Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 21, 2017

Can commentators explain the Switch success? Can they explain the Zelda success?

As the trumpet blaring the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ or Christenson’s ‘disruption’ strategy as a context to understand the DS and Wii, I have been astonished at how gamers flatten the mountains into plains by saying, “Casual gamerz!!!11!!!”

So how do they explain Switch’s success? Did the ‘Casual gamerz’ come back?

And how are ‘Casual gamerz’ buying the handheld Switch since all the ‘casual gamez’ are on smartphones?

Do these people even think? They do think. But they think like dogs. They see the world only in a couple of colors.

In this ‘explained’ video, the commentator says Switch sold only due to ‘incredible marketing’. Really? ‘And Zelda hype’. So Zelda wasn’t actually good? Zelda was just hype?

‘Can the Switch keep selling?’ ‘Yes’ *shows picture of Mario Kart 8* “But what about 2018? What about 2019?”

The goal posts just keep being moved back. No matter what Nintendo does, even selling out of Switch systems and selling more Zelda Switch games than Switches, Nintendo is doomed! Doomed!!!!

They have no reason, no logic, no train of thought. They are the brilliant ‘elders’ who, hundreds of years ago, you asked why the water disappeared from the bowl over a couple of days would answer: “Because the spirits drank it!” The actual answer is evaporation. They would refuse this answer. It is too complicated. Spirits drinking it sounds so much better!

“Marketing did it!” “Zelda hype did it!” “But we gotta wait for 2018 and 2019!”

You see, dear reader, in the commentator’s context no one likes the Switch or Zelda. We are all buffoons who fall for ‘hype’ and just mindlessly buy the hardware and game.

“It sounds like he is describing the hardcore gamer.”

He is! He is describing himself! That is his only context so he projects it.

This video is a little better. The ‘brilliant commentator’ says the future is mobile, and the Switch has re-imagined the game console (all true). “But hardware doesn’t matter without software.” It is the 101 rule for game consoles. Software sells the hardware. Yamauchi: “Famicom is just a box people buy to get to Mario.” He says everyone is buying the Switch for Zelda.

But why is Zelda good? He doesn’t go there.

In 2008 or so, I began to openly attack Nintendo’s software direction with Mario and Zelda (I wasn’t the only one). If you remember the Zelda DS games, I wasn’t too happy with them. Neither were most people. Why can’t we get back to what Zelda actually was? I would keep posting the Nintendo Fun Club issue of Legend of Zelda of Nintendo explaining what Zelda was: a ‘best of both worlds’ game of PC RPG (i.e. Ultima, Wizardry as those were the PC RPGs of that time) and arcade gameplay. There were no mention of ‘wacky NPCs’ or ‘puzzles’.

“Don’t talk about this,” readers cried. “Go back to talking about Nintendo’s business strategies.”

Nintendo’s software quality IS the Nintendo business strategy. The hardware and IPs do not sell without quality software.

Based off of correcting ONE GAME, Zelda, by making it more like the original Legend of Zelda in spirit, rocketed off a new console and sold tons of Zelda copies. This is what Nintendo wants. This is the purpose of First Party software: to sell the hardware.

Imagine if Nintendo corrected other software titles such as Metroid or Mario.

Mario Kart has always been healthy. I didn’t like the lack of true battle mode in Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, and I suspect Mario Kart is getting more convoluted and away from the joy of go-carts, but Mario Kart is fine. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will sell Switches fine.

Will Metroid be fixed?

I still consider Mario IP to be broken. NSMB DS (terrible game, but the thirst for 2d Mario was real) and NSMB Wii (better, but no adventure in that game, terrible aesthetics) was the high point for Mario lately. Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 sold some but were duds. Mario in 3d Land/World were duds. NSMB Wii U was a dud. Nintendo is on the right track with Mario Odyssey to make it more ‘adventuresome’. However, 3d Marios have a terrible track record for selling hardware. I would prefer a AAA 2d Mario. Or bundle all the NSMB games in a new All-Stars package in HD format.

I was doing technical work today, and I had goggles on my hat. I looked in the mirror, and it looked like I was Mario Odyssey hat. This is Miyamoto-ish industrial design. The eyes on cap are goggles on cap. The eyes even look like goggles!

The more I work in industrial settings, the more I feel I can think like Miyamoto! hah!

“I am too good for industrial knowledge,” snarls the snotty reader.

It is the secret to Miyamoto. Miyamoto’s college degree was industrial design. Did this save Miyamoto from being an artsy fartsy snowflake like all the rest? Either way…

Image result for shigeru miyamoto

Miyamoto had to know Industrial design in order to make a living. It was good enough for him. So it is good enough for snobby game developers too who think such things are ‘beneath them’.

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