Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Is Nintendo headed the wrong way? (As a developer)

Well I have had mixed views on the direction Nintendo has been taking as a games publisher. The mixed views have to do with the restructuring Nintendo has done to its developement styles over the last few years. I tend to believe their priorities don't match the will of the installed user base.

 My first and biggest Beef with Nintendo's current direction is the idealogy that the casual gamer is more important to the industry then the hardcore. Rather then maintaining established franchises and their high quality standards they are shoving one casual game out after another. I don't want BrainTrainer or WarioWare or Nintendogs I want Mario , Donkey Kong and EarthBound. This shift in focus has been great for attracting casual gamers but for me at least it has greatly affected the amount of software I buy. Rather then buying a game a month or every two months my Wii is gathering dust (brief relief from MarioParty8).

 Nintendo's failure to maintain its franchises is evident everywhere. Look at Donkey Kong as the perfect example going into GameCube you had a highly successful franchise one of the top 20-franchises in the world with its past DKC and 64 games having sold millions of copies each (Based on my memory). But when Nintendo was forced to sell Rare, rather then shifting Donkey Kong over to another internal team they outsourced it to a third party. When the third party began screwing up (Titles only selling in the thousands) Nintendo didn't fix the problem. Instead Nintendo builds a new studio and to train their new staff they use Donkey Kong as a guine pig. They choose to through out the established fanbase in an attempt to attract casual gamers. This sacrafice can be seen today after JungleBeat only shipped 30,000 copies globally during its launch month (A major disaster).

 However I could care less what happens to some of the new IP's. Project H.A.M.M.E.R in my opinion looked repetitive even the very nature of the gameplay lends itself to repetition. A game based around swinging a hammer, seariously thats the best they could come up with (Sorry Nintendo) but it had to be said. On the other hand franchises (New IP's) like Disaster look extremely promising in my books and replacing them for another BrainAge or TouchGenerations game would be enraging.

 However I have not lost faith in Nintendo's abilities. Since the GameCube generation Nintendo has been constantly expanding purchasing new studios and expanding its internal and second party operations. With over 5-new studios openned last generation I think Nintendo should be able to make the best of both worlds. Devote a studio or two to casual games and the rest to the established franchises and establishing new franchises. Nintendo just needs to hold on to their existing user bases and their existing IP's no more screwing up we can't have StarFox go the way of Donkey Kong or any other franchise for that fact.

 



-JC7

"In God We Trust - In Games We Play " - Joel Reimer

 

Around the Network
steven787 said:
First off, we are attacking the intelligence of people who are "afraid" of education and mental exercise. I don't go crazy for em, but I like 'em when they amuse me.

Second, Project Hammer (no periods for me) looked pretty but lacks/ed depth from the start. Alien Syndrome isn't as pretty, but seems much more fun. Games from third parties can also be the cause of cancelations, Nintendo might not want to compete with itself.

Third, can we stop with the emotional posts that count off like my ex-girlfriends.

 I'm going to respond to this because I'm the one that used the "afraid" word. Again I mentioned wanting some of these games and every brain game that has come out on the DS I bought, I own Brain Academy, Age, I own Quickspot, even the third party ones I got, heck I even have the NY Times Crossword puzzles. So I'm clearly not afraid in the context that people are so outraged about. My use of the word Afraid was more or less concern. Concern that we were entering an era that some of our beloved developers would be canceling traditional products in the name of more nongame titles. Do I not like to be educated? No, in fact I read nonfiction all the time I watch documentaries all the time, I go to the library and have taken college courses out of pure hobby, in fact I've said a million times I wish some games were rooted in actual historical events so that instead of some fantasy land, I'd actually learn something interesting about history. So what's my point? It's things like this:

What if at E3 we found out Camelot Studios was working on a Golden Sun sequel for the Wii, but it was put on indefinite hold in favor of a Wii sports like title?(Just to make this clear this is fake and not real!)

I love Wii Sports and would be thrilled to get a sequel, in fact I'd even like the idea of Camelot to work on it because they've made the perfect controls in Mario Golf and Tennis, some of my favorite games. I'd definitly buy the game without even reading reviews, and I'm sure I'd even love it. So what is my concern? What am I "afraid" of? Golden Sun  getting canceled that's what. I really really wanted them to make that golden Sun sequel. What if HAL is eager to make a sequal to the Earthbound/Mother series for the DS or Wii but instead the team is placed on these other casual titles. Again I'd enjoy these other games, but more so then a Mother sequel? Heck no. 

