WiiWiiU

Nintendo's Tipping Point?

by Jon Lindemann - July 4, 2011, 12:17 pm PDT
Total comments: 62

Jon wonders if Operation Rainfall could mark a turn in Nintendo's fortunes.

Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point is a book that I've had sitting around for a while, and recently I've decided to finish it off (yes, even my Kindle has a backlog). It attempts to answer the question of what contributes to certain products or behaviors going "viral", and breaks down the elements that Gladwell believes are involved in that process.  It contains a fascinating account of the rise and fall of Airwalk, the skateboarding shoe company that exploded in popularity in the mid-90's, that is especially relevant given recent events involving Nintendo and its relationship with its legions of fans.

Airwalk was born of the skateboarding culture of Southern California, developing a strong street following with its original shoe designs and strong connection with skate culture. Thanks to savvy advertising and a concerted grass-roots effort to get "cool" people (rock bands, high-profile skateboarders, etc.) to wear their gear, the mainstream eventually took notice and "Airwalks" soon populated every mall in the country to meet a suddenly explosive demand.

However, Airwalk made a fatal mistake just as it was hitting its peak.  It had originally segmented its business such that boutique skate shops received high-end, exclusive shoes, while mall stores received more generic designs. The company decided that it made more sense to provide one line of shoes across the board, moving away from the extra effort required to cater to hardcore skateboarders.  This made the Airwalk brand extremely uncool to the trendsetting kids that frequented the underground shops, because they soon realized that the shoes they were buying were no different than what MTV Brad could buy at the mall.  Airwalk unwittingly abandoned the very people that made them cool by shifting their philosophy to cater to the mainstream.  Former company president Lee Smith put it best: "Cool brands treat people well, and we didn't….we had this little jewel of a brand, and little by little we sold that off into the mainstream".

I found Gladwell's account of these events to be eerily reminiscent of Nintendo of America's apparent refusal to localize anticipated Wii games Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower for the North American market. This decision – alluded to at June's Electronic Entertainment Expo and recently confirmed by a terse response on Nintendo's Facebook page - has led to a very public outcry from Nintendo fans in North America. Operation Rainfall, a grass-roots letter-writing campaign intended to spur NTSC localization of these titles, has picked up steam on Facebook and become a rallying point for disgruntled Nintendo fans who simply want more "hardcore" games to play in the twilight of their favorite console's life cycle.

It's not difficult to see the parallels between the trials of Airwalk and Nintendo's current situation. Swap skate shoes with video games and skateboarders with gamers and the two tales become strikingly similar.  Make no mistake: Nintendo has built its brand on its cachet with hardcore gaming enthusiasts.  For the most part, these are not the people that have bought Mario and Zelda games, although there is some overlap; these are primarily the people playing Pikmin, F-Zero, Star Fox, Kirby, and Smash Bros.  With their 2006 introduction of the Wii console and its subsequent mainstream explosion (thanks to general-audience titles like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Mario Kart Wii), Nintendo caught serious flak for supposedly abandoning the hardcore and catering exclusively to "lapsed" gamers.  However, those following Nintendo more closely knew that this wasn't the case, as there was still a steady stream of core titles like Metroid Prime 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Paper Mario, and Sin and Punishment 2.

For reasons unknown – but probably having a lot to do with a shift of development resources towards the 2012 rollout of their next console, Wii U – this steady stream of core content soon turned into a trickle, and then dried up entirely.  As of this writing there isn't a whole lot for core Wii gamers to look forward to in 2011 outside of the next Zelda game and Rhythm Heaven, a quirky title that in itself resides in a grey area between hardcore and general audience.  This fact alone makes purely "core" titles like Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower even more anticipated by North American Wii owners, and the sting of their absence in the region even more pronounced. What's worse (and more baffling) is that all three games are being released with an English translation in PAL territories, including Europe and Australia. There is even a special edition of Xenoblade being released that includes a red Classic Controller, exactly the kind of exclusive package that core gamers covet.

Meanwhile, Nintendo is trumpeting how its next console is aimed squarely at reclaiming the core gamers it has lost to Sony and Microsoft. Yet it seems to be snubbing the core gamers it already has on board, shaking the confidence of its faithful that Nintendo is looking out for them in addition to its newfound "casual" audience.  At the same time, it is reinforcing the claims of its detractors – and with Nintendo's success, there are many – that Nintendo really only cares about the most mainstream of mainstream gamers, begrudgingly trotting out core games every once in a while to keep its hardcore fans quiet.  Like Airwalk before it, Nintendo is failing to realize that its fanbase is far from homogeneous. It likes to say it makes games for everyone, but at the same time it must understand that not all gamers want games for everyone.  Those most loyal to a brand want to feel special, they want to be catered to, and they want to feel like their favorite company is making something "just for them".  If this doesn't happen, a brand's greatest supporters can become its greatest critics, and over time may abandon it entirely for what they perceive to be greener pastures.

This is not to say that Nintendo's refusal to bring these games to North America would doom them as a brand. The Nintendo brand remains one of the strongest and most recognizable on the planet, right up there with Coca-Cola and Nike. However, the potential damage of this fiasco cannot be understated. With the company already fighting an uphill battle to win back the hearts and minds of the hardcore who have migrated to other consoles, it needs to foster all the goodwill it can amongst its evangelists. In this context, the prudence of this decision is particularly questionable, and Nintendo's failure to extend an olive branch to its loyalists can't help but make one wonder what the future holds.

Cool brands treat people well. If Nintendo doesn't learn this lesson, they may soon face a tipping point markedly different from the one they experienced with Wii so many years ago.

And that's a game nobody wants to play.

Talkback

EnnerJuly 04, 2011

Good editorial.


It's frustrating that this situation persists when Nintendo of America can solve it so easily. If NoA is so risk averse with their money, then maybe they could offer the games in a limited pre-order/order on demand offer through select retailers. They could work with a specialty publisher such as Atlus or XSeed to bring the three games out at a lower cost to Nintendo of America. Heck, maybe they could work with Nintendo of Europe to have the PAL discs include a NTSC and NA region mode and open an import offer through the Nintendo of America online store or through other retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, or Gamestop.


As it has been echoed so many times these past weeks: I want to buy these interesting Nintendo games for my (NA) Nintendo console and I'm sad/angry/disappointed/frustrated that I can't.

ejamerJuly 04, 2011

Great editorial. Really makes you wonder where the balance is between profit and goodwill for companies like Nintendo. Has their recent success with casual and expanded audiences given them enough cachet to sell without the support and evangelism of core gamers? Are there enough Nintendo supporters who simply won't care about these titles and will be loyal anyway?


I know where I stand: Nintendo has to earn my interest and dollars going forward, having long since exhausted any trust I have that they'll cater to my interests. Doesn't mean they won't get my money... but the competition is stiff.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)July 04, 2011

Interesting piece. The key difference I observe is that, from the sound of it, Airwalk's aspiration to be mainstream seemed to encompass all of their products, to the point where there was nothing that their former niche was satisfied with. Whereas in this scenario with Nintendo, while it must be frustrating for the people who were looking forward to these specific games, the Marios and the Zeldas and the Metroids are still being made, and in fact, in the Wii generation, they've been drawing more from older series such as Punch-Out and Sin & Punishment. Because the franchises favoured by long-time fans continue to be represented, people have a continued interest in what Nintendo does in spite of their mainstream approach, hence why we have enthusiastic communities like this one.

