Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa's recent Nikkei interview has given us much to consider. Reconfirming that cloud gaming isn't a "top priority" for Nintendo presently, he also took this opportunity to dive into discussions about Nintendo's development philosophy.
As translated by Nintendo Everything, Nikkei questioned whether this was a matter of putting existing characters "out there more". Furukawa advised it isn't as simple as that, outlining an approach to character development that aims to respect fan visions:
We must keep in mind that the origins of the characters are in the games. These are characters that fans have grown attached to through countless hours of playtime. We must develop those characters in a way that won’t destroy fans’ memories of the characters in their worlds. We always proceed with caution as to not damage the value of the brand.
If we want to increase sales in the short term, there are other ways to do so. It’s more a question of what we can do to keep Nintendo a beloved brand in the long run. That’s the debate we often have internally, and something I think carefully about as I make decisions. There’s always a risk of destroying the Nintendo brand, which we spent over 30 years building.
Nintendo's approach to protecting their brand is well-known, though it's also earned it a reputation for being heavy-handed, namely by taking legal action against fan projects.
Manging fan expectations can be especially tricky with larger franchises, and when done "wrong", it leads to no end of debate. It's something we recently witnessed with the Star Wars sequel trilogy, so you can hardly blame Nintendo for being cautious with existing characters.
Do you agree with Nintendo's development approach? Share your thoughts below.
[source gonintendo.com, via nintendoeverything.com]
"If we want to increase sales in the short term, there are other ways to do so." Only until March 31st
I get their approach and respect it n' all but there's a certain degree before absurdity right? The obvious example is the Mario RPG series, particularly Paper Mario. This whole idea seems to relate closely to what has been said by people working on that series lately but like it's clearly different from the fan point of view who wants to see more experimental ideas come out of the series. Let's not even get started on Hey Pikmin and Amiibo festival.
When it comes to lessons learned, look no further than Metroid Other M.
They went back hard on that with Metroid Samus Returns.
So... Paper Mario?
"We always proceed with caution as to not damage the value of the brand.... that's why we are not doing any more Mother, F-Zero, Kid Icarus & other much loved IP as we don't want to risk destroying the Nintendo brand."
Paper Mario is the exception then right?
Bitterness aside I can respect this, but it feels like more often than not, outside of Smash certain characters and franchises are just ignored completely. And that's just even more disappointing to me at least.
There is no "destroying of memories" if there are no new games of established franchises being produced. Is that their strategy?
People are clamoring for a new F-Zero and I would love to see a new Wave Race game.
I'm definitly happy they are still following this philosophy.
Sure there are some aspects that can be tweaked, like going easy to fan-projects or not making some series and old games dissapear forever in their archives, but with so many companies willing to turn any property in a bad cash-grab game if they can, I'm glad Nintendo is still careful about their IPs and characters.
I wish Nintendo would focus more on some of their other franchises like F Zero, Kid Icarus, Metroid, Star Fox and Mother. It seems like all Nintendo knows these days is Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Pokémon, Fire Emblem, Splatoons and Animal Crossing.
@sikthvash not sure any of those games are big sellers or as Beloved as people make out them to be
Yeah, you certainly don't want to destroy your brand or legacy. Anyway, that Pokemon Post Malone concert was pretty lit, right guys?
@Vriess how much are they gonna sell though? Moderately well at best. There's a reason they are kept on the shelf
Develop them by actually putting them in games, ya know. F-zero, Pilot wings, Wave race, 1080 snowboarding, Star Fox, an origional donkey kong game made for switch......
Its clear that N dont give a toss what the "fans" think. I mean, half these comments have mentioned long forgotten beloved IP's.
I agree with that.
On the flip side of fan stuff...my little 6 year old nephew adores Mario and Toad (my influence and Mario gifts no doubt!haha) and watched a vid on youtube where someone was acting out a scene and making them swaer...so you can sometimes see Nintendo point of view, some people don't realise some things are not officially endorsed. They are like old friends and I don't want them to change!
But saying that, I was sad in Animal Crossing when many beloved old characters are not there this time, and in Splatoon 2 a lot of changes from the 1st game
Nintendo right now reminding me of that collector from Toy Story who preserves the toys, keeps them in pristine condition but never actually plays with them like intended lmao
(at least for F-Zero, Ice Climbers, Kid Icarus, etc, you get the point...)
Well you can't GET beloved by sitting on them either can you? Not to mention these franchises have never been given the chance on an actually successful console WITH decent marketing. That's why when the Switch came out with so many franchises doing better than they've ever done before, people thought Nintendo might finally bring back old franchises to test that theory but here we are yet again with no idea if it would work because they were never given the chance to begin with.
The characters don't develop since they never change or evolve throughout their game series.
I know that some people will go “well why don’t you make the games I want then!!”, however Nintendo has stuck to this plan pretty well.
