Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 21, 2015

Email: Does Nintendo read your blog?

I swear sometimes it seems like Nintendo is reading some of your blogs.
Remember how you complained about having to unlock Mario Maker content each day?  Looks like Nintendo fixed that.
Also I remember you commenting on how games don’t come with full color manuals anymore. Mario Maker comes with a big, colorful art book and while Amiibos will unlock alternate characters, you can unlock those characters in game as well.
Also I saw this.
Nintendo missed the boat on Minecraft but they’ve been good about getting a lot of other indies on the WiiU and Terraria looks like it might be showing up on the WiiU/3DS.  Ironically on the eshop there’s a Minecraft knockoff titled Cube Life: Island Survival on the eshop which is essentially a smaller island based Minecraft but it’s been selling like crazy since it was released and continues to be one of the top most discussed games on the Miiverse if that means anything.
I swear sometimes I see something and I think Nintendo is reading your blogs and they should.


Nintendo reads many sites online (and likely the competitor sites). I always imagine that some poor soul in NOA is assigned to read this site. This poor soul gets a dunce hat on him, as it is seen there as a form of punishment, to ‘observe that Malstrom site’. “Do good or we will make you read that Malstrom site.” “No! Anything but that!”

I highly doubt Nintendo changes their policies based on any blogger’s page. My site is a drop in an ocean. However, I suspect Nintendo has identified the sites the more ‘influential’ type sites (meaning that stuff is said that ends up appearing on various message forums…). This site might be one of them.

I do fit the profile of the current market. I was not just an enthusiastic Wii and DS buyer, I was a trumpeteer. Now, I do not own a Wii U or 3DS, and I’m somewhat hostile to those platforms. A Nintendo businessperson has to be looking at the sales charts from Generation Seven to Generation Eight and going, “WTF? Where did the Wii audience go? Why aren’t they picking up our stuff now?”

One good reason is the recession/depression/bad times. People don’t have the money anymore or the time (have to get the second job). The other reason is that the Wii U isn’t really the successor to the Wii. The Wii actually began to collapse at the end before the Wii U appeared. I can’t speak for anyone else (but I’m going to anyway), but…

I don’t trust Nintendo.

They keep saying, “The software drought is due to X.” There is always an excuse!

They keep saying, “We will finally get Zelda back to its roots.” Every Zelda game this is said! And everytime, I get another helping of Aonuma craziness. Aonuma craziness is not Zelda.

They keep saying, “We will get third party games…” and… yeah.

I feel betrayed by Nintendo. Games like Wii Music or Metroid: Other M are not just bad games, they just feel like betrayals. It makes me want to burn down the company. What Nintendo thinks is ‘courageous and bold’ game design comes across as narcissistic. The game doesn’t revolve around the developer. The game revolves around the gamer. The gamer is the one paying for it after all.

One big trend I’ve noticed is that Nintendo is off the rails when it comes to game aesthetics. Wind Waker was a prelude to this. The aesthetic feels off in all of Nintendo’s games now. The biggest complaint I have about NSMB is that the aesthetic feels wrong. If Nintendo can’t get Super Mario Brothers aesthetic right, they’re going to get everything else wrong too. Yarn Yoshi might be a cool game, but the aesthetic feels wrong. Even the console and controller aesthetic feels off.

Nintendo has become embarrassing. I interact with younger people. Sony and Xbox are something they say in company of other people. But the Nintendo console is something they keep secret to themselves out of shame. Why is this? It isn’t a ‘kid toy’ type of thing. It is something much more.

Let’s give Nintendo one big secret if they are reading. What people are willing to pay for is what is considered ‘best’, not what ‘best’ is what people are willing to pay for. Let’s translate this.

I like the indie game phenomenon. I like more games. Some indie games are brilliant. But I will never, ever pay $60 for a ‘brilliant’ indie game. While I don’t pay for industry games, many people I know still do and have the same complaints about them that we do. They aren’t paying for the gameplay. They’re paying $60 for the gorgeous art, sound, and cool stuff. Indie games can look like they were done with an 8-bit editor. Consciously or subconsciously, it screams ‘lazy’ to my hindbrain, and I do not want to pay money for it.

By Nintendo not going the high power and graphics route, they are becoming a type of ‘indie’ themselves where they believe innovative gameplay trumps pretty graphics and high production effects. It does, but not when it comes to people paying. When it comes to paying, it goes like this: Great gameplay + great production > poor gameplay + great production > great gameplay + poor production > poor gameplay + poor production.

A solution to this would be to make the consoles and games more appealing to collect. People will zero in on great gameplay games because they know they will age the best. Nintendo games age well anyway. Yet, the modern Nintendo consoles make me not want to collect for them.

One brilliant thing Iwata did was getting rid of the cardboard boxes for the GBA games and replace them with mini-DVD type plastic cases for DS games. He said he did this because adults don’t like cardboard boxes. He was right. We don’t.

I want a console that is built like a brick with games that I know I can buy and play 20 years from now like I have done with earlier Nintendo consoles. Nintendo realized that designing consoles that don’t break was profitable because customers could spend more money buying more games (which is where the profit lies). I also believe that it creates collectability. When a console has collectibility, gamers will buy nearly every game in existence for it.



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