News Article

Wii Has Featured Fewer New IPs Than Rivals

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Is anyone surprised?

It's a fairly common perception that Nintendo is typically happy to reproduce its existing IPs rather than develop new characters or franchises. That theory was put to the test over at Gamespot, where the numbers of new franchises per year were calculated for Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3, restricted to each company's own developed or published games and excluding third-parties. As you can see in the image below, Nintendo has produced less new IPs for Wii, overall, than its home console rivals have for their systems. In fact, the article argues that Nintendo has only produced nine new IPs for Wii in its whole lifespan to date, which is reportedly generous as Mii-prominent titles such as Wii Play and Wii Party were treated as individual franchises.

It's interesting to see the lack of new franchises from Nintendo laid out, but as suggested in the source article an important sense of context is needed. Nintendo has been one of the top three console manufacturers and game developers for over 25 years, so in that time it's developed brands and franchises that still resonate and attract gamers today. Sony and Microsoft have not been in the industry as long and have released less systems and less games, so it's only natural that these companies are still developing brands that they hope will have the same cultural impact as Mario, for instance. It's also worth noting that Pandora's Tower wasn't included in these figures, as the results only covered games that had been released, at the time of writing, in North America,

Despite this, do you want to see Nintendo experiment with more new IPs on Wii U and 3DS, or are you happy to enjoy more of the well known franchises for another console generation?


From the web

User Comments (58)



sillygostly said:

What exactly constitutes a new IP? Technically, I think a "franchise" should consist of at least two or more titles to be applicable. This just strikes me as a convenient way to poo-poo on Nintendo.

Plus, many series haven't had the chance to blossom into "franchises" due to poor sales, which is hardly Nintendo's fault.



BenAV said:

I'm very happy with my Wii's library.
It has a wide range of games from all different genres.
I don't think this is a problem, as Nintendo already have so many IPs at their disposal.
It's not like we're just seeing the same one or two IPs every year, most of the franchises only have one entry on the Wii and all of the previously entries were on past systems.



Phocks5 said:

Yeah, this is just an opportunity that someone is taking to pooh-pooh Nintendo. I've heard it said just as much that Nintendo has a problem relying too much on its intellectual property. That the only games that they make that are worth counting are their very few IPs. I don’t mind. If I had to choose and I couldn’t choose a perfect balance, I’d rather have more variety then the same IPs and sequels over and over.



frod said:

There is nothing to say that New IPs = new gameplay.

It's a meaningless term. Give me every game featuring Mario and having brand new gameplay ideas and I'd be a lot happier.



grumblebuzzz said:

The Wii has had some great games, yeah, but I'll agree that almost all of those are games starring Mario, Kirby, Samus, Donkey Kong, etc etc. Something new would be nice.



ShellyDeKiller said:

The Rainfall Trilogy were great games, and I'm hoping for at least some new IPs to be announced for the Wii U eventually. The thought of a HD Xenoblade makes me ever so happy (But not as happy as a Super Mario 1+2 HD Remaster, or even Super Mario Galaxy 3).



shinesprite said:

This is utter nonsense! What about the online storefront? Where's Maboshi's Arcade, Bonsai Barber, Pushmo, Freaky Forms, and Dillon's Rolling Western?



ThomasBW84 said:

@sillygostly I don't personally think this is a statistic to be overly concerned about, but it's quite interesting to see it sketched out. Interestingly, Wii would be top for 2012 in Pandora's Tower and The Last Story were included, so I think Nintendo's doing a reasonable job.

@shinesprite Good point, but Gamespot's focus was on retail releases on the current three home consoles; 3DS has clearly seen some good new ideas come through on the eShop.



Wheels2050 said:

@shinesprite: Well, then you also have to count digital games on XBLA and PSN. I've got no idea how that would change the picture.

@Phocks5: You've just completely contradicted yourself there.

Personally, I'd like to see some more IPs. Bringing out new entries in an existing franchise is fine - it's smart business, and the continuity is nice - but it can be overdone.

Having grown up a PC gamer, I have little attachment to Mario as a character. The games are great, but I'd find them just as good if they existed in a different universe with different characters and themes. I don't feel that excitement at the announcement of a new Mario game that some other people do, as I generally really only get excited when I start playing the game itself.

I like delving into new game worlds, with new background stories and characters and the like. As a result, new IPs hold a lot of appeal for me, and often I'd prefer that to a sequel.



dizzy_boy said:

thing is, people want the best of both out of nintendo.
i`ve seen it loads of times with people either moaning for new IP`s or a new installments from past franchises. no wonder the fanbase gets called insatiable.



ejamer said:

According to the list of games they used, The Last Story was included with these numbers. I'm kind of surprised that Fortune Street wasn't included just because it contains familiar faces, but I also would've included Sony's upcoming Smash Bros rip-off. People should read the actual article and look at some of the details before before jumping to conclusions.

