If you’re unaware that poor old Nintendo are struggling to climb an increasingly vertical incline in their quest to not become completely irrelevant, then we suggest measuring the depth of the dust that has taken up permanent residency on your Wii U. Oh, right, you don’t have one.
It’s a matter of fact that while Nintendo’s current gen console has always had buckets of potential, armed of course with a roster of salacious IPs that gamers both young and old hold very dear to their hearts, they have failed to turn this into tangible success thus far at almost every turn. On launch, the Wii U itself sat like flotsam and jetsam in between two market identities, unable to capture either, and most importantly of all, the games have been arguably meek and sallow at best. Sales have slid with the cantering force of Shia Lebouf’s dwindling sanity and the company that once defined video games, are all of a sudden swathed by stories of doom and gloom and closure and imagined financial woes.
Solutions pour in left, right and centre, some urging Ninty to sack off their hardware endeavours entirely and make games for other consoles; others suggesting creating yet another piece of hardware, something that could compete more directly with smartphones; and several more offering Nintendo president Satoru Iwata simply burns down every other console manufacturer, relieving consumers of the agony of choice. Or the ability to make the obvious choice of not buying a Wii U. Naturally, some are more credible than others, but the most obvious communicative swing set, the central snag that keeps the conversation in perpetual orbit is the presence of smartphones.
While there’s a hefty number of fans who would allegedly tie kittens to train tracks in order to play Pokemon on their iPhone, Iwata himself recently commented that solving their problems “is not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone”, regarding such a tactic as ‘cheap’. Commendable? Perhaps.
Now, in-app purchases are here to stay. There’s little doubting that; and you only have yourself to blame for this dire state of affairs; for raucously emptying your pockets with the lewd enthusiasm of a rabid Chris Moyles at a breakfast buffet, hurtling endless quantities of change at the feet of people offering fixes for a game that is either broken or at best severely lacking without being afforded the opportunity of peering into your wallet and getting all handsy with it. Deep breath. But low and behold, a Ninty investor reckons that actually, they might just be the solution.
“We believe Nintendo can create very profitable games based on in-game revenue models with the right development team. Just think of paying 99 cents just to get Mario to jump a little higher.”
These are the actual words, the actual words, written by Oasis Management founder and Nintendo shareholder Seth Fischer, in a letter to Iwata. He went on to inanely garble, presumably through a thick mist of spit and derision;
“The same people who spent hours playing Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda as children are now a demographic whose engagement on the smartphone is valued by the market at well over $100bn.”
If you’re done being sick, we’ll continue.
Many years ago, columnist, writer, TV personality, and serial satirist Charlie Brooker ran a website called TV Go Home; which delivered, in the primitive days of internet joviality, increasingly far fetched TV-mag style write ups of non-existent telly shows, parodying the current fatuous occupiers of air time. He stopped that site because TV became so ridiculous, his own imaginative and nightmarish creations just weren’t enough of a departure from the real thing. ‘Imagine paying to make Mario jump a bit higher’ is the kind of joke you or I might have made a few years ago; a hyperbolic statement of ridicule too crude and unsightly to ever be considered a feasible eventuality. Now, this is someone’s genuine, bare-faced suggestion of how to save one of the industry’s most treasured names.
And that’s really quite upsetting.
Quote source: MCV http://www.mcvuk.com/