One point you made that stands out to me was:

Quote:

Nintendo caught serious flak for supposedly abandoning the hardcore and catering exclusively to "lapsed" gamers

I think this is a strange way to phrase this, as my idea of the lapsed gamer is somebody who played the aforementioned franchise games back in the day, and is now rediscovering gaming by playing their modern incarnations. So really, they would like the same kinds of games that the 'hardcore' audience would because of the connection to those games they played when they were younger. For example, hypothetically, someone who's been lapsed from video games since Super Mario 64 gets introduced to Galaxy and loves it in large part due to nostalgic feelings and reminders of Mario 64. If that makes any sense...

Anyway, I understand the concern. The way I see it, as long as Nintendo carries on developing the types of games that I enjoy, they'll get my business. I have problems with some of their attitudes and decisions, but I'm in it for the software, and if it remains fun and up to high quality, it's a price worth paying.

"Lapsed", "Casual", however you want to phrase it, my point was that Nintendo was miscast as being primarily concerned with customers that had either stopped playing games altogether or had drifted to the "occasional" side of the scale.

The difference nowadays is that they are not sufficiently catering to the wants and needs of their most hardcore fans, at a time when those wants and needs are most distinct.

CericJuly 04, 2011

I'm glad you wrote this up.  Good example.  No example is perfect. 

I'm hoping NCL and especially the people in charge of Customer Relations and Branding at NoA are pay to this fine editorial and other opinions.  What is the point of having a separate branch but to cater to the local audience?

KDR_11kJuly 04, 2011

Reminds me, when was the last time they did anything serious for their "casual" audience?

CericJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Reminds me, when was the last time they did anything serious for their "casual" audience?

The don't discriminate.  Yeah they haven't really been doing anything to any of their customers on Wii.

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: KDR_11k

Reminds me, when was the last time they did anything serious for their "casual" audience?

Wii Play Motion.

Ian SaneJuly 04, 2011

Quote:

It likes to say it makes games for everyone, but at the same time it must understand that not all gamers want games for everyone.


This sums up what Nintendo has done wrong since the N64.  These days they're the casual company.  Remember when they were the kiddy company?  Same thing.  The Playstation was the first console to really have a wide variety of games targetted squarely at adults and teenagers, where as before videogames were largely targetted at children.  Nintendo made games for "everyone" but that meant that the content had to be family friendly.  But the audience that ate up Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII were not interested in games that everyone COULD like.  They wanted games specifically for THEM.  Same thing with the Wii.  I don't care if I COULD enjoy Wii Sports - to accomodate everyone is has have very broad gameplay.  I'm not interested in that.  I want something more specific to my tastes.  To truly target "everyone" Nintendo has to have different games targetting different audiences, not a bunch of broad mainstream games that are supposed to be loved by everyone.

For Nintendo the problems all started with the N64.  Losing the third party support removed much of the variety the NES and SNES had.  But another thing to note is that was the first console without Gunpei Yokoi.  It wasn't always the Miyamoto show.  The two of them both contributed to Nintendo's success and they both had different styles.  The Metroid series for example is not at all the sort of game Miyamoto would make.  Nintendo themselves had variety but after essentially firing Yokoi they became more homogenus since almost everything is filtered through Miyamoto.  Miyamoto is a legend but so is Paul McCartney and would you want McCartney being directly involved with all of your favourite bands?  Probably not.  Variety requires independent creators.

I don't think for a second Nintendo ever figured they would turn off core gamers so much with the Wii.  It's because they don't get this variety thing.  They saw how accessible Wii Sports was and figured EVERYONE would love it.  And they don't get this Xenoblade stuff.  They don't get that some people have been waiting specifically for a game like Xenoblade to come to the Wii.  They don't get that those same people might not be content with Wii Sports and Wii Fit.  Some might not even want Zelda.  That's probably something Nintendo can't imagine because for so long with Nintendo consoles it has been feast or famine.  But on consoles with actual variety, people will skip the big title in favour of some niche title they really want.  On Nintendo systems you buy the big title because there is jack shit else.  On other consoles you just buy whatever you want because there is always something available and it might be a huge mainstream hit or some obscure Atlus RPG.  It's like Nintendo got so used to their userbase mulling around until the big first party game and then devouring it that they think that THAT is the model to go with.  Like that's the way you please your fans.

I would like Nintendo to get their shit together so I want the Wii U to be successful with core gamers.  But I wouldn't be surprised at all if it wasn't and this Xenoblade stuff is later pointed to as an important turning point.  If they really wanted to get the core gamers back and knew HOW to do that, they would never for a second consider not localizing these games.  This very action demonstrates a completely lack of understanding the core market.  Next year they're going to beg us to buy their new system but THIS year they're telling us to screw off.  It is so counter-intuitive that I can't for a second believe that they know what they're doing.  In the clutch when they need to prove their detractors wrong, Nintendo has an astonishing track record of proving them right.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

I dont get things like this. Its plain and simple. The game code belongs to nintendo. Its their property. They can do whatever they want with it. If they feel that they want to release it and sell it they might do so and if they feel that they want to keep it unreleased thats their freedom to do so. Nobody except Nintendo has the right to decide what happens with their code. If Nintendo just gives up on whatever market those games might have had, then they have no obligation to sell those games. They are entitled to just keep the games by themselves. I believe there is a certain degree of financial freedom that companies like nintendo should have. And the decision what they want to sell or not is one of them.

Remember. Its their money that they will loose if the games dont sell not yours. They probably did a risk calculation and they dont want to take that risk. After those games bomb we as consumers dont need to care. But Nintendo will have lost that money just because of some internet campaign.

So yeah, if you have the slightest respect to their property then just let them make their decisions themselves.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

It likes to say it makes games for everyone, but at the same time it must understand that not all gamers want games for everyone.


This sums up what Nintendo has done wrong since the N64.  These days they're the casual company.  Remember when they were the kiddy company?  Same thing.  The Playstation was the first console to really have a wide variety of games targetted squarely at adults and teenagers, where as before videogames were largely targetted at children.  Nintendo made games for "everyone" but that meant that the content had to be family friendly.  But the audience that ate up Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII were not interested in games that everyone COULD like.  They wanted games specifically for THEM.  Same thing with the Wii.  I don't care if I COULD enjoy Wii Sports - to accomodate everyone is has have very broad gameplay.  I'm not interested in that.  I want something more specific to my tastes.  To truly target "everyone" Nintendo has to have different games targetting different audiences, not a bunch of broad mainstream games that are supposed to be loved by everyone.

For Nintendo the problems all started with the N64.  Losing the third party support removed much of the variety the NES and SNES had.  But another thing to note is that was the first console without Gunpei Yokoi.  It wasn't always the Miyamoto show.  The two of them both contributed to Nintendo's success and they both had different styles.  The Metroid series for example is not at all the sort of game Miyamoto would make.  Nintendo themselves had variety but after essentially firing Yokoi they became more homogenus since almost everything is filtered through Miyamoto.  Miyamoto is a legend but so is Paul McCartney and would you want McCartney being directly involved with all of your favourite bands?  Probably not.  Variety requires independent creators.