A few points of interest:
(1) Nintendo really didn't do a great job introducing new IP this generation, and much of what they did introduce was decidedly casual-focused. However, there were a handful of great titles - and I'll take quality over quantity any day.
(2) New IP doesn't always mean good gaming. Looking at the list of new IP titles counted for each system, many games were niche or casual efforts pushed out to support motion-controls, and many had extremely poor critical reception.
(3) Time matters. Sure, Punch-Out!! on Wii isn't a new franchise. But it's a series that hasn't seen a new game for decades until the Wii release, and that many younger gamers may never have experienced.
(4) Availability also matters. Sin & Punishment isn't technically a new franchise, but how many people outside of Japan had ever played the game before the Wii generation?

Personally, when I look at the lists of original IP things seem pretty balanced - in quality, if not in quantity. There only a couple of new IP games on each system that I consider really attractive, and those IPs essentially balance each other out...



Kyloctopus said:

@L4DYK0M1C I don't think we should judge the 3DS, because it has only had a year to do so. But from what we've seen, it's going well, with Steel Diver, Pushmo, Spirit Camera and others. As with the DS I completely beg to differ. The DS, had Brain Age, Nintendogs, Electroplankton, Puzzle League, The Legendary Starfy, I suppose we can count Mario VS DK, because it plays completely different. DSiware is filled with new IPs as well. Like A Kappa's Trail, Spotto, Aura Aura Climber and other titles.



RancidVomit86 said:

I think new IP's are nice cause it doesnt have to mean new methods of gameplay like some of you think it does judging from your comments. It offers new charecters and new stories. Its something a little fresh. Its kinda like when hollywood persist on making 6 sequals to a movie, sure they may be good(most of the time not with movies but its an example) but at some point you ask how long do they plan to drag this out? Dont misunderstand what I am saying here, yes I love a new Zelda, Mario, SSMB, Kirby, etc game but offering something new isnt a bad thing either. Just cause you offer a new charecter and story doesnt mean you have to drag it out across 15 games. A run of 2 or 3 games is just fine to throw something a little different and new into the mix.



MeloMan said:

It makes sense and proves the legs that Nintendo's franchises have galvanized in years past-- a true testament. However, pretty much as Nintendo has highlighted one time or another, they have to stay vigilant to want to create new stuff so they nor we get bored with the same ol' same ol'.



0megapit231 said:

A problem with nintendo releasing new IP is if they release something news fans will start to crying that they don't focus on existing IPs, but when they focus on existing franchise fans will also cry that nintendo doesn't try and make something new.



earthwormjimx3 said:

As it always was said, "quality is more important than quantity". If we consider the awesome job made with games like the Super Mario Galaxy games, and the Metroid franchise (even if it's last game was made 2 years ago), i think Nintendo has a lot to do with their actuial franchises. Nintendo just needs to care a little more about the less content produced franchises, or we will finish seeing an M2012 for Metroid like Turrican with T2002 soon...



JohnPhilipSousa said:

Microsoft never really had many IPs besides Halo, and Sony has quite a few but they don't use them anymore. The only way for Nintendo to make as many new IPs is to screw most of their fans by releasing one Mario and one Zelda per system. The big idea here is that Nintendo has established excellent franchises that people don't want to leave. Remember all the clamor of Kid Icarus needing to come back? And how people still want another F-Zero? If Nintendo stops making games for a franchise, they get yelled at. If they don't make new "IPs", (I hate that term) they get yelled at.



AVahne said:

Funny when many of Wii's new IPs are from Nintendo, and though Sony has some studios make new IPs for them, most of their and Microsoft's new IPs are from third parties.



Emaan said:

I agree with what some have said before, the DS itself has produced many new series on its own, which I consider to be the more ambitious of the two systems of this past generation. The Wii had great games, and the Wii series gave Wii that new feeling it needed. I'm not complaining about the Wii's library, because to be honest it makes perfect sense that XBOX and PS3 were adding more new IP's because in all truth they didn't have that many to begin with. Nintendo doesn't need to go crazy creating new series left and right because the ones they already have established makes up what everyone loves about them, or at least I know I do. Because as much as I like new things, I don't buy Nintendo systems for the "new IP's" I buy them for the Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, etc. games, and I think most people can agree with that.



