Nintendo Fans Hijack Twitter Hash Tag Meant For Nintendo Of America CEO And Are Promptly Ignored

from the it's-called-connecting-with-fans dept

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.

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Comments on “Nintendo Fans Hijack Twitter Hash Tag Meant For Nintendo Of America CEO And Are Promptly Ignored”

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63 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I will get flamed but really the Nintendo people could learn from Steve Jobs on this.

Quote:

You got start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF-tKLISfPE#t=115s

He was great at doing that, he even convinced people that paying more for less on the iPhone was a great thing 🙂

And as a low jab at programmers everywhere, for Pete’s sake memorize those words, what the user needs?
Put a button there (normal/advanced view), one is a glass window pretty with nothing that someone could screw up the other is the backdoor to a world only technomages can decipher it, that way you get the simplicity and the complexity living in one app/software without loosing anything.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Wait a minute…a guy who heads a multinational corporation who wants to sell games…is ignoring a call to sell some games in an area with apparently a high demand, those same people are modding their consoles in order to get these games…and he’s doing F*ck all about it?
Yeah…the next time Nintendo et al cry foul about piracy is damaging sales…I’ll just give them the finger.

Butcherer79 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think, cynically, that he’s not bothered about people modding their consoles. If they’re going to buy legit games from europe, nintendo still get the money, if the console breaks, the waranty is void.
I’m presuming that nintendo have a similar ‘kill box’ attitude that microsoft use against chipped xbox’s, so if you go online your console is disabled.
However, can’t you buy a european console (I assume the power adaptors push out the same power), and then use european games on your european machine and american games on your american machine.

Also, why won’t the game(s) in question get released stateside?

Butcherer79 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Composite should be fine as it’s digital, so HDMI is yet another thing they’re lagging behind in. There should also be a setting to change from PAL to NTSC (it’s only to do with screen size and refresh rate after all, the picture should show, it’ll just look shite until you switch to the correct settings.
The power plug shouldn’t matter either, as long as the connection that goes into the wii is the same size, an american adaptor should be fine on a euro machine.

I’m not sure why we’re arguing this though, it’s still incredibly sad that a company of this size isn’t taking criticism (constructive or not) seriously when designing/upgrading their products.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Most modern TVs sold in Europe can take either signal. Every TV I’ve owned in the UK and Spain since 1995 has been NTSC-capable.

That’s one of those legacy issues that has no business being a problem, but is used as a handy excuse to split the world up into regions (and price gouge those on the wrong end of an exchange rate, of course).

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m presuming that nintendo have a similar ‘kill box’ attitude that microsoft use against chipped xbox’s, so if you go online your console is disabled.

You presume incorrectly. Online hacking is a major problem with the Wii community. Nintendo used to try banning hackers, but they always found workarounds, so Nintendo gave up a few years ago.

I’m not sure why it won’t reach state-side. This is an epidemic with Nintendo, though. There was another game some time ago called Fatal Frame IV. NoA refused to let it come to America because of a couple bugs the developer wouldn’t try to fix. So a fan community got together and translated the whole game.

A lot of people have taken to downloading games like these and playing them with USB loaders or Dolphin. Personally, I think both of these approaches are harmful. It’s best to import the game and use region-free homebrew loaders like Gecko OS.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think, cynically, that he’s not bothered about people modding their consoles. If they’re going to buy legit games from europe, nintendo still get the money, if the console breaks, the waranty is void.

Unfortunately, that’s not true. Yes, Nintendo of Europe gets the money, but Fils-Aime’s main focus is to try to make as much money for Nintendo of America as possible.

Also, why won’t the game(s) in question get released stateside?

One, the games are considered “Hardcore” games.

It’s also because Nintendo is instead focusing on the Wii U. Nