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

SanAndreasX said:
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.

Kinda helps that cartridges hold more inherent value than discs 

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It's a combination of things...

1. Nintendo generally doesn't release sequels for most of its franchises. Particularly the kind of titles where one is likely to make the previous entry irrelevant.

Smash is an example of this. Ultimate makes Smash 4 basically entirely redundant, and would make it a tough sell at full price. So, they're not releasing a sequel. Same with Mario Kart, or Animal Crossing. There are exceptions, such as BOTW2 or Galaxy 2 for Wii, but these are generally experiences where one does not make the other obsolete. Pokemon is really the exception to this rule.

2. They make good games.

Not that other companies don't, but Nintendo makes really good games, and those are the ones that continue to sell at a higher price.

3. They have a big variety of IPS.

This ties into #1. Compared to a company like, Activision, Nintendo has a lot of wells to draw from. Lets say they released Mario Kart 9 right now. It would sell through the roof, but it would also cut at least 5 million off Mario Kart 8 DX's sales, and potentially force a price drop. So, even if they would sell 20-25 million copies, they're kind of only selling 15-20.

Instead, they could release something like a new 2D Mario title. That would cut some sales from NSMBU Switch (and Mario Maker 2 to a lesser extend), but that's not selling at the same level of Kart. By cycling through franchises, they keep older entries from becoming obsolete. Of course, there is a limit, as right now Nintendo is sort of running out of their heavy hitters to release on Switch.

By comparison, Activision's line up is a bit thinner. If they released COD once a year, that entry would probably sell for a while at full price, but they'd have nothing to fill the gap.

4. Nintendo's games are not as story driven.

That's not necessarily a good thing, but in this case I think it helps. With TLOU2 for example, you're not going to get the full experience unless you've played the first. So, Sony is going to really want to get everyone possible to play that one, so they can get on board with the second. Part of that is reducing the price of the first.

5. Nintendo has trained their market.

A lot of it is simply expectation. The same way Apple has gotten its customers used to upgrading, Nintendo has gotten its core base to accept its model. If other companies tried to do the same thing at this point, their fans may be more upset cause it's not what they're used to. But this is just kind of what Nintendo does and right or wrong, we've grown accustomed to it.

Personally, I was willing to buy something like Xenoblade Chronicles DE at launch, even though it's something I wasn't really dying to play, because it probably wasn't going down by more than 20 bucks within a year. On the contrary. I wanted Devil May Cry 5 about as much, but I knew if I waited a while I could get it for 20 bucks, and so that's what I did.

JRPGfan said:
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?

Part of it has to be competition.
Nintendo Switch has sold ~400m games.
PS4 has sold like ~1500m games (I think?).

Even if you account for the fact that the Switch is only been on the market, half as long (and double Switch game sales to compensate) you notice its still like half of the playstation 4's.

Basically they sell alot more games, thus theres more competition for the 1st party games.
Also 3rd party are more aggressive with price cuts too there, so Sony 1st party follow suit.

Meanwhile, alot of Switch owners, also own PS4/Xbox's and usually arnt as intrested in 3rd party games on that system (if they already own the games on other systems, or plan to play them there). So the main draw of the Nintendo system is its exclusives by far (more than the other platforms).

Nintendo knows this, and thus keeps prices high on their games to profit more.

Also it could be a differnce in mind set.
Some companies are fine, makeing small profits on each unit sale, but selling more, to accomplish the same.
(while others, are willing to keep prices high, even if they know it potentially means less sales, but since the price is higher, the profits are fine)

Keep in mind that PS4 software figure accounts for download only titles also. Nintendo doesn't include that.

Has "Because Ninty is greedy" been said yet?

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JWeinCom said:
IPokemon is really the exception to this rule.

Pokemon indeed behave closer to Sony/MS games when it comes to sales/chart performance

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IcaroRibeiro said:
JWeinCom said:
IPokemon is really the exception to this rule.

Pokemon indeed behave closer to Sony/MS games when it comes to sales/chart performance

Yeah, but I think the Pokemon Company has a lot more say in how they're run compared to other companies Nintendo controls. They tend to release things on their own, went mobile before Nintendo officially did, and Sakurai has talked about how adding Pokemon is similar to adding a third party.

But, Pokemon games also don't go down in price.

So by having more expensive games that sell less they make more money and thus can afford to run less than popular franchises like Metroid, Xenoblade, and Pikmin.

....I swear that is the most Nintendo logic thing I've ever seen. I also want to do a Jim Sterling AAA extended soundbyte, but I'm not good at such expressions.

The Democratic Nintendo that a paradox? I'm fond of one of the more conservative companies in the industry, but I vote Liberally and view myself that way 90% of the time?

I feel like no one has yet mentioned another reason why other publishers tend to drop their game prices much faster: the rest of the modern industry is so tied up in the sales of DLC to drive profits that publishers often use the heavily discounted base game as a Trojan horse to get it into your home and get you to buy the game's DLC along with it.

That's how games like NBA 2K can go on sale for $3 in the eShop, and Dragon Ball FighterZ is constantly marked down by 75%. They've already written off the price of the base game to try to make their money from DLC sales.

Nintendo games aren't nearly as reliant on DLC sales and primarily stick to the traditional model of making profit from the base game.

We usually have a players choice lineup by this point of the generation with games listed at 29.99, but Nintendo has been so dominant that they seem to be back to arrogant Nintendo again. Some Switch games have dropped down to $45 randomly this generation like Zelda, Mario etc so that is kind of nice. Nintendo doesn't seem to realize that if they dropped older games that aren't selling much these days like Xenoblade, Donkey Kong Country TF, and Bayonetta they would pick up steam again. Games like Donkey Kong and New Super Mario U I beat on the Wii U but would probably buy them on a whim if they did drop to $20.

In terms of physical sales, wouldn't this have more to do with retailers? Nintendo just suggests a price for the retailer. If these retailers have stock they can't seem to get rid of, it would seem that they'd put them on sale as we've seen in the past with major 1st party games being $30-$45.

In terms of Digital, man who the hell knows. But they do put games on sale here and there on the eShop. So while the price drops may not be permanent I do see them digitally and physically at times throughout the year.

Now the actual question, why do I still pay full price for Nintendo games years down the line? Well, I generally trust the quality of Nintendo 1st party titles, I generally know that the entire game will be on the disc/cart and thus it physically holds actual value and isn't a glorified steam key.

As a couple of final notes, though I buy Nintendo 1st party titles at "Full Price" I often don't actually pay the entire thing. Some retailers will take off $5-$10 for a new release so I do take advantage of that when I can.

Also I feel Nintendo's brand name goes a long way. We associate quality with Nintendo because more often than not, they do what they do very well (and have been doing it for longer than its competitors) and when you add in familiarity and nostalgia, all of that feeds into the value of a Nintendo game. As an anecdote when the Wii U launched, I walked into a GameStop and traded in all my 1st Party Wii games (yes, big mistake) to get a Wii U (yes, big mistake) and those games covered the entire cost of the console and then some. The employee made sure to tell me that the only reason I got that much credit was because the games I traded in were Nintendo 1st party games. Even used titles hold great value.

All in all, I don't think there's generally one reason why Nintendo games don't often go on sale compared to its competitors. But to mark it up to "lack of competition" for every Nintendo console doesn't seem right either. Because this question has been asked for decades at this point.