I don't think for a second Nintendo ever figured they would turn off core gamers so much with the Wii.  It's because they don't get this variety thing.  They saw how accessible Wii Sports was and figured EVERYONE would love it.  And they don't get this Xenoblade stuff.  They don't get that some people have been waiting specifically for a game like Xenoblade to come to the Wii.  They don't get that those same people might not be content with Wii Sports and Wii Fit.  Some might not even want Zelda.  That's probably something Nintendo can't imagine because for so long with Nintendo consoles it has been feast or famine.  But on consoles with actual variety, people will skip the big title in favour of some niche title they really want.  On Nintendo systems you buy the big title because there is jack **** else.  On other consoles you just buy whatever you want because there is always something available and it might be a huge mainstream hit or some obscure Atlus RPG.  It's like Nintendo got so used to their userbase mulling around until the big first party game and then devouring it that they think that THAT is the model to go with.  Like that's the way you please your fans.

I would like Nintendo to get their **** together so I want the Wii U to be successful with core gamers.  But I wouldn't be surprised at all if it wasn't and this Xenoblade stuff is later pointed to as an important turning point.  If they really wanted to get the core gamers back and knew HOW to do that, they would never for a second consider not localizing these games.  This very action demonstrates a completely lack of understanding the core market.  Next year they're going to beg us to buy their new system but THIS year they're telling us to screw off.  It is so counter-intuitive that I can't for a second believe that they know what they're doing.  In the clutch when they need to prove their detractors wrong, Nintendo has an astonishing track record of proving them right.

dont buy nintendo consoles.

plain and simple.

StrawHousePigJuly 04, 2011

The Airwalk example is totally backward. They sold everything everywhere and it brought them down, Nintendo is not selling everything everywhere and it could bring them down? Does not compute.

Has Nintendo really built their empire by treating a tiny segment of the audience to what they want? I don't see it that way. Sometimes they have complied (Kid Icarus for example) but on the whole I doubt trying to satisfy the myriad small groups of gamers makes much business sense to them. If the cool kids are *that* into JRPGs, importing is *always* an option.

For the sake of candor: I would consider The Last Story if they localized it, but I doubt I'd actually get it in the end. I don't have (or make) that kind of game time any more. So the news of probable failure of "Operation Rainfall" doesn't faze me in the least, nor would have its success.

Quote from: Ceric

What is the point of having a separate branch but to cater to the local audience?

To market to the local audience.

Ian SaneJuly 04, 2011

Quote:

The game code belongs to nintendo. Its their property. They can do whatever they want with it. If they feel that they want to release it and sell it they might do so and if they feel that they want to keep it unreleased thats their freedom to do so.


Well, yeah, of course they can do what they want with their own games.  But they also have to risk pissing off the audience they're trying to win back with the Wii U and the potential lost customers that could result from that.

And we're also allowed to express our opinion if we would like to buy a product that the parent company is not selling in our region, but is selling in others.

@farnham Certainly Nintendo owns the game code and can do whatever they want with it. But who do they (or their contractors) write that game code for? They aren't writing it for themselves. Their job is to provide fans of their systems with the consistent entertainment they want; they put themselves in that position. Nobody forced them to do it. To say that they don't owe their paying customers anything is completely backwards, especially when thousands of those customers are literally asking for content that Nintendo is willfully withholding from them.

@StrawHousePig It's not backwards. The point is that no company benefits from ignoring the wants and needs of the customers that were there at the start, and that made their product into a hot commodity.  If you don't think Nintendo built their empire on catering to a select few, I'll direct you back to the year 1985 when a select number of video game fans decided to take a flyer on something called the Nintendo Entertainment System, at a time when the industry was all but dead in the United States.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

The game code belongs to nintendo. Its their property. They can do whatever they want with it. If they feel that they want to release it and sell it they might do so and if they feel that they want to keep it unreleased thats their freedom to do so.


Well, yeah, of course they can do what they want with their own games.  But they also have to risk pissing off the audience they're trying to win back with the Wii U and the potential lost customers that could result from that.

i believe they clearly calculated the numbers of people that will get pissed by this decision and decided that they will rather risk pissing people of them releasing the game. I also believe that they thought that the probability that the WiiU will flop due to the absence of Xenoblade, Last Story and Pandoras Tower on Wii is low.

Quote from: Ian

And we're also allowed to express our opinion if we would like to buy a product that the parent company is not selling in our region, but is selling in others.

im not saying you are not allowed to say your opinion. im saying that you are not having any having any financial responsibility. you are not the one who has to fire employees if the business goes wrong.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

@farnham Certainly Nintendo owns the game code and can do whatever they want with it. But who do they (or their contractors) write that game code for? They aren't writing it for themselves.

of course they are. do you think nintendo is a altruistic organization ? they are a business. they invest in software in order to make a product that makes money for them.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Their job is to provide fans of their systems with the consistent entertainment they want; they put themselves in that position. Nobody forced them to do it. To say that they don't owe their paying customers anything is completely backwards, especially when thousands of those customers are literally asking for content that Nintendo is willfully withholding from them.

no their job is to make money off of the hardware and software they manufacture. and fans are no stockholders. they are consumers that pay a fixed price for a certain product and have no financial responsibility. its not like they loose huge chunks of money due to nintendos release policy. if the games nintendo provides does not confirm with the tastes of each consumers they are entitled to sell their console or not buy the next one.

as i said none of the consumers that are asking for certain games will bear the financial responsibility of that particular decision. so they have nothing to say. simple as that.

Ian SaneJuly 04, 2011

"Core gamer" as a term used by anyone that would describe themselves as such, doesn't refer to a small group.  What it means is the ENTIRE videogame market prior to the Wii and DS, which both introduced a huge new audience to videogames.  Nintendo did make their living targetting this group because prior to 2005 NO ONE in the entire videogame industry made any serious effort in attracting anyone outside this group.

"Core gamer" means anyone who plays and buys videogames on a regular basis.  It's the audience that made it so stores like Gamestop would ever exist in the first place.  "Casual" is used to describe someone who plays the odd game once in a while and might jump on to the current hot videogame fad for a few years and then jump off.  What Nintendo is accussed of when talking about casuals vs. core is the suggestion that they are neglecting what had been the ENTIRE videogame market from 1985-2005.

Quote:


im not saying you are not allowed to say your opinion. im saying that you are not having any having any financial responsibility. you are not the one who has to fire employees if the business goes wrong.


