Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 19, 2017

Florent Gorges

If there is one person out there that could or should be a Nintendo analyst (not talking about the Pachters and other Wall Street types), I would point to Florent Gorges. Florent Gorges spend half a decade writing the ‘History of Nintendo’ and he knows more about the history of Nintendo than probably anyone alive today. Perhaps even more than the employees of Nintendo.

In this interview, check out what he says about the Wii:

Some of the westerns gamers think that Nintendo betrayed the “gamers” with the Nintendo DS or the Nintendo Wii. They were very disappointed because of the “new direction of Nintendo” taken by Iwata since 2004 : the “casual gaming market”. But those gamers are wrong. If you read my book, you’ll understand that Nintendo, since more than 120 years, do “casual gaming”. Is there something more casual than a board game or a playing card set? No! In fact, Nintendo betrayed their own philosophy and DNA after the SNES and during 15 years! That’s the truth. In 2004, after the SNES, N64 and Game Cube, Nintendo and Iwata realised that they were going in the wrong direction since the 90’s: high technology for the hardcore gamers market. They couldn’t fight against huge companies like Microsoft or Sony. Iwata wanted, rightly, to return back to the real Nintendo DNA : “fun for everybody, for all the family”.

He not only rightly condemns the hardcore gamers for not understanding Nintendo, he is the only person I’ve heard (that isn’t myself) that says the SNES, N64, and Gamecube was a betrayal of Nintendo’s philosophy to itself. I felt SNES was a disappointment so I stopped buying Nintendo consoles after that until the DS. But if you go to Message Forum Basement Dwellers, they think Gamecube was the best system ever (Iwata literally said, “If Nintendo consoles sell like the Gamecube, then we should not be in the console business”). N64 was also a disaster. SNES was also a distinct change from the NES. SNES was about ‘playing it loud’ and going Red Ocean.

But the point is that Florent Gorges can offer that insight because he has absorbed so much data and history of Nintendo. I am clueless of what Nintendo made before they got into electronics. But he knows. And such knowledge is useful in figuring out the future of Nintendo. A guy like Florent Gorges I would listen. But why are these people so rare?

There are tons of Apple or other tech companies’ analysis. Nintendo is extremely well known and large. So why is the analysis so shitty? Viral marketing cannot explain it. I think people are leaving data at the table and would prefer to talk out of their ass.

During the Wii Era, this site became famous for talking about the Wii’s strategy. Do you know what revolutionary technique I did? I simply quoted what Nintendo executives said. Wow! How hard was that? The game journalists never did that. The professional analysts never did that. Hardcore gamers never did that. The company executives kept pointing to Blue Ocean Strategy and Innovator’s Dilemma as two books. But did anyone really read them? No. Did everyone talk out of their ass instead? Yep. “The only way for Wii to succeed is if it is the secondary platform for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners.” To them, this commentary sounded brilliant. It was completely wrong. Most Wii owners didn’t own another console. While they were complaining about ‘casual gaming’, did they bother to go outside and talk to these gamers? No! They just talked out of their ass. “The casual gamer will like this. The casual gamer will not like this.” Why you talking for a gamer you do not understand, you hardcore piece of shit? Why do you put words in their mouths?

I do not pretend to understand kids’ opinions on a game console. So I do something radical: I ask them. Now, this may not be the best approach, but it is infinitely better than talking out of my ass about it. I am not a woman, and I do not play one on the Internet. If I want to know what women think of a game, I might as well go ask women. It’d be very stupid for me to get an opinion out of my ass by ASSUMING I know how the women think.

I’m disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any incentive to do research (aside from putting sales numbers in pretty charts) and there is constant discussing instead of constant fact finding.

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