Nintendo: Gamers growing tired of same experiences

Satoru Iwata says downturn in game industry due to year-over-year improvements becoming "less noticeable" and extended length of current-gen.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has outlined why he believes the game industry overall has been in a downturn the past two years. The executive told investors that this is due to two reasons, the first of which has to do with consumers being reluctant to pay the current rates for packaged software when the games are only marginally updated over what is already available.

"One is that consumers have a higher psychological hurdle to paying a certain sum of money for software," Iwata said. He did not name this sum outright, but separately said today that selling $50-$60 titles has been a "challenge" of late.

"Many people attribute this to smart devices, but I don't think it is the only reason," he added. "We try to offer various kinds of software for a video game platform, and the games are improving steadily each year, but these improvements are becoming less noticeable. In short, what one platform can offer will eventually become saturated."

The result is that consumers will become tired of and get less excitement from the same type of entertainment, Iwata explained. "It has become more difficult for a game which developers in this industry, including us, created with the same or greater amount of energy, to move or amaze consumers."

The overall lowering of software prices and an increase in the number of devices gamers can play on without owning a dedicated platform like the 3DS is making it more and more difficult for Nintendo persuade gamers to pay full price for games, Iwata said.

"I believe the future of the video game industry depends on the number of games developers release that consumers consider to be fresh and worth paying for."

The other reason why the industry at large is hurting right now, according to Iwata, is due to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 coming to the end of their already protracted product cycles. Sony will launch the PlayStation 4 this year, while Microsoft is expected to follow suit.

If the industry is to turn around, developers must create compelling titles to spur gamers to purchase hardware, Iwata said.

"I believe the future of the video game industry depends on the number of games developers release that consumers consider to be fresh and worth paying for," he said.

Specific to Nintendo's struggling Wii U, Iwata explained that Nintendo had originally planned to release a number of first-party titles during the first half of the year, but these were delayed for quality reasons.

"No big titles are scheduled for release before Pikmin 3 in July because we decided to take time to add the final touches to ensure that consumers fully feel that they are valuable titles," Iwata said. "The brand of a franchise would be completely degraded without customer satisfaction. This is why we delayed the release schedule of such games."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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1175 comments
lilj2626
lilj2626

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SteinerRecliner
SteinerRecliner

I'd rather have the same thing over and over than run-of-the-mill FPS games that frequent game shelves these days.

rushiosan
rushiosan

1- Says that games aren't improving enough to be noticed; 2-Announces Mario Party, Mario Golf, an expansion pack for New Mario Bros U, another Yoshi's Island remake and a re-release of DKC: Returns. Where's the freaking logic here??

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

And yet Nintendo sticks to Mario and Zelda !!!

juhis815
juhis815

I can recall that people are also getting tired of Call of Duty games as they call them as "copy-paste" sort of games that don't bring anything new to the table.

rickybena
rickybena

"It has become more difficult for a game which developers in this industry, including us, created with the same or greater amount of energy, to move or amaze consumers." Some people fail to realize Nintendo is also criticising  themselves here. 

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

Says the guy who proposed two New Super Mario Games that used the same material.

TimboII
TimboII

'Extended length of current generation? Says Nintendo who lately has typically run their consoles one generation behind....okay....

Kano92
Kano92

Nintendo is to gaming what Nerf is to sports.

joshphillips
joshphillips

I'm growing tired of not having anything besides your 1st party yearly or bi yearly round of games to play on your home consoles Nintendo.  I mean I love you and we had some great times,  but you have no clue what gamers are tired of and that's why I play my PS3. I like games! You know things that the console plays and the reason I buy it?  I want a Wii U,  but what for?  There's nothing on it worth spending three hundred bucks on it for.  I hope Nintendo really has some great stuff to show off at E3 or this will be the first time I've skipped buying one of their home consoles. 

vongroove
vongroove

I bought a second hand wii last weekend and got Mario Galaxy with it.  But yet the scores for this game are nearly perfect and yet I found if quite boring, and a bit control unfriendly.  I still love Mario 64 and play it from time to time but Galaxy is boring.  When it came out maybe blew to many minds, now? Average!

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

I love how people are backlashing once again on Nintendo's own franchises when that has nothing to do with it.

He's talking about EXPERIENCES, not the namesake.

Familiar Franchises DOES NOT = Same experience.

Look at 3D Mario, every game gives a brand new experience that uses a different gimmick for the platforming aspects, Mario Galaxy being the best example that set new standards to the Genre. 

There are other great experiences but otherwise its filled with the same experience of being the same tired Shooter Formula. That is what he's talking about.

DarthLod
DarthLod

"Gamers growing tired of same experiences" and that's all Nintendo offers. The same tired franchises and worthless gimmicks. I quit Nintendo when the GC died. They offer NOTHING new or anything worth caring about.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

I've been playing Nintendo for many years and haven't tired of their commitment to gameplay over graphics. I also like their bright cheerful graphics. If you want dark, moody games stick with your Playstations and Xboxes. If you want fun, frantic and light hearted action play Nintendo. 