So if I don't work for Nintendo in some way I can't say squat about how they run their business?  I actually think this IS bad for business.  I feel they're prioritizing short term profit over long term customer goodwill.  Leaving the Wii to rot with like two games in the pipeline when there is product RIGHT THERE to fill the release schedule will risk turning disgruntled customers to the competition which could cost them Wii U sales.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: Ian

So if I don't work for Nintendo in some way I can't say squat about how they run their business?  I actually think this IS bad for business.  I feel they're prioritizing short term profit over long term customer goodwill.  Leaving the Wii to rot with like two games in the pipeline when there is product RIGHT THERE to fill the release schedule will risk turning disgruntled customers to the competition which could cost them Wii U sales.

no if you dont own shares of nintendo, and therefore are partly an owner of nintendo, you have nothing to say. if you are an employee you have to say whatever the corporate wants from you. if you are a subcontractor you have to do whatever the contract says. 

and if they are prioritizing short term profit over long term customer good will thats their decision to do so. they are carrying the financial responsibility for that decision not you. if they loose wiiu sales its their financial damage not yours.

they have the property and they are taking the risks. you dont have any rights on their IPs and you dont take any risks or bear any financial responsibility.

i dont see any ethical issues in nintendos behavior. and if its a purely financial critique, as i said they are taking the damage if they are wrong not you.

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

If you are a Nintendo consumer, you have every right to complain when the company doesn't make something you and gamers like you want to buy, and in fact withholds it because it doesn't fit the company's agenda.  We are the people who make it possible for companies like Nintendo to exist.  They answer to us by providing products we want to buy, or they find themselves filing Bankruptcy.  That's the symbiotic nature of business: we provide companies with our cash, and they provide us with things we want to own.  When companies don't provide us with things we want to own, we complain and stop buying their products.

Nintendo has 3 products here that people in North America want to buy, and these products will be already localized in a form that audience can use.  To say Nintendo has big gaping holes in their release schedule is an understatement.  They are choosing to not serve a market they want to court with the Wii U, so yeah it's perfectly valid to berate them for that.  The fact that companies like Atlus; XSEED; and NISA exist selling games like these is proof enough that the "well these games could never sell in North America!" argument is nonsense.  It just requires more effort and more targeted manufacturing and advertising attention than Nintendo of America feels like bothering with.

AVJuly 04, 2011

take it to the next level PROTEST in front of NOA HQ and Nintendo World store .Have dozens of people with signs chanting in front of the entrances.


Protest in front of wall street so people sell the stock.


Find Reggies HOME ADDRESS and send letters to him personally .


Take this to the next level !!!!!!!! :cool; :cool; :cool;

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

If you are a Nintendo consumer, you have every right to complain when the company doesn't make something you and gamers like you want to buy, and in fact withholds it because it doesn't fit the company's agenda.  We are the people who make it possible for companies like Nintendo to exist.  They answer to us by providing products we want to buy, or they find themselves filing Bankruptcy.  That's the symbiotic nature of business: we provide companies with our cash, and they provide us with things we want to own.  When companies don't provide us with things we want to own, we complain and stop buying their products.

i dont see any contractual or legal right of any nintendo consumer to demand specific games from nintendo.

you have the right to complain in terms of you have the freedom to express yourself, sure. but at the same time nintendo has no obligation to listen to those words. if they just abandon all their gaming business and go back to hanafuda cards and love hotels and if they dont sell the gaming ips they own just for the hell of it. i mean you cant complain to mcdonalds that they are not making cars. nintendo can make and sell whatever they want as long as its not illegal and you can buy it or dont buy it.

also its not you who made it possible for nintendo to exist. its themselves. they put in the capital. they recruited the employees. they bought the tools to ensure the employees develop the games and they marketed the games that they get enough money back to warrant other games. if they see a problem in that system and want to fix it, its their right to do so. because unlike the consumer who pays 50 dollar for a game nintendo invested millions in that business to get the copyrights, the employees and the marketing machine to do business.

Quote from: broodwars

stop buying their products.

agreed. stop buying nintendo games if you dont like em. its simple.

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

I have no earthly idea why you are arguing about legal rights to these games.  No one is arguing that Nintendo doesn't have a right to withhold these games from us.  Nintendo's just making an extremely bad and short-sighted business decision, and one that will cost them in the long run with the Wii U as the very audience they have said they want to court ignores their products.

And companies can't exist if an insufficient number of customers buy their products.  I don't care how much capital they've invested in the company.  They lose enough money putting out products no one wants to buy, they will eventually go bankrupt and cease to exist.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

I have no earthly idea why you are arguing about legal rights to these games.  No one is arguing that Nintendo doesn't have a right to withhold these games from us.  Nintendo's just making an extremely bad and short-sighted business decision, and one that will cost them in the long run with the Wii U as the very audience they have said they want to court ignores their products.

im saying that if they have the legal rights to these games nobody can stop them from whatever they are doing. in the end they will pay for the consequences. if its a short sided business decision they will suffer losses not you.

and i also said that i dont see any ethical hindrance in this decision.

so basically its legal and ethically neutral what they do. i dont see any grounds to criticize them.

Quote from: broodwars

And companies can't exist if an insufficient number of customers buy their products.  I don't care how much capital they've invested in the company.  They lose enough money putting out products no one wants to buy, they will eventually go bankrupt and cease to exist.

i hardly doubt that they will go bankrupt because they did not release xenoblade. also nintendo has done very fine financially the last couple years. they hardly lost any money.

There's absolutely grounds for criticism here, that is, if Nintendo is indeed in the business of providing what their fans want as they certainly claim to be. You're absolutely right...no company is obliged to do anything, ever.  For example, Sony wasn't obliged to do anything to "make it up" to their customers for allowing their user information to get leaked on a massive scale.  But they did.

You know why?

Because ultimately, the strength of your brand cannot be measured in dollars and cents.  It can only be measured in the degree of goodwill afforded you by your customers.  Even the perception of being a strictly dollars-and-cents operation ultimately weakens Nintendo in the eyes of their biggest fans, which is exactly the opposite of what a business wants.  It's a double-edged sword...the more popular your business becomes, the more people you need to please, and the more people you risk pissing off.  It's the price of success.

Nintendo should know better.

Ian SaneJuly 04, 2011

Quote:

so basically its legal and ethically neutral what they do. i dont see any grounds to criticize them.


So are you like a recently self aware robot or something?  Like... HUH?!

I didn't think Other M was any good.  Better not criticize it though since Nintendo didn't break the law or do anything evil in making it.  ;D

thesignpainterJuly 04, 2011

I just think if people want these games that badly, they should just import them and do what's necessary to get them working on their Wii's. It's a hassle, but its not like you wont be able to play them which is what it comes down to in the end. If people can put the effort in for these "operations", they can surely put the effort in to stick the Homebrew channel on and pay a bit extra to play the games they so dearly want to.

...but people shouldn't have to do that.  In fact, Nintendo themselves don't even WANT people to do that.  But in this scenario, they are forcing people to do just that.

Let's hope they actually do have at least some of these games up their sleeves for North America, and are just choosing not to announce them at the present time (and making a huge PR blunder in the process).

GoldenPhoenixJuly 04, 2011

I still am curious just how much of a blunder it is, I am still not convinced the market as a whole on the Wii really care, including the "core" gamers or if it is just an outspoken minority doing this. Let's face it we've seen this before in the past with Wii, people clamoring for a specific game, and it comes out, but guess what? It doesn't sell, indicating there was either just a vocal minority and/or the "core" gamers were not serious about purchasing it in the first place.