The stories, appearance, game type and even dev partnerships have been meticulously cultivated to keep their franchises and characters relatively the same or along a natural progression for decades. That is no simple feat. Some of that has to do with Nintendo keeping talent for so long and allowing that talent to groom a successor but a lot of that is owed to management trusting and working with its employees. Which is rare/hard to maintain for so long. And yes some of it is litigation to keep the images/exposure to brands pristine, but as IP holders and creators they have every right to do that.
People like to bash Nintendo as a business but they really are something special.
Nintendo like to cash in the nostalgia times. No wonder in the last years, they made only ports with 60$.
That's a dissapointingly disconcerting statement for once, and all the weirder coming off several decades of a rare and admirable ability to birdflip any amounts of fan scum away if need be. The Nintendo brand is the OPPOSITE of "easy to destroy", and venturing outside the flags has elevated it more than once before. How many "fans spending countless hours with the characters" honestly envisioned Yoshi and Zelda gleefully beating the crap out of each other? How many expected Fire Emblem characters to stand beside Mega Man and God Eater ones in Avengers-shaming battles? How many wanted Peach to get her own game? Sure, there are integrities and traditions worth maintaining in balance, but they have nothing to do with fans - the entities infamous for the willingness to see any character dismantled as long as it happens to align with the specific hedonistic drug they're getting out of the work/franchise in question.
Thankfully, like I said above, Nintendo's factual longtime track record of dealing with fanship helps alleviate the concerns this comment may evoke. They can stand up for their visions and still print money doing so (audiences in general are always a more fertile soil than just the addicted segments among them), amen to that.
I feel like Super Smash Bros. is an exception to this. For example, I hate Luigi in Ultimate due to his stupid grab combos, but I love him in the main and spin-off Mario games as my go-to character.
@Kyranosaurus Exactly and some of them like F-Zero have never been tried with online play which would add so much if done well like Mario Kart 8!
And frankly some of Nintendo's franchises partly undersold because they released sub-par products. Star Fox and Pilotwings comes to mind (The 3DS Pilotwings was so small and dumbed down compared to the N64 one)
He is saying one thing, then if you look at the games Nintendo make and release, to me, it looks totally the opposite.Nintendo make "safe bet" low cost but comfortable return sequels, to the catch as many as possible IPs. They've "developed" very few of their IP and characters in the past 15 years. Stagnation has set in for 75% of their catalogue (likely more) and they chose to ignore IP that can produce new ideas. That's my take on Nintendo at the moment. Unless he is a actually blaming the stagnation on fickle fans, in which case, use that pot of money and do both, one safe bet game, one developing "beloved" character game (F Zero, or Star Fox, or Earthbound, excite, wave race, etc).
Or they could make a new IP set in the world of an IP and have that character swing by in parts of it, like a Movie cameo (like Rabbids and Starlink, but have Nintendo develop it)
Perhaps Nintendo have too many options right now. Hopefully some suprise nugget will materialise in the next couple of years.
@DonkeyKongBigBoy to be fair, maybe they are well loved because the quality over quantity arguement; nostalgia has a good part to play too, but it would be nice if Nintendo revisted some of their IP. I don't know anyone who has a bad thing to say about most of their back catalogue (OK, Kid Icarus on the 3DS did have awful controls)
Well, then give me a game with Captain Falcon behind a steering wheel, since that memory is quickly fading now!
I read that as "we don't pump yearly games from a series as for quality assurance" but on the other hand, as many people pointed: Paper Mario.
You could argue Star Fox was all over the place after 64, and I'd Federation Force was yet another low point for Metroid after other M
This could also be a response to the people who say, "Link should be a girl".
@Vriess 'People' are clamouring but few of them actually buy games from those franchises when they come out. F Zero has had decreasing sales since the very first F Zero, Metroid peaked at the original Prime but has gone backwards for 20 years, etc.
I love those franchises but money talks. One Splatoon is worth more to Nintendo than all of the minor franchises put together.
@DonkeyKongBigBoy and its not worth taking a punt on, no? Port over F zero GX and waverace from the cube,tart them up a bit, chuck in online play and test the waters. Would cost a whole lot less than it did to produce Hey Pikmin and that was terrible. They took a punt with Fire emblem awakening on the 3ds and that series was on the brink of canned completely. Look how well 3 houses has sold now due to that exposure.
"We always proceed with caution as to not damage the value of the brand" So about what you did with Mario 3D All stars, Mother 3, F-Zero....
Translation: keep selling old games, play it safe with most new games
@FargusPelagius Nintendo's purpose as a game company is to make money. The reality is that many of their 'dead' franchises never sold fantastically (Wave Race, Pilotwings), sold fantastically once upon a time but have failed to recapture past glories in the last decade (F Zero, Metroid), or belong to genres that are now out of vogue and which no longer capture the gaming public's imagination (Star Fox).
