Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 3, 2014

Quality First Party games are First Party games you buy the hardware to get

Let us have a discussion about quality first party video games.

First party means it is made by the console company itself. The ENTIRE REASON why the first party software exists is to sell the hardware. If the purpose wasn’t to sell the hardware, then the purpose of first party software would become identical to third party software. Third party software doesn’t care about selling the hardware. They just want to sell as much software as possible. First party software quality can only be gauged in moving hardware units.

Let us have a POP QUIZ for the amazing reader to find out whether the following software is QUALITY First Party Software or not.

Exhibit 1:

This game is called ‘Super Mario Brothers’. It was released for the NES. Is this a quality first party video game?

“I don’t know, Malstrom! There was no Metacritic then! OMG….”

Of course it was quality first party software. It sold NES systems left and right. People bought the NES in order to get to this game.

Exhibit 2:

This is Legend of Zelda for the NES. Did people buy the NES in order to get to this game?

The answer is yes, they did. A good indicator is if other first party companies try to clone the game (Legend of Zelda was often cloned).

Exhibit 3:

This is Urban Champion for the NES. Is this Quality First Party software?

No! No one bought a NES to get to Urban Champion. (Well, there might be one or two, but they are irrelevant. And they also have wrong tastes in gaming.)

Exhibit 4:

This is Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis. Is this a quality first party game?

The answer is NO. People were not buying the Genesis to get to ‘Altered Beast’. Sega removed Altered Beast and replaced it with another game.

Exhibit 5:

This is Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis. Is this an example of First Party Quality Software?

YES. People bought the Sega Genesis in order to get to Sonic.

Exhibit 6:

This is Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo. Is this an example of quality First Party Software?

YES! People bought the SNES in order to get to Donkey Kong.

Exhibit 7:

This is Wii Sports. It was released on the Wii. Is this an example of quality First Party Software?

YES! People bought the Wii in order to get to Wii Sports.

Exhibit 8:

This game is Halo. It was released on the Xbox. Is this an example of quality first party software.

YES! People bought the Xbox in order to get to Halo.

“But I don’t like Halo. It is a stupid game.”

Whether the game is stupid or not has no bearing on its quality. The ONLY measurement for First Party Software Quality is whether it causes people to buy the hardware to get it. Halo did this for the Xbox.

Exhibit 9:

NewSuperMarioBrosWiiBoxart.png

This is New Super Mario Brothers Wii for the (can you guess?) Wii. Is this quality First Party Software?

YES! People were buying the Wii in order to get to New Super Mario Brothers Wii.

Exhibit 10:

This is New Super Mario Brothers DS for the (wait for it………….) DS. Is this a quality First Party game?

The answer is YES. People bought the DS in order to get to NSMB DS.

“But I don’t think it is the best Mario game. In fact, I think it is the worst 2d Mario game.”

What you think DOESN’T MATTER. All that matters is if people buy the hardware to get to the game. That is the only job First Party software has.

Now that the reader is catching on to what quality first party software is, let’s go into some trickier ones.

Exhibit 11:

This is Baseball for the Gameboy. Is this quality first party software?

Surprise, surprise, the answer is yes. People underestimate how in demand sports games are. Nintendo remembered when they made Wii Sports. Nintendo’s old sports games used to be huge sellers. In fact, sports games were the dominate hardware sellers throughout the 1980s. Remember that PONG was a sports game sold at Sears Sporting Good Store.

Today, the game seems extremely primitive. But it is the very first MOBILE baseball game. Sure, there might have been other mobile baseball games, but those were Tiger Electronics. This was MUCH better in consumers’ eyes. Gameboy didn’t sell to just kids. Gameboy did sell to adults. Adults liked Tetris and the sports games.

Exhibit 12:

This is Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. Is it a quality First Party Software game?

Artwork of a horizontal rectangular box. Depicted is a flying cartoon man in blue overalls, a red shirt, and a red cap with white wings on the sides and the letter "M" on the front. He flies in front of a blue backdrop with clouds and a castle in the distance. The bottom portion reads "Super Mario 64" in red, blue, yellow, and green block letters.

The answer is… kinda. It is only quality First Party Software in North America. Everywhere else, it is low quality.

