Everyone knows I am a big Nintendo fan. As a result, I was anticipating its E3 conference the most in hopes to hear some good gaming related announcements. In the end, I felt extremely disappointed and underwhelmed. It got me thinking though, why exactly did Sony’s conference excite me more as a gamer versus Nintendo’s this year? So that got me interested in wanting to write a few points about it.
Feeling That Nintendo Thinks Its IP Will Solve Everything
Quite a few times during the press conference I was anticipating for some kind of big news. When the word “Metroid” appeared I was disappointed to learn that it was a spin-off game that was using the brand to gain awareness. When I heard Animal Crossing was coming on the Wii-U I was let down to discover it was a party game of sorts.
Now even I admit that having strong IPs in a game works. I probably wouldn’t have bought a game like Hyrule Warriors on day one at full price if it wasn’t Zelda themed as an example. However, the novelty dies pretty fast where as a gamer and consumer I will eventually want the experience that the core series is known for. I just felt that Nintendo was focusing more in pushing its IP to make money off fans as opposed to catering to the gamer in me which will in turn generate profits. Consumers can see through this as well which generates a lot of resentment.
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam as an example was a different story as that was delightful to see a new game that is staying true to the core spirit of the franchise.
Thinking Mature Rated Games Don’t Need Attention And Marketing Care
I was wondering why there wasn’t any kind of showing in the digital event for games like Fatal Frame or the Devil’s Third. Of course, my immediate reaction was that they wanted to keep the digital event kid friendly. That’s disappointing where I feel that they aren’t learning as a company where even mature rated titles need proper advertising and exposure.
I usually feel that for the most part Nintendo has a perception problem that they only make games for kids. Seeing the company continue to not learn to better market and promote these kinds of games is disappointing. You want them to succeed as a gamer for the better of the industry but it just feels that they are stuck in its old ways. While it’s fine to market things in a family friendly way, having no reference to these types of games in the presentation is odd while alienating a huge market that is influential to the growth of the company I feel.
Like saying, even though you would think on paper Amiibos are targeted only at children I don’t doubt for one bit that a large chunk of the consumer base for that product are actually adults. Or the reverse can be true where you would be surprised at how many teenagers are playing mature titles as the parents are okay with it.
Expecting Thought Provoking And Engaging Presentations
While we play video games for items like the gameplay, at this day and age I find games with a compelling story and presentation to be just as enthralling. I was watching that game The Last Guardian on the PlayStation conference as an example and it did its job in hitting all the right notes with the audience presentation wise I felt. As a result, it gets you interested in the future of the system and company which I think is the primary goal of the E3 event.
This doesn’t mean you necessarily need photo realistic games. As an example, when we all saw the Mario Maker level in the championship finals of Mario jumping through a sea of saws and turtles to try and get to the warp pipe I am sure I was not the only one captivated and excited for the game and console as a result. I feel Nintendo was extremely lacking in reproducing these kinds of moments in the digital conference whether it be because they simply don’t have the compelling future software to do so or that its current human resource is incapable or unwilling to create such a presentation. I think for something like E3 we have a mindset that we want to be blown away like this and in that aspect I think this digital conference was a letdown.
With that note too, to be clear my criticism and thoughts are related to this digital conference in general. As an E3 event as a whole that is a different story as I would have to factor in things like the Nintendo World Championship event or the Smash Brothers announcements earlier. But my impressions after this conference is that the company has moved its focus from Wii-U games to Nintendo NX titles and they are hoping these current titles with its brand power will keep people interested.