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Topic: How Nintendo can more adequately appeal to today's youth

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TheMisterManGuy

For a supposed family-friendly company, Nintendo has done a terrible job appealing to kids lately. Putting out what they think kids want to play, instead of what they actually want to play. Look Mario is timeless, and universal, but the Wii U is dominated by fluffy mascot platformers, and it's getting old. I know gamers out there want Nintendo to go after the "core gamer", but if they want to live up to their family focus, they'll need to do a better job at targeting today's kids and teens with NX. Which is why I proposed ways for Nintendo to reach out to the youths in a more efficient manner.

  • Give kids more than fuzzy 2D platformers - Games like Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze are great, but the Wii U is over-saturated with adorable mascot platformers. Games like Yoshi's Wooly World is only going to appeal to the youngest of child gamers. And older kids, especially teenagers have very little middle ground. So offer more variety, in both genre and aesthetics. Which brings me to...
  • Try and varried styles of visuals - Most recent Nintendo games on both the Wii U and 3DS have a very saccharine, almost dated presentation. Star Fox Zero Leeches off of Star Fox 64 nostalgia that kids won't get, and others like Yoshi's Wooly World go back to that fluffy, cutsey woostsy look. I don't mean to sound like an edgy hipster, I definitely love cuteness here and there, but lately, there's just been too much of it. They need to be more age neutral and varried in their visual styles. I suggested before that I feel Nintendo should take a more creator driven approach to how it develops games. Where you can pinpoint the visual and gameplay style of each game creator/director instead of simply a generic look for Nintendo as a whole. Well, this is why. I strongly believe games, for the most part should be made by Creators, not businessmen.
  • Go after a broad spectrum of kids - Looking at Nintendo's recent advertising, they seem very desperate to pander to the 4-9 year old audience and their parents, rather than youth in general. While young kids are very important to serve, they shouldn't be your only audience. 9-12 year olds, 12-14 year olds, even 14-18 year olds are all kids too. There needs to be content for them as well. By only going after the youngest of kids, you only perpetuate the "Nintendo is kiddy" stereotype. Instead of appealing to the whole family, you isolate the whole family. Older kids see it as something for their little brother, parents see it as something to pacify little Jimmy, and High Schoolers see it as something they outgrew. Speaking of which...
  • Reagin teen appeal - Keep in mind, when I propose appealing to teenagers, I don't just mean the hipster street teens that Sony and Microsoft typically attract, I mean the whole spectrum of Teenagers. The DS and Wii both had a pretty huge teenage audience, especially with girls. You don't even need an M or Heavy-T rating to do so either. There are ways to make content with a more teenage audience in mind, and still have it be family friendly. The Marvel Cinematic Universe does this all the time, and hell, the first few Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the early Zoog Disney days as well. Just remember, not all Teens want to play "Sports-n'-Guns", though it wouldn't hurt to have the Sports games and CoD or better yet, Overwatch on board.
  • Connect with kids more - They're getting a bit better at this with the whole "Play Nintendo" thing they have going on right now. But they still need to do a lot more work in this regard. First, they need to start putting their IP on more than just games and toys. Get a new Mario Cartoon out there. Kids already invested into the franchise will eat that shit up, and kids who never had interest in Mario could also get into the games with it. There's the Amusement deal with Universal, and they Need to get their games on to mobile more. Kids more and more are being raised on mobile devices, and Nintendo needs to ramp up mobile development if they want kids to notice them.
  • Try and bring modern families together - Local multiplayer with friends and family is always vital. But Nintendo needs to do a better job at approaching it in a modern setting. The internet is now something we take for granted this day and age, and Nintendo can no longer treat it like an afterthought. They need to merge their design philosophies, with today's Internet driven world. They still need to make Local Multiplayer games for the whole family, but online connectivity must be integral to the company's operations.

That's all I have in mind. Nintendo can only survive if kids take an interest in them. If they struggle to appeal to kids, then they suffer as a company. Now they're already taking steps to improve in these areas, let's hope they keep going with it.

TheMisterManGuy

DefHalan

If Nintendo wanted to appeal to today's youth then then need to publish their own yearly shooter to go up against Call of Duty and Battlefield, and I don't mean Splatoon, I mean a FPS where you shoot bullets at people. Nintendo would need to stop developing so many platformers. Nintendo would need some Adventure games they can release yearly as well. The key is rapid releases, DLC support until the new one is a few months away, and aiming for those Mature-lite titles, where they are full of mature content but in the most childish ways.

Today's youth isn't playing kid-friendly games anymore, they are playing whatever is popular, whatever they hear about from friends. They are wanting the big AAA releases. In my opinion, most of today's youth is chasing the hype instead of finding good games. The youth audience Nintendo currently has is small and mostly only there because their parents are gamers themselves and actually watch what the industry puts out.

EDIT: I probably sound like I am 100 years old and completely out of touch with reality to a lot of people, but that is what I think.

