Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 21, 2018

Email: Worlds of Origin conclusion, Nintendo Online

Master Malstrom,

I had a few questions. First was if you had any timeframe to give us for when you’re wrapping up the Worlds of Origin articles. I liked them quite a bit and was bummed out that you never finished it nor started the other one about the little known company. Second of all, I noticed how you were once again right about Nintendo holding old school games hostage by locking the NES joy-cons behind online subscription. My question to you is this, are these companies straight up evil at this point?

After all the data mining that has come to light, I truly don’t believe they’re ignorant. Nintendo, Sony, and all the rest know what we want. They not only don’t care, but their solely interested in doing whatever they want while having total control over every aspect of consumer interaction. That obsession with control seems to be the motto of every tech business nowadays. I get why the big ones like Google and Microsoft act like that, but are Nintendo and the rest banking on them shutting down their OS’ to prevent piracy? That’s the only reasoning I can see behind them going so draconian on Games as a Service. If the big names lock down the PC, then they’ve effectively eliminated competition. Eventually, the old consoles and PCs will go kaput, and your only option is their terrible subscription. It really does seem like these companies are all conspiring to enslave the customer.

Always a pleasure Master Malstrom

The word is leverage. With Nintendo, their perspective with classic games is ‘How do we leverage this to boost today’s sales?’ Let’s go through some of their decisions with classic NES games…

-Animal Crossing Gamecube has NES games inside it. (People buy Animal Crossing just to get to the NES games. This wakes Nintendo up of the value of some of these games.)

-GBA NES Classic Series. (NES games re-released on GBA makes people go crazy. They buy Nintendo handheld hardware that resembles the NES.)

-Virtual Console Wii (People literally buy NES games to play on their Wii. Iwata mentions an issue is that people buy a Wii, just buy Virtual Console games, and they are satisfied. They don’t want this. They want you to buy new software.)

-3DS Ambassador Program (After the disastrous launch of 3DS, Nintendo ‘apologizes’ by giving out SNES games.)

Wii U Virtual Console (Failed Wii U console so Nintendo throws Virtual Console games to keep Wii U users happy.)

NES Classic Series (Stand-alone product sells out. Good cashflow when Nintendo just had 3DS and Wii U).

Switch Online (NES games are to push Nintendo’s online service.)

Everything Nintendo does with their classic games is to leverage them for some present day need. They will never make the product you want (a modern day NES).

I think Nintendo has taken too many trips to the NES well. The buckets of instant money will no longer be there. You can only go back to the well so many times.

As for the Origins conclusion, it has been done, but it wasn’t published because I was wondering whether or not to add more. After writing all of that about Open World and Ultima, I was surprised to find how… disgusted… I’ve been with modern day Richard Garriott. Everything Garriott has done since Ultima Online has been terrible. What to make of this? I don’t know. I think after Ultima IV, other people at Origin really drove the Ultima series forward with V, VI, VII, and VII Part 2. I think Garriott may have been great when he was hands on with the Apple 2, but now that he is hands off with these more complex systems, the games just don’t materialize well.

Game development is a hands on thing. Everyone at Nintendo must know the technical details of the hardware. “And who told you this, Malstrom? Miyamoto?” He did! Miyamoto revealed this once in an interview. You just can’t have philosophies and ‘visions’ when making a game. You need hands on.

The truth is that with every artistic endeavor from game development to art to writing and such, the process of the creating is where the magic happens. For example, a writer is not that smart. A big reason why a writer seems smart is because it takes a while to write the essay/book/whatever. During that process of writing, there are many revelations. A novelist’s initial outline is often ignored when writing a novel because new stuff appears and becomes apparent during the creation process. This is true with game development. You have to be hands on with game development. It is a craft. A trade.

You want the another string of ‘articles’ about that lesser known game company? OK. I’ll try to get it done.

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