Benedict_Arnold
Benedict_Arnold

@JumpyLuweegee I disagree.   Nintendo may release many games in a particular series,  but the difference is that they regularly use the familiarity of a franchise to offer different gameplay experiences.   This helps them to test out new gameplay ideas while reducing the risk associated with new ips.  It is obvious they rarely decide to "cash in"  on the familiarity of a franchise since really only Mario is used to explore genres radically outside his main genre.  If it wouldn't work,  they don't try just because it would make money.   That is integrity.  If anything,  they are brilliant because they make both investors and gamers happy. It suggests that a game like Call of Duty could branch out into other genres and still find a decent audience. After all, if memory serves Halo Wars managed to sell well despite not being an fps. Other companies should follow Nintendo's example. 

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@vongroove If you have a Wii Motion Plus controller that might be the problem. I've found that classic wiimotes work better on the games they're designed for. Mario Galaxy being one of them.

Wii Motion Plus gets 'sticky' sometimes.

Yondaro
Yondaro

@hotdiddykong Mario platforming has felt the same for the last 15 years. Barely anything has changed to platformers. and the 3D Gimmicks you named, are exactly what they are. gimmicks. they bore people after 2 stages. If you think gimmicks are what make games better, then please go and get some brain surgery.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

Think of it like this


You either get the same brand name, but different gameplay experiences or even different genre's with the name

Or

Different series names, but its still the same gameplay


There's a difference people. Say Super Mario Galaxy and Paper Mario, they have the same name and franchise but are they the same game entirely? NOPE

rushiosan
rushiosan

@DarthLod GC was truly a revolution in a matter of exploring new paths for their franchises. Too bad it died too early, it could have been like X360 if the hardware was a bit more powerful. They never care about improving their hardware to compete with other companies anyway, it's been a long time since Nintendo cared about being the first place on gaming.

Yondaro
Yondaro

@Redsyrup That has to be the dumbest thing I've heard (read) all day. Their so called gameplay hasn't changed. So the fact they haven't invested money into graphics and haven't changed the way their games have been played means they're lazy ass hell, liars and manipulative. Cause they have certainly ran their trance all over you like pixie dust.


Playstation and Xbox have light hearted adventures. Have you ever played Ratchet and Clank? Spyro? Sly Cooper? And don't make me start on Kinect or Move titles. They do offer darker titles than Nintendo, but they also offer light ones. 


What you're smoking, I ask you, please stop. And saying that Nintendo has fun on MOST of their titles, is complete BS. Should I even name half of Wii's Bloatware?

golden_ashen
golden_ashen

@Redsyrup But I had plenty of that on the original playstation, I loved it as a kid, but now I want more in my games, logic, purpose, plot, emphasis on detail, realism, inertia, intensity, all the same things that Nintendo game's aren't currently offering. 

3rd parties are there I guess, but they have more of a presence on the other consoles. You do have a point, if I wanted the light hearted feel I should go that way, but I can get more than enough lightheartness from LBP and Rachet and Clank for two examples, for anything else, there are much more than enough indie titles available on PSN store to fill my happiness and joy meter. I've played some pretty damn happy and peachy games.


But for when I want to play games like Uncharted, GTA and Gran Turismo, Nintendo isn't well rounded enough to provide me with that yet.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Redsyrup  

Exactly, while Sony (and to an extent Microsoft) do provide these types of experiences, I find Nintendo's to be some of the best around. I don't know why people want Nintendo to do what basically the rest of the industry is doing.

silvergol
silvergol

@Redsyrup 1st statement nice!

2nd so Wrong! Xbox 360 and PS3 are getting tons of these games.

Yondaro
Yondaro

@Benedict_Arnold I see what you're getting at. Nintendo does have some good ways of trying out different genres and gameplay mechanics.


But where they fail is having the game too familiar. I'm sick of Super Mario games. Those games have been coming out since I was born and haven't changed. Wish they would do something different. And if they really want to get creative, how about they make a game with full voice acting? Not half-ass like the Star Fox games. Pitiful. 


Nintendo has failed to realize that people don't want the same game over, with different names. Or just HD remakes. Oh, lets not forget: "If its 3D, it's a different game!" approach they've been doing. They need o step outside that little box and do something a little more then make gimmicky controls. 


I want Nintendo to succeed. But in order to do something like that, they need to do something else, but Mario, Kirby and Link. Those are great franchises, yes. But they need to have other ones or do something else with the ones they have.


Hopefully with the Wii U, they get more third party support, good Super Smash Bros. and a Zelda game without a game breaking glitch. (Yes I encountered it while playing Wind Waker and skyward Sword)

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

@Princess_Rectum  As compared to what ??? Do we have any other Nintendo "Franchises" to compare with ???

grognard
grognard

@Strider8009 @Kano92 Funny how Strider calls everyone he disagrees with a troll when he's the only one who has been trolling this article the entire day.  I don't think the word means what he thinks it does...

