Nintendo: Where Do We Point the Finger of Blame?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    A few days ago, it was announced that due to dismal sales of the Wii U Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata would take a 50% pay cut. It is not exactly news here or anywhere that the Wii U is not a good seller. Poor advertising and a lack of third-party support add together and create a recipe for poor sales. Adding salt in the wound, even downloadable content is being pulled off the shelves. At this point in time, is it time to start looking at better alternatives for the gaming giant, and would it be time to maybe even look at calling quits for Satoru Iwata? Or better yet, is Iwata himself not the entire problem?​
    Looking back, Iwata helmed the company since 2002. He's ushered in many a generation; the Gamecube, the Wii, the DS era, and the Wii U. Lately though, Nintendo has been losing money and reporting losses over the past several years. It was mentioned from Iwata himself that an endeavor like the Gamecube flopped because of a lack of good software to drive the console. Yet, at this point, it appears to be more of the same. The 3DS, which is a wonderful system on its own, received a rather poor support platform in the West, especially considering the online infrastructure and SpotPass/Streetpass. These features may work well in other nations, but for us here in the West, we can barely scrounge hits on our consoles, making this feature rather dull. Others may disagree with me, but it really depends on location, location, location. Comparing a quote he gave several years back,​
    and looking at the slump that Nintendo has been enduring the past several years, it feels like he has learned nothing. The very issue he spoke about is the same thing that is plaguing his company. A lack of software titles is hurting not only the investors, but the consumers as well, who are looking more to the smartphones and other consoles. As of a few days ago, a new statement was released, citing that Nintendo may be open to start working with smartphones. Do not get me wrong, I love myself some Nintendo products, and while I hope that they will come out with some revolutionary product, the way things are heading, I just do not see what they can do to turn it around. Their archaic ways of thinking, such as not utilizing the online infrastructure, irks me. At this point, the internet is so crucial to our everyday lives it is almost an essential. Sticking only to local play is holding them back. Their recent games are uninspiring and lackadaisical. Most titles, while great as standalone titles, are rather banal in comparison to earlier titles that the giant used to produce.​
    At this point, I would like to think that new leadership is needed. I feel that Iwata's great firework has long since died. He seems like a wonderful fellow, do not get me wrong. I admire the fact that he seems rather interested still, and is willing to step up and take responsibility, but the fact that these issues are occurring repeatedly is too much of a problem to simply ignore at this point. His ability to market is rather weak, and I do believe that at this point, Nintendo will need a fresh set of eyes to guide them forward in an era of superior technology.​
    Do I believe that Iwata himself should be completely removed from the company? No. I think that Iwata should be moved into an area where he can actually make a positive contribution, something like development. His Nintendo Directs and interviews (Iwata Asks) shows initiative to work with developers and interest in the wants of his fans. Looking forward, should the blame be entirely pinned on Iwata himself though?​
    Iwata should not be held solely responsible. His major weakness is a lack of understanding in his market and it is hitting both his investors and his pocketbook. But who is to blame in such an instance? A little side story, I had this interesting theory all cooked up to talk about, yet a quick Google search yielded that someone had thought up a similar, if not identical theory, and only several days ago. Definitely put a bit of a dampener in the plans, but for the sake of everyone, and due to its relevance I think I should put it here. What would happen if I had decided to pin the blame not on Iwata, but on Shigeru Miyamoto himself?​
    Targeting Miyamoto?
    Okay, now you guys are probably going to either stop here and declare me legally insane. I do not blame you guys at all. To question Miyamoto is definitely interesting; he being a veteran developer, having ushered in some of the most profitable franchises in the history of modern video gaming, being a factor in the recent tumbles that Nintendo has suffered?​
    The way I look at it, it is because of his legendary franchises that Nintendo is suffering. As far as the article I just linked, I basically agree with almost all the details presented. The legendary franchises (Zelda, Mario) are all the brainchild of Miyamoto. It could be indirectly said that Nintendo's successes are due to Miyamoto's ideas. When we look at games that drove home the Wii, we see games like Wii Sports. We see games like Tetris. Or Donkey Kong. We see games that are inconceivably popular that drive home sales. When we compare the sales of Wii U and 3DS to that of the DS and Wii, we see an explosive difference. Looking around in 2013, we do not see any new IP's coming out of Nintendo. We see the story of Nintendo developers using Miyamoto's baseline work and marking new games in his legendary franchises. There are more inundations of Mario, more inundations of the same old concept redone in a slightly shinier packing. At this point it is like polishing garbage. It might smell less stinky, but it is still the same thing at the end of the day. We as gamers do not see these developers taking off their training wheels and moving on their own, creating their own new franchises. When I look at this, I go back to the Eurogamer article and I agree very much with this criticism that they have made:​

