We've seen plenty of E3 interviews from Reggie Fils-Aimé and other Nintendo executives, many covering the content that Nintendo showcased in LA. There's interest in what wasn't shown though, as despite there being plenty of surprises and official coverage, some areas were certainly left unfulfilled during the show's full week.
An interview conducted with Waypoint (part of the Vice network), touches upon some of these areas. For example Fils-Aimé was asked about the lack of Indies showcased by Nintendo during E3, no doubt leaving some small studios feeling like they're struggle for exposure. It was highlighted that Nintendo does offer support for download developers at other events, and we shouldn't forget the late February 'Nindies Showcase', either.
For the last three years, we've done major activity prior to PAX, showcasing indie content, big events. And so, we very much are, not just welcoming to the independent developer community, but we've made it a priority to showcase that content.
And I'll give you a very specific example, I met with the team from Nicalis, outside these doors, and they were talking about how excited they are about the sell-through that they're having on our platform, and how excited they are on the content that's coming on Nintendo Switch. And so, from our perspective, if the issue or the concern is "Boy, why weren't we part of the Spotlight?" OK, I hear the point. But, boy, please don't generalize that we're not supporting the independent developer and the Nindie developer, because we're supporting them at a very strong level.
Fils-Aimé seemed on slightly looser ground when asked about AM2R, a popular Metroid 2 remake that was shut down by Nintendo. The reveal of Metroid: Samus Returns certainly explained in part why Nintendo had been so stringent in shutting the fan project down, yet the company has a reputation for ruthlessly defending its copyright against creations that are - on the surface at least - entirely not-for-profit. Fils-Aimé seemed to cite AM2R as a commercial product, even though it was a free download with no obvious plans for monetisation. One paragraph, referencing the right of Sakamoto-san and Nintendo to 'drive where it's (Metroid) going' is perhaps a true indication of the thinking behind shutting off AM2R distribution.
So, I think there needs to be clarity in what the line is, and, in our view, the line is when an initiative crosses from being an homage to something that is monetizing our IP. We allow homages to exist in a variety of different ways. And, for me personally, as a fan before I was an executive, I understand the attraction that you could have to our IP. But, when it transitions to something that... now, you're trying to monetize, you're trying to sell, you're trying to profit off of, that is what broaches or breaks through that line for us, where we have to claim our IP protection.
But again, to differentiate this, we have had conversations with entities that started as fans and became more of a business partner. Those conversations happen all the time, but again, when something transitions to a commercial product, and that's what [AM2R] was—there wasn't a charge, but it was now a commercial product.
How do our creators, like Mr. Sakamoto, who created Metroid, and Nintendo control that intellectual property so that we can drive where it's going, versus someone else driving where it's going.
That's where the line is very clear for us. And again, we could go on to YouTube and a variety of different places and see fans doing interesting things with our IP. But when it turns to driving the direction of the IP, or somehow monetizing or becoming a commercial project, that's where for us, the line has been crossed.
Also of note, Fils-Aimé reiterated that the Animal Crossing phone app is coming this year as promised; E3 wasn't seen as an ideal event to showcase it, but there's mention again of the app complementing the dedicated video game part of the business.
So, specifically now, Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing development continues quite strongly, the teams are very excited about what they have. It's an application that is going to launch this year, as we've committed. And we'll be sharing more information in due course. We believe, just as we've seen with Pokémon Go, just as we've seen with Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, we believe that the application will help broaden the user base for Animal Crossing, and it's going to end up having a positive impact on our dedicated video game business of Animal Crossing.
It's quite a long interview, and well worth giving a read.
Thanks to everyone that sent this in.