Does that mean it is a good thing NIntendo isn't releasing them here? No, not in the least but the thing is that there is a possibility people are exagerrating the impact it really has, even for the more the so called "core' gamers. People have short memories, it has been proven time and time again, a year from now or whenever the Wii U comes out, these 3 games will likely be distant memories except for a few.

thesignpainterJuly 04, 2011

Yeah, most people asking for these games wouldn't buy them, that I'm certain of. The people who would buy them will probably go through the loops to play them anyway.

Its a crappy situation, sure, but the means to play these games in a tongue you understand will exist. And as has been said, its unlikely these games not releasing in America will affect Wii U significantly. Who's going to pass on the next Zelda because Xenoblade didn't come to US shores? 

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: thesignpainter

Its a crappy situation, sure, but the means to play these games in a tongue you understand will exist. And as has been said, its unlikely these games not releasing in America will affect Wii U significantly. Who's going to pass on the next Zelda because Xenoblade didn't come to US shores?

*raises hand*

I already have.  I've already stated that I'm purchasing Skyward Sword used just to not give any of my money to Nintendo.  As for future franchise titles, if they're as startlingly uninspired and mediocre as some Nintendo titles have been this generation (including Twilight Princess), I won't shed a tear at buying them Used as well if I buy them at all.

The important thing is that it's not just these three games.  These are neither the first nor will they likely be the last Wii games that Nintendo of America has refused to release in NA.  In the past, though, it was at least somewhat understandable since we were under the impression that some mythical mountain of Wii games were being worked on, and NoA just didn't have the resources to allocate to them.  Remember that this is the company that has promised time and time again that we wouldn't see huge software droughts like we have the last two generations.  Yet in this case Nintendo has a huge dearth of Wii software, and is simply refusing to release games they'd have to put only a minimal amount of work releasing here.  You say "one game", and I say "it's a pattern NoA has shown it believes in, and it's one that will continue to be a problem on Wii U."  That's why I think this hurts them.

Luigi DudeJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

Let's hope they actually do have at least some of these games up their sleeves for North America, and are just choosing not to announce them at the present time (and making a huge PR blunder in the process).

It's all about the European sales at the moment.  The fact that NOA hasn't had Xenoblades original title, Monado, taken of Amazons games list, which is allowing people to still preorder it, shows they still haven't completely ruled out a North American release in the future.  This makes it very obvious that NOA is going to be watching how it does in Europe, before making any decisions or NCL might force them to release it if the European sales are good as well.

If they had no plans of ever bringing it over or knew there was no chance of being forced to bring it over, I'd image they would have had Amazon remove the game from their site by now.

TJ SpykeJuly 04, 2011

Nintendo has no influence over Amazon. Amazon has had titles up for pre-order that haven't even been announced (and sometimes never did). That just says Amazon believes it will be released.

CericJuly 04, 2011

To jump in a little late on parts of this, N64 and GameCube survived on the Core Gamer if they would have not had the loyalty that they had I could easily see Nintendo being a handheld only company.  As Lindy and Ian say Goodwill is worth its weight in gold for a company.  Sony can still use its name to sell product even though the company products have been wide ranging in quality for years.  Cars are a big market for loyalty like that.

I mean look at clothes.  Why do some brands command 80-100 dollars for a shirt when its the same material and like as a 10-20 dollar shirt?  Its brand image and percieved value.  You want to be the product in your field associated with the positive and cool.  People should be proud to say they use your product.

ShyGuyJuly 04, 2011

This is the best article Lindy has ever written.

Quote from: ShyGuy

This is the best article Lindy has ever written.

I don't mean to demean anything previous that the dude's written, but I echo that sentiment. This is a great article. Bravo, my predecessor.

Anyway, the Airwalk thing doesn't hold up directly to this, because I'm pretty sure I could just get Karlie to buy me a pair of Airwalks from Europe and send them to me, and then hack my feet so I can play them. I know we have some long-standing rule of not supporting this kind of practice, but fuck it. Until NoA announces these games, my plan is to import these games from Europe. If I don't, I might burn my Wii out of boredom.

sigrah0x7baJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

People should be proud to say they use your product.

So... gamers are proud that they purchased Microsoft's broken system, a situation that they didn't even try to fix until the EU started looking into bringing legal action against them? They're proud that they purchase Sony's overpriced system, and even got that second job just to do it, because Sony said they would be? They're proud to have trusted Sony with their sensitive data, which they practically gave away to hackers?

Somehow not localizing 3 games is on the same level... No, no, apparently it's WORSE than what Sony and MS have done in the past. Or is it just that Sony and MS have so much more gamer goodwill, what with how well they've treated them over the years.

Or could it simply be that gamers have almost 0 (zero) long term memory and will forget all about this by the time the Wii U comes out. There isn't even any current or even historic outrage at Sony and MS that matches what gamers are throwing at Nintendo today.

There really is a double standard in the video games industry.

CericJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: sigrah0x7ba

Quote from: Ceric

People should be proud to say they use your product.

So... gamers are proud that they purchased Microsoft's broken system, a situation that they didn't even try to fix until the EU started looking into bringing legal action against them? They're proud that they purchase Sony's overpriced system, and even got that second job just to do it, because Sony said they would be? They're proud to have trusted Sony with their sensitive data, which they practically gave away to hackers?

Somehow not localizing 3 games is on the same level... No, no, apparently it's WORSE than what Sony and MS have done in the past. Or is it just that Sony and MS have so much more gamer goodwill, what with how well they've treated them over the years.

Or could it simply be that gamers have almost 0 (zero) long term memory and will forget all about this by the time the Wii U comes out. There isn't even any current or even historic outrage at Sony and MS that matches what gamers are throwing at Nintendo today.

There really is a double standard in the video games industry.

Its a testament to the brand that after all those problems people still like brandishing being a PS3 player or more so an XBox 360 player as a badge.

A lot of this for Nintendo has been building since the N64.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: ShyGuy

This is the best article Lindy has ever written.

I don't mean to demean anything previous that the dude's written, but I echo that sentiment. This is a great article. Bravo, my predecessor.

Anyway, the Airwalk thing doesn't hold up directly to this, because I'm pretty sure I could just get Karlie to buy me a pair of Airwalks from Europe and send them to me, and then hack my feet so I can play them. I know we have some long-standing rule of not supporting this kind of practice, but **** it. Until NoA announces these games, my plan is to import these games from Europe. If I don't, I might burn my Wii out of boredom.

Nothing is going to directly correlate to this because of the nature of the business is so new comparatively speaking and also so limitted in the players.  Conceptuelly the Airwalks still work.

Also, All Hail Megatron!

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: sigrah0x7ba

Quote from: Ceric

People should be proud to say they use your product.

So... gamers are proud that they purchased Microsoft's broken system, a situation that they didn't even try to fix until the EU started looking into bringing legal action against them? They're proud that they purchase Sony's overpriced system, and even got that second job just to do it, because Sony said they would be? They're proud to have trusted Sony with their sensitive data, which they practically gave away to hackers?

Somehow not localizing 3 games is on the same level... No, no, apparently it's WORSE than what Sony and MS have done in the past. Or is it just that Sony and MS have so much more gamer goodwill, what with how well they've treated them over the years.