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    Nintendo is definitely in a figurative hole and they need to get themselves out and fast. I look at this title and see it as a perfect example of developmental crisis that is happening: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors. You have a franchise, The Legend of Zelda, one of the biggest franchises around, and you combine it with a game that has plenty of iterations over the past decade, Dynasty Warriors. The title, while I love both franchises, seems so unoriginal, and very unlike what Nintendo used to do. By chaining themselves and slaving away to the masterpieces that Miyamoto has ushered in, for Nintendo, creative development has essentially stopped.

    To end all of this, reviewing this giant text block that I have typed out, we look at Iwata, and his decisions over the past several years. Are the results finally justifiable for investors to scream for his head? Is it okay to look at Shigeru Miyamoto himself as a possible factor in the recent mess that Nintendo has found themselves in? Is it the fact that Nintendo is not embracing the online culture? Has the creativity from Nintendo been stopped? Seriously though, Nintendo, we all love you, but we want to see you kicking ass and taking names, not getting your ass kicked and having your name be trashed. Let's discuss the finer points of Nintendo here!
     
  2. BMinkie
    This message by BMinkie has been removed from public view by p1ngpong, Feb 1, 2014, Reason: spam.
    Feb 1, 2014
  3. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    I place my faith in Nintendo in Mr. Iwata's hands.

    (Psst. Mr. Iwata, please set the bananas down so you can hold my faith)
     
  4. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I believe the only cause for this, is really that "Nintendo Stubbornness" regarding many aspects:

    - The lack of third party titles on the Wii U

    - The constant and somewhat puzzling refusal for Nintendo to embrace the social media, for instance, Youtube videos of their products.

    - The struggle to forcefully trying to sell Nintendo hardware, instead of jumping on the Android / IOS / PC wagon, and focus on the software.

    - The inability to produce fresh and innovative titles, relying ever more on already overdone / overused concepts and series, such as Mario, Zelda and so on.

    - The lack of good Online competitive / coop games, even for their own titles, and somewhat faulty / not so fresh Internet platforms, menus and online stores.

    Those are just some issues that come to mind, which I believe have had their toll on the Nintendo name, over the years.

    Really, it sounds like he is trying to have the same approach as he did with the Wii. The problem is, times have changed. 2005 was almost a decade ago.

    There's tablets, smartphones, new audience, financial crisis now. In short, its a whole new world.

    I seriously think, Nintendo needs to rethink their approach on the public and stop being so stubborn for once.
     
  5. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer GBAtemp Fan

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    I think it kind of undermines the credibility of your commentary when you liken releasing sequels in successful franchises to "polishing turds". These are still some of the best games of the year.

    If you want to be a critic in an industry where novelty is the driving force, then you should get into modern art, because it is all about doing modern and shocking things. Popular art, by contrast, like movies and video games, are all about making money, and the safest way to make money is to release sequels in successful franchises.

    I agree that part of the problem is that the Nintendo development teams and subsidiaries just are not big enough to put out entries in every major franchise (they have built up so many over the years, things like Mario Kart and Smash Brothers) and also develop innovative, risky new games. They need to figure out how to fix that. But, at the same time, they are in an industry where they live and die by the whims of the consumers, and they need the money from the franchises they know are likely to sell.
     
