Can Save Nintendo
The Secret To Longevity
by Nicholas Laborde
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
We live in a day and age of ubiquitous interconnected media.
Smartphones allow for us to have an unprecedented anytime, anywhere ability to share information.
The internet is in more places than it isn’t.
With the on-disc/day one downloadable content issue still actively annoying many gamers, a wider market is opening for things created by the community as an alternative to having to purchase extra content.
Even though user generated content has been around for years, now is the time for Nintendo to capitalize on an ingenious idea that could not only save their franchises, but reinvigorate them.
Will U try it?
The age-old ritual of moving in for college was interrupted by my roommate and I breaking out my SNES. After dusting off the ol’ spell book and reciting a few incantations, my copy of Super Mario Kart finally came to life after many dormant years.
As we played through the limited amount of levels against each other, I had the thought of how user generated content could affect the inevitable Mario Kart iteration on the Wii U. I immediately became disheartened, because this isn’t a vastly widespread concept on Nintendo systems.
Imagine the potential of user-created Mario Kart tracks. What normally would have been 50CC may now be 500CC because someone thinks the game isn’t hard enough.
Some very demented creator may create a Rainbow Road that’s dozens of times longer and more difficult than the already daunting one that we all know and hate.
This is more of a matter of, “Why ISN’T this implemented yet?” rather than “Why SHOULD this be implemented?”
A common opposition to the idea would be that it’s too complicated. To that, I say to yet again look at the previously mentioned titles.
People took the very basic concepts of Forge in Halo 3 and did tremendous things with the tool, surpassing what the developers ever imagined would be possible.
While the concept certainly is enticing, there’s a central problem in all of this: Nintendo is lagging behind in their market and not keeping up with their competitors.
Nintendo carries itself with a certain level of pride. Take the 3DS for example.
Releasing an entirely new version of the DS for a market increasingly limited by the advent of the smartphone and by the fact that 3D isn’t something that everyone can experience, Nintendo simply sat back and assumed they would be successful as in the past.
As you may recall, this didn’t happen.
There’s clearly a problem here, and Nintendo needs to do what they do best: adapt.
When the playing card industry was no longer a viable market, Nintendo turned to gaming, eventually completely saving the North American gaming market after the Crash of 1983.
If you analyze Nintendo’s failures, it’s only a little ominous that the Virtual Boy‘s utter collapse was echoed in the 3Ds’ early days. The most incredible thing about Nintendo is that they are resilient and have trust in their consumer, two important qualities in today’s market.
Yet in our modern gaming world, Nintendo is losing sight of who their customer is. Each new Mario release has been more or less riding the train of New Super Mario Bros., with no new ‘real’ Mario title appearing since the Galaxy series.
Standards that your competitors have already shown to be successful.
The wait for the next slew of consoles has caused sequel-itis to come in full force and gain a vice grip on the industry.
Since Nintendo chooses to foster its old franchises instead of investing in new IP, user generated content is the only logical step forward for their games.
Otherwise, in addition to a multitude of other reasons, they can expect to see more losses.
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
Filed under: 3DS, Editorial, Handhelds, Mobile Gaming, Opinion article, Oxcgn Special feature, Wii U, Xbox 360 Tagged: | Halo 3, halo 3 forge, Halo 4, halo 4 forge, Halo Forge, halo reach forge, Halo: Reach, LittleBigPlanet, Mario, Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros, nintendo, nintendo finance, nintendo losses, super mario bros., super mario kart, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Smash Bros, UGC, User Generated Content, Wii U, wii u mario