Most of them have had multiple releases which have made steadily less and less money than their predecessors. They don't make business sense to produce - they're just frequently talked about on websites such as this because they're frequented by ironed on fans with nostalgia goggles.
Metroid: Other M was a great example of tampering too much with an established formula. There's a very simple reason that "voiceless" or "faceless" characters (ranging from Link to Master Chief) have worked so well: projection. Each individual player can imagine the character's words being their own, or their own face underneath that helmet. You don't need all that dialogue when players are allowed to simply fill in those blanks themselves, and let's be honest; there's something cool about realizing it could be ANYONE in that armor (even if it's just a videogame fantasy).
When Nintendo decided to give Samus Aran dialogue in Other M, it really hurt the game's reception. Review scores were tepid at best and quite frankly the game quietly came and went. It wasn't the last time they tried altering the series' core formula, either; Metroid Prime: Federation Force was widely criticized for its multiplayer focus after a long wait since the last "core" entry, and likewise was met with apathy from gamers.
Innovation is great and all, provided it's focused in the right places; take Skyward Sword's Wiimote mechanics, for example.
They offered a new way for players to interact with the environment and enemies without messing with Link himself, and we still got one of the franchise's best storylines and character arcs.
Sometimes it's best to simply stick with what works. Build around it all you like, but don't mess with the elements that essentially make a character or franchise what it is for fans.
Funny how in the last few years Nintendo hasn't really followed this philosophy at all. The least they could do is actually make more of the legacy catalogue available on the Switch (for a fair price) if they're not interested in taking full advantage of their IP. And PR blunders like the ones that piled up late last year and Joy-Con Drift do more to hurt their image than any bad game.
Also, the sequel trilogy didn't just not live up to fan expectations, it was poorly written and mismanaged from the start.
Does this mean the years when games like Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival and Zelda Triforce Heroes aren't set up as major tentpole releases? Those games weren't quite the best use of their IP.
Like any game company, they're probably considering things like having the right leadership, staffing, and timing for dusting off a piece of their back catalogue. You can poke them about only focusing on a select few series, but would you really want Metroid, Star Fox, F-Zero, ect. to have the Sonic the Hedgehog experience from the last 20 years?
Conversely we could look at Megaman, who lost his creator AND the support of his company. But someone at Capcom (sorry don't do well with names) was fired up enough to get the train moving and give us an excellent game: Megaman 11.
You can blame Nintendo all you want, but having the right people is always key for a revival. It's not just the philosophy, it's having someone who inderstands the project, has the means to complete it, and can do so in a way that satisfies old fans, new fans, critics, and parents with wallets. So if there is anyone out there who is the Wandering Samurai of F-Zero, Lord Nintendo has a job for you.
They have no right making these kinds of statements after letting something like Sticker Star happen.
That's what I like to hear.
This is a very good way of saying those lesser known Ips which don’t sell so well will remain a memory forever as we focus on Mario, Zelda, FE, Smash, Splatoon, etc moving forward.
Leaving F-zero, Ice climbers, excite, pilot wings etc just as memories.
@EvrgrnCmln while i agree in part, Nintendo have enough following and now enough revenue that they can gamble a little bit more with smaller projects with those IP.
During the Wii U period, yes without doubt an Earthbound, a wave race an excite bike/truck nor star fox would change their fortunes. Now that animal crossing has given them enough money to buy a planet however, time for some smaller projects based on new or older IP.
Also i'll just mention i know dozens of people who bought the Snes Mini for Star Fox alone, then got a Switch as a result, and are now waiting for Star fox 3, even if it's a small indie developed game.
And that's the real key, Nintendo don't even need to go "big" a simpler game will do for those fans.
@Vriess I like f-zero my self but is that a game where if they put out a new one it would do stellar numbers. It would be like a metal album, first week or two would do respectable
Numbers, because the diehards wanting a new one. Then unless they made gameplay to stand out to the casuals it would just drop off hard.
They are so out of touch sometimes. If they're not willing to make more titles then Nintendo at least need to make their back catalogue more easily accessible e.g. N64, GameCube and Wii titles.
Guessing they learned this lesson after Other M. That was the most disappointing games I've ever played. It's not completely awful but there's very little good in it.
This could also be a response to the people who say, "Link should be a girl".
@yuwarite And we can retort that Samus should be a boy. As we know, these days, only big publishers can release to the major platforms, and the choice of protagonist must conform to corporate approval...
(There is no satisfying people who make that kind of comment...)
F Zero has had decreasing sales since the very first F Zero, Metroid peaked at the original Prime but has gone backwards for 20 years, etc
@EvrgrnCmln If I'm doing market research, I might not be satisfied with 15 year old data... and I might be interested to know the overall size of the market "genre". How large is the "Metroidvania" market?
