Perrin Kaplan talks Smash Bros. delay, shows Bungie no love, gladhands MTV

MTV’s multiplayer blog held an interview with Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan recently and it was the most unintentionally funny thing I’ve seen in weeks. Reading the entire piece you get the feeling that Perrin was releasing a deluge of PR double talk, and the interviewer, while trying to steer the conversation into factual territory, were being forced to play the role of baby birds ingesting so much regurgitated pabulum from a woman who has apparently grown quite talented at this sort of thing. Considering MTV’s own aptitude for, and history of, manipulative double speak, the article is like watching two lawyers in a men’s restroom having a sword fight with their penises, only much less metaphorical.

Thankfully, she does manage to drop tiny bits of info on some very pertinent subjects such as why Super Smash Bros. Brawl was delayed, would Nintendo ever consider acquiring Bungie and why they’ve decided to release the Wiimote Jacket. Hit the jump for choice quotes and absolutely no news on who killed Pedro Zamora.

Wanna see Ms. Kaplan come as close as possible to insulting Halo as her family-friendly corporate image will let her? Take a look:

Multiplayer: Those Bungie guys are a little more free than they were before. They’re not that far away from your guys’ office. Are you going to reach out to them at all?
Kaplan: We don’t have any plans to reach out to them at this juncture. No, Nintendo’s got it’s hands full.

Multiplayer: Would it be nice to have a Bungie game on the Wii, though?

Kaplan: Hard to say. I think it comes down to innovation and creativity. I think they would have to present what it is their idea would be.

Multiplayer: You’re not making them feel very wanted right now.

Kaplan: You know, we love all good innovative companies but we don’t have any plans on the table right now with Bungie.

Of course, on the subject of Smash Bros. she tells us absolutely nothing, but the sheer volume of words she uses to do so is enough to choke John Moschitta. Ch-ch-check it out: 

Multiplayer: I wanted to ask you about a couple of things that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced a couple of days ago in Japan. One of the things we obviously now know is that “Smash Brothers” is being delayed. Can you elaborate on the reasons for the delay?

Kaplan: Really to further tinker and further refine the product. People get unhappy about it because they really want the product now. I think people will be very thrilled with the end result. And I guess we realize people see it as a delay, but we see it is a little bit of a perfection program to make sure the game is absolutely as perfect as Japan knows it can be and it will.

Multiplayer: Nobody really releases big games in February. Should we really believe February 10, a Sunday no less?

Kaplan: Why not? Sunday is actually a really good launch day of the week for products. And I think we’re actually starting to look at the annual calendar differently. The first two quarters of the year tend to be more quiet. But now we’ve seen some evidence of sales in that period. Other than the holiday quarter, I think the traditional way of viewing it is not necessarily a slam dunk. I think a really good product can be a slam dunk any time of the year.

On the topic of the Wiimote Jacket, Perrin becomes bizarrely matronly. “Wear your jacket” sounds like the sort of thing you’d hear repeatedly whispered at you — both in reverse English and Latin — by tiny children through the thick fog in a Silent Hill title moments before you’re eaten by a Pokémon’s reproductive organs. See for yourself:

Multiplayer: Can we talk about the Wii jacket for a minute?

Kaplan: Sure. Wear you’re [sic] jacket.

Multiplayer: People were talking about Wiis going through TV screens a year ago. You guys have updated the wrist strap three times. I thought we were done with that and then suddenly the jacket gets announced. Where did that come from? It seems like somebody must have sued you guy?

Kaplan: No. We talked about it and said, “People are going to think we’re being sued right and left.” It really kind of goes back to Nintendo’s core of integrity and quality. We did it because it sort of really is the right thing to do. It took us a while to get the material that would fit right and operate correctly on the remote. In creating that kind of material there are all kinds of product development issues. So it took us a long time to get it right and out perfect.

Multiplayer: But you guys didn’t create the Wii remote embedded in soft silicone. So it wasn’t something you guys knew you needed from the get-go?

Kaplan: I don’t think so. I think that we never thought people would be quite as exuberant as they are. So that was a bit of a surprise and it’s a little bit of you want to help people protect themselves from themselves. So… [it’s a] put your jacket on kind of thing.

Maybe I’m alone in my disdain for this marketing speak, but as I’ve said before I’d respect a company much more if they had a policy of complete transparency. I realize it’s unheard of in any marketplace, but why insult your customers with candy-coated lies? Your intelligent customers just feel slighted, and those too dumb to know any better probably aren’t let out of the group home often enough to contribute to your coffers in any significant way.

Earnest Cavalli
I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have a look at the Wired media empire.