Reggie Fils-Aime was a busy man during E3, leading Nintendo's main press conference and persistently spreading the word about Wii U and 3DS. As is expected, a lot of what was said was towing the company line, but in a more relaxed exchange with Kotaku, the Nintendo of America boss shared his views on the expectation levels of the company's biggest fans.
When quizzed about a perceived negative reaction online to Nintendo's main conference, and whether it had shown enough exciting new content, Fils-Aime unsurprisingly defended what was shown.
One of the things that, on one hand, I love and, on the other hand, that troubles me tremendously about not only our fanbase but about the gaming community at large is that, whenever you share information, the perspective is, 'Thank you, but I want more.' 'Thank you, but give me more.' I mean, it is insatiable.
And so for years this community has been asking, 'Where's Pikmin?' 'Where's Pikmin?' 'Where's Pikmin?' We give them Pikmin. And then they say, 'What else?'
For years, this community have said, 'Damnit Reggie, when you launch, you better launch with a Mario game.' So we launch with a Mario game, and they say, 'So what's more?'
I have heard people say, 'You know, you've got these fantastic franchises, beyond what you're doing in Smash Bros., isn't there a way to leverage all these franchises?' So we create Nintendo Land and they say, 'Ho-hum, give me more.' So it's an interesting challenge.
When asked whether titles such as those in the Brain Training or Nintendogs franchises showed a sense of innovation in the past that was currently lacking, Fils-Aime argued that they were huge success stories that had prompted a 'ho-hum' response when announced. Going on to use Wii Fit as an example, he said that although fan-communities understood the concept when it was revealed, once again it wasn't embraced by these enthusiasts.
It's not a question of understanding. I think people understood what we showed. It's the question of, as a gamer, 'Is this for me and something I can get excited about?' And Wii Fit did not get that reaction. And yet 43-million copies around the world, it's a phenomenon. And so I would argue that the gaming community actually is unable to differentiate between a phenomenon and something that is 'ho-hum.'
What do you think of these comments? Are Nintendo's fans always unsatisfied and demanding more, perhaps unfairly? And do a lot of followers fail to see a title's potential commercial success if it's not the sort of game they think should be produced by Nintendo? It's an interesting debate, and we'd love to read your thoughts in the comments below.