All this tells me is that Nintendo struck gold when they discovered that their little Jump Man construction worker could be character brand in the annals of history alongside Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Spider-Man, James Bond, Kermit the Frog, and Luke Skywalker.
Nintendo caught on to this idea of series built around characters that we know and love FAR ahead of any other gaming company, save Namco and their similar mascot PAC-MAN. Other companies have establish console or company mascots, but these mascots have not had the sheer breadth of titles exploring them, and often have just a handful of titles total (again, PAC-MAN is an exception). There are large video game series like Dragon Slayer, Ultima, Phantasy Star, Sims, etc but these are not based around a character and more about a thematic concept.
If you look at the key brands for other video game holdings, you'll find very few have encultured a library of "characters" all of whom are revisited over generations. The ones who are - Sonic the Hedgehog, Solid Snake, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, these are characters that emerged in the coattails of Mario's meteoric rise.
Almost every Nintendo-proprietary world in Smash has been given a similar, though less frequent, level of care and attention by their owners. Nintendo is best compared to Disney. It's all about brand cultivation. Disney has their Princesses, their Pixar characters, their Marvel characters, their Star Wars, their Muppets; Nintendo has their Mario and Zelda, their Metroids and Kirby. No other video game company comes close to developing a series brand identities. And by golly, it works: if you want to keep up with what's happening in the MCU or Star Wars, you need a Disney+ subscription. You're not going to get WandaVision or The Mandalorian otherwise. If you want to play Mario or Zelda, you need a Nintendo console. You can't have new adventures with these old friends on PlayStation or Xbox.
Sounds like they are being so precious with their IPs that they have crippled their creativity.
This is a very interesting discussion. Always is. Particularly the issue of Nintendo ignoring dormant IPs. It begs the question: How can Nintendo leverage reinvesting in these dormant IPs and feel comfortable that they're making sound business decisions and that people will actually buy the games? Is there a compromise they can come to that will reintroduce these franchises to veteran gamers and introduce them to newer ones while not feeling like they wasted precious resources and time?
One would think with the Switch being as successful as it's been, this could be a prime time to bring out some of those franchises and see how they fare. I also feel that figuring out how to make these franchises viable ties back to their concerns with their sure bet franchises. I appreciate they try to find ways to make Mario and Zelda fresh and new with each iteration.
But at some point, you run the risk of retreading on ground you've already walked through or trying to do something so out of the box that you end up doing the thing you fear doing and that's being discussed in this interview and that's damaging the property with a direction all for the sake of keeping things fresh. So at some point, Nintendo is gonna have to figure out how to give the Marios and Zeldas a bit of breather and either bring back an F-Zero or ramp up creating new IPs
@Joker1234 I don't understand the complaints about a lack of metroid and star fox. Both had an outing on the last gen consoles. I would like to see more too, but samus returns was a late 3ds release, there was Federation Force as well, and star Fox had a 3ds and Wii U game.
While he has a point, and it's good to a point they take that approach, they're also forgetting something. His idea of preserving the brand means essentially doing nothing and holding things in a permanent state of suspension. But these characters were developed and we gained attachment to them explicitly because of their role as constant experiments. Nintendo became beloved because they took huge risks that happened to pay off. If Mario never sprouted a raccoon tail and flew around the map, a huge chunk of mario charm wouldn't exist, and we'd probably be a lot less attached to the character. In Furukawa's world, such things would never have been permitted. The plumber stays on the ground and wears overalls. Period. Can't risk the brand!
New safe Nintendo is selling for now, but will it sell tomorrow? They need more risk to keep the brands thriving rather than aging. More kids know who Mario is than Mickey Mouse. Why? Disney "protected" Mickey and he stagnated and became a dated anachronism. We've seen more Mickey from Square Enix than from Disney in the last decade.
It is key for Nintendo as the Switch matures and as another generation console approaches in the next decade or so that they continue and expand on the product philosophy they had at the outset of the Switch's release so far as software. Reinventing series that have grown accustomed to doing things the same way is key to adding value for the player. Even the rare, staunch person who was not a fan of Breath of the Wild would be hard-pressed not to admit that it brought a "breath" of much-needed fresh air to the series. In other words, do more Star Fox Adventures, less Star Fox Zero; less Skyward Sword, more Breath of the Wild; less Donkey Kong Country Returns, more Donkey Kong 64. Be Zelda, not Pokémon. As the above comment eloquently states, fearless experimentation, not rote copying of legacy hits, is key to growing value for players. Continue to be open to making mistakes.
@NEStalgia Not to start an argument or debate. And this just might be splitting hairs on my part. But I don't think it's the case kids knowing who Mario is over Mickey Mouse. I can't fathom that there is anyone who could look at a picture of Mickey and not know who he is. I do think, for a good portion of young people, there is a greater attachment and investment to Mario over Mickey in terms of time and money. They may know of Mickey. But they're probably not clamoring for Mickey merchandise like they would the latest Mario game. I definitely agree with your assessment on Disney's treatment of the character though and it's really unfortunate.
Well if the Mario brand can survive that awful 90s movie, it can endure anything.
@Joker1234 And even their Kirby games are... meh. Colorful, lot happening on screen, I’ll give em that. But I’d like to see Kirby get back to his roots. A refined sequel to the Game Boy games.
When topic reminds you that Captain Falcon and Ray Mk have less character to build than Mr. HYAAAH! himself.
Well, I hope they don't play it too safe in the future and I sure hope they still have it in them to bring back old IP's like they did with Kid Icarus, or create new ones like Splatoon and ARMS.
I think I'm not alone when I say that what hooked me as a lifelong Nintendo fan is their unique quirkiness, so I hope that they let it shine through more than they are now.
With the success Switch is raking in, I sure hope devs are given chances to experiment a bit more.
If captain falcon is a racer and bounty hunter, why couldn't they do a game that focuses on his bounty hunter side with racing as a side gig? They take his smash bros moveset and have at it in the fzero universe. Do some world building while they're at it.
I really wish they'd take more risks, it's a shame that there's going to be a portion of young gamers out there that will only know some of their characters from Smash, I mean I get situations like how they try doing something different such as with Metroid other M and it ends up backfiring, but in my opinion they're just a little bit TOO protective
The cowards can start by developing Daisy properly. I swear, the fan community is doing a lot of heavy lifting on that one while she sits neglected by Nintendo game after game Q_Q
I just want new entries in F-Zero, Starfox, Excitebike, Punchout, and Metroid 😂 I want some of the older IP’s to get some love on the Switch.
They refuse to even keep their IPs relevant. Maybe they should do sometimes besides Mario and Zelda and Splatoon for once?
If only DC, Marvel, and Star Wars would do the same.
People love hyping up less popular Nintendo brands and not buy them.
Looked what happened to F-Zero and Star Fox.
In a way, you folks are kinda fradulent.
Nintendo Protecting their brands while Disney and Naughty Dog destroy theirs.
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. I’d like to see more of Nintendo’s dormant franchises come back.
i suppose with franchises like sonic around the corner, it can be a reasonable for companies to fear ruining character legacy
Luckily for them story was never their priority for most of their characters and franchises.
Um okay then. Not sure what to say I spose.
So at some point, Nintendo is gonna have to figure out how to give the Marios and Zeldas a bit of breather and either bring back an F-Zero or ramp up creating new IPs
@UmbreonsPapa I thought they already had figured out how to do this, though - they've partnered quite effectively with studios like Brace Yourself, Next Level (before the acquisition), and even Sega for F-Zero GX itself! I haven't heard of any studios that are unwilling to work with NCL...
I like their games and consoles as much as anyone else but man, this guy's are so out of touch it's frightening,
I mean, they keep making the exact same game, no risk in tarnishing anything that way, example bing mario, what's the mario lore? What's the chronological order of the games, how old he is? Why other characters seem to appear so randomly on games? (Only when it serves gameplay) same thing with zelda, it's the same game (but due to fans pressure they had to make a "timeline") and the list goes on, there's so much talented studios out there, they can make sequels of their forgotten franchises at any given time and still maintain whatever they want to maintain. Take some chances!!
@Clyde_Radcliffe F-Zero might actually be tricky. The last game was actually made by Sega, and they also had the rights to make the F-Zero Arcade machines where you could plug your memory card into and fly your custom ship. (They actually had one touring around Australia at one point, I was obessed with it when it appeared in EBgames near my Grans house for 2 weeks) There might be some issues with Sega over some parts of the property and that might be why we haven't seen anything.
@marandahir also it could got the way of Warhammer and how awful some of the games they have are, just because they're licensing their IP out to practically anyone who owns a dev kit. Some are ok, but many are subpar and it really damages the brand, even if there's alot of quality in the other stuff they produce. Nintendo have had moments with games not meeting expectations or not being well received and they take that pretty seriously, sometimes going out of their way to overhaul things that probably didn't need changing, but hey, at least they try. It's unfortunate that some do get overlooked, but we know that if someone within Nintendo realises they could bring something refreshing to an old concept, usually you'll see it come to fruition. Maybe things like F-Zero are just in need of someone to come up with a fresh take on it and so far no one actually has.
Seriously we're getting a Pokemon Snap game...How many years after the original came out? It's taken them a while to find someone who's willing to put a new fresh spin on the idea. Miracles can happen.
@DonkeyKongBigBoy agree bruv, love me a new mother, fzero or 1080 but they're shelves for a reason
I trust this company wholeheartedly
@Mando44646 It usually ends up futile listing new Nintendo IP but I'll go ahead for fun:
New Nintendo IPs since the Switch that aren't Mario or Zelda or Splatoon....
