We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
WiiU

The Problem with Nintendo of America's Limited Editions

by Justin Berube - September 30, 2014, 9:22 am EDT
Total comments: 18

Nintendo of America is upsetting fans and losing potential money in the process.

Back in May, we first heard that the Nintendo World Store in New York City would be exclusively selling a Limited Edition version of Mario Kart 8 in North America. This special game variant came with the anticipated Wii U racer and a statue of the most iconic weapon in the game: a Spiny Blue Shell.

Then earlier this month, Nintendo of America announced that a Limited Edition of Hyrule Warriors, coming with the game and a replica of Link’s scarf, would also be sold exclusively at Nintendo World.

In both cases, the Limited Edition copies of the games were actually offered in nearly all the other regions in the world in a far less limited manner than here in North America. While Japan didn’t get a special edition of Mario Kart 8, they got an even better version of Hyrule Warriors.

Regardless, Nintendo of America’s decision to sell these collectable games in such small quantities, and only at one location, baffles me. It’s no secret that the company has struggled with the Wii U, so you’d think they would jump at the chance to sell their fans a more expensive premium edition of two of their four physical Wii U titles released this year.

3.jpg

Instead, resellers are profiting off of Nintendo’s poor decision by selling both the Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors bundles on eBay at around $400 each. I have no idea how many Mario Kart 8 bundles Nintendo World sold, but it has been reported that there were only approximately 300 copies of the Hyrule Warriors Limited Edition and not everyone who showed up even got one.

So you may be wondering what Nintendo should have done. Well, you may remember that last year Nintendo sold a Limited Edition of Zelda: Wind Waker HD through GameStop stores. So the company is no stranger to selling cool, more expensive versions of their games to fans in a way that is more accessible to them on the North American continent.

Nintendo could also sell Limited Editions of games through their online store. It’s something they haven’t really done in a long time, though they did sell Xenoblade Chronicles through the store when it released.

4.jpg

Or maybe Nintendo of America should follow the UK’s footsteps and launch a fully redesigned Nintendo World Online store to sell games and merchandise to fans instead of using a weird and dated online store mainly for parts and accessories. Heck, the Pokémon Company re-launched their own online store earlier this year, so I don’t know why Nintendo of America has refused to do something similar. It’s not like I can order cool stuff through a Nintendo Power Super Power Supplies catalog anymore.

In the end, though, thousands of Nintendo fans in North America got screwed out of getting a cool edition of two games that people in other regions have had greater access to. Many of these fans will walk away from the situation feeling upset and frustrated. It’s a shame, not only for these fans, but for Nintendo, since they failed to fully capitalize on their own market, losing a lot of money in the process. It’s a losing situation for everyone involved and it could have easily been avoided. Nintendo of America, please don’t keep making this mistake. I don’t want to have to sell a kidney to afford a possible Limited Edition of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Images

Talkback

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorSeptember 30, 2014

Part of the problem may not even be Nintendo's choice.  Perhaps they cannot find a retailer willing to take the risk on the inventory?

I, too, would very much have liked to get both of these limited edition versions... but without knowing for sure, I'm reluctant to fault Nintendo 100% on this.

CericSeptember 30, 2014

Offering these to the Mom and Pop chains would probably work out for them.

Mop it upSeptember 30, 2014

I may have gotten the Mario Kart 8 one but not the others.

Since the extras in these aren't game content, I don't care that much about them.

Ian SaneSeptember 30, 2014

I have figured out Nintendo's plan.  Games with low print runs become well known years later because of their collectable nature.  So 20 years from now the limited edition of these titles will be a holy grail item for videogame collectors.  As a result it will have some notoriety.  So that will keep a game like Mario Kart 8 well known with retro gamers and therefore create more of a market for it if it gets re-released.  Because, um, Mario Kart would so obscure otherwise, I guess? ;)

AdrockSeptember 30, 2014

Yeah, Nintendo of America's online store is very ultilitarian. It desperately needs to be revamped. I'm mostly over limited editions, but it would be nice if they were easier to come by for people who want them and can't make an entire trip out of going to the Nintendo World Store and don't want to pay exorbitant amounts of money buying them from someone who made it to the Nintendo World Store for the purpose of just reselling them on eBay.

peacefulwarOctober 01, 2014

There's ONE fucking NWS in this entire goddamn country.  Why the hell do they think this is a good idea?

ejamerOctober 01, 2014

*gets out his axe*  Kid Icarus AR Cards  *grindgrindgrind*


I've come to the conclusion that NoA has a problem. The trick is I'm not sure which problem it is:  are they small enough that they simply can't afford (time/cost) to make good decisions for their fans, or are the people in charge right now simply clueless about how to appeal to a core audience?  Either way it's a problem.


