You’ve been awfully quiet about Splatoon, and I’ve been wondering why. Then I went back to see what you said about it before it was released, and it was… interesting, to say the least. You started out without nothing but optimism for the game, completely won over by the character designs. Then when the enemies in the single player mode were revealed, you suddenly did a 180 and started predicting that the game would be a massive dud.
But it’s not, is it? It can hardly be called a dud, even by Wii U standards, when it is has amassed such a massive fanbase in Japan (the country where Wii U tanked the hardest), and has sold decently in the US and Europe as well. You were wrong, but don’t expect you to admit it. Rather, you’ll share some anecdote about how your nephews hated it or something, conveniently ignoring the buzz surrounding the game that has not died down since its release, ignoring the fact that, outside Mario Kart 8, this is the first Wii U game to get people talking about Nintendo again. There’s fan art, songs, and videos galore, Nintendo hosting monthly competitions (Splatfest), and people are calling it Nintendo first serious entry into the world of MLG (there’s currently a tournament going on in Japan for a million dollar prize).
Splatoon is not a dud.
The metric of success for FIRST PARTY TITLES is selling the hardware. That is the entire reason why Nintendo makes games. It is to sell the damn console.
Splatoon is not selling Wii Us.
Splatoon is a dud.
It is not that complicated.
Mario Kart 8 sold Wii Us. Smash Brothers is selling hardware (mostly 3DS it seems). But Splatoon is not moving the hardware.
Wii U owners saying, “Look how amazing this game is selling! Look how good and popular it is!” reminds me of Sega Master System fans pointing to some game no one remembers today despite that everyone else was playing Super Mario Brothers. The games that are selling hardware are games like Grand Theft Auto V or Call of Duty. The one I think is most interesting is Minecraft. Minecraft has stayed in the top 10 of NPD sales for… how long? A year? Years!?
Want to know some other duds for Wii U?
Pikmin 3 was a dud. Why? Pikmin 3 did not sell Wii Us.
Super Maro 3d World was a dud especially in comparison to Iwata’s crazy optimistic forecast for it.
If a first party game is not contributing to selling the hardware, then the game is not doing its job.
Third party software and first party software have different sales goals. It is not to ‘sell as many copies’. The job of the first party software is to make people want to buy the hardware in order to get to the game. THIS is the only reason why Nintendo software is ‘good’. It is also the reason why when Sega went third party, it had no reason for people to buy any hardware. It is a contributing factor as to why the quality went down. Hudson did some amazing work when it had its own console. First party software has to be really good because it is not selling the software but the software and the hardware.
But what happens to a third party game that somehow does sell hardware? The console companies jump on it and try to lock it up. An example is Monster Hunter series. Nintendo paid serious money in order to make Monster Hunter exclusive to their hardware. The reason why Nintendo did this was not to sell more ‘software’, but to sell more of their ‘hardware’.
The only games Nintendo continues to make are games it believes will sell the hardware. The purpose of Zelda is not to sell Zelda. The purpose of Zelda is to sell the hardware. This is why Twilight Princess was moved to the Wii in order to push Wii sales.
C’mon guys, this is not that hard. As for not mentioning it, what more is there to be mentioned? This site is like nine years old. We’ve gone through games that actually sell the hardware like Wii Sports, Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS/Wii/Etc, NSMB DS/Wii, Brain Age, Wii Fit, etc. We’ve gone through games that do not sell the hardware (Metroid sadly).
What”s even more sad for Splatoon is that it had no competition on the Wii U. What else are Wii U owners going to buy to play instead? The latest Call of Duty?
If Splatoon was such a ‘success’, you’d be seeing Microsoft and Sony trying to copy it or to indicate their fear of it. They don’t even know Splatoon came out which shows how insignificant it has been in the hardware system competition.