Ring Fit Adventure
@EriXz I get perplexed when people genuinely seem to think Zelda Wind Waker and Zelda Twilight Princess and Zelda Skyward all play the same - and more than ever, Breath of the Wild broke almost all the previous series conventions.
And some also think the Mario Galaxy, Sunshine, Odyssey, 3D World all play the same too. Bizarre.
It's an argument that's gone on for a couple of decades though so I'm under no illusions about it changing anytime soon.
@Highonda_H_S In a sense, shouldn't Arms be a major evolution of the punch out concept? I personally can't see a non-licensed boxing game being a million seller but that's just based on my own assumptions and not backed up by any analysis.
I suppose Excitebike could work as a smaller game - but there's already Excite Trucks during the Wii era so not a particularly dormant IP. Starfox was a Wii U release so definitely not a dormant IP.
I didnt say they play the same, I did say those are basically the same game (plot wise). yeah, they have been changing up a bit but that's very recent
Agreed. As for F-ZERO, I think Nintendo should just license out the brand to German developer Shin'en Multimedia, who developed and released three exclusive F-ZERO-like games for the Wii, Wii U, and Switch respectively: Fast Racing League; Fast Racing Neo; and Fast RMX, respectively. Honestly, these games alongside the F-ZERO course in Mario Kart 8 have filled out any desire for an F-ZERO game that I've had the last few generations, but it would be quite charming for them to release F-ZERO RMX on the Switch Pro, basically being just Fast RMX with an F-ZERO skin to it!
I didnt say they play the same, I did say those are basically the same game (plot wise). yeah, they have been changing up a bit but that's very recent
@EriXz Well you did say they keep making the exact same game..... But Mario games have almost never been story-driven - Mario Galaxy probably comes the closest and is the likely the most memorable. Mario games are gameplay first, story second. I finished Mario 3D World on the Wii U and have no recollection of what the plot was. Mario Galaxy, Mario 3D World and Mario Odyssey are all very different Mario games that have different ways of celebrating the past. Odyssey probably has more celebrations than previous Mario games but it does fit in with the overall gameplay.
Edit: Then again, people have been saying that Mario games and Zelda games are all the same for the past 20+ years. I'm bored of that argument already.
Ehh, I'd say quite different plots:
12-year old kid sails from island to island on a quest to save his sister from a big bird, finds an ancient kingdom buried beneath the sea, saves his sister and meets an ancient demon resurrected, discovers that his pirate "ally" is actually the lost princess, and stops the ancient evil from restoring the lost kingdom.
17-year old rancher about to deliver a sword as a tribute from his village watches as boar-riding goblins attack his home and kidnap his friends. In pursuit, he discovers the world is covered in a gloaming shadow, gets turned into a wolf by the darkness, and is imprisoned by shadowy demons. With the aid of a rebel imp, he travels around bringing light back to the land, rescues his friends and amnesiatic girlfriend, and ultimately learns that light and darkness are equal, and not necessarily good and evil, and balance is necessary to survive - after fighting against the King of the Twilight and the resurrected evil king.
16-year old sky knight - on the day of his knighting - watches as his girlfriend, the officer academy headmaster's daughter, get stolen away by demons below the clouds in the surface world. He descends to the surface to find her, discovering that she's the reincarnation of the ancient Goddess who saved humanity from the demons of the earth by sending them up on a flying sky mote. To stop the evil, the Princess goes into a deep slumber in the past. Linkk forges a sacred weapon, travels through time, and stops the master of all monsters in the past, allowing him to wake the sleeping princess Zelda, with whom he establishes the Kingdom of Hyrule for the first time.
Are they all pre-teen/teenager seeks to save a girl that is important to him and gets sucked up into a war against evil? Sure. But in terms of plot and theme, that one thread that unites them is really the only element of the plot that's similar. And it's not like that girl is Zelda each time; it's his sister in WW, who falls into the backdrop by the backhalf of the game; it's Illia and the kids in TP, and Illia is important to Link but sure is put on the backburner because TP's real main character is Midna, and Midna has other goals in mind until Illia's memory is actually important to advancing the plot in Act 3; and in SS it is Zelda, but she's not a princess like in the other 2, and her relationship with the Goddess Hylia is established here in a way that the other games don't delve into, thus providing a story angle to her that Tetra and brown-haired Zelda just don't dive into.
@COVIDberry You're thinking like a fan rather than an investor. The question isn't 'why shouldn't we do it?' but 'why should we?'
What has changed in 15 years to suggest that the gaming public now would be more receptive to F Zero than the gaming public then? Has there been a renaissance for futuristic racing games, or racing games in general?
@FargusPelagius I agree they could (and as a fan I'd like them to), but why should they? 'It'd make the fans happy' isn't going to be an argument that appeals to a for profit company unless that happiness translates into profit or increased market share.
Also, let's face it - diehard Nintendo fans would never be satisfied with a budget Star Fox or F Zero. They expect AAA from Nintendo.
