It’s actually a pretty sad story…
Cracking into Bowser’s army with a new idea is some pretty tough stuff. The ruler of World 8 isn’t a big fan of variety. For example, during the first failed campaign against the Mushroom Kingdom Bowser employed Hammer Brothers. 25 years and multiple failures later the forces of evil decided to mix it up by using Boomerang Brothers. Watch out Mario, there is a curve ball headed your way. So it clearly goes without saying that generating a truly new idea in such a stagnant and play it safe market is about as likely as Bungie’s next title being a Japanese dating sim. So when the fledgling BB Studios attempted to enter the scene and attract the attention of Bowser’s forces, they knew they had to play it safe and find a way to be original at the same time.
BB Studios attempted to accomplish this difficult feat by enlisting the help of some specialized and talented individuals. They decided to build a team of excellence and attack the problem from three distinct angles. In an effort to lend their product credibility and effectiveness they hired the already established Mario foe Waluigi to design its nuts and bolts. Sure, he wasn’t quite the caliber of enemy that had daunted the Mario Brothers in recent memory, but in his day he had given them quite the challenge in tennis. BB wanted their product to stand out from the crowd in looks, so they employed the talents of the recognized and slightly outdated Daisy. Yes, she wasn’t the princess in demand at the moment but she had been worth saving not too long ago. And finally they wanted to give the fruit of their labors a compelling, interesting, and unique edge, to truly set it apart from the other things in Bowser’s army by giving it an amazing back story and lore. And to this most pivotal and important of jobs BB Studios enlisted the assistance of vanilla ice cream. Nothing can be said about this particular choice, except that it was on par with attempting to reach the moon by slamming ones face into the ground as hard as possible, multiple times, and with each painful punishing trying to imagine that the moon was somehow drawing closer.
BB Studios was located in World 7 SMB 3, a maze of pipes and piranha plants with little regard for the fledgling company. World 7 had plenty of dangers and difficulty, they didn’t need to endorse an up and comer enemy. As BB began their work they were contacted by Wart from Dream World SMB2. He wasn’t really on the scene as a place of danger for the Mario’s any longer but he wanted to be. And to that end he decided to offer BB Studios some assistance in the form of some government backed loans. Wart had persuaded the denizens of Dream World to invest their hard earned coins into the lucrative business of designing for Bowser’s arsenal, and he was banking on BB Studios as a safe bet for that trust. BB took him up on that offer and moved on over to dream world.
After months of hype and speculation BB Studios finally launched the product of all their labors onto Bowser’s market. They called it the Bullet William. It was basically a Bullet Bill but with wings and a surprised O face instead of a grimace. It moved exactly like a bullet bill, but in a slightly deviated almost but not quite diagonal route. It boasted hundreds of hours of Mario determent, but accomplished this violence exactly in the same manner as every other Bullet Bill that had come before. Where the Bullet William attempted to truly shine was with its story. It told the tale of a resurrected hunk of metal thrown at the Mario Brothers. To sum it up in a few words it was basically just a recycled Bullet Bill given another chance, and sent out to do the same thing as every other Bullet Bill that came before, but now it was called a Bullet William. The back story proved to be about as interesting as eating stale bread, and had the unfortunate effect of the Bullet William wildly underselling Wart and BB Studios estimates. In approximately zero time BB Studios was as broke as a backwards flying Skyrim dragon.
BB Studio’s couldn’t pay Wart back on time. So instead of paying money they decided to ask for more money. And they hoped to talk Wart into it by selling him a new product called the Bullet Billy. Luckily for Dream World’s coins Wart had been relieved of his duties and replaced by the pragmatic Birdo. She answered BB Studio’s request by shooting them in the face with an egg. BB replied by laying off their entire staff illegally and shutting their doors. Sure it cost a lot of folks their jobs and a lot of people got egg on their face in the end, but seriously did anyone expect a different outcome? BB Studios was a bad idea from the outset, and proved that designing a weapon for Bowser’s arsenal had actually transmogrified from a simple task to a complex one in the span of his first assault to his latest, basically in the span of two decades.
But the fallout remains, how should a new company hope to break into such a volatile field? Do they emulate the success of others and attempt to employ greater numbers of already relevant talent, like say, by stealing people from Infinity Ward? Or should they try to break new ground and try to push out a truly unique product by launching things on a much smaller scale. Like by say attempting a unique enemy that only appears in the handheld version World 5? In a saturated market like Bowser’s Army one failure can mean the end of a company and the loss of innocent coin payer’s money. Has the market itself become a place that isn’t tolerant of originality and is only accepting of slight deviations from the norm? Is the business of creating new IPs for Bowser such a risky business that taxpayer money should be diverted from it at all costs? As Mario combat becomes a viable source of income for companies is it a terrible idea for Worlds to back the production of new products? Clearly the failure of BB Studios leaves a greater impact on the landscape of Bowser’s army than its success ever could, but the question remains, what is the true lesson here?
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