I know this is nothing new, but I've just gotten so frustrated with Nintendo's DRM that I felt like I had to write it all down just to get it off my chest. Below is my open letter to Nintendo on how their DRM is hurting their business,
So here is the deal Nintendo, I love you guys. I've played and enjoyed your games for as long as I have been into video games. I've spent probably thousands of dollars on systems and games and enjoyed them all. But we've now hit a bump in the road, and it is a big one. The problem is your DRM. Nintendo I want to give you my money, I really really do, but your DRM and policies make it so very hard to do so.
To start I have to take you back to my Wii. I bought a Wii on launch day and over the course of the next few years I purchased several digital games from you. Mostly VC games that I wanted to revisit like Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and others. Then one day my Wii starts acting funny, I can't load up the Shop anymore, no worries I wasn't really using it for that much anyway but slowly more things start to go. Next none of my downloaded games will play, they all freeze on a black screen when I go to play them. As sucky as it was, I had another Wii that I had purchased and I thought I could just download the games there instead. Turns out however that isn't the case. But there is a solution you say, just download the transfer tool from the Shop and I can move all my stuff over to the other console. Only issue, my current Wii can't access the internet anymore so I can't get the tool to even start that process. Support isn't much help either, they tell me that purchases are tied to the console and there is nothing they can do for me. So I'm left with two options, let the games I bought go, or spend more than those games are worth to send you both my Wiis so you can transfer the stuff over to my new one. Neither is really acceptable, but I decided to go with the first option. Bye games.
That brings us back to today. Currently I am looking to get Fire Emblem Awakening for my 3DS. The only problem is there are no retail copies of the game anywhere around where I live. I've been calling my local stores and checking every online retailer every day for the past two weeks and I haven't been able to find a copy (at a reasonable price) at all. My wife even went on a trip to the States and she looked in every store she went to and there were no copies down there either. And almost every time I call a local store I get the same response, "You can download the full game from the e-Shop". The problem Nintendo is your system for the 3DS is the same as the Wii, if my 3DS was damaged or just gets old to the point where it can't connect to the internet I'm screwed out of my games because you don't link my purchases to my Club Nintendo account or Nintendo ID or anything. It is tied solely to the console.
Nintendo I want to give you my money! Why don't you give me a system that allows me to do that without the risk of losing all my games because the wifi adapter on my system goes. I'm mad that I lost my past games, but mostly I'm mad because that means I won't be buying anything else digitally from you until your DRM and policies change. For me that unfortunately means that I won't get to play a game that I really want to experience, and you lose out on a sale. In the end we both lose because your DRM is restrictive to the point where I don't want to take the risk.
Steam, Xbox, and PSN all seem to have better systems for handling this kind of stuff, or at least give me the power to control the license to a degree (think tranfering my Xbox licenses manually online, or allowing me to play any of my downloaded games if I sign into my LIVE account). There are much better systems out there for managing my purchases that don't make me feel like I have no control over my games, even if in reality that is the case. If my computer crashes or my Xbox RRODs I don't lose all my purchases I can recover them on another system, but if my 3DS dies I lose it all.
I thought that with the creation of the Nintendo ID with the Wii U and the talk that it would come over also to the 3DS that this kind of issue would be left in the dust, but it turns out Nintendo IDs are tied to consoles too. I can't use my Nintendo ID on another Wii U. If I needed to get a new Wii U for some reason I'd be in the same predicament that I am with my Wii, all my purchases would be lost. Nintendo you really need to take a look at the way you are handling your digital business because right now (from me) it is costing you a single sale, but down that road that can add up. There are already other VC games that I would love to purchase and haven't because I don't want to get burned again. As I said, I want to give you my money please make it convenient and as risk free as possible to do so.