some games made selling 3m at bargain bin prices that for Nintendo is more key than numbers being a solely gaming focused company this is why they have discounts as part of their online subscription because they still make up what they lost from reducing the price.

It's a new franchise, it's more important to be know for as much people as possible in order to break a niche. With only 1 million sold I think it will hardly have an anticipated sequel 

Doubful, we've seen plenty franchises outgrow their considered niche predecessors to become midly-popular franchises. Best example for Nintendo has been the Xenoblade series.

Bayonetta 3 will also probably mark a new milestone in the franchise due to her now prominent presence in gaming icons (Smash).



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Otter said:

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. 

They keep selling, but at a smaller scale because they’re smaller games from a commercial perspective.



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The pump and dump approach employed by EActubi and other third parties is a large part of why games that sell "only" 5 million copies can end up being seen commercial failures. They're heavily dependent on massive first week sales because their products, other than annual multiplayer-focused franchises like Call of Duty, generally don't have long legs and they don't make as much money off of people waiting for the games to hit $20 or less because the game is an "old" game, or the people waiting for a "GOTY edition" with all the DLC included. If you treat the games you make like disposable products, your customers will do the same. They prefer a business approach that emphasizes volume. That's what works for them. 

Nintendo carefully curates its franchises so that they will maintain their value, and therefore Nintendo continues to make money off of them. That's the way they've always done it since the NES. A Zelda game to me is an event, a treasure to be kept. It also means that Nintendo is generally more willing to keep investing in franchises that would be considered failures at EA or Activision.

Last edited by SanAndreasX - on 01 November 2020

Cobretti2 said:
Some good reasons have already been mentioned.

To add.

A lot of Nintendo gamers are actual game collectors and take pride in having a nice collection. Go to a second hand section of a game store or even an op shop and what do you see? Countless Sony/Microsoft games and bugger all Nintendo.

Look at past consoles and how many games (especially in PAL regions) have appreciated in value.

Speaking for myself, as a game collector I find Switch cartridges to be more enjoyable to collect than PlayStation or Xbox discs, and certainly more than digital files.