In what is the coolest jobs I've ever had, I write about toys for a living. All day, nothing but toys. It's amazing. When I'm not writing at work I'm writing at home, either working on my screenplay or my children's novel. When I'm not doing any of that I try to get in some video game time. I'm currently rocking Nintendo only consoles because dammit, I love Nintendo. More than Nintendo, I love platform games. Even though my favorite game isn't a platformer (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker), it is my favorite genre of games.
Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekillerbees and add me to your 3DS Friends List (1633-4277-3240 and let me know so I can add you to mine.) I'd love to meet some people who want play some Kid Icarus, Resident Evil: Revelations and Mario Kart 7.
It seems after a two year recharged, the Nintendo Doom-and-Gloom Machine was operating at full power this week. After Nintendo reminded gamers why they need to own a 3DS on Thursday, Friday was reserved articles and blog posts from everyone under the sun who thinks Nintendo is going to fail. More specifically, that the Wii U is going to fail. Right here on Destructoid, Elektrodragon went so far to say that Nintendo had already written off the Wii U, just three months after its launch. Apparently, the Wii U is the new Rokr or Kin or Xperia.
For the longest time Sony and 360 gamers who wanted to play Mario and Zelda but didnít want to have to buy a Nintendo console to do so have been calling on the company to go third party or hoping they would fail enough to be forced to go third party. Or as they say, go the route of Sega even though the situations the two companies face are nothing alike.
But what if Nintendo did that? What if, after realizing the Wii U was an utter failure that only babies and fa**ots buy, Nintendo decided to give up and just go third party. What would the gaming world look like with just Microsoft and Sony and the 3,267 Android consoles that everyone seems to be making these days. What would that look like? Come with me. Unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the Nintendo Console Free Zone!!!!
We start by looking at the company that saved the video game industry, a fact many people seem to take for granted in this age. Without a console or handheld for the Nintendo, it is forced to go 3rd party to survive. Just days after Nintendo announced the end of the Wii U and 3DS, it announced the next Super Mario and Legend of Zelda games will be released on both the PS4 and NexBox, as well as Steam. Gamers rejoice! Finally theyíll get Mario on the most powerful console available just like in the N64 days. And who canít argue with a super, high tech Legend of Zelda game? Nintendo instantly becomes the number one third party in the world. Itís also announced that Nintendo will release Pokemon X & Y on the iPhone and Android devices. Gamers once again rejoice as Patchter has an orgasim at the thought of being right for once. Clearly, everybody is a winner here with gamers finally getting the games they want to play on the devices they want to play them on.
At the same time, Nintendo cuts its profit forecast and announces up to a year or more in losses because of the move. With no console or handheld to sell, Nintendo loses out on those lucrative licensing fees publishers had to pay to get their games on a Nintendo system. For the first time ever, Nintendo is forced to pay licensing fees on its games to the system manufacturer. With Nintendo supporting smart phones, it also has to cut its earning potentials from a top franchise like Pokemon. Where past Pokemon titles could bring in $300 million or more at a cost of $34.99, Nintendo will no doubt have to price its games more in line with Square-Enix iOS prices or lower. Pokemon now goes for $8, minus the 30% itís forced to pay Apple and Android with each sale. The same situation applies to any mobile game Nintendo puts out. Animal Crossing New Leaf, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Luigiís Mansion Dark Moon, Mario Golf: World Turn, Harmoknight, Dylanís Rolling Western and Lego City: The Chase Begins will all face similar profit forecast drops and reduced prices on mobile devices. With a terrible interface, lesser known Nintendo IPís become harder to find.
As part of its new transition, Nintendo can no longer focus on low income properties. While Mario, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing and other top tier titles are safe, some of the smaller Nintendo brands are not guaranteed. Future Star Fox, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Style Savvy, Kirby, Xenoblade, and Wario games fall into question. In order to keep up with the demands of an ultra-powered system like the PS4 and NexBox, Nintendo is forced to focus on its main properties, along with the occasional lesser IP. Revivals like Punch Out!!, quirky titles like Rhythm Heaven or titles like The Legendary Starfy are out of the question. Even Metroid, with the poor-ish performance of Metroid: Other M, is no guarantee in this third party future.
Mario becomes a bigger star for the company as the plumber is shoehorned into any game that will have him. Nintendo drops its partnership with Sega and releases Super Mario Olympics. Sega tries to compete with its own Olympics game and fails. Mario Kart will now feature Mario characters as well as Kratos, Sly Cooper and Sweet Tooth on the PS4 and Master Chief, Theresa and Banjo Kazooie for the NexBox. Nintendoís biggest game is the dual launch of Super Smash Bros. for each system with console exclusive characters. Mario Party 10 features a similar situation, but itís not as successful. Nintendo is able to survive, however a shell of its former self. The company is hit with layoffs as small unprofitable second parties are sold off and rising development costs force Nintendo to put many more people on fewer games. But hey, we get our Zelda on our PS4, and thatís all that matters right?
Without Nintendo consoles, other developers and publishers begin to falter as well. With no 3DS or Wii U, smaller developers have to make a tough choice on which systems to support. Atlus developed a majority of its games for the DS and 3DS. Atlus only developed one game for the PS3 and 360 in Catherine. Without the 3DS and Wii U, with their lower development costs, Atlus has to move all its games to the Vita. Because of the single screen, Etrian Odyssey is either altered or dropped altogether. Seeing as Nintendo is sending Pokemon and its portable games to mobile devices, sales of the Vita do not jump. Atlus is forced to trim down its prospects as a developer. Persona 5 is the only guarantee, while unique titles like Code of Princess become a thing of the past.
The same situation is repeated for many other developers who rely on Nintendo. Unable to properly monetize the Cooking Mama IP on mobile devices, Majesco finally kicks the bucket. Platinum Games folds, Sega has a difficult time with most of its games, Zoo Games and 505 Games abandon consoles altogether for mobile devices and Natsume drops development of all titles except Harvest Moon. Without Nintendoís partnership, Square-Enix ends all attempts to market Dragon Quest in the West. Skylanders sees a massive profit drop without Nintendo consoles. XSeed and Rising Star Games shutter. Prope goes under, as does Marvelous Entertainment and every small Japanese developer it supported. Many of the small, niche games that people seek out get cancelled; but hey, I get to play Mario on my NexBox, so itís all good.
Without a Nintendo Console or Handheld, there are fewer opportunities for developers to put out games. With the absurd costs of making games for the next generation, developers and publishers have to focus resources on the few cash cows. Games like Bravery Default will no longer be made. Many more developers will be crushed under the weight of their inflated budgets. Many believe the next Sony and Microsoft system will have ďPixarĒ quality graphics. Brave cost $185 million dollars to make and itís only one and a half hours long. How much will a sandbox title like Saints Row 4 cost on the next generation systems? What about an open-ended RPG like Final Fantasy? As development times get longer, Playstation and Sony gamers will face something that is rare for them: dry spells of game releases. Eventually, due to rising costs and lower profits, as well as the elimination of Gamestop and Gamefly due to the blocking of used game sales, the entire industry crashes, the world economy loses billions of dollars and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people are out of work.
There is a silver lining. Thanks to systems like Ouya, indie development grows and the industry is born once more, this time at a smaller scale. Itís also an industry where Mario games are no longer made, where Halo is a thing of the past and where Gran Turismo can only be played on your old PS3. Itís a silver lining all right, because the gold standard of the industry is gone. Without Nintendo, innovation beyond graphics dissolves as there is no need to try anything different. Though without Nintendo, our entire world will be different. This has been... the Nintendo Console Free Zone!!!!