Wii would like to not spend money
If you enjoyed Wii Sports for free with your Wii purchase, you can thank people like former Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime.
As spotted by Nintendo Life, Reggie’s new book Disrupting the Game is out in the wild, and we’re able to glean more insight into his time at Nintendo as a result. One fascinating fact from his career is an anecdote in which Reggie speaks on Wii Sports, and how he had to fight both then-president Satoru Iwata and legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto to get it packed into the Wii. Apparently, after some back and forth, Miyamoto offered to include a demo disc-esque early prototype of Wii Play (which would eventually be released), but Reggie argued that it wouldn’t be enough; and that Wii Sports should be the focal point.
Here’s how the situation went down, in his own words:
“So now Mike [Fukuda] and I were trying to get agreement to two different bundles, and the world’s best game designer was not happy. The ever-present smile and impish squint of My Miyamoto’s eyes were gone. ‘Neither of you understands the challenges of creating software that people love to play. This is something we constantly push ourselves to do. We do not give away our software,’ Mr. Miyamoto stated.”
Of course, this wasn’t a magnanimous move: it was business. Reggie knew that including this pack-in after the failure of the GameCube would sweeten the deal, and he was right! The Wii immediately took off out of the gate and became a hot item, as Wii Sports was able to woo multiple generations. Reggie also clarifies further that none of this soured his relationship with Iwata or Miyamoto — he was able to communicate and work with them as equals, and even considered them friends.