Flameproof shield? Check. Flameproof tights? Check. Flameproof man-dress? Double check. Flameproof jockstrap? Oh you bet your Jimmies that's a check. Electronic Arts has opened the floodgates of the fanboy war by calling out Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo, also known as Mr. Nintendo and the man responsible for designing legendary games such Mario, Super Smash Bros., Zelda, F-Zero, Donkey Kong and Pikmin, and said he has fallen down on the job. Oh. Freaking. Snap.
My Nintendo News picked up the quote of epic proportions from GamesIndustry.biz where EA’s Chief Creative Officer, Richard Hilleman, stated that...
“I thank Miyamoto for that [his contributions]... but he’s falling down on the job. And for the past five years that job has been taken over by a dead guy from Cupertino.”
Ouch... ouch... oh, freaking ouch.
Those are the kind of words that will make the old, tight-shirt wearing, overweight Nintendo fanboys come from out of their dusty old caves in the Shire and attack the forum boards like Smaug on a gold-hunting rampage.
Hilleman tries to make a case for mobile gaming, that it's surging, that it's moving and shaking and disrupting the core balance of video games as we know it. Hilleman gathers in his words the confidence of a man who truly believes what he's saying, preaching to an inept choir willing to chew on every word like a starving man grasping at the last morsel to spare his existence. According to Hilleman...
"We've asked for too much time, too much skill, and too much money, sometimes all at once,"..."Customers today... are generally looking for a single fabric of play. They want their game where they want it, when they want it, and at a price they can defend to other people."
Hilleman feeds into the same kind of rhetoric that many AAA publishers have been peddling ever since they found out there are more than a billion mobile users – that attacking the mobile market with aggressive ad campaigns and pseudo-quality games was the way to make money and to feed on the greener pastures opposite of the market and platforms that made them famous.
GamesIndustry sums up Hilleman's volubly rousing speech with this tidbit...
[Hilleman] suggested that the next generation of consoles can get gamers back if it learns from new trends, where players have become content creators and the focus in development has shifted from hardware to software. According to EA research, mobile games hold the attention for 90 seconds and PC games for 90 minutes, but consoles can keep engagement for two hours at a time.
Hey, remember that article... that one article that was recently published... what was it? Oh right, it talked about how competitively stringent the mobile gaming space was and how hard it is to profit in that space due to over-saturation and low quality apps flooding the marketplace. In that same article developers mentioned they were moving back to consoles and PCs because that's where their audience is.
Hilleman points to the advent of mobile gaming as if it changed gaming for the better. What he fails to recognize is that – as pointed out in EA's own research – mobile games are consumed and measured in a matter of seconds, not minutes and certainly not hours.
Miyamoto isn't losing an audience to Jobs' mobile ecosphere, because the last I checked the Nintendo 3DS was still beating the ever-loving crap out of the home consoles that EA supports each and every month on end.
In fact, despite being dwarfed by Android devices at a five-to-one ratio, the Nintendo 3DS still has a revenue intake that rivals Samsung's devices when it comes to digital app sales. More than anything, Nintendo just embarrassed the crap out of Apple and Samsung as far as app sales go given that Nintendo caters to a much smaller, dedicated install base compared to mobile phones.
The only misstep Nintendo has taken was that they didn't have a strong enough software line-up waiting and ready for the Wii U when it launched last year, but they're rectifying that with a strong line-up of indie, A, AA and AAA titles for the Wii U in 2014. I would hardly call that “falling down on the job”, especially considering that the Wii still won the entire seventh generation of gaming by moving more than 100 million SKUs, and that was while Steve Jobs was alive and kicking.
Nintendo shouldn't take Hilleman's words to heart. Remember, this criticism is coming from a company who is the two-time running worst company in America.
Falling down on the job my arse.