Edited on by DefHalan

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

Octane

@DefHalan I agree, but a realistic shooter isn't even necessary; look at Overwatch for example (or something that isn't even a shooter like Rocket League). People tend to play the games that are popular, and those are often the multiplat games; they can reach a wider audience and that generates more word of mouth advertising. The younger people will follow, they want to play whatever the older generation is playing.

Octane

DefHalan

@Octane While those games are popular, I don't think they appeal to today's youth. I think they appeal to older audiences. As the industry continues to change, audiences will want different content, but I think today's youth is mostly interested in the AAA hype machines, the big yearly releases. It takes too much time to appeal to older audiences and eventually have the younger audiences gain interest in those products.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

faint

@DefHalan my girlfriend has been teaching fourth and fith graders for 3 years now. She says all the kids talk about is minekraft and terraria.

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DefHalan

@faint I do wonder if that is because of YouTubers, something we know Nintendo doesn't like. YouTubers do have a lot of popularity (something I don't understand) and that could be what they are talking about.

Mainly for my post I was pointing out that Nintendo shouldn't actually target specific audiences like that.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

faint

@DefHalan I personally wonder how well they would do if they made one really good sand box game they could add on to.

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DefHalan

@faint Like the new Zelda game? lol

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

TheLZdragon

TheMisterManGuy wrote:

For a supposed family-friendly company, Nintendo has done a terrible job appealing to kids lately. Putting out what they think kids want to play, instead of what they actually want to play. Look Mario is timeless, and universal, but the Wii U is dominated by fluffy mascot platformers, and it's getting old.

Is this your opinion or what you think is the opinion of everyone else?

I know gamers out there want Nintendo to go after the "core gamer", but if they want to live up to their family focus, they'll need to do a better job at targeting today's kids and teens with NX. Which is why I proposed ways for Nintendo to reach out to the youths in a more efficient manner.

Efficiency is...such a funny word in this context.

  • Give kids more than fuzzy 2D platformers - Games like Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze are great, but the Wii U is over-saturated with adorable mascot platformers.

Over-saturated? Yoshi and Mario are the only ones I can think of.

Games like Yoshi's Wooly World is only going to appeal to the youngest of child gamers.

No. Critics liked it too.

And older kids, especially teenagers have very little middle ground. So offer more variety, in both genre and aesthetics. Which brings me to...

...ignoring half the Wii U's library...oh wait carry on

  • Try and varried styles of visuals - Most recent Nintendo games on both the Wii U and 3DS have a very saccharine, almost dated presentation. Star Fox Zero Leeches off of Star Fox 64 nostalgia that kids won't get, and others like Yoshi's Wooly World go back to that fluffy, cutsey woostsy look. I don't mean to sound like an edgy hipster, I definitely love cuteness here and there, but lately, there's just been too much of it. They need to be more age neutral and varried in their visual styles. I suggested before that I feel Nintendo should take a more creator driven approach to how it develops games. Where you can pinpoint the visual and gameplay style of each game creator/director instead of simply a generic look for Nintendo as a whole. Well, this is why. I strongly believe games, for the most part should be made by Creators, not businessmen.

The two examples you gave look nothing alike...at all. Explain your use of the word "varied" in your argument, because the evidence doesn't support it at all.

  • Go after a broad spectrum of kids - Looking at Nintendo's recent advertising, they seem very desperate to pander to the 4-9 year old audience and their parents, rather than youth in general. While young kids are very important to serve, they shouldn't be your only audience. 9-12 year olds, 12-14 year olds, even 14-18 year olds are all kids too. There needs to be content for them as well. By only going after the youngest of kids, you only perpetuate the "Nintendo is kiddy" stereotype.

Instead they should go after the hardcore shooter market for that audience, right?

Instead of appealing to the whole family, you isolate the whole family. Older kids see it as something for their little brother, parents see it as something to pacify little Jimmy, and High Schoolers see it as something they outgrew. Speaking of which...

This has been spoken since the SNES days. It's nothing really new...

  • Reagin teen appeal - Keep in mind, when I propose appealing to teenagers, I don't just mean the hipster street teens that Sony and Microsoft typically attract, I mean the whole spectrum of Teenagers.

Wut

[quoteThe DS and Wii both had a pretty huge teenage audience, especially with girls. You don't even need an M or Heavy-T rating to do so either. There are ways to make content with a more teenage audience in mind, and still have it be family friendly. The Marvel Cinematic Universe does this all the time, and hell, the first few Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the early Zoog Disney days as well. Just remember, not all Teens want to play "Sports-n'-Guns", though it wouldn't hurt to have the Sports games and CoD or better yet, Overwatch on board.

[/quote]

Ironic considering some Wii U games could attract the audience. Smash and mario kart come to mind.

  • Connect with kids more - They're getting a bit better at this with the whole "Play Nintendo" thing they have going on right now. But they still need to do a lot more work in this regard. First, they need to start putting their IP on more than just games and toys. Get a new Mario Cartoon out there.

