Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

March 4, 2011 -

Reacting to Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata's comments at the Game Developers Conference this week, equity research analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities said that in the long term "Nintendo is doomed." He was referring to Nintendo's fight in the handheld space with Apple's iOS devices and Android based smart phones.

"Long-term, Nintendo is doomed," said Michael Pachter. "He’s under full frontal assault by Apple."

Others in the industry also had comments for Nintendo:

"He may be right, but then the 200 to 300 million people who play games on Facebook are wrong," said Jeff Brown, the VP of corporate communication for Electronic Arts. "Social gaming as a whole aggregates into a business that is undeniably big money. When it’s that big you are forced to pay attention."

"I expected better from Nintendo," said Zynga's Brian Reynolds, who shifted from making hardcore strategy games to a new job at the social game maker. "They are missing the point of what we are doing, We are making games that everyone can play and socialize on while playing."

 

Source: All Things Digital


Comments

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

his list displays your friends and their current status. Hovering over a name with the mouse will display the character name and game/server info, along with which of your characters the friend is attached to. Double-click a friend's name to send a message... they will receive your message (if they're online), even if they aren't playing the character you made friends with.

SO COOL!!!

kimono bjj

James bond007

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

Saying "Long term" and "doomed" when you are talking about a company 122 years old kind of makes you look a fool right off the bat.

Nintendo has been "doomed" at every single generation of console hardware since the original Famicom/NES.

I will admit that smart phones will probably make a dent in the hand-held market.  But saying that "Nintendo is under assault from Apple" is like saying "Wine is under assault from beer"... sure, there's some cross-over in the market, but you're not really talking about the same thing.

When Apple has an in-house developer make a game as good as Ocarina of Time (and one that stands up so well to the test of time, which most games don't *cough*Goldeneye*cough*), then we'll talk.

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

That was my reaction as well. Pachter doesn't have the best track record in the first place. (In fact, arguably, he has one of the worst track records of any "industry analyst" I've ever seen.) He's not someone you want to pay close attention to except as a source for cheap laffs.

To arbitrarily count NINTENDO out, though is especially ludicrous. Set aside their tons of money, their status as a font of innovation in the industry, their reputation as quality game creators, and their rock-solid IPs that are arguably more valuable than Disney's. They're also a company that has been discounted over, and over, and over again, and have come back each time more powerful than ever. Remember when people like Pachter were saying that Nintendo should follow Sega's example and become a third party software developer? No? That's because NOBODY in 2011 would admit to having ever said that. Nonetheless, during the PS1 and PS2 days, that sort of twaddle was ubiquitous. You'd have to be the worst sort of cretin to arbitrarily announce THEIR fall.

But setting aside that clown Pachter, none of these responses really get to what Iwata was talking about, which is the fact that companies like Zynga are far less interested in a gripping and challenging gaming experience than pushing whatever buttons they can to turn people into de-facto junkies. I have a lot of respect for Reynolds, but his employer has a bad reputation for very good reasons, and the reputation most iOS and Facebook games have for being time-wasting shovelware is just as richly earned.

The sad thing is that as Brenda Brathwaite said, not all "social games" have to be habit-generating crapware. Certainly games like Echo Bazaar show the promise of the medium. iOS' unique input mechanics also have the potential to make for new and astonishing experiences.  But Iwata's right in calling out companies like Zynga for (quite deliberately) not living up to that promise. 

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

About the only thing Apple might attack them for is stealing their color scheme.

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

Wait, are they sure Reynolds said "everyone can play"?  I think he might've meant "everyone can pay for."

As for Brown, he's got his own irons in the fire, so I don't blame him for running shareholder-calming damage control.  But I don't know where Pachter gets off playing the apologist.  Surely an analyst of his capability should be able to see that Nintendo and Apple are targeting somewhat distinct markets -- there's crossover to be won and lost, but it's not going to hurt their bottom lines, much less "doom" either one of them.  (Remember the 90s, when Sega went out of their way to convince us that the big N was in second place and therefore ruined?  And then the Dreamcast arrived and it totally crushed the N64?  Yep, poor ol' Nintendo never really recovered from that thrashing...)

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

Pachter has proven over the years that he's not really very capable. He's "called" the "dooms" of the big three several times over, in effect negating prior articles.

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

Given that these new companies in the industry are new to the game...

... how the fuck would THEY know?

I dunno know about anybody else, but adding "friends" over a social network just to use those numbers to accomplish unrealistic tasks that culminate into absolutely nothing (no action, no visuals) isn't exactly what I'd call gaming OR socializing. "Friends" on Facebook and Myspace are trophies, a means of attempting to connect one person with another over an internet connection using absolutely nothing as a reason besides the fact that they both have an account, in an attempt to validate their own lives by fooling themselves into thinking that they've been acknowledged by somebody important (when they haven't), or accepted by a large number of people. At worst, these games encourage people to make "friends" as stepping-stones without regard to feelings or personality, just to make accomplishing a feat on a game "easier". Realistically, nobody can have over 100 "good friends", and using such a number of people to make Mafia Wars easier to play is insulting.

And the last time market saturation occured in the video game industry, the small businesses were fucked over, big businesses took a shot (many sank), and Nintendo pulled everyone's asses out of the fire because of a focus on quality over quantity. They KNOW this because they were THERE when the 83 crash happened- trying to tell people that Nintendo is doomed because they understood the consequences of how it happened the LAST time and are telling people about it, is nothing short of biased ignorance.

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

That, and Nintendo doesn't actually MAKE the shovelware for DS and the Wii. Not saying they couldn't do without some standard of quality for publishing games, though.

On top of that, there wouldn't be as much shovelware if people would stop BUYING it. As a video game retailer, I can't tell you how many copies of Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree I've sold, but it's a LOT.

On the other hand, maybe shovelware fills a niche that wasn't there almost 30 years ago? I do regularly get customers that ask me "Where are the cheap games?". Perhaps maybe that we as a community have become spoiled and arrogant to the point where we believe that we alone decide what makes a good game?

Perhaps Nintendo saw this need for cheap, crappy games and allows the shovelware to be made so they can sell more games to a larger demographic? Most of the games on the iPhone are shovelware crap, so maybe Apple is just moving in on this virtually untapped resource?

I've always said that Nintendo has gotten very good at being behind the curve and ahead of it at the same time. Nintendo's been around for over 100 years, and apparently for good reason.

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

I can't tell you how many copies of Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree I've sold, but it's a LOT.

 

...

 

... Wait, what game?

Re: Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

You two pretty much hit the problem on the head.

 

I'm still surprised that the expensiveness of The Sims 2 is so over the top beaten that no other game can come close to that money grubbing.  Even with buying all the bundles of Guitar hero doesn't come close to getting the full set for Railworks, which is now nearly 1100 USD.  Zynga and Railworks, to me, are the scourge of the casual market. 

 
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