As someone who has been a Nintendo fan since I was old enough to hold a controller, I have never seen the company attempting to juggle so many different projects at the same time.
With Nintendo dabbling in so many areas, is it only a matter of time until they start dropping the ball?
Let’s take a moment and examine everything that Nintendo has on their plate, so we can determine if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew:
- Wii U
- Mobile Games
- Frozen Yogurt (no really – I’m serious)
- Kids’ events in malls (It’s true)
- Theme Park
- Nintendo Directs
- NES Classic Edition
- MORE THINGS that we don’t even know about!
It makes me anxious just thinking about all of the things that Nintendo management must deal with on a regular basis, and each and every one of those projects comes with their own set of challenges: public relations, marketing, quality assurance, customer service, and more.
Wisely, Nintendo is not embarking on all of these endeavors alone. With the help of other established companies like DeNA, VANS, and Universal Studios, Nintendo is only shouldering a partial load for some of these projects. Still…
The load adds up quickly.
How many different ways can Nintendo’s attention be split before their products begin to suffer?
We’ve already begun to see the affects of an unfocused Nintendo, I’m afraid. The publisher was banking on a hit success with the Wii U, but the console performed below expectations, causing Nintendo to focus on attaining cash flow through additional means. The key to this extra revenue? Intellectual Property (or IP). Nintendo has invested in their character for decades, and finally decided that the time to cash in… is now.
Nintendo’s famous stable of characters can now be seen in places previously untouched by the company: mobile games, figurine toys, and more.
Is this a bad thing? No. But does it mean that we will get fewer software releases? Inevitably, it must. You’ve felt it on the Wii U and 3DS for the past couple of years.
Can we fault Nintendo for outsourcing some of these projects, like with DeNA and VANS?
The risk with partnerships is the very integrity of your brand.
There are more companies trying to turn a profit with Nintendo’s own IP now than ever before, and Nintendo has less control over them.
Remember when 5th Cell was given permission to add Mario characters to their Scribblenauts game? It was called Scribblenauts Unlimited, because you could modify whatever nouns you wanted with any adjectives you would like.
Except for the Mario characters.
Angry sweater? Check. Loose goose? Check. Green Mario? No go.
Nintendo’s IP used to be sacred, but now it’s plastered on tie-dye, Hawaiian VANS apparel with abandon.
Nintendo can make money through video games, theme parks, apparel and frozen yogurt… but they shouldn’t have done it all at once, with plummeting hardware sales.
The NX should have been priority 1, it should have been unveiled at E3, because it should be on store shelves this Holiday.