My point is not to dislike these games. it's that I'm missing what we could have gotten. And I know people here think it's silly and we will still get everything we ever wanted. I'm sure it's true I'll probably always have more games on the shelf I'll like, but I've seen how the market can change, I've seen entire genres end. My favorite kind of game of all time is adventure games. And with the birth of console action/platform games the pc adventure days have pretty much been killed off. (I'm not saying they're not around, just not nearly as prevelant as they used to be. I'm hoping for a come back.) When that happened Space Quest/King's Quest/Police Quest all ended their run. Full Throttle 2 got canned. And Sam & Max 2 got canned(yeah I know it's back and I love it but took more then a decade) So when the market changes like these the games can change too, and their are going to be games we'd love get canned infavor of games we don't love as much, lets face it the very fact that they are attempting to broaden the market is ommission on their own part that these "games" are being designed not with us in mind as hardcore gamers but the nongamers. Those appeals may at times overlap, but let me pose this question,  What game are you most, I mean most excited about coming out, and I'm willing to bet no one puts 1,000 healthy DS Recpies. But my mother would. You may buy it, you may even love it, but your not going to see those games on Famitsu's list, I have hardly seen brain games listed on anyones "Must have" list here on the forums. So until you tell me Brain Age 2 is more exciting then Mario/Smash Bros./Halo 3/Mass Effect/GTA 4/Uncharted/Little Big planet/etc... don't give me crap about my concerns.



fooflexible said:
steven787 said:
First off, we are attacking the intelligence of people who are "afraid" of education and mental exercise. I don't go crazy for em, but I like 'em when they amuse me.

Second, Project Hammer (no periods for me) looked pretty but lacks/ed depth from the start. Alien Syndrome isn't as pretty, but seems much more fun. Games from third parties can also be the cause of cancelations, Nintendo might not want to compete with itself.

Third, can we stop with the emotional posts that count off like my ex-girlfriends.

I'm going to respond to this because I'm the one that used the "afraid" word. Again I mentioned wanting some of these games and every brain game that has come out on the DS I bought, I own Brain Academy, Age, I own Quickspot, even the third party ones I got, heck I even have the NY Times Crossword puzzles. So I'm clearly not afraid in the context that people are so outraged about. My use of the word Afraid was more or less concern. Concern that we were entering an era that some of our beloved developers would be canceling traditional products in the name of more nongame titles. Do I not like to be educated? No, in fact I read nonfiction all the time I watch documentaries all the time, I go to the library and have taken college courses out of pure hobby, in fact I've said a million times I wish some games were rooted in actual historical events so that instead of some fantasy land, I'd actually learn something interesting about history. So what's my point? It's things like this:

What if at E3 we found out Camelot Studios was working on a Golden Sun sequel for the Wii, but it was put on indefinite hold in favor of a Wii sports like title?(Just to make this clear this is fake and not real!)

I love Wii Sports and would be thrilled to get a sequel, in fact I'd even like the idea of Camelot to work on it because they've made the perfect controls in Mario Golf and Tennis, some of my favorite games. I'd definitly buy the game without even reading reviews, and I'm sure I'd even love it. So what is my concern? What am I "afraid" of? Golden Sun getting canceled that's what. I really really wanted them to make that golden Sun sequel. What if HAL is eager to make a sequal to the Earthbound/Mother series for the DS or Wii but instead the team is placed on these other casual titles. Again I'd enjoy these other games, but more so then a Mother sequel? Heck no.