  6. Ryukouki
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    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I actually was not thinking in the lines of "sequels," actually. When I was writing I was thinking more about the franchise as a whole. I should maybe elaborate on that point in the article at a later time. I don't doubt that these games are the best of the year individually, I find a lot of them to be great as standalone titles. Look at Pokemon X and Y. It sells like hotcakes, but some people have criticized it for its distasteful story, being more of the same. For me, when I see sequels, I see things like New Super Mario Bros. U, which may be the "best game" but falls short of previous titles due to lack of creativity. Looking at your post and where I mentioned that, it definitely was a bit broad of me to say so. For me, I want to see more creative franchises. I want to see Nintendo get out of the stone age and maybe move forward with some of their franchises and/or create new ones. When I look at Mario, I find that development for the series has essentially "capped" at the New Super Mario Bros. DS game, barring Galaxy. Sure, the titles could be innovative, they could have unique features that utilize the potential of the console or whatnot, but at the root (and more to where I was heading at) it's more of the same and it feels like it just isn't going anywhere. I look at Galaxy and I see steps forward. You get orchestrated music, a more immersive environment, etc. Compare it to the successive sequels and it's still got the same short levels/structure, the same stuff going on.
     
  7. stephaniie

    stephaniie GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    nope miss sex symbol .

    most titles on xboom n playstation hasnt survived the console eras . and never three consols eras .

    nintendo stand n fall of series that have been active for five eras in total ... thats not good .


    edit: and if you wanna scream resident evil or tony hawk pro skater, or final fantasy.. these are titles that is dying, cause youth surpasses seniors always
     
  8. FireGrey

    FireGrey Undercover Admin

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    I think they need to be targeting towards parents, not kids.
    That's what happened at the start of the Wii, but didn't really realize to much extent so didn't continue with it.
     
  9. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

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    So many people taking an interest in Nintendo that don't sound pleased with their Nintendo, or never intended to buy one in the first place.
    One thing is for sure, Nintendo doesn't have to market them selves, like Miley Cirus, (spelling? who cares?) like her or hate her, the people generate her hype for her.
     
  10. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer GBAtemp Fan

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    I don't think it is really that bad. For instance, Nintendo is much more likely to make an original game for their handheld than their competitors. The New Super Mario Bros Wii U is different than the New Super Mario Bros 3DS. I think people expect these titles to be on each Nintendo console these days, and Nintendo does not really milk them. It is one title per console and they don't usually do ports of games to their handhelds these days unless they are classic games like Starfox 64.

    In any case, it is like classical music. You need enough new stuff to keep it interesting but to be repetitive enough that it feels structured. Nintendo is pretty good at that. By contrast, some developers (especially indies who are not working with large budgets of big publishers) are like jazz musicians. They play whatever they feel and whereever the music takes them. Sometimes that is to familiar places, and sometimes it is indistinguishable from random noise. And, then you have your popular musicians: the Call of Duty, Battlefield, et cetera. These are the same catchy riffs played over and over again. There are only about 20 bars to the whole song that are repeated ad nauseum. The only thing that changes are the lyrics.

    I do agree with you that part of Nintendo's problem is that it is just too successful. It cannot keep giving people all the popular franchises it wants while also giving people the innovative new games they desire. But, for the company to move forward, it needs to figure out how to do both.
     
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  11. DiscostewSM

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

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    I think the current situation is enough of a wake-up call for Nintendo that they are going to be more aggressive from here on out. Even with all the money they currently have to stay in the business for years to come, they need to take action, entice the population again, and bring back the companies that left them for dead.
     
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  12. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

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    Nintendo made a mistake with the Wii U, it aint going to be fixed until the next generation, and that's if the big "N" can get their sh*t together. Nintendo needs to make a console that competes with their competition. The casual gamers aren't buying the Wii U, and it looks like there isn't enough Nintendo fanboys to keep the company afloat. Hardcore gamers have been flocked to the playstation and xbox consoles since their release. If Nintendo wants to survive then they need to make the NIntendo console the goto console for gaming, f*ck youtube, social media, smartphones and all that other crap, I want a console to game on, once that is good then they can implement the other useless social crap.
     
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  13. stephaniie

    stephaniie GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    can you mention 20 popular titles for the Wii U or Wii?
     
  14. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer GBAtemp Fan

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    The whole, "the Wii U is not selling well because its GPU is 2 times slower than the Xbox 1 and 5 times slower than the PS4" argument does not hold water.