Why?

People bought the Nintendo 64 in order to get to Super Mario 64 only in North America. In other territories, people did not care. In those territories, Super Mario 64 failed in its job to sell the hardware. In those territories, it was a POOR QUALITY FIRST PARTY GAME.

Exhibit 13:

This is Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo. Is it a quality First Party Software game?

The answer is no. People were not buying the hardware in order to get to this game. At least, they were not buying the hardware in large enough numbers to get to it.

Exhibit 14:

This game is Super Mario Galaxy. Is it quality First Party Software?

The answer is no. People were not buying the Wii in order to get to this game.

Exhibit 15:

This is Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Saturn. Is it quality First Party Software?

PanzerDragoonSagaBox.jpg

Did everyone start buying the Saturn in order to get to this game?

“Yeah!”

No, they didn’t. Therefore, Panzer Dragoon Saga is a low quality First Party Game.

Exhibit 16:

This is Gyromite for the NES. Is it quality First Party Software?

Gyromite

The answer is YES. While it wasn’t people, so much, that bought a NES to get to Gyromite, the retailers did. R.O.B. was a great First Party Accessory because R.O.B. sold the hardware.

Exhibit 17:

Was Alex Kidd in Miracle World a high quality First Party Game?

AlexKiddInMiracleWorldBox.jpg

The answer is no. People did not buy the Sega Master System to get to Alex Kidd.

Exhibit 18:

This is Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Gamecube. Is this quality First Party software?

Super Smash Bros Melee box art.png

The answer is yes. People were buying the Gamecube in order to get to this game. This game was the highest selling game on the Gamecube. Sony has even copied it in order to sell their hardware (but that flopped!).

Exhibit 19: 

This is Fire Emblem Awakening for the 3DS. Is it a quality First Party game?

The answer is no. People don’t buy the hardware in order to get to Fire Emblem. A good example of quality first party software for the handheld console would be Pokemon. That game will sell hardware!

Exhibit 20:

This is Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Is it a quality First Party game?

The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds NA cover.jpg

The verdict is still out on this one, but it is looking NO. Why? 3DS sales did not go up when the game was released. People were not buying the 3DS in order to get to this game.

Now that we have done ten trickier ones, let us tackle the Wii U library.

Exhibit 21:

This is Nintendo Land for the Wii U. Is it a quality First Party game?

No one is buying the Wii U for this game. The answer is that it is a low quality First Party game.

Exhibit 22:

This is NSMB U for the Wii U. Is it a quality First Party game?

Maybe people bought the Wii U at first in order to get to this game. But Wii U sales are showing no one is buying the console let alone for this game. This is a poor quality First Party game.

Exhibit 23:

This is Pikmin 3 for the Wii U. Is it a quality First Party game?

Pikmin 3 box artwork.png

It is a low quality first party game. No one is buying the Wii U in order to get to this game.

Exhibit 24:

This is Wind Waker U for the Wii U. Is it a quality First Party game?

No. No one is buying the Wii U to get to Wind Waker. No one bought the Gamecube in order to get to Wind Waker there either. With Ocarina of Time, people did buy a N64 to get to that game. Wind Waker is an extremely mediocre First Party software game. The game has been on two consoles and fails to sell either. Ocarina of Time has been on two consoles as well and managed to sell hardware in both.

Exhibit 25:

This is Super Mario in 3d World for the Wii U. Is it a quality First Party game?

Of course it isn’t. No one is buying the Wii U to get to this game. It is, therefore, a poor quality First Party game.

Do you know why the Gamecube failed to sell? It wasn’t because of the marketing. It is because the games were really low quality on that machine. Yet, I watched dumbfounded as everyone praised the games and Miyamoto’s ‘genius’ in them. If the games were so great, how come no one wanted to buy the console?

Do you know why the Wii sold so well? It wasn’t because of the marketing. It was because the games on it were such high quality. Yet, I watched dumbfounded as everyone scolded the Wii for its ‘low quality’ software and how marketers ‘tricked’ everyone.

This is why the Wii U fails to sell. It isn’t because of marketing or communication. It is because the games on it are of low quality. People don’t feel like buying the hardware in order to get to the software.


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