Mahe said:

There have been a lot of new games. Excite Truck is practically a new IP, and Gamespot probably missed games that haven't come out in US yet, like Disaster and The Last Story. Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Party and the rest are also quite different from each other. And while games like Rhythm Paradise, Punch-Out and Sin & Punishment aren't new IPs, it's not like the series have been milked to death either, unlike a lot of the "new IPs" in this generation have done with yearly rehashes.



retro_player_22 said:

There were some good new IPs on the Wii even though there were fewer of them:

  • Red Steel
  • No More Heroes
  • Elebits
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids
  • Endless Ocean
  • The Conduit
  • Super Swing Golf
  • LostWinds
  • Another Code R
  • de Blob
  • Deca Sports
  • Disaster: Day of Crisis
  • The Last Story
  • Xenoblade
  • Mushroom Men
  • Arc Rise Fantasia
  • NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
  • Onslaught
  • Overlord: Dark Legend
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
  • Cursed Mountain
  • Rhythm Heaven
  • Madworld
  • Rage of the Gladiator
  • Pandora's Tower
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  • Shiren the Wanderer
  • Soul Eater
  • Earth Seekers
  • Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
  • World of Goo
  • Trauma Center
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade
  • Ivy the Kiwi?
  • Lost in Shadow
  • LIT
  • Zombie Panic in Wonderland
  • Little King's Story
  • Magnetica Twist


MegaAdam said:

I see some new IPs of this generation were not counted because they appeared on handhelds first. For example: Rhythm Heaven Fever, Big Brain Academy, both DS games of this generation brought to Wii. Is it really fair to say these aren't new IPs?



NintendoLand said:

Wii has no games!!

Fun fact:

Did you know that the Nintendo Wii has the most high-rated exclusives??

but no gaming site will ever publish that!!



Hokori said:

So? We talkin 1st party only?2006 Wii2007 endless ocean2008 . Capt. Rainbow, disaster day of crisis2009 nothing2010 Xenoblade2011 the last story, pandoras tower
Also worth noting... Most Nintendos NEW ips don't sell so they stop making them but they have hat a lot since 2000
Chibi Robo, custom Robo, Daigasso band bros, drill dozer, pikmin, golden sun, Ouendan, tingle RPG, card hero, Nintendogs, wii, art style, endless ocean, brain age, big brain, electroplankton, Hotel dusk, trace memory, warioware, sin. And punishment,Stafy,meteos,jump, capt. Rainbow, disaster day of crisis, the last story, Xenoblade, drill dozer, pandoras tower, eternal darkness, animal crossing



Neram said:

Well yes, Nintendo has been around longer than it's rivals so of course it's going to reproduce it's existing IP's... Because they actually HAVE enough IP's to do that with.

There are like 5 Halo games and 4 Uncharted games just this generation alone, I think that proves Nintendo's rivals would do the same if they had as many IP's.



Henmii said:

There!! To all the people who shout: "But Nintendo produces new franchises all the time"! Now it is proven otherwise!

We want TOTALLY new platformers and adventures, Nintendo!!!



komicturtle said:

@Kyloctopus Don't forget EBA, Clubhouse Games, and a few others like Trace Memory and Rhythm Heaven. Seems like even then, Nintendo has produced or published new IPs, more than Microsoft regardless. Far more.



Slapshot said:

@L4DYK0M1C If you add the handheld consoles and third party games into the mix, it'd be: Sony, Nintendo and then Microsoft if I'm not completely mistaken — unless you count shovelware into the mix, then it might be different.



WaxxyOne said:

I view this chart with a lot of suspicion, and I can only assume it was originally made by Nintendo's competitors or a fan thereof. It's about as accurate as most of the charts in An Inconvenient Truth. (Yeah, I said it)

Let's see, a suspiciously specific period of time that ignores all of Nintendo's early consoles, a fuzzy definition of what consititutes a "new" IP, and the entire chart is designed to dismiss the best games Nintendo has introduced within the specified period of time, many of which completely redefine existing IPs even if the characters within those games have been seen before.

Frankly I'd rather stick with a company who keeps innovating new ways for you to experience the same old Mario game, than one who just keeps pumping out incremental upgrades like Halo 4 (5, 6, 7... ) that don't really add anything new besides prettier visuals.



AlbertoC said:

Showing a sheer ignorance, I don't know what IP means aside INTERNET PROTOCOL. And the definition is nowhere to be seen.

Please, dear editors. Do not take these things for granted.



CaPPa said:

I think that the Wii brand itself was the biggest new IP of this gen and those Wii branded games sold in huge numbers. Anyway the new first party IPs for North America that I can think of are:
Wii Sports
Wii Fit
Wii Play
Endless Ocean
Wii Music
Wii Party
Fortune Street
Xenoblade Chronicles
The Last Story
That would be 11, so I'm guessing that 2 of them don't count for some reason.