Or could it simply be that gamers have almost 0 (zero) long term memory and will forget all about this by the time the Wii U comes out. There isn't even any current or even historic outrage at Sony and MS that matches what gamers are throwing at Nintendo today.

There really is a double standard in the video games industry.

Microsoft and Sony have made plenty of mistakes this generation.  No one can or will deny that.  The difference is that they have acknowledged their mistakes and have made attempts to repair their relationship with their customers, and they know how to spin these situations in ways that their customers will appreciate (the massive warranty extension and the Welcome Back gifts).  Nintendo talked a good game at E3 about wanting to bring the core back, and look at how that's shaped out with this incident.  As alluded to recently on NWR, these companies also have very public faces and places with Major Nelson and the Playstation Blog, where their fans can have the impression that their concerns reach those who can do something about it (even if the reality is not the case). 

Nintendo has essentially shown its fans on more than one instance that they don't care what they think or what they want, if the demographics don't point to them being a source of big sales.  If you own a Nintendo system, you'll take what Nintendo gives you and be thankful for it.  And as the Almighty God of Gaming, they don't need to communicate with the little people and hear their needs.  Imagine how much better this scenario might have panned out for Nintendo if they had simply come forward and explained their reasoning, rather than essentially a blanket "thanks, but **** you!" comment after several days of build-up.  I know I wouldn't have liked it, but I would have appreciated not just being brushed-off like I didn't matter.

sigrah0x7baJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Microsoft and Sony have made plenty of mistakes this generation.  No one can or will deny that.  The difference is that they have acknowledged their mistakes and have made attempts to repair their relationship with their customers, and they know how to spin these situations in ways that their customers will appreciate (the massive warranty extension and the Welcome Back gifts).  Nintendo talked a good game at E3 about wanting to bring the core back, and look at how that's shaped out with this incident.  As alluded to recently on NWR, these companies also have very public faces and places with Major Nelson and the Playstation Blog, where their fans can have the impression that their concerns reach those who can do something about it (even if the reality is not the case). 

Nintendo has essentially shown its fans on more than one instance that they don't care what they think or what they want, if the demographics don't point to them being a source of big sales.  If you own a Nintendo system, you'll take what Nintendo gives you and be thankful for it.  And as the Almighty God of Gaming, they don't need to communicate with the little people and hear their needs.  Imagine how much better this scenario might have panned out for Nintendo if they had simply come forward and explained their reasoning, rather than essentially a blanket "thanks, but **** you!" comment after several days of build-up.  I know I wouldn't have liked it, but I would have appreciated not just being brushed-off like I didn't matter.

First off, Sony and MS made no mistakes. These incidents were not mistakes. They were premeditated and calculated. They knew exactly what they were doing and they were hoping that gamers would be willing to let them off the hook, and they did.

Calling Nintendo out and then not doing the same for Sony and MS is not only disingenuous, it's down right idiotic.

For Nintendo to have done what gamers wanted them to do this generation would have meant the end of Nintendo. They would have needed to put out and overpowered system that would have cost them a fortune and then dove head long into the bribery wars that Sony and MS have been engaging in to get developers to make games for their systems. In the end they would have lost billions of dollars and been left in a position where they most likely wouldn't have the resources to manufacture a new system.

That is what gamers seem to want. They want Nintendo gone and they want to destroy gaming as a whole. Just look at how many developers have closed shop this generation. And they still haven't managed to get a grip on costs. If Sony and MS leapfrog Nintendo again, which is what everyone is expecting them to do, what do you think is going to happen to developers? Expect what we've seen this generation only a whole lot worse.

Nintendo is the only hardware manufacturer today who knows how to make an actual console that is cost effective and affordable. Sony and MS have no clue in that regard. But they are good at FUD and marketing.

It's just too bad that people are such easy targets for simple solutions.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

so basically its legal and ethically neutral what they do. i dont see any grounds to criticize them.


So are you like a recently self aware robot or something?  Like... HUH?!

I didn't think Other M was any good.  Better not criticize it though since Nintendo didn't break the law or do anything evil in making it.  ;D

you can criticize other m as a product that you spend your money on

but you cant criticize the act of development and release of other m itself.

Retro DeckadesJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: farnham

i dont see any ethical issues in nintendos behavior. and if its a purely financial critique, as i said they are taking the damage if they are wrong not you.

Nope. If the Wii U is released, and I invest my money in purchasing one, I do so with the expectation that there will be entertaining software to play on it.  As a company, Nintendo has set that precedent. If that system is unsuccessful for whatever reason and support disappears, then I DO incur some financial damage, as I will have to turn to another video game system for entertainment. It's happened before to all those who bought Virtual Boys and Dreamcasts.

A big difference this generation is that many people bought the Wii solely for the game included with it. Whether or not Nintendo has recognized this and is now making release decisions based on this information, they are not providing product for their video game entertainment system, and for many of us who bought the system, that is a problem. Many have incurred the financial penalty of having to invest in a second gaming system just to have something to play.

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: farnham

Quote from: Ian

Quote:

so basically its legal and ethically neutral what they do. i dont see any grounds to criticize them.


So are you like a recently self aware robot or something?  Like... HUH?!

I didn't think Other M was any good.  Better not criticize it though since Nintendo didn't break the law or do anything evil in making it.  ;D

you can criticize other m as a product that you spend your money on

but you cant criticize the act of development and release of other m itself.

You have to love it when people run around telling you what you can and cannot criticize about Nintendo as if it were something factual written into the LAAAAAAW, like they were Nintendo's private police force.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

There's absolutely grounds for criticism here, that is, if Nintendo is indeed in the business of providing what their fans want as they certainly claim to be. You're absolutely right...no company is obliged to do anything, ever.  For example, Sony wasn't obliged to do anything to "make it up" to their customers for allowing their user information to get leaked on a massive scale.  But they did.

of course they were obliged. they have concluded a contract with every psn user out there and even if this contract does not specifically say anything about the event of a hacker attack sony has an implied obligation to protect personal data of its users (im pretty sure they do say that they will not give user data to third parties or something. im not sure though). so the so called make up was a measure to stop potential trials.

Quote from: NWR_Lindy

You know why?

Because ultimately, the strength of your brand cannot be measured in dollars and cents.  It can only be measured in the degree of goodwill afforded you by your customers.  Even the perception of being a strictly dollars-and-cents operation ultimately weakens Nintendo in the eyes of their biggest fans, which is exactly the opposite of what a business wants.  It's a double-edged sword...the more popular your business becomes, the more people you need to please, and the more people you risk pissing off.  It's the price of success.

Nintendo should know better.

sorry but if nintendo followed the fans they would have perished a long time ago

its the abandoning of the fans that got them over the top with the wii or the ds. nintendo wants masses that eat up their cheap games not a small vocal crowd that cries about nintendo not investing tens maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars to release a game when they only invested 250 dollars in the console.

AdrockJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I still am curious just how much of a blunder it is, I am still not convinced the market as a whole on the Wii really care, including the "core" gamers or if it is just an outspoken minority doing this. Let's face it we've seen this before in the past with Wii, people clamoring for a specific game, and it comes out, but guess what? It doesn't sell, indicating there was either just a vocal minority and/or the "core" gamers were not serious about purchasing it in the first place.

Does that mean it is a good thing NIntendo isn't releasing them here? No, not in the least but the thing is that there is a possibility people are exagerrating the impact it really has, even for the more the so called "core' gamers. People have short memories, it has been proven time and time again, a year from now or whenever the Wii U comes out, these 3 games will likely be distant memories except for a few.

I was browsing the forums on my phone and I want you to know that I literally got out of bed, walked to my computer, and signed in just to I could quote this and give you an internet high five.

I think a lot of people who are upset about this are upset on principle because they can't buy these games, not because they actually wanted to. It's understandable, if a little childish. I wouldn't be surprised if NOA is thinking the same thing. Many of these people would not have bought a single one of these games, let alone all 3. Had these games been on the release schedule all along, I'm convinced that many of the same people who are sending letters to NOA and trolling their Facebook page would be complaining that The Last Story, Xenoblade, and Pandora's Tower were the ONLY games coming out before Skyward Sword and not something else like Pikmin 3. Sure, they're core titles.... but for a niche segment of the user base. These are also probably the same people who didn't buy the really great but admittedly niche titles on the Wii such as Madworld, Muramasa, and to a lesser extent, No More Heroes which at least performed well enough to justify a sequel. All great games that based strictly on quality should have been played by more people. Unfortunately, they weren't and I doubt that The Last Story, Xenoblade, and Pandora's Tower would have faired much better, even with the anemic release schedule.

I understand what the editorial is saying, but I respectfully disagree. Nintendo will be just fine. Wii U will not be affected in any significant way by NOA's refusal to publish these titles or the assumption that NCL won't license the game to, say, Atlus or XSEED. I'm personally saddened that I won't get to play these games (namely The Last Story as it reminded me a bit of Final Fantasy IX), but the world won't stop for anyone.

broodwarsJuly 04, 2011

For the record, Adrock: all those games you listed?  I purchased them all (even the crap-tastic Muramasa and Madworld) along with many others you didn't list, and every one of them on or near their original release date.  I can't say with certainty I would buy Pandora's Tower.  Of the 3, that's the one I know the least about and have the most reservations about.  I can say I would buy Last Story and Xenoblade, though, and if we get to the Wii U and NoA still hasn't released them I plan on importing them.  I think you have a point that Nintendo not even allowing us the opportunity to buy this game is what's irritating so many people, but I think a large share if not the overwhelming majority of Operation Rainfall would have purchased all 3 games.  Right now, Amazon.com certainly confirms that much, at least where Xenoblade's concerned.

AdrockJuly 04, 2011

I'm not sure what your point is. I didn't single you out as someone who didn't buy those games. I'm glad you bought them because they were awesome. Okay, you didn't like them, but I did.

Also, pre-ordering something on Amazon means almost nothing because anyone can cancel a pre-order.

farnhamJuly 04, 2011

Quote from: OneTwenty

Quote from: farnham

i dont see any ethical issues in nintendos behavior. and if its a purely financial critique, as i said they are taking the damage if they are wrong not you.

Nope. If the Wii U is released, and I invest my money in purchasing one, I do so with the expectation that there will be entertaining software to play on it.  As a company, Nintendo has set that precedent. If that system is unsuccessful for whatever reason and support disappears, then I DO incur some financial damage, as I will have to turn to another video game system for entertainment. It's happened before to all those who bought Virtual Boys and Dreamcasts.

A big difference this generation is that many people bought the Wii solely for the game included with it. Whether or not Nintendo has recognized this and is now making release decisions based on this information, they are not providing product for their video game entertainment system, and for many of us who bought the system, that is a problem. Many have incurred the financial penalty of having to invest in a second gaming system just to have something to play.

1. you will pay 600 $ max for wii u and 60$ max for a game. nintendo willbhave to spend millions of dollars to develop manufacture and distribute. so no you have no say in their business just because you bought a product unless its faulty or it infringes your rights
2. dont buy ninrendo consoles if you dont like what they are doi g

apdudeJuly 04, 2011

People interested in RPG's on home consoles did not buy a Wii because there are none.  NOA knows that nobody is going to buy a Wii in it's last year of existance just to play these.  Sure some people who own a Wii would like to play them, but probably not enough to justify the expense.  I can see after an RPG on the WiiU comes out and if it does well, then try to release these or an upgraded version of these three on it to potentially boost WiiU sales and solidify it as a machine for RPG fans.  Why sell something for 50 when you can sell it for 60 next year.

Retro DeckadesJuly 05, 2011

Quote from: farnham

1. you will pay 600 $ max for wii u and 60$ max for a game. nintendo willbhave to spend millions of dollars to develop manufacture and distribute. so no you have no say in their business just because you bought a product unless its faulty or it infringes your rights
2. dont buy ninrendo consoles if you dont like what they are doi g

Not sure how this is a response to my post, because it doesn't seem to address my main point, so in that case I'll just assume that you agree.

To take things to the extreme, just for fun, one might argue that the Wii currently IS a faulty product because it is not currently capable of playing new, entertaining content. Imagine that you decide to see a movie this Saturday night for your weekend entertainment, but after purchasing your ticket and sitting down in the movie theatre you discover that there is actually no movie to show. That would suck.

Since unrelated points seem to be the order of the day, allow me to offer a few helpful pointers:

1. The dollar sign ($) actually goes in front of the number (i.e. $60)
2. Sentences usually begin with capitals.
3. I buy Nintendo consoles, not ninrendo consoles. (I usually tend to ignore typos, but I can't let this one go)

Also, if reductio ad absurdum actually worked, I could say, "If you don't agree with what other users are posting in this thread, then don't read it," but alas, here we are.

Anywho, I thoroughly enjoyed the article. I'd love to play Xenoblade and The Last Story (samplings of Xenoblade's soundtrack has had me anticipating the game for some time), but regardless of how this all plays out, it will be interesting to follow. I wonder if Nintendo has noticed that many Nintendo-focused websites are publishing editorials regarding their lack of attention devoted to Wii gamers?

ThePermJuly 05, 2011

They don't include certain obvious things so that you'll want them later, its a control suspense scenario.

every generation its like this since the 64 generation. They are OWNING the masses psychologically.

Think of all the little things you wanted, but you didnt get the last generation.

Nintendo was kiddy(even though there were shooting games on the console), so you got all of the Survival horror games on gamecube.
Nintendo didnt have online, so you got better online on Wii(not perfect)
Nintendo gave us friend codes which was annoying, supposedly theres a big online improvement
Nintendo focused on casual gamers with the Wii, Core gamers with Wii U
Nintendo has no Metroid for years, you get metroid prime trilogy
Nintendo teases awesome realistic zelda, you get cel shaded zelda, then when you get realistic, what do you want...more cartoon zelda
Nintendo has no Kid Icarus for years, you get Kid Icarus Rising.

Nintendo knows how to give you a taste of things, just so you'll want it more. At the same time they offer stuff the competitors doesn't have.