Serious fans and collectors simply are not getting access to content (limited editions or collectible goods) that they want. It's understandable when that might involve significant effort (ex: releasing Fatal Frame 2 Wii in limited quantities since the English translation was already complete), but there have been more than one case where North America could support their fans but appears to simply not to care.


Here's the secret: Make desirable things available and your fans will buy them; make desirable things difficult to obtain and people will be disappointed.  Difficult concept... but worth doing!

Ian SaneOctober 01, 2014

Quote from: peacefulwar

There's ONE fucking NWS in this entire goddamn country.  Why the hell do they think this is a good idea?

In that situation you would figure it could be NCL butting their nose in.  Japan is a geographically small country while the US is massive so you could see Japanese businessmen making a blanket decision for all markets based on the conditions in Japan.  One store in Tokyo is a lot more convenient for Japanese customers than one store in NYC is for Americans.

But Nintendo of Europe aren't idiots so it can't be NCL at fault unless they for some reason micromanage NOA but not NOE.  That suggests that most of NOA's bizarre decisions are coming from NOA management directly.  It doesn't make sense.  No sane American would think one store in the entire USA would properly serve the entire country so NOA must not want this to be an item available to all their fans.  Maybe the Nintendo Store struggles to turn a profit so they use these to get people into the store.

Nintendo has a history of using the phrase "Limited Edition" in a much truer sense than pretty much anyone else. For other companies, the limit of a Limited Edition is pretty much only limited to how many they can sell. Nintendo means it in the same sense an Atlus game is limited, where if you don't act quickly, you won't get it. Just look at what happened with Metroid Prime Trilogy.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, as it seems like it's in Nintendo's best interest to ensure that anyone who's willing to pay more is able to do so. This is just what they do.

ejamerOctober 01, 2014

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Nintendo has a history of using the phrase "Limited Edition" in a much truer sense than pretty much anyone else. For other companies, the limit of a Limited Edition is pretty much only limited to how many they can sell. Nintendo means it in the same sense an Atlus game is limited, where if you don't act quickly, you won't get it. Just look at what happened with Metroid Prime Trilogy.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, as it seems like it's in Nintendo's best interest to ensure that anyone who's willing to pay more is able to do so. This is just what they do.

Metroid Prime Trilogy seemed easily available in Europe for a long time, though. So is this another case of forced supply constraint in North America, just because they can?


(That said, I'm much more accepting of limited distribution for Metroid Prime Trilogy because that game was available to anyone from a variety of retailers across all of North America. It was significantly different from what NoA has been doing recently - restricting content to extremely limited locations or refusing to offer that content in North America at all.)

Mop it upOctober 01, 2014

I thought Metroid Prime Trilogy was labeled as a "collector's edition" and not a limited edition. It also had a decent number of copies produced and didn't even sell through them all before stores discounted stock to $20. For some reason, people more recently decided the game was valuable, but it really isn't all that scarce.

Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition is also not limited, having received a second print run and ended up selling over 2 million copies worldwide.

The rule seems to be that if a Nintendo game has a regular and special/limited edition, the special edition really is limited. But if the special/limited edition of the game is the only version, it won't be so limited.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorOctober 01, 2014

Considering stores don't even care to stock Wii U games in the first place, I still say they might be part of the problem. :D

Mop it upOctober 02, 2014

Quote from: UncleBob

Considering stores don't even care to stock Wii U games in the first place, I still say they might be part of the problem. :D

So every Wii U game is a limited edition, m i rite?

The only things that are limited are these special bonus item things. Now that virtually all games are available digitally, supply issues won't prevent you from playing a game you really want to play.

ejamerOctober 02, 2014

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

The only things that are limited are these special bonus item things. Now that virtually all games are available digitally, supply issues won't prevent you from playing a game you really want to play.

Assuming NoA bothers to release the game (digitally) in your region.  That's not a given.

There's the question of whether things will get localized, but the kind of situation we saw with the Rainfall games wouldn't happen again with the current infrastructure, they'd just be digital-only. I wouldn't be that surprised if that situation played a role in Nintendo's sudden and unexpected embracing of digital distribution.

ejamerOctober 02, 2014

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

There's the question of whether things will get localized, but the kind of situation we saw with the Rainfall games wouldn't happen again with the current infrastructure, they'd just be digital-only. I wouldn't be that surprised if that situation played a role in Nintendo's sudden and unexpected embracing of digital distribution.

Until we see it actually happen, I'm not willing to give NoA benefit of the doubt on this.


Yes, it should happen given the low risk associated with a digital only release. But NoA should have done a lot of things differently in my opinion. I'm not sure that games like Fatal Frame 2 or Disaster Day of Crisis or Another Code: R would come out in North America regardless of medium.


It feels like NoA has limited enough resource they pick and choose what gets done. If something isn't on their radar or a game doesn't look like a sure hit, then it's like it doesn't even register.

ShyGuyOctober 02, 2014

I've got too many games to play as it is!

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement