Let’s face it, people buy Nintendo consoles for their first-party titles. Having a large library of characters to choose from and a very creative team of developers plus access to all of the hidden abilities of their consoles, it’s no surprise that Nintendo games often (though not always) turn out great. In the meantime, though, third-party developers run for the hills when it comes to making games for Nintendo. But is it really Nintendo’s fault that this is the case? It just might be that everyone, including gamers, have a little bit of responsibility in this regard. After all, there are multiple players in this world of gaming and, at the end of the day, everyone contributes to this vicious Nintendo downward spiral.
The first question we have to ask ourselves is why does Nintendo get shafted when receiving ports? Trust me when I say that the first answer isn’t “their consoles are weaker”. Let’s look at some of the Nintendo ports the Wii U received like, for example, Mass Effect 3, which not only had the misfortune of being the only Mass Effect game on the console, but also had a distinct lack of specific content due to its status. Why would anyone buy this game when it clearly has far superior versions on other consoles? But that’s not the only game, though, because when you look at Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition you’ll notice that while it didn’t lack any of the extra content, it was not really anything you couldn’t have bought years prior. Even worse is the fact that both these games released at full price, when at this point, players could buy a copy Mass Effect 3 for 20 dollars on Gamestop for PS3 and Xbox 360 a few months prior.
Players would have had to be insane to purchase any of these games, but they were touted as basically release titles for the Wii U, yet there was no incentive for anyone to buy them again. Third-parties have screwed over Nintendo. It shows when their games don’t sell, yet the developers blame Nintendo for this fact. Now what about those games that are made originally for the Wii U from third parties such as Zombi U? A game which received mostly positive reviews, and yet didn’t sell nearly as well as Ubisoft hoped. Why didn’t it sell? Nobody can answer that except Nintendo fans.
You see, most Nintendo fans tend to naturally seek first-party titles. They’ve been burned so much by the sloppy ports and poor incentives to purchase third-party titles that it almost became second nature to own at least two consoles. One console for multi-platform titles and one for the Nintendo console for the exclusives. This was a system that worked extremely well during the Wii era and Nintendo themselves said they didn’t feel they needed to compete against Microsoft or Sony at the time. It wasn’t until Nintendo started noticing that games weren’t selling and slowed down production on their own titles that fans started to feel a bit left out. At this point, everyone in the gaming world started to notice that the Wii was seriously lagging behind, despite its sales, and basically started attacking the fans. People such as Michael Pachter, who claim that Nintendo fans would buy anything that the company creates for the sake of it, are an example of this. This isn’t true, though, and the Wii U sales are a testament to how false such a notion is since even long-time Nintendo fans stopped caring about the console.
Granted, there are certain fans who act rabidly towards anyone who criticizes their console of choice but, for the most part, they’re simply burnt out from all the abusive treatment they’ve received over the decade. Despite Nintendo launching some of the greatest games every made, the gaming community as a whole treats the company as a bit of a joke. It’s crazy to think that despite gaming companies having the same fans for their consoles, only Nintendo fanatics get the heat for it. There are people who swear by PC, PlayStation, and even Xbox, but they aren’t the problem since they allow third-parties to run wild. Because of this, they further delve into defense of their Nintendo consoles and in some cases, even refuse to buy a different one while complaining about not receiving the titles they wanted. You can’t blame Nintendo for the actions of their fans, but you can certainly blame the company because…
Nintendo, as we’ve mentioned before, refuses to change their ways. This is a company that has yet to realize that their new gimmicks aren’t working. Nintendo should have, at least, by now realized that waggle technology is derided upon by the mass populace of gamers, yet they added it to the Switch. They failed to realize that when you name a console too similarly, it is doomed to fail during its launch period. The company also refuses to acknowledge that by making its consoles purposely weaker than the rest, they are basically killing any chances of it receiving a variety of third-party titles. This basically creates a situation where third parties have to either downgrade the games, and if that’s the case then what’s the purpose of buying it on a Nintendo console? The game then proceeds to fail in generating significant sales and the companies become reluctant to create more games for it. It eventually becomes a cycle that dooms Nintendo towards depending on its own titles in order to survive. Fans then realize that they’re getting shafted once more and only buy Nintendo games from that point on. Finally, the console is doomed as a failure as it fails to generate any particular interest from the gaming community.
To break it down, it goes like this: Nintendo creates a new, but noticeably weaker console for the market > third-party developers create ports or weak games for the console > few fans buy these games because of said weaknesses > third-parties complain their games aren’t selling > Nintendo creates awesome games for their own console > fans start only buying these games instead > third-parties stop producing games on Nintendo console > fans complain about lack of third-party titles > Nintendo starts working on new console as the last one stops garnering interest > Repeat steps 1 through 9.