On Friday October 21, Nintendo America's President, Reggie Fils-Aime, took to Twitter in a bit of PR for some recent announcements from the company
. However a lot of Twitter users took this to mean that he would actually be communicating with fans. Sadly, he did nothing of real note on twitter. Fils-Aime posted a total of seven tweets in a span of about 8 hours. Of these tweets, 2 contained the same announcement, two were about news already reported by the press all over the web and the rest were "open" questions asked to the Twitter community.
I am not sure what Fils-Aime had in mind for this Twitter promotion, but the fans were expecting a conversation. You can really see this when you take a look at the history of the #Regginator hash tag
on Twitter. Many of the fans took the time to answer the questions asked and even to ask questions of their own. One prominent theme running over this event was that of a project called 'Operation Rainfall
'. This group is dedicated to convincing Nintendo of America to release a number of popular JRPG titles in America, most of which already have English translations as they are sold in England.
Nintendo, sadly, is deaf to these requests. They have made it pretty clear that those games will not be seen in the States. On top of this, the Wii is region locked and games imported from Europe are not playable on American Wiis. In response, a number of blogs and gaming sites around the web have taken the task of teaching people how to mod their Wii consoles
to bypass region locks and play these games. In the process, this exposes a lot of Wii users to the ability to not only play imported games, but also homebrew and potentially pirated games.
Ignoring all of this is not how you connect with fans. It is also not how you meet the needs of underserved customers
. By ignoring fans of the Wii, not only on Twitter but for many months prior, Nintendo is risking more customers modding consoles, which we all know they hate
. My advice for Nintendo is to actually connect with fans and listen to what they want. It might find some cool ideas that will increase sales -- especially when you claim that your top exec is going to be communicating on Twitter.