Has there been a renaissance for futuristic racing games, or racing games in general?
@EvrgrnCmln This is a fair question. I could reply just as well that the genre has not diminished in popularity, either.
I'm not saying you're necessarily incorrect - I'm saying that NCL itself does not always think purely like an investor, else they would go the route of EA. You could well ask the same question about genres and current popularity WRT titles like Metroid Prime 4, Cadence of Hyrule and Famicom Detective Club. Are Metroidvanias, rhythm games, and retro menu-based games the rage these days? No - but they're niches which are apparently stable.
The major changes in the last 15 years that I feel may be pertinent here are Switch's higher (phenomenal) attach rate and the market's demonstrated overall interest in "retro" games (older than two generations). While results have differed (Sega AGES has evidently made less of a splash than Square Enix's re-releases), I don't think many companies are ignoring these factors.
And then there is something fairly peculiar to Nintendo: they seem gamely willing to continue trying to score with certain franchises even after middling results (Star Fox, Pikmin, Fire Emblem).
What I think this comes down to is: how much do they care about the breadth of their IP? Nintendo historically tried to be many things to many people, tried to cover many bases, in order to keep customers hooked on their platform. Nothing I've seen tells me that Nintendo is unwilling or unable to work with a second- or third-party developer to continue franchises (i.e. Luigi's Mansion). If I actually understood how decisions were made over in Kyoto, I might have a better answer for you...
In other words they ain't gonna do a disney and make everything woke or pander to the SJW mob
@Ogbert I think the issue was for a while Paper Mario and the rest of the franchise were sending mutually exclusive messaging about the characters.
Characters like Toad and Boo are iconic parts of the franchise, even though there's multiples of them Nintendo still treat them as much as a character as Mario when needed. But PM was pushing a direction where these weren't treat as characters at all and Instead pushing different versions of these as characters like Bow.
Last year when Origami King came out there were people faulting them for having Bob-Bomb play a prominent role in story just because he's 'generic'. Or that he doesn't count as a character.
You can't really have these sort of conflicting ideas grow too big otherwise they'd drive a big divide in the Mario franchise fanbase instead of just Paper Mario.
@Dr_Lugae To me though Paper Mario was a different world, it wasn't Mario rendered in a paper art style, Paper Mario was it's own thing with it's own world and characters. But now it's all just Mario with forced paper mechanic gimmicks to try and justify it not just being regular 3D rendered Mario in Paper Mario's place. Which is what Mario & Luigi was, until they also decided that wouldn't have any new and unique characters too.
They created worlds and characters that people loved and then unlike what they're saying they try to do here, they didn't preserve them or their memories. They wiped them out. The made them just the same as the other characters they already had.
@EvrgrnCmln when a games company makes money from Games because "it makes fans happy" is exactly the reason to.
Nintendo made Animal crossing to sate "fans" and everyone who slammed amiibo festival.
Super Mario Oddessey was made because Switch needed a flagship Mario game.
Zelda Breath of the Wild, was Nintendo trying to bring the series into more modern territory, to please fans like me.
Splatoon 2 was made to give the millions of "fans" in Japan a new game to move to once they got Switch.
At the very fundamental level, it's 'fans' that drive the industry. If a game can sell 100,000 then make a lower budget game, it's still for the fans. If the game can sell 7 million go for the big budget, four year dev cycle (Mario, Zelda).
Look at competitors who are on the decline, they are all there because they're fans aren't happy, and haven't been for years. Even EA are trying to change their negative perception, because it has blighted every "new" thing they have tried to bring to the table last gen. Company perception plays a big role, especially now that it is easier to refund digital purchases (except on Nintendo, why is that?).
@Ogbert I'd disagree,the latest Paper Mario tells a indepth story and experiments in ways that wouldn't happen in the mainline.It develops characters like Kamek rather than swapping them out, which complements the character across the franchise.
Considering Mario was less popular in the 6th gen(GC/3DS) than the 8th gen(WiiU 3DS) despite higher system sales. The sidelining of main series characters in Mario RPGs, Tennis/Golf RPGs during this period may have been breaking apart the Mario brand identity into smaller chunks increasingly incompatible chunks instead of a strong whole.
@Dr_Lugae Ok it develops Kamek, but Kamek is a Mario character not a Paper Mario character. Koops is a Paper Mario character, Rawk Hawk is, Admiral Bobbery, Goombella, Dooplis, Goombario, Professor Frankly, Count Grodus etc etc.
Removing them and replacing them with characters from another game is not "develop(ing) those characters in a way that won’t destroy fans’ memories of the characters in their worlds". It's removing them entirely and developing OTHER characters in their place.