    It has been a long time since the days where processing power alone was the biggest factor in gaming innovation. We are on the linear side of a geometric distribution for the ratio of gameplay improvements : computational power.

    You also have to go back to the SNES days to see a computationally superior system that outsold its rivals. Every single other example, going back to the NES versus the Sega Master System, shows that the best computer did not win the most consumers.

    Nintendo made a lot of mistakes with the Wii U. Some of them they can fix right now. Others, they are going to have to put on the shelf for another five years or so and incorporate them into the next console.
     
  15. Pablitox

    Pablitox GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Adding salt to the wound, it doesn't help the nintendo 3DS and Wiiu, and fuck, all the consoles who aren't sega are so DAMN expensive here, you'd need to be rich to just afford one of them. I live in argentina, but this usually happens in every country in Latin America.

    For example: a nintendo 3ds is roughly u$s 500 here, not to mention the games, who are roughly u$s 63.
     
  16. Wisenheimer

    Wisenheimer GBAtemp Fan

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    It depends what yo mean by popular. Five Wii U titles have sold over 1 million units, and they are all Nintendo exclusives.

    If you mean "popular" as in well received by consumers and critics, they are nearing 50 titles rated 75 or better on meta-critic.

    These are the top 20 Wii U titles out now, not in terms of popularity, but in terms of quality:

    1. Super Mario 3D World
      Metacritic Score: 93
      • User: 8.9
      • Nov 22, 2013
    2. Rayman Legends
      Metacritic Score: 92
      • User: 8.6
      • Sep 3, 2013
    3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
      Metacritic Score: 90
      • User: 8.8
      • Sep 20, 2013
    4. Skylanders Swap Force
      Metacritic Score: 89
      • User: 5.7
      • Oct 13, 2013
    5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut
      Metacritic Score: 88
      • User: 8.3
      • Oct 22, 2013
    6. Pikmin 3
      Metacritic Score: 87
      • User: 8.6
      • Aug 4, 2013
    7. Need for Speed: Most Wanted U
      Metacritic Score: 86
      • User: 7.1
      • Kinect Compatible
      • Mar 19, 2013
    8. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
      Metacritic Score: 86
      • User: 7.5
      • Oct 29, 2013
    9. Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
      Metacritic Score: 85
      • User: 7.1
      • Kinect Compatible
      • Nov 13, 2012
    10. Assassin's Creed III
      Metacritic Score: 85
      • User: 7.1
      • Nov 18, 2012
    11. NBA 2K13
      Metacritic Score: 85
      • User: 7.2
      • Nov 18, 2012
    12. Darksiders II
      Metacritic Score: 85
      • User: 8.0
      • Nov 18, 2012
    13. Batman: Arkham City - Armored Edition
      Metacritic Score: 85
      • User: 8.1
      • Nov 18, 2012
    14. Trine 2: Director's Cut
      Metacritic Score: 84
      • User: 8.0
      • Nov 18, 2012
    15. Mutant Mudds Deluxe
      Metacritic Score: 84
      • User: 6.6
      • Jun 13, 2013
    16. Bit.Trip Presents...Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
      Metacritic Score: 84
      • User: 7.9
      • Feb 26, 2013
    17. New Super Mario Bros. U
      Metacritic Score: 84
      • User: 8.0
      • Nov 18, 2012
    18. Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
      Metacritic Score: 83
      • User: 7.6
      • Nov 18, 2012
    19. Star Wars Pinball
      Metacritic Score: 83
      • User: 7.2
      • Jul 11, 2013
    20. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
      Metacritic Score: 82
      • User: 8.4
      • Oct 22, 201
    And these are the best-selling (most popular) Wii U titles

    1. New Super Mario Bros. U 2012 Action Nintendo
    3.58 million units sold worldwide

    2. Nintendo Land 2012 Action Nintendo
    2.79 million units sold worldwide

    3. Super Mario 3D World 2013 Platform Nintendo
    1.70 million units sold worldwide

    4. New Super Luigi U 2013 Platform Nintendo
    1.24 million units sold worldwide

    5. Wii Party U 2013 Action Nintendo
    1.03 million units sold worldwide

    6. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker 2013 Action Nintendo
    0.81 million units sold worldwide

