Nintendo is Lost Right Now
Nintendo released their earnings report, and things aren’t looking so hot. The Wii U didn’t sell nearly (even close) to as many units as they projected, and even after lowering their expectations they failed to meet the new numbers. Ouch.
We are Nintendo fans. I think they are one of the better video game companies out there, and have been since I can remember. For as long as I’ve played video games (since 1990) they’ve been making games I love. There was a time when not a month would go by without there being a new beloved Nintendo title on the market pulling in fans. Something is starting to change. There are fewer and fewer first party titles. Hardware is releasing without support. THe company as a whole is putting off this sense that they have no idea where they are going, how they are going to go there, or why.
I think this can all be fixed. Here’s what I would do.
Release more -NEW- FIRST PARTY titles
Seriously. Wii U came out November 2012 and we still don’t have a new Zelda to play. Smash Bros is still not out yet, and the Mario games we’re seeing are starting to be formulaic. If I were Nintendo I would create a very clear roadmap of when to expect the major franchise releases. They don’t want to dilute the brands at all by over-releasing titles, but people have to know that there is at least a plan. The Wii U can’t be a device that just plays older Nintendo games, even though they are awesome.
Make a Pokemon game for the Wii U
This one seems obvious to me. The latest installment of Pokemon introduced a ‘3D’ world on the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo would be crazy not to capitalize on a fully-realized Pokemon game for their console. Pokemon sells hardware. Use that to your advantage! Yes, Nintendo only owns a third of Pokemon, but money changes minds.
Oh, and while I’m talking about Pokemon did you hear about the Sapphire and Ruby re-remakes?
Integrate your handhelds into your console market
The Wii U and the 3DS are both great consoles. Individually they are already neat devices, but I want to see more interaction between the two. I think Sony is on to something with the Vita and how well it interacts with the PS4. I’d like to see the 3DS play games with the Wii U, and even take control or act as a companion device.
Stop being… weird
Lately Nintendo has taken this… weird ‘oddball’ style. The last two Nintendo Directs have shown that whoever has taken over for their marketing thinks all Nintendo fans are 32 year-old stoners. Being weird once or twice is okay, but making it part of your brand isn’t. Be yourself. Be that youthful company who mastered the art of creating franchises appealing to and entertaining for all ages.
Marketing Nintendo games should be the easiest thing on the planet. Focus on the dang games!