Nintendo: Devs concerned over used sales should make better games

Reggie Fils-Aime says consumers won't trade in great games, claims Nintendo has trade-in rate lower than much of the industry.

599 Comments

Developers concerned about the implications of used-game sales should make their games compelling enough so that consumers will not trade them in. That's according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, who told Polygon that Nintendo embodies this strategy and has one of the lowest trade-in percentages in the business as a result.

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"We have been very clear. We understand that used games are a way for some consumers to monetize their games. They will buy a game, play it, bring it back to their retailer to get credit for their next purchase," Fils-Aime said. "Certainly, that impacts games that are annualized and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content. Why is that? Because the replayability of our content is super strong."

"The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer wants to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin," he added. "So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average--much, much less. So for us, we have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in, and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games."

Nintendo is not the only major game maker to have such a philosophy on used games. Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said last month that the company's stance is not to "whine" about missing out on revenue, but rather to focus on creating compelling experiences so gamers do not trade their titles in.

"Our view about used games has been, as opposed to whining or figuring out ways to punish the consumer for buying used games, we've figured out we better delight the consumer," Zelnick said at the time.

Used games have been a much-discussed industry topic with next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony heading to market later this year.

The Xbox One supports used games as a platform, though decisions about allowing secondhand titles will be left up to publishers. Sony's PlayStation 4, on the other hand, will not feature any "gating restrictions" at all for software.

Similarly, Wii U owners can freely trade in titles without any restrictions.

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Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

Dear Nintendo,

Drastically update your hardware and give me a regular controller, then I'll gladly give you my money.

P.S. - I wish the game industry would focus more on the gameplay and less on the graphics. Cel-Shade everything, I don't care just give me a great game.

Thanks,

Most consumers.

Avatar image for so_hai
so_hai

@VeredusMaximus If you want those things, why pick Nintendo?

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VeredusMaximus

@so_hai @VeredusMaximus I don't pick it, I don't buy it, I was making suggestions that would cause me to pick Nintendo.

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YukoAsho

@VeredusMaximus There's already a regular controller for the Wii U. It's called the Wii U Pro Controller.

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VeredusMaximus

@YukoAsho @VeredusMaximus Please read comments fully before posting.

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@GSJones1994 @VeredusMaximus @YukoAsho Hobbit189 already brought up the pro controller.

Avatar image for GSJones1994
GSJones1994

@VeredusMaximus @YukoAsho she did.

Avatar image for Hobbit189
Hobbit189

@VeredusMaximus Dear user, how can you request a drastic hardware upgrade AND claim that you don't care about graphics...


P.S.: WiiU Pro controller?

Thanks,

Everyone else.

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@Hobbit189 @VeredusMaximus Hardware is way more then just graphics. Speed affects any type of calculation which includes things like physics, gameobject count, far clipping planes for open world environment, NPC complexity, and memory.But I would still give the developers the option to do high end graphics if thats what they tailor to, so as to not limit the developer community.

WiiU Pro Controller isn't a refined controller like the other two console, because it was made after launch in response to the low rating of the second screen controller. I don't want them to focus on stupid gimmicks like motion plus or second screens when developing their console. I'd rather have them spend all of their time designing a regular controller that is not a clone of an xbox controller and that feel great.

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@simomate @VeredusMaximus @Hobbit189 I know, I would love to see Journey's graphics on a Skyrim type game. With less graphics and texture data the map and story line could be endless in scope.

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@GSJones1994 @VeredusMaximus @ziqi92 @Hobbit189 IGN took a pole off of youtube. They're only target audience was people who watch e3 and youtube, that's not biased. The Kotaku article wasn't stated as fact, just an official publication that mirrored my opinion on the controller.

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GSJones1994
@VeredusMaximus @ziqi92 @Hobbit189 the Kotaku article is just someone's opinion, not a fact.
Avatar image for GSJones1994
GSJones1994
@VeredusMaximus @ziqi92 @Hobbit189 Yeah good job on finding sites that are very biased against Nintendo.
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GSJones1994

@VeredusMaximus @ziqi92 @Hobbit189 IGN's full of fanboys. Don't even trust em.