    7. Pikmin 3 2013 Strategy Nintendo
    0.70 million units sold worldwide

    8. Lego City Undercover 2013 Action Nintendo
    0.69 million units sold worldwide

    9. ZombiU 2012 Action Ubisoft
    0.63 million units sold worldwide

    10. Monster Hunter Tri 2012 Role-Playing Nintendo
    0.47 million units sold worldwide

    11. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed 2012 Action Sega
    0.30 million units sold worldwide

    12. Disney Infinity 2013 Action Disney Interactive Studios
    0.29 million units sold worldwide

    13. Rayman Legends 2013 Platform Ubisoft
    0.27 million units sold worldwide

    14. Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games 2013 Sports Nintendo
    0.25 million units sold worldwide

    15. Just Dance 2014 2013 Misc Ubisoft
    0.25 million units sold worldwide

    16. Just Dance 4 2012 Misc Ubisoft
    0.23 million units sold worldwide

    17. Skylanders SWAP Force 2013 Platform Activision
    0.23 million units sold worldwide

    18. Assassin's Creed III 2012 Action Ubisoft
    0.23 million units sold worldwide

    19. Call of Duty: Black Ops II 2012 Shooter Activision
    0.23 million units sold worldwide

    20. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2013 Action Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    0.21 million units sold worldwide
     
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  17. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    There is a cancer. It must be cut out.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As I said in another comment a few days ago ... this shit is gamer repellent. Casual gamers flocked to the Wii for the social party fun, but they got their fix. Their Wii's still work. They don't need another game system, because they're casual gamers. Meanwhile, people who want games with challenge and depth are repulsed by this tsunami of fun in short frantic doses. They know Nintendo will still pump out some of the best games, but they have to weigh that against the entry cost for the console, and the inevitable wait between good releases.

    .
     
  18. KazoWAR

    KazoWAR GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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  19. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

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    What Hanafuda said. That's the thing with casual gamers I think... Nintendo targeted them with the Wii, and it worked. Lots of people got one.
    But they are casuals... definitely not the kind of person that readily spends hundreds just for renewing their gig, especially when the new gig doesn't do much more than the previous one, and that the old one still works.
    I'm not too surprised that the Wii U hasn't been so much of a success like the Wii was back in the day.
    The 3DS sells but I think the "3D effect" craze has died down a bit, hasn't it? not exactly a selling point anymore...
     
  20. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    I can't remember the name, but there was a Eurogamer article recently about a developer's experience working on the Wii U game. There's one anecdote where the guy was told point blank not to reference Xbox Live, PSN, Steam, etc. because none of Nintendo's engineers had any personal experience with the competitions' services.

    That attitude, the belief that you don't need to worry about the other guys, that you have nothing to learn from them, is more damaging than any one person.

    Sony had that same exact attitude going into the last generation, and... well, look at the PS3's early life to see how that went for them. Sony managed to wise up in time to turn the PS3 around. It's doubtful that the Wii U will have the same sort of luck, but I can only hope it serves as a serious wake up call.


    Hype is meaningless without sales. You could have the most hyped console in history, but if nobody buys it, you've still failed.

    Also, when it comes to the Wii U, all of the popular stories are either "Wait, you mean it isn't a controller?" or "Wii U sinking harder than the Lusitania!" I don't think I'd call that hype.
     
  21. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

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    It does matter when the future games that are going to be released for those other systems are going to need to be dumbed down to run on the Wii U. It's going to be the Wii all over, you remember all the crappy ports the Wii got because of it's weaker hardware, the same thing will happen with the Wii U. In my opinion, Nintendo don't stand a chance unless they release a console that matches one of their rival's consoles, if not both of them, hardware wise.

    Look at it this way, if you were going to buy a gaming computer, which would offer you the best experience, the high end computer or the low end computer? Well, the same can be said for gaming consoles too, if you were going to buy a gaming console, which would offer you the best experience, the high end console or the low end console? Most of the true gamers out there don't want sub-par hardware to game on.