originals\ Mar 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Nintendo: The Bad and the Ugly

The good's coming next time, I promise

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Nintendo doesn't understand advertising's true power.

Xenoblade Chronicles XIf any other company had been promoting this game it would have been huge


I've already covered why advertising is the number one thing Nintendo needs to learn from today's AAA market. Long story short: Western AAA developers admit they use advertising to brainwash the stupid masses into buying their games. Judging by the massive sales of mediocre AAA releases, like Watch Dogs, it's pretty damn effective.

Typically, Nintendo only gives big marketing pushes to their main franchises like Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, and Smash, while the others (including second party collaborations) are just along for the ride. How many commercials did you see for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Yoshi's Woolly World, Bayonetta 2, or even Fatal Frame? Not enough. I saw more advertising for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 than I have seen for the combined ad campaigns for all of the Wii U's titles in the last two years.

Okay, that's not entirely true, it's slight hyperbole.

Only because Nintendo really put their back into pushing Splatoon. It was marvelous to see the company supporting an entirely new IP with effort on par to that of a new 3D Mario or a new Zelda release. It obviously paid off too, because now Splatoon has sold 4 million units on the gimpy Wii U, and is on pace to potentially outsell Mario Kart 8. If the Wii U had even half the sales of the Wii, Splatoon would most likely be the best selling shooter of all time.

Again, we see that Nintendo doesn't learn a damn thing: After Splatoon, advertising died for everything but Super Mario Maker. There was no significant push for Yoshi or Xenoblade, and they didn't even try for Fatal Frame, despite an envious position as the only major horror release in the Halloween window. Essentially, Nintendo is the least desirable publisher to work with when it comes to advertising, because there's a not-insignificant chance that the extent of their support for your game will be limited to an offhanded mention in a direct, divisive censorship, and an intentionally misspelled video title for your release trailer. (It's like the localization team loves bad internet humor more than doing their jobs.)

It still pains me that Nintendo pays people to say things like this. Nintendo is painfully out of touch with the gaming market, and reality in general, if they think open world RPGs are niche. They are literally the worst company in the gaming world when it comes to good, consistent product promotion.

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About The Author
James Wynne GameZone's freelance color commentator. Obsessed with recapturing the magic of 90's gaming. Find me on twitter @JamesAdamWynne, or check out my attempts to recreate 90's gaming magazines.
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