My point is not to dislike these games. it's that I'm missing what we could have gotten. And I know people here think it's silly and we will still get everything we ever wanted. I'm sure it's true I'll probably always have more games on the shelf I'll like, but I've seen how the market can change, I've seen entire genres end. My favorite kind of game of all time is adventure games. And with the birth of console action/platform games the pc adventure days have pretty much been killed off. (I'm not saying they're not around, just not nearly as prevelant as they used to be. I'm hoping for a come back.) When that happened Space Quest/King's Quest/Police Quest all ended their run. Full Throttle 2 got canned. And Sam & Max 2 got canned(yeah I know it's back and I love it but took more then a decade) So when the market changes like these the games can change too, and their are going to be games we'd love get canned infavor of games we don't love as much, lets face it the very fact that they are attempting to broaden the market is ommission on their own part that these "games" are being designed not with us in mind as hardcore gamers but the nongamers. Those appeals may at times overlap, but let me pose this question, What game are you most, I mean most excited about coming out, and I'm willing to bet no one puts 1,000 healthy DS Recpies. But my mother would. You may buy it, you may even love it, but your not going to see those games on Famitsu's list, I have hardly seen brain games listed on anyones "Must have" list here on the forums. So until you tell me Brain Age 2 is more exciting then Mario/Smash Bros./Halo 3/Mass Effect/GTA 4/Uncharted/Little Big planet/etc... don't give me crap about my concerns.


Well if you can magically make hardcore games cost as little to make, and take as little time to make, as those casual games, then it will solve the problem. Until then those facts are not Nintendo's fault for existing, just for taking advantage of them. 



A flashy-first game is awesome when it comes out. A great-first game is awesome forever.

Plus, just for the hell of it: Kelly Brook at the 2008 BAFTAs

Well I don't think that a possible cancel of Project H.A.M.M.E.R. is a reason to think that Nintendo is heading the wrong way, simply because, if they would cancel it because of their future strategy, that'd be plain stupid. It's like buying tickets for a concert, and a few days before the concert takes place, you discover another band which you like more, and therefore you don't go to that other concert.

I hope you know what I mean, if they would want to cancel projects due to a stronger focus on casuals, they wouldn't cancel games at this stage of development.

 

That said, here is the reason why I found this thread title interesting: Recently I thought the same, especially after playing Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2. I think that since the shift from GBA to DS, some Nintendo franchises have become more simple than they were before. It's only second tier IP's where i've noticed that, but I'm concerned about it anyway.

I marked that with two games, at one hand the mentioned Mario vs. DK 2. this one is obvious I think, it became very simple and you can play through it in, I guess, two hours. The other one is Mario & Luigi. The DS game was a lot of fun, but it never made me think, it was very straightforward for an RPG, and the lack of an overworld goes in the same direction.

These two games were a lot of fun on the GBA, and still some fun on the DS, but clearly going into the wrong direction. I hope they are exceptions, but other things, like the difficulty of Zelda: TP make me think that  it could be intention.



Currently Playing: Skies of Arcadia Legends (GC), Dragon Quest IV (DS)

Last Game beaten: The Rub Rabbits(DS)

I think we can all agree that we will have a much better idea of Nintendo's current developmental focus after E3. They certainly haven't tossed all games to the wind. I agree DS 3rd party support has been somewhat lackluster up to now, but SE has 14 DS games in development/out currently. Compare that to 8 PSP games, 6 of which are remakes. Certainly 3rd party support has shifted somewhat to the DS (though it took 3rd parties 2 full years to do so, which, incidentally, is the amount of time I predict it would take them to shift support to the Wii).

Give the Wii a chance, as Bod pointed out, not even 30% of it's software is minigames, though certainly that much if it is casual games. It's okay though. Nintendo's intention is to appeal to ALL audiences. Who knows how many casual gamers the Wii can convert into people like us? You don't think the people who bought the Wii for Wii sports might pick up a Zelda or Mario game? You don't think they will be interested in delving further into the library? Of course they will. Zelda's and Red Steel's (considering how bad it was) very impressive sales alone show that the Wii's game sales are hardly limited to the casual. Hopefully 3rd parties learned their lesson from the sales domination of software on the DS vs the PSP and will understand that there is money to be made on the Wii. If not, well I paid 250 bucks for it, I can live with it if I only buy 20 games for it. I honestly doubt it's going to be an issue though.



Around the Network
naznatips said:
I think we can all agree that we will have a much better idea of Nintendo's current developmental focus after E3. They certainly haven't tossed all games to the wind. I agree DS 3rd party support has been somewhat lackluster up to now, but SE has 14 DS games in development/out currently. Compare that to 8 PSP games, 6 of which are remakes. Certainly 3rd party support has shifted somewhat to the DS (though it took 3rd parties 2 full years to do so, which, incidentally, is the amount of time I predict it would take them to shift support to the Wii).

