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 ceromaster
ceromaster

Lol, coming from a publisher that makes twenty rehashes and remakes of the same franchises.

Avatar image for Link592
Link592

@ceromaster Uh... last time I walked into Gamestop, all I could see were HD collections for Sony and Microsoft consoles.

Avatar image for Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@ceromaster Though rehashed their franchises may be, clones of other franchises they are not. When you play Mario, you're playing Mario and not Zelda, unlike way too many AAA games of today where "if it's not CoD, it's not good" (only using CoD as an example, but it also applies to other games).

Avatar image for so_hai
so_hai

@ceromaster If anything, putting out re-releases would increase the trade-in ratio - so what are you getting at?

Avatar image for Juschillin810
Juschillin810

@ceromaster And they still have the highest resale value for games of the three competitors.

Avatar image for Infinite_713
Infinite_713

@Juschillin810 @ceromaster RIGHT! I remember years after Mario Party 2 came out, it was still almost full price. Also, I remember the same thing with Super Smash Bros Melee. I remember in 2004, Smash Bros Melee was still like 45 dollars at gamestop and it came out in 2001.

Avatar image for shinta125
shinta125

@Infinite_713 @Juschillin810 @ceromaster Another example but on the handheld front, Pokemon Emerald, is still $40 used and that game came out 8 years ago.

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@Juschillin810 @ceromaster Exactly. Nintendo games take YEARS on average to drop in price at retail or through outlets like eBay, and usually only come down in price close to the end of a system's life when they're introduced as a "Player's Choice" title. Nintendo and Take-Two have exactly the right attitude.

Avatar image for mario113
mario113

Biased like I haven't heard that one before and what is unadulterated bullshit is anyone who doesn't know none of the DLC is needed has mental issues, they are not obligating you to buy it is is only there if you want it, and as someone who did buy the some of the DLC maps they are actually worth what you pay for but then again trying to explain what quality DLC to you would be a waste of time

Avatar image for so_hai
so_hai

@mario113 There's nothing wrong with the principle of DLC, but even you must admit that the practice of it is abused.

Avatar image for mario113
mario113

@so_hai @mario113 yeah it is abused but I just really liked the DLC for fire emblem and thought it was worth the money.

Avatar image for CriticalCritic
CriticalCritic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90LTqEjqcnc&feature=youtu.be
Burn baby, burn.

Avatar image for OldKye
OldKye

He's correct I keep all games I really enjoy even if they lack some replay value as much as a token of a great experience as anything.

Bad games I trade in to lower the cost of new or better games so sue me.(Not Literally sue me cause I know how you operate Microsoft)

Avatar image for themux
themux

It's not about making better games, but about making games that have a high replay value. Most first party nintendo games are games that can be enjoyed in short bursts (mario kart, any mario platformer, etc) so of course people are more likely to keep nintendo games because you can go back and play a quick race or level.

On the other hand, once you finish a 40 hour linear game, there isn't much reason to start over again unless you are an achievement / trophy collector, so you'll trade it in for another linear game.

Avatar image for Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@themux I disagree. If the game is great, you'll play more than once even if it's linear, because it's a great game. If I buy a good movie I'm not gonna resell it once I'm done watching it, I keep it to watch it again later. That's where renting comes in, though. I don't understand people that want to monetize on their games, so they decide to buy it at $60 then trade it in for $20 when they're done, instead of just renting it for $5 and, at worse, pay the late fee or just re-rent it again.

Avatar image for Phelaidar
Phelaidar

@themux I can destroy your argument with one word. ZELDA.

Avatar image for BlackStar9000
BlackStar9000

@Phelaidar @themux but even when youre done with Zelda you tend to keep your copy of the game, I Know I do, but i keep most of my games, since i only buy good ones......troll face..

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@Phelaidar @themux Here's another nine words.

Demon's Souls

Dark Souls

Grand Theft Auto

Saints' Row.

Avatar image for Juschillin810
Juschillin810

@Phelaidar @themux Took the words right out of my mouth.

Avatar image for dnlgonzal
dnlgonzal

Used games really come from games that have an annual installment business model.

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@dnlgonzal Especially sports games, I've noticed. Those things have incredibly short shelf lives because of how quickly they're churned out. Hell, at least with AssCreed and CoD, the experiences might be somewhat different...

Avatar image for shinta125
shinta125

@YukoAsho @dnlgonzal Pretty much! You can get most sports games used under $1 from how often they're turned in.

Avatar image for shinta125
shinta125

@paladin1459 @shinta125 @DarkReign2552 But as I said, the same thing happened in the 90's back when many companies were/had established characters and franchises. Sony, Capcom and Konami were among the publishers who tried to ban used games in Japan and they had established franchises and characters people loved and adored. It's folly to think that establishing a franchise is impossible. It will never be up there like Mario or Zelda, but you can get a large dedicated fanbase and take it further. Even this late in the game for some companies they can still try to create and establish characters but many are not and try to go for that CoD crowd or the latest big trend and fail miserably everytime. I see indies and smaller studios doing a better job than most bigger publishers try to do.

Avatar image for CriticalCritic
CriticalCritic

Meanwhile, Microsoft keeps pumping out shitty Kinect titles and rapidly deteriorating shooters while asking "I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE TRADE THEIR GAMES IN, MAYBE WE SHOULD USE MORE DRMS AND PREVENT USED GAMES, THAT'LL FIX IT!"

Avatar image for The_Last_Ride
The_Last_Ride

Yup, but they have enough experience with pc's that they should know better

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

go Nintendo, NINTENDO POWER!!!

Avatar image for Sergeant_KFC
Sergeant_KFC

Finally someone said what we all know! Keep it up Nintendo!

Avatar image for mr_squibble
mr_squibble

Good job Nintendo! I've been watching the price of Super Mario Galaxy 2 steadily increase, so I finally bought a used copy for $40 because it's a title I want to have in my game library for years to come.

Toys R Us usually does a buy 2-get 1 free sale on video games in the fall. This is the perfect time to pick up new first party Nintendo titles for a significant discount. Other than price drops on a few greatest hits titles, first party Nintendo titles will rarely go on sale, and down the road will only increase in value.

Avatar image for tiapaola
tiapaola

On DA FACE

Avatar image for jtthegame316
jtthegame316

nintendo is exactly right. they attitude of nintendo along with games like bayonetta 2 mario kart 8, sonic the lost world are why people should support wii u

Avatar image for Mayleene
Mayleene

"Devs concerned over used sales should make better games"

Pretty much sums it up right there folks!

Avatar image for River3838
River3838

Used games Xbox is getting dumb

Avatar image for River3838
River3838

I usually buy all consoles but I will never buy another EA game

Avatar image for Furwings
Furwings

To The Regginator:

http://youtu.be/JW68goC4_es

Avatar image for jayd02
jayd02

Now I remember why I love you Nintendo.....Now actually give me those games to not trade in.

Avatar image for benkidd
benkidd

Oh God. This is why I love Nintendo.

Avatar image for MrNachobro
MrNachobro

MS: BUT WE WANTZ MONEY 4 USED GAMES!!!

Sony and Nintendo: #DEALWITHIT

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@MrNachobro Pretty much. Microsoft is doing this mostly because they don't have a damned thing outside Halo that people are invested in. Nintendo and Sony, on the other hand, have tons of profitable first-party games, so they don't feel the pressure.

Avatar image for HSV002
HSV002

Take Two, about the only company that understands consumers these days!!

Avatar image for BlackStar9000
BlackStar9000

@HSV002 Even though they pistol whip the hell out of their employees to make these great games....but it works.

Avatar image for HSV002
HSV002

@BlackStar9000 It's better then what EA does, bends their employees over, the games churned out ain't even good!!

Avatar image for YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@HSV002 I wouldn't say they're the ONLY ones. Nintendo obviously gets it, and apparently so does Bethesda.

Avatar image for GSJones1994
GSJones1994

@YukoAsho @HSV002 Atlus also gets it too.

Avatar image for deactivated-583276a1d2d91

that comment coming from nintendo... the irony...

Avatar image for PayneKiller
PayneKiller

Wow. I think they just got me to buy a Wii U, even tho I may not use it.

Avatar image for jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i am sure you will with games like bayonetta 2 on it

Avatar image for flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

That's just it. Instead of putting out one game a year for 5 years, each intended to be replaced by the next, put just half of that effort into one single game that will be a staple of the lounge room for any that own it.

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@flammable_zeus Unfortunately there's a huge market niche for EA Sports games and CoD and battlefield :(

Avatar image for Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Basically Nintendo is going to forums and blogs and rehashing what disenfranchised fans have said for 15 years.

Avatar image for BlackStar9000
BlackStar9000

@Grenadeh no, they are responding to questions from E3, ppl are worried they may join MS on the used game DRM bandwagon, and they arent.