@FargusPelagius Most sales don't come from fans, but casual gamers - hence why the average system owner is reported as only purchasing 1 to 2 titles a year. Nintendo's whole renaissance, during the Wii era, was built on expanding this core base - selling systems and games to people who ordinarily wouldn't buy a system, and, in the process, moving away from the 'fan' demographic.
Mario, Animal Crossing, Splatoon - these are all series that are proven, in recent times, to be able to reach that core audience. In fact, almost all of the new games that Nintendo has released for the Switch have followed in that vein. Zelda, Mario, Splatoon, Animal Crossing, Smash, Kirby - these are all Nintendo's sales outliers, and Nintendo has just about covered them all. The only series they have yet to provide new games for have been those that have underperformed for them on multiple attempts. And this is for a good reason.
You are quite right that Nintendo could produce budget versions of its less successful franchises and still make a killing off 100k sales but that would inevitably dent its reputation. Nintendo is a AAA company. It's ironed on fans expect AAA games and will be satisfied with nothing less. The company is known for producing well crafted games. They cannot simply churn out budget updates to old franchises and expect their public to say 'oh well I guess F Zero has a small fan base so we shouldn't expect any more'. This would hurt even the reception of its big budget titles, since it would destroy the presumption of excellence that Nintendo tries to cultivate.
@EvrgrnCmln To add I think this gen specifically Nintendo may be purposely not competing in budget space of the system. Leaving it wide open for 3rd parties and indies to sell the best on Switch to bolster confidence for future systems.
It's notable that all of Nintendo 1st party software is either full price, free or only available temporarily(Fire Emblem 1 and 3D Allstars).
@EvrgrnCmln while i totally understand your point of view. There are indie games and even bigger budget studios right "now", capitalising on older fan bases and nostalgia. All without "diminishing" the quality and perception of the IP. I'll point you to Streets of Rage 4, Capcom just released Ghosts and Goblins, and previously released Mega Man 11.
Also you are forgetting Nintendo has ties to alot of smaller studio's that used to handle "portable" games. These studios cannot just up and make a AAA game. They are exactly the studios Nintendo should be collaborating with to "develope", "beloved" IP. Time and time again the average F Zero fan has said, Why don't Nintendo work with Shin'en to produce a new F zero? As an F Zero fan myself, i see absolutely nothing wrong with that and will gladly try that game if it ever materialises.
Nintendo is in the perfect position to do it. Hope you have a lovely day, i'm off to play some Zelda as it's been awhile.
Dipping in to the Nintendo should make smaller games based on it's dormant franchises. Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Chibi-Robo, Hey Pikmin were all portable releases on smaller budgets that failed to set the sales charts on fire and fans reacted negatively to them. TBF Metroid Prime: Federation Force was always going to have a negative reaction considering the length of time since the last main game in the series!
I like the idea of a collaboration with Shin'en. I do feel Nintendo lacks the manpower to manage many collaborations though so they're probably being incredibly selective about where they invest their time and energies.
@FargusPelagius As a fellow F Zero fan I would also be all for this. Perhaps I am just more cynical, but I don't think it'd be well received by the remaining gaming public, who have become increasingly obsessed with graphical fidelity and FPS. Nintendo cannot help but be associated with products that bear the names of their IPs - just as the gaming public looked at an indie game like Cadence of Hyrule and was somehow disappointed that it was only an indie game, many people blamed Nintendo for that disappointment even though all they did was allow another developer to use their IP. The same was true of Hyrule Warriors, with complaints about the game being leveraged at Nintendo rather than its actual developer.
The gamer in me wants a new FZero even if it isn't a high budget game. The cynic says an entry that isn't high budget will meet with complaints about production quality that will be directed at Nintendo even if they have nothing to do with the game.
@EvrgrnCmln Yeah it might be fans want all the bells and whistles. But the appeal of alot of Switch games at the moment, aren't actually "high" fidelity. They are about the same as Wii U, which was heavily criticised for not being "good" enough all last gen.
People wanting a high fidelity F Zero would be better served by an alternative on PS5 or Series X, made by an indie. I still think there's room for Nintendo to do something enticing to fans within a modest budget. Even NES remix on Wii U did alright sales wise and that had all odds against it in a modern gaming world (and launched on a console with an awful install base). As Nintendo is all about Imagination, i actually think a new Star fox or F Zero as if they were running on SNES or perhaps N64 hardware would be both nostalgic and highly entertaining. They can literally concerntrate on storytelling, impressive levels (from a design perspective) and solid game mechanics. This can be a total counter to the "look at these amazing graphics" approach so many games try to present and then fumble the actual game.
Case in point for that is The Medium, looks great at times, has some technical hiccups because they are a small team, but it lacks most in the gameplay, it is little more than an engaging story down graphic centric corridors. I still enjoyed it, but it was as superficial as alot of AAA games.
Been a good discussion. I live in hope
F zero GX sold over a million and no game was seen since (home console wise). Wonder how it would sell "as is" on Switch, with it's much larger install base.
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