Ever since the Wii was released Nintendo has been number one in both the console and portable race. Nintendo owes its success to a new market it helped open up, the casual market. The new market is unpredictable; games that would rarely move 100,000 units now moving over 1 million units. This is great for Nintendo as a company because it brining in a lot of money. It’s also good for the consumer because it lets them enjoy video games with family members and the money that Nintendo gains from this can be put into more products. Many gamers now feel as if Nintendo is not putting enough money back into making games that are aimed towards the hardcore gamer. While this is an issue I think there’s a bigger issue on hand, that’s the lack of actual new franchises from Nintendo.
Nintendo has always been a company that has constantly innovated in the video game industry. They have constantly created new franchises, created new ways to control games and created new ways to get more immersed in the game. This help keep gaming fresh when playing video games on Nintendo’s platforms. Looking at the Wii they defiantly are keeping up with new control schemes to play games. They have had motion sensing from the start, the balance board, and the newest addition Wii motion plus which is basically an upgrade to the Wii Remote. Generally these new control schemes come with the Wii line up of games Nintendo has been making such as Wii Fit Wii Music and Wii Sports resort. The Wii line of games mainly features the Miis, which they fit well but there’s a little issue here.
It’s hard to believe that the last real new franchise from Nintendo came out almost 7 years ago.
While Miyamoto may consider the Miis a new franchise character, I don’t. Many Nintendo fans would agree. Even if you do consider Miis a franchise character the games they star in are a little lack luster for Nintendo fans. The last franchise that Nintendo has created that is recognizable to gamers is Pikmin, which is a Gamecube launch title. Sakurai, the creator of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, even pointed out the lack of new characters made by Nintendo.
Nintendo does help with supporting companies like Cing, Monolith studios, and retro studios. The thing is that after Nintendo supports their development they rarely market their titles. So games like Hotel Dusk and Disaster Day of Crisis gets lost in the shuffle since Nintendo doesn’t seem to care about them as soon as development finishes. These may not be 100% owned by Nintendo at the very least they can support these developers since they are publishing their games. Yet Nintendo advertises games that are almost 3-4 years old. New Super Mario Brothers, Nintendogs, and brain age are all still being advertised. Wii fit despite being sold out almost every month Nintendo invests tons of money into advertising. Yet when it comes to these other games they can’t even drop a single commercial on TV some times.
Nintendo fans aren’t helping that much either. In the core game drought on the Wii Nintendo fans are constantly asking for remakes of old franchises. While it’s to be expected since it is almost impossible to speculate on new IPs, it seems like Nintendo is listening too much. While it’s great to get new entry in these series, It would be better to have more new and innovative content then a new Punch-Out.
Titles like Disaster: Day of Crisis get overlooked due to the lack of marketing from Nintendo.
In the end it doesn’t really matter too much to Nintendo currently. With this unpredictable sway in the market Nintendo and many other companies are a greatly benefiting from the change of market, but I sense that this unpredictable market may be a bit too shaky. Something may happen and Casual gamers may turn away from video games all together, and I believe Nintendo should try a little harder at keeping their fan base faithful to them so in a worse case scenario they have their Nintendo fans to hold them up much like they had in the Gamecube’s life span.