Nintendo Says Used Games Aren't A Problem If You Make Great Games

By William Usher 1 year ago discussion comments
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I suppose you could consider this article the spiritual successor to an article posted earlier about former Epic Games front-man Cliff Bleszinksi decrying the presence of used games and complaining about rental services like Redbox and Gamefly, saying that they don't help sustain the fledging AAA business. Well, Nintendo disagrees.

According to Nintendo of America president and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, the big man had a talk with Polygon about the Big 'N' and their policies and how if you're a company who makes great games, you don't have to whine about used game sales or rentals, saying...
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. 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 want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average – much, much less.”

This ties into what Reggie was telling the Dorito Pope in a very candid and well paced interview during Gametrailers' all-access coverage of E3, in which the Nintendo president laid it out plain and clear that Nintendo is about providing nostalgic experiences that you won't find on any other device.

Truth be told, whether you like Nintendo and the Wii U or not, Reggie has a very good point about them having historical games with legendary game experiences. Heck, there isn't one Nintendo game I've owned that I would be willing to trade-in if I didn't have to.

But the Big 'N's North American COO had some more verbal smackdown to lay on those who whine and complain about the used game market, dropping the gauntlet at the feet of less successful publishing houses and development studios by clearly and confidently stating that...
“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."

So by this logic, does this mean that Cliffy B complaining about used games and games not selling well correlates to Cliffy B not making great games...or...?

Anyway, it's hard to count all the factory-type AAA games worth keeping on a shelf given their short play-span and nearly non-existent replayability features. I'm not sure why people seem to want to blame consumers and the second-hand market for pre-owned titles when games aren't worth keeping or replaying for a second time. Whose fault is it that the game wasn't made to be great?

My only hope for Nintendo is that that hunker down and get serious about third-party support. Let's not keep beating around the bush that they're rocking the market right now. I want the Wii U to succeed and I want one of the few pro-consumer companies out there to keep being pro-consumer. Hopefully Nintendo can churn out some noteworthy killer-apps for the Wii U the way they did with the N64, Gamecube and (more-or-less) the Wii.

Besides, with Microsoft selling Wii U SKUs since May 21st, Nintendo is in a great position to leverage the sales boost if they can just get some good games out there.
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