Yondaro
Yondaro

@hotdiddykong Super Paper Mario plays similar to super Mario games. Sure they share some differences, but so does every COD game. Does that make much a difference between them? NOPE

Yondaro
Yondaro

@golden_ashen @Redsyrup Agreed. Nintendo doesn't offer in depth stories on games. They pretend that Legend Of Zelda ACTUALLY has a time line. That shit is thrown together like snow balls. They talk about quality in games, but they lack most. Story, details, logic, plot. Bowser actually just kidnaps Peach for no reason. Like how Andros in Star Fox is just a big head in space that likes to kill animals..


Nintendo needs some teaching. You guys have been doing well, but now it is time to step your game up. 

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@golden_ashen @Redsyrup I'd agree that most of those titles are fine games but they're not Nintendo games. I've yet to see a developer create a game that's on par with Nintendo. The company just has higher standards for quality than any other developer.

Sony's 2nd Party titles are in the same league but I think Nintendo's games are clearly better. Budgets be damned.

Yondaro
Yondaro

@abHS4L88 @Redsyrup Because what Nintendo is doing is having remakes of titles at full $50-$60. Like Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D. Or Super Mario 64 3D. At least devs on Ps3 or xbox makes a whole collection of them instead of charging out the ass for a game I probably already own

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@abHS4L88 @Redsyrup The only people wanting that are the simple minded folks who prefer mediocrity. I say let them be artists.

silvergol
silvergol

@Redsyrup And also Nintendo are begun to get these horrible dark, bloody games look ZOMBIE U,Ninja Razor Edge,Bayonetta 2.

Zangoosedude
Zangoosedude

@Yondaro @Benedict_Arnold i think they continually release new games under the same IP to keep the series among the younger people. cuz if u think about it, i bet not many kids these days know who the hell crash bandicoot is. but they sure do know EVERY nintendo IP. and that is bcuz nintendo keeps their characters in circulation, THUS leading to a never ending cycle of fans, bcuz if u think back, we all got into nintendo as kids, some fans may drop out, but by keeping their characters well known, they just continually grab the attention of younger audiences. its a never ending cycle and imo a great business tactic.

Princess_Rectum
Princess_Rectum

@Strider8009  He probably has better things to do than sit at a computer and rub himself raw over having internet arguments.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Yondaro 

But that's not true because (aside from the Wii to an extent), Nintendo systems are always played a lot and whenever there are parties and game nights, Nintendo systems almost always are the center of attention. 

As for Kano92's comment, he's been posting this same exact comment on multiple articles :P

Yondaro
Yondaro

@Redsyrup @golden_ashen Sorry but, I don't think Luigi's Mansion is on Par with Crash Bandicoot. And that's a PS1 title. Or is it even close to Uncharted 1 or 2. (Uncharted 3 doesn't exist to me.) Super Mario Sunshine is another Nintendo title that is not on par with lots of 2nd party on sony or Mircosoft.


Nintendo has great games too. I just wish they would produce more of those instead of "Super Mario 64 3D 2.5! You can now play as Daisy saving Peach! Lesbian power!" Bs they have been doing.

golden_ashen
golden_ashen

@Redsyrup@golden_ashen 

I think that what we see in quality is subjective, for example my idea of quality is more along the lines of Diablo 2, or Uncharted 2 for example, both of which for me sat on a pinnacle of what I love in gaming and find addictive about it, where their sequels were meh. The same could be said for Mario games. Mario 64 made part of my childhood, in comparison, to me Galaxy was meh, great that it was original gameplay wise but at the same time felt same old same old.

That's not to say that Nintendo lacks quality, no, in fact they make amazing games, just games that not everyone has an appreciation for. Mario Karts may be good to those who love it, but for the rest of us, once you've played one Mario Kart, you've more or less played them all. Other than nostalgia or love for the series, I don't see much reason to return to it over and over again as it does not much more new than say a Fifa game does. I'm sure they are high in quality, especially given that its the highest selling racing game in history, but that doesn't change the fact that its repetitive and kind of boring to some people now. What would bring ME back to playing it for example?

Or Mario Galaxy 3, or Mario Party 11, what incentive is there for me to invest in a WiiU to play more or less the same or similar games I already played on the Wii?

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Redsyrup

I wouldn't say mediocrity, but definitely closed minded. But yeah, these are typically the same people who scream "WE WANT INNOVATION!" then when it happens, they yell "GIMMICKS!" 

People wonder why companies don't listen to the community, well when the community apparently doesn't know what they want, how are developers supposed to create a game to please them?

Yondaro
Yondaro

@silvergol @Redsyrup What's So Horrible about having games with a story? Nintendo obviously fails at that with first party. Let some 3rd party do it this time around.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

@silvergol @Redsyrup Sorry, I was speaking of Nintendo's 1st Party Titles. 3rd Party titles run the gambit for all platforms.

I've always bought Nintendo's Consoles for what their internal EAD teams dream up.