Give the Wii a chance, as Bod pointed out, not even 30% of it's software is minigames, though certainly that much if it is casual games. It's okay though. Nintendo's intention is to appeal to ALL audiences. Who knows how many casual gamers the Wii can convert into people like us? You don't think the people who bought the Wii for Wii sports might pick up a Zelda or Mario game? You don't think they will be interested in delving further into the library? Of course they will. Zelda's and Red Steel's (considering how bad it was) very impressive sales alone show that the Wii's game sales are hardly limited to the casual. Hopefully 3rd parties learned their lesson from the sales domination of software on the DS vs the PSP and will understand that there is money to be made on the Wii. If not, well I paid 250 bucks for it, I can live with it if I only buy 20 games for it. I honestly doubt it's going to be an issue though.

 

True. Wait until E3. 

 



LordTheNightKnight said:
 

Well if you can magically make hardcore games cost as little to make, and take as little time to make, as those casual games, then it will solve the problem. Until then those facts are not Nintendo's fault for existing, just for taking advantage of them.


 This is something that I totally agree with, it's actually what makes me concerned. I don't see a reason business wise for Nintendo not to make this choice. From a business perspective what they are doing is smart. It's even good in some ways for all gamers because the bigger the market the more devlopers and money this industry will have, but as a gamer personally there are projects I think may end up getting tossed aside that I'd love to see continue. It's just like my concerns on TV there is no reason for networks to not use reality shows and game shows, I think they are crap but they get good ratings and they are cheap so there is no reason for them no to be used in plenty of time slots, while some of my favorite shows get canned. 



I've been a gamer for 23 years since age 5.
I bought my first nintendo console ever 2 weeks ago...
I stumbled on this topic & found it fascinating to read.
Thought I'd offer my 2 cents.

Bigger Picture. This may show my age a bit...

Nintendo aren't stupid. 25 years ago - before platformers were platformers or FPS's were FPS's, their Toy paved the way for what was to come.

In an age when kids (depending on their parents income) would choose between pets, books, outdoor toys, cartoons on VHS, action figures, art & craft _or_ video games, or all of the above... - but they'd lose interest in all but 1 or 2 of them sooner or later... Nintendo knew their existing market, their potential market and their competitors strengths and weaknesses. They had a solid plan.

Their early games defined many of the genres that were later to grow stale, repetitive and done-to-death, screaming desperately for innovation and originality - the PS2 at it's height has the biggest gaming library ever seen... and yet how many of those titles fall outside the done-to-death genres of Platformer, Racing, Sports, Beat'Em'Up, RPG & FPS?

And now we come to an odd paradox -
At a time when gaming technologies are GOOD achieving incredible leaps - wireless portable & online multiplayer, hollywood-level storytelling, photoreal graphics & cinema sound, gaming titles are BAD reaching a critical mass of repetitive, derivative, sequel-spinning, me-too-with-better-graphics bandwagon titles...

Again the tide is turning.
With the lack of innovation in gameplay, some hardcore gamers threaten to lose interest while many newcomers are taking an interest - females and over-50's not in the least, and everyone wants something different.

Hardcore gamers are looking for something deeper, something all-encompassing... and the PC is blazing a new trail, which will eventually be picked up by the heavyweight consoles. - subscription-based MMOs.

New gamers, (lets call them Casual gamers) are looking for something outside the realm of WWII shooters, alien invasion and illegal street racing. The Wii is, I believe, in part, an experiment. It's an innovative step away from the mainstream, with the intent to explore new gameplay types, and new ways to play them. Wii games won't likely be deep to begin with... that comes later.

In among a whole bunch of old video games, the originals - Super Mario Bros wasn't very deep. In fact, it became just one of thousands of 2D games based on similar principles, and we all grew tired of them waiting for something else... But when Mario Bros first appeared, it started something big.

The Wii is starting something - maybe not for all you seasoned hardcore gamers out there... but it's definitely going to hold memories for a lot of newcomers - younger and older - the way that the NES might've for you.

 --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDdErzFwrRY



I never worried with Nintendo



Nintendo realized that Project H.A.M.M.E.R. was a bad idea so they canceled it. I bet probably right now they are either developing a new IP or thinking of a better, fun IP.