Right from the get go let me say that I don’t follow Nintendo all that much and am not really entrenched in their way of doing business. Nintendo have always done their own thing, sometimes it works (Wii) and sometimes it doesn’t (Virtual Boy). With that in mind I’m sure you’ll understand why I found the news that Nintendo will start taking ad revenue from people’s ‘lets play’ videos to be rather surprising.
The only thing this will do is stop people making ‘lets play’ videos of Nintendo games, robbing the big-N of some much needed free advertising. It’s even more bizarre that when you look at their competitors, they seem to going in the opposite direct. Sony’s new PS4 even has a ‘share’ button right there on the controller so that you can upload footage direct to sites such as Ustream. Obviously Sony could do the same thing (take ad revenue) and Nintendo aren’t taking videos down (which they legally have every right to do), it does scream of a company that doesn’t understand the nature of social gaming.
The other thing that this links in with is Nintendo’s move to not hold a E3 press conference this year and focus instead on their Nintendo Direct videos, getting their content to fans without the middleman. The issue here is that when you talk directly to the fans, you don’t reach out to the wider audience. What good is it preaching to those who already own your consoles? The Wii U is tanking, they need to broaden its appeal and get it into homes, not talk to those who are already part of the Nintendo fan base. Nintendo are trying too hard to control the message and have things presented the way they want them, sure they can control what is seen in a ‘lets play’ but that means people won’t stumble upon their games when viewing their favourite YouTube gamer. Sure they can control exactly what is said about their games at E3, but it means it will only get out to a limited audience.
The final matter of concern is that mega-publisher EA currently have no games in development for the Wii U. None. Not even Fifa. That’s worrying, really worrying. When one of the largest publishers in your industry doesn’t think there’s any money in your console whatsoever then sirens should be going at full volume. EA’s Bob Summerwill even recently described the console as “crap”. He even said that Nintendo are “operating like it’s 1990”, when combined with their stance on YouTube videos of their games, it’s kinda easy to see his point.
Like I said at the beginning, I don’t fully understand Nintendo and the way they operate, but you have to admit that even a basic understanding of these things shows that perhaps a little of that Nintendo magic is starting to flicker away. Who knows, maybe moving away from the glamour of the E3 press conference could be a good thing, and maybe the Wii U will finally start to find its place. I just don’t see it myself.
As always thanks for reading and happy gaming.