Ark said:

Not only is Fortune Street over 15 years old, it's not a Nintendo property. Rather, Square-Enix owns the series. To the few who want to make the argument that "Fortune Street" is not "Itadaki Street", there exists another Fortune Street game on iOS. It wasn't a matter of having Mario characters in the game that disqualified it either. Hope that clarifies.

I should also clarify that games like PokéPark are not considered new IPs despite featuring different gameplay. They are widely regarded as spin-offs of existing properties.



Kage_88 said:

@H_Hunter: 'IP' stands for 'Intellectual Property'

My issue is - what exactly constitutes an 'original' IP?

Endless Ocean
Excitetruck & Excitebots
The Last Story
Pandora's Tower
Fling Smash
Mario & Sonic
Wii Fit
Wii Sports
Wii Party
Wii Music

Yeah, Gamespot can eff off



Luffymcduck said:

I don´t need new IP´s. I just want a new F-Zero. Also WiiU Zelda, 3DS Zelda, Zelda Four Swords, Mario 64 2, Starfox etc.



Tails said:

@retro_player_22: You forgot also Phantom Brave: We Meet Again. (I believe that was also a Wii Game only. If i'm wrong sorry.) Also Nintendo just needs to release games like Starfox & FZero. Kirby would be nice But Zelda I can wait for another year for Zelda. Lets just see what they have in store for us.



Tails said:

Oops never mind you did list that one. One that is also for Wii only i believe was Phantom Brave: We Meet Again.



Lew3107 said:

I don't think Nintendo really need new IP's, they just need to revive the ones that haven't been around for a while or expand on the ones that are just coming through, like:

F-Zero, StarFox, StarTropics, 1080, Wave Race, Sheriff, Another Code, Ice Climber, Custom Robo, Excitebike, Advance Wars, Punch-Out, Pilotwings, Wario Land, Yoshi's Island, The Mysterious Murasame Castle & Puzzle League.

Even some of the shorter NES games could be remade as downloadable titles; Balloon Fight, Duck Hunt, Wrecking Crew, etc could be fun multiplayer titles.



rjejr said:

I think Nintendo should worry more about getting old IPs out in a timely fashion. Just finished Pikmin 2 the other day and realized there was never a Wii sequel despite the improved controls, just old Gamecube NPC ports. And Twilight Princess was a Gamecube port which means it took 5 years to get Skyward Sword out. Donkey Kong Country Returns was a good game, but again 5 years. And Luigi's Mansion's certainly should have had a sequel w/ Wiimote gameplay - Elebits was one of my favorite Wii games - as it was a Gamecube launch title in 2001.
I'm aware that a bad game is bad forever and a late game is only late until released but there really was a whole lot more Nintendo could have done w/ the Wii to keep gamers happy.
Which is why I'm in no rush to get a Wii U. Pikmin 3 should have released on the Wii (and we should have gotten Pikmin 2 three years ago) and New Super Mario Bros is currently being sold in the Wii box bundle for $150. Maybe I'll wait until the Players' Choice / Select line launches. Hopefully not 5 years later like the Wii wait. 2 or 3 is better.



IanUniacke said:

this is flat out false. Straight off the top of my head I can prove that nintendo released a new ip in 2007: Endless Ocean. sorry that Nintendo wasn't shoving it's new ips down gamespots throat so they could make their analysis.



CaPPa said:

Thanks for clearing that up. I'd never heard of Fortune Street before it came to the Wii, so presumed that it was something that hadn't come out of Japan until now. Not including spin-offs is fair too I suppose, although Nintendo often sells a new game on an old characters popularity (Kirby's Epic Yarn for example).

It is only games developed or published by Nintendo, so Phantom Brave wouldn't count. Outside of North America the Wii would probably have a lot more, as they published games such as Monster Hunter Tri and Mario & Sonic in other territories.

Personally I think that first party new IPs have been pretty lacking by all the hardware companies (although Sony have released a lot more and better new IPs than Microsoft or Nintendo). I can only think of 12 new Xbox 360 IPs from Microsoft this gen and the majority of them were quite poor too (only Gears, Crackdown, Viva Pinata and Alan Wake were good enough to get sequels). I think they've also had 7 new IPs for Kinect, but as you need the peripheral in order to play them I'd be reluctant to include them as it becomes like a seperate system (plus they all stink anyway). As Gamespot shows 17 Xbox 360 titles and included some Kinect games (see the 2010 spike) I've either been too generous or they've missed a couple of titles.



hYdeks said:

Wii might have the least new ip's, BUT I bet it has the most revivals seen on a console to date A boy and his blob, anyone?

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