Luigi DudeJuly 05, 2011

Quote from: Adrock

I think a lot of people who are upset about this are upset on principle because they can't buy these games, not because they actually wanted to. It's understandable, if a little childish. I wouldn't be surprised if NOA is thinking the same thing. Many of these people would not have bought a single one of these games, let alone all 3. Had these games been on the release schedule all along, I'm convinced that many of the same people who are sending letters to NOA and trolling their Facebook page would be complaining that The Last Story, Xenoblade, and Pandora's Tower were the ONLY games coming out before Skyward Sword and not something else like Pikmin 3.

Sadly this is actually quite true.  Back in 2008 when everyone thought Disaster would be getting a North American release, nobody cared about the game at all.  Every time a new trailer for the game was shown, most comments were about how the graphics were poor and the gameplay didn't look to hot.  When the game was announced for a late October release in Europe, people thought it'd get a similar release in America and then talked about how terrible the Wii's 2008 fall lineup was and how Disaster and Wii Music both looked like crap Nintendo should be embarrassed to release.

It wasn't until IGN revealed in a podcast that Disaster wasn't coming to America because Reggie thought it was poor quality and wouldn't sell, that suddenly, now people actually got interested in the game and started saying they wanted to play it.  Within a day the game went from crap Nintendo should be ashamed to release, to "OMG I must play it now".  The same thing also happened with Another Code for the Wii, when it was first revealed at the end of 2008, the reaction was pretty non existence expect for a hand full of people.  But when it was revealed that NOA wasn't going to bring it over, suddenly all these people who had never shown any interest in the game at all, were coming forward to say how they're outraged.

Hell, even back in 2006 when NOA release Odama, Chibi-Robo! Baten Kaitos Origins has the final games on the Gamecube before Twilight Princess came out, all three of these games were largely ignored while everyone b!tched about when was Twilight Princess finally coming out.  What makes it even worse is the fact that the Gamecube version of Twilight Princess would go on to sell over a million copies in North America alone, while Odama, Chibi-Robo! and Baten Kaitos Origins combined couldn't even sell 100k.  And Twilight Princess came out later then all of them as well which showed that during 2006, there was over 1 million people that still had a Gamecube in there homes, and yet over 95% of them didn't buy any new titles until Twilight Princess at the very end of the year.  Even though in the case of Chibi-Robo! and Baten Kaitos Origins, these were both great games that any core Nintendo fan should have bought, they ignored them and only bought Zelda at the very end of the year.

Of course I still think it's very stupid for NOA to not release Xenoblade and The Last Story since both could have success here in North America because they play more similar to currently popular western style RPG's then the traditional JRPG that are losing steam.  With the right advertising, both games could easily put up good numbers in America.  But because of what happened with the Gamecube in 2006, as well as the lack of love people had with Disaster and Another Code until they found out they weren't coming over, not hard to see why Reggie thinks the way he does about not releasing certain games.

KDR_11kJuly 05, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: KDR_11k

Reminds me, when was the last time they did anything serious for their "casual" audience?

Wii Play Motion.

I don't really think that counts, after all it's just a small pack-in with a controller and not a major game.

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: KDR_11k

Reminds me, when was the last time they did anything serious for their "casual" audience?

Wii Play Motion.

I don't really think that counts, after all it's just a small pack-in with a controller and not a major game.

Wii Play is one of the biggest-selling games on the system. It sold. People kind of enjoyed it.

More like they enjoyed the controller AMIRITE???

EnnerJuly 05, 2011

Quote from: Shaymin

More like they enjoyed the controller AMIRITE???

I like the tanks game. That is fun.

ShyGuyJuly 05, 2011

PREDICTION: I don't think Reggie is going to the last the life cycle of the Wii-U

TJ SpykeJuly 05, 2011

After the massive success of the Wii in North America, it would pretty much require the Wii U to tank for Reggie to get fired.

BboyJuly 05, 2011

I realize the talkback has completely just become a debate/argument thread at this point, but I just wanted to say, awesome article Lindy, easily the most intelligent and well thought out piece of writing I've read about video games in a long time, let alone about this whole Operation Rainfall fiasco.

Chozo GhostJuly 06, 2011

If Reggie goes, who will replace him?

SundoulosJuly 06, 2011

Great article!

It's difficult to say how much impact the fallout from Operation Rainfall will have.  Most of the Wii audience will never hear a thing about these games or Operation Rainfall; however, I believe the impact of this goes beyond people who would actually purchase the games.  I think the real impact is the larger audiences' perception of Nintendo's "talk to the hand" response.  Even if I weren't interested in 2 of the 3 games being requested by OP's letter-writing campaign, this reaction from them has further cooled my own desire to purchase a new console.    Nintendo's response on twitter and facebook was better than remaining completely silent, but their wording and timing of their actual response had a lot of room for improvement.  Their first response, indicating that an announcement on the situation was forthcoming, gave tentative false hope, and their second was an equivalent slap in the face.  (I think that they would have been better off just delivering the second statement without the first.)

The effect of this may be negligible, but we won't know for another year or two.  The once-blue ocean is getting more red by the month, and it's difficult to tell from Nintendo's E3 messaging whether they plan to truly continue that strategy.  Either way, Lindy is correct in asserting that Nintendo should be very concerned about their branding right now. 

This is the first generation that I can remember where Nintendo has been repeatedly called out (in certain instances) for lazy development e.g. Animal Crossing,  little to no effort advertising games, poor online store structure, lazy or no online in many of their titles, no support for their peripherals like Wii Motion +, etc.  I've even got an impression from recent podcasts that the 3DS is really built all that well (for example, see episode 59 of the Newscast.)  Rumors about the Wii U seem to indicate that Nintendo still plans to take the path of least resistance when it comes to online development.  My own perception of Nintendo has changed dramatically since the Wii was released in 2006, and I don't know if I'm willing to fork out premium launch price for the 3DS or the Wii U at this point.  I'm thinking to take a "wait and see" approach.

Lastly, it's a little silly to assert that any release of these games of any sort would automatically result in a loss of money.  Atlus makes this sort of niche market work for them; so, again, why can't Nintendo just either emulate that style of marketing for games like this or hire a smaller company like Xseed or Atlus to take care of it?

CericJuly 06, 2011

I think the effect will be reaching because Operation Rainfall has made it to Mainstream news and International Mainstream News.  That's not good press for Nintendo.  Especially combined with the Mainstream confusion over WiiU being a controller for Wii, why we all know its a new Console.  That's not good word to a population that rarely gets/cares for news from this segment of the economy.  Their was more Apple Coverage then E3 on the main outlets that week.  Just a mentions like you would Comicon and like.

To summarize:  If this would have stayed to are hobby Niche then the far reaching effects wouldn't really be that far but, since it bled to the Mainstream I think that current is spreading its effects a little further then it would naturally go.

SixthAngelJuly 14, 2011

The problem I see with the comparison is that people who really want this game can and will get it.

Importing and soft-modding are incredibly easy with the Wii so the hardcore people who want every Nintendo game will get these two in English.

When someone like myself complains about it not coming to NoA it is basically complaining about convernience and the desire to get more people to play the game.

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