They are supposedly working on this and branching out their IPs in other ways.

Kids already invested into the franchise will eat that poop up, and kids who never had interest in Mario could also get into the games with it. There's the Amusement deal with Universal, and they Need to get their games on to mobile more. Kids more and more are being raised on mobile devices, and Nintendo needs to ramp up mobile development if they want kids to notice them.

Working on that as well.

  • Try and bring modern families together - Local multiplayer with friends and family is always vital. But Nintendo needs to do a better job at approaching it in a modern setting. The internet is now something we take for granted this day and age, and Nintendo can no longer treat it like an afterthought.

Which is why games like Mario Kart, Splatoon, and Smash all lack online

They need to merge their design philosophies, with today's Internet driven world. They still need to make Local Multiplayer games for the whole family, but online connectivity must be integral to the company's operations.

In what manner do you speak? Most of their biggest games have online (which btw is 100x better than the Wii and DS's generation). They also don't charge for it either.

That's all I have in mind. Nintendo can only survive if kids take an interest in them.

They seem to be doing fine right now.

If they struggle to appeal to kids, then they suffer as a company. Now they're already taking steps to improve in these areas, let's hope they keep going with it.

Pokemon says hi. Nintendo is not going anywhere soon.

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TheMisterManGuy

DefHalan wrote:

If Nintendo wanted to appeal to today's youth then then need to publish their own yearly shooter to go up against Call of Duty and Battlefield, and I don't mean Splatoon, I mean a FPS where you shoot bullets at people. Nintendo would need to stop developing so many platformers. Nintendo would need some Adventure games they can release yearly as well. The key is rapid releases, DLC support until the new one is a few months away, and aiming for those Mature-lite titles, where they are full of mature content but in the most childish ways.

Today's youth isn't playing kid-friendly games anymore, they are playing whatever is popular, whatever they hear about from friends. They are wanting the big AAA releases. In my opinion, most of today's youth is chasing the hype instead of finding good games. The youth audience Nintendo currently has is small and mostly only there because their parents are gamers themselves and actually watch what the industry puts out.

EDIT: I probably sound like I am 100 years old and completely out of touch with reality to a lot of people, but that is what I think.

They just need more diverse titles, and they need much better advertising for various demographics as well. A family-oriented brand can only survive if there's a diverse range of games.

TheMisterManGuy

faint

@DefHalan that is an open world adventure. I mean a sandbox game. You build and craft your environment. A Nintendo version of Terraria or something like that.

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the_shpydar

I disagree with the entire premise of this blog post ... erm ... thread concept; the quackalicious @Lzeon summed up most of my more specific thoughts quite nicely.

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DefHalan

@TheMisterManGuy This thread is about appealing to today's youth, diversity is to appeal to multiple groups and interest.

@faint Nintendo has Minecraft and Terraria on the Wii U and 3DS

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

shaneoh

Lzeon wrote:

If they struggle to appeal to kids, then they suffer as a company. Now they're already taking steps to improve in these areas, let's hope they keep going with it.

Pokemon says hi.

Pretty much my argument when people suggest that Nintendo is going 3rd party

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TheMisterManGuy

@DefHalan Not all kids want just Sports and guns though. For example, my friends at school were all big Undertale fans.

TheMisterManGuy

faint

@DefHalan yes and they are selling very well but are not a reason to buy the system. You can play them on anything. I was thinking of a Nintendo take on terraria with Nintendo ips that you can only play on a Nintendo console.

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DefHalan

@TheMisterManGuy When I was young I didn't want the same things as the majority of people my age too, but that doesn't mean to appeal to that audience Nintendo should target my interest. To appeal to today's youth, they should target the majority.

@faint a game like that might be able to sell well for Nintendo, but with their current rules and enforcement with YouTubers they may not be able to get their crafting/exploration/creation game into the mainstream audience.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

TheMisterManGuy

@DefHalan Splatoon is proof that if you focus on something good rather than something popular, people will take notice of you. Nintendo just needs to keep that kind of creativity up going into the NX.

TheMisterManGuy

DefHalan

@TheMisterManGuy Yes but that isn't how you appeal to a specific audience, which is what this thread is about. Splatoon is a good game that is acceptable for all ages, which means lots of people are able to play it. It doesn't target a specific audience, which is what Nintendo is so good at doing. They make high quality games and they make them playable by the most amount of people, which leads to success.

If they wanted to "appeal to today's youth" then they should make what that audience wants, but I don't think Nintendo would find success trying to appeal to a particular adience like that. The only audience Nintendo should try to appeal to, in my opinion, is the "hardcore gamer" because if Nintendo can make a game that audience likes but still approachable, like Nintendo normally does, then they could reach a wide customer base.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

3DS Friend Code: 2621-2786-9784 | Nintendo Network ID: DefHalan

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