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simomate

@VeredusMaximus @Hobbit189 The trouble is, while hardware can improve those things you are talking about, developers seem to be more and more placing an emphasis on graphics rather then other things that make a game great. Heck BF3 could have easily supported more people online had they just cut back on the graphical power.

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@craigprime Mario Kart 8 hardware wise could probably run on the DS. It's a very simple game.

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VeredusMaximus

@ziqi92 @VeredusMaximus @Hobbit189 http://kotaku.com/5944586/i-hate-the-wii-u-pro-controller

This article says it all.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/15/who-is-winning-e3

IGN took a pole for who won the e3 console battle. Out of 300,000 votes, 81% said Sony, 12% said Microsoft, and only 7% said Nintendo. I am MOST.

Avatar image for craigprime
craigprime

@VeredusMaximus @Hobbit189 Wii U Pro controller was available at launch, as fully developed as a Dualshock 4. And Mario Kart 8 runs 60 fps, even with splitscreen.
Hardware!

Avatar image for ziqi92
ziqi92

@VeredusMaximus @Hobbit189 The WiiU Pro controller isn't refined? How so? It's still a "regular" controller. I can't see how someone like you would represent "most consumers."

Avatar image for MagneticFusion
MagneticFusion

@VeredusMaximus The point you're missing is when a game looks great AND has great gameplay. I just finished Tomb Raider today, which is a perfect example of this. Some of the scenes were like, "Damn..." Pretty impressive for consoles that are 7 years old.

And I'm looking forward to Tomb Raider 2 on PS4 which will have graphics that will blast me across the room! LOL

Yes, gameplay is definitely more important, but when you have BOTH there's no comparison.

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ArcoJawa

@VeredusMaximus Dear user, we're doing damn fine without you, thanks~

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godslayer61

@ArcoJawa @VeredusMaximus not really the wii u is at a stand still even eb games is moving all wii u products to the back were bad sales items go. plus there first party games are 6 but it going to be late 2014 for half and until than there is nothing because most devolepers wont make stuff for the wii u.

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VeredusMaximus

@ArcoJawa @VeredusMaximus Have you even seen the WiiU sales?

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godslayer61

@simomate @VeredusMaximus ubi said as of now they have no games being made for the wii u ,

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simomate

@VeredusMaximus Ubisoft hasn't abandoned development, they are still supporting Nintendo they are just not making any more exclusive games.

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Mugzippit

@VeredusMaximus When compared side by side, the Wii U is outdoing the 360 by around 200'000 sales (which isn't much). If the Wii U goes above 5 million by the end of its first year then it had a better start then the 360. Playstation 3 on the other hand was released in 2006 and by the end of 2007 (over a year into its life) had 3.61 million sales so Nintendo doesn't really have much of a challenge to beat the PS3's sales. If the Wii U gets to around 6 million sales by the end of its first year, it will have outdone the Wii which would be a big achievement from Nintendo.


Still, we will need to see how the PS4 and Xbox One do before any real comparisons can be made

Avatar image for VeredusMaximus
VeredusMaximus

@mjswooosh@VeredusMaximus@ArcoJawaNo, their much lower than that. CEO Satoru Iwata issued an apology for the poor sales of the WiiU and developers, such as Ubisoft and EA, have recently abandoned development.

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mjswooosh

@VeredusMaximus @ArcoJawa Wii U sales are about at the same point that the PS3s and 360s were by this point in their release. The PS3 in particular took a long time to pick up steam due to be over-priced and trying to force restrictions on gamers (sort of like the XBone is doing now). The Wii U will be fine when a few 1st party exclusives hit and they do a price drop.

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ArcoJawa

@VeredusMaximus @ArcoJawa Ya, and I'll live, and so will your consoles in the state they'll be in~

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mjswooosh

I'll be buying a Wii U this holiday season to go with my (2) pre-ordered PS4s. Microsoft isn't going to see another dime from me. I think that about says it all.

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YukoAsho

@mjswooosh Two PS4s? You buying one for a family member?

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greenballer

I might buy a wii u now just because of this article

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liandrikonflict


I would like to see Leisure Suit Larry on Wii U.
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so_hai

@liandrikonflict Are you sure?

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daabulls23

Makes sense.

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wearelegion5000

Nintendo is a company that is not full of sh it.

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Bixchpudding

I agree completely about Nintendo. They're games have so much replay ability. FE:RD for example, once you pass the 1st play through the second play through would give you different choices and more characters to join you, with harder difficulties.

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nirzor07

Those words increased my respect for Nintendo tenfold

Avatar image for TroyTrojanGamer
TroyTrojanGamer

Not being a troll but this is only true because Nintendo takes years to develop games and once those ten games are made they are pretty much done with that console. They make quality games that I have played on the SNES, N64, Gamecube, and Wii. However, on all of those systems it has been the same exact games, Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart, and Super Smash brothers. Once again not trolling but it's easy to not mess up when you are just rehashing the same games over and over. And don't even try to say they don't do it, look at their E3 line up for the Wii U (Zelda the windwaker which is a gamecube rehash, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong country returns (I played the demo another rehash), Super Smash Brothers which is my favorite game of all time but you have to be a fan boy to the extreme it's no more of a rehash than Call of Duty games.

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Jurakk

@TroyTrojanGamer

Not new? LOL, they are all have same names, but total different games.
To compare Mario 64 with Mario Galaxy, or Mario Kart to Mario Kart 7, or yet Ocaria of Time to Skyward and say they are all the same, you must be crazy... And plz, tell me difference between all CoDs, BFs, Hallos....

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glimpus

@Jurakk @TroyTrojanGamer Well in Halo you shoot aliens, and in CoD and BF you shoot people. LOL

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Jurakk

@glimpus @Jurakk @TroyTrojanGamer

I cant argue with that =p

Avatar image for TroyTrojanGamer
TroyTrojanGamer

I'm going to buy a Wii U just to play super smash brothers but let's not lie and pretend that Nintendo is doing something original with their games. There's a reason they don't number their games in the title anymore we be like on Super Mario 10. Developers do need to step up their game but it's a lot harder to do so when your making new games and not just slightly changing the graphics and adding a few new features.

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Total_mischief

Not that I'm particularly fond of Nintendo, but this is spot on. Few games have a solid replay value, and that's nobody's fault except the devs and the publishers (sadly, the publishers are often more at fault than the dev, because they hold all the money the dev needs).

Avatar image for so_hai
so_hai

Now this is interesting. It is also consistent with N's refusal to install the newest tech. in their consoles, as they rely on software quality (not hardware quality) to entice players.

It is also true that used copies of core Nintendo games hold their value (try finding an affordable GCN Fire Emblem, for example). I must admit though that I haven't investigated if Xbox original or PS2 games hold similar value.

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racerxgundam

@YukoAsho @paladin1459 @Grenadeh @flammable_zeus not All fps games are alike. i totally agree with ur post.

I personally do not like military style shooters...and i do get why they are sorta demonized..but if peeps like that kind of game make it too.

personally i feel jrpg's are the best value at their price

:-D

> wii u

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BlackStar9000

@YukoAsho @paladin1459 @Grenadeh @flammable_zeus yuko you have a good grasp of videogames to make that comment, i applaud you for not being a dumbass, people really are still playing doom, just look a rich from reviewtechusa on youtube

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ewjiml

Most games have absolutely no re-playability. Why? Because some developers are lazy and then blame us for trading in their games. But why would I want to play Tomb Raider a million times if the only thing I get is an extra difficulty level. Video games companies need to find creative ways to fix this problem.....and adding a half-assed multiplayer component to the game does not count either.

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so_hai

@ewjiml It's not because the developers are lazy, it's the project management not giving them enough resources and time.

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SGTbilk0

Exactly! Publishers like EA rush games and cut corners like mass effect and when the consumer is left disappointed and sells the game, EA rage and whine and then try to restrict the consumers ownership rights by trying to restrict game resale? Wtf? Say no to this bullshit, it simple make better games then you won't force my hand, you bunch of dicks.

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@shinta125 @paladin1459 @DarkReign2552 I'm no hater of Call of Duty (I enjoy the crazy ass single player the way I would an arcade game), but you're right that the biggest problem is the trend-chasing. During the hayday of the NES and SNES, there were so many sub-par Mario clones, and of course none of them caught on the way Mario did because even the kids back then understood they were rehashes. After all, why play a Mario clone when you've got the real deal in your collection already.

It's the same thing today. We're seeing so many CoD clones, but companies don't understand that the people who love CoD are more likely to stick with it than buy some store-brand knockoff.

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YukoAsho

@paladin1459 @shinta125 @DarkReign2552 The flaw in your logic is A) Sony DOES have legacy, prestige franchises, and B) non-Nintendo franchises HAVE risen to prominence. GTA's been around since the late 90s and for many have become an automatic purchase. For a lot of people, Metal Gear only started at MGS1 for the PlayStation, but that series is beloved now.

It's not IMPOSSIBLE to make long-lasting, impactful franchises in the modern day. Just make awesome games and don't annualize the bloody things.

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YukoAsho

@paladin1459 @Grenadeh @flammable_zeus I would disagree that FPSes have no innate replayability beyond multiplayer. A well-designed FPS will present users with different ways to excecute combat, hidden paths and the like, and hell, they might just be exciting enough that people will want to keep playing. DOOM still gets plenty of play, and that game's from the early 90s.

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

I don't like the man much, but here, he's right on the money! Nintendo makes amazing games, and people love them, so you don't see as many trade-ins.

The equation is so simple, yet so precious few companies are willing to embrace it.

Avatar image for Heclogit
Heclogit

Reggie is pretty much the biggest tool in the industry. Nintendo isn't concerned with used game sales because all of their games cost like $10,000 to make because all of Nintendo's consoles are a generation behind.

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so_hai

@Heclogit It's a nice fantasy to believe that games cost that little, but you'll need to work harder to try bash Nintendo's strategy.

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@so_hai @Heclogit True enough.

However, in trying to diss Nintendo, Heclogit accidentally praised them, because Nintendo has mastered the art of making great looking games without them costing half the company's value to make.

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Superzone

He's completely correct. If a game is incredibly good and worth revisiting time and again, I will never sell it. That applies to basically all Nintendo games.

Avatar image for AlwaysRunning
AlwaysRunning

He is absolutely correct. Games I believe in, I purchase new.

Games which look sketchy or I'm really unsure about, I wait and see, and perhaps go used. If the used option did not exist, I would not be buying those games at all. There are plenty of times where a used purchase has led me to fall in love with a developer, then purchasing all their games new. Those purchases wouldn't happen if I hadn't fallen in love with them from the used purchase. I have convinced many friends that various games were great by lending them out. Those friends then become purchasers of those games in the future!

You take away used games, you take away a crucial part of the market, a crucial promotional avenue, and are cutting off your future customers!! As a snot-nosed kid, you know what I did? I bought used! I rented! I skimmed by on cheap-ass methods because I couldn't afford new games! As an adult, because I fell in love with games as a kid, I purchase tons of new games! I would not have fallen in love with gaming if the only option available was out of my price range.

Restricting used sales and lending is cutting off the nose to spite the face. It is a short-sighted solution to a problem which doesn't actually exist. If the publishers would simply have reasonable budgets, worthwhile games and realistic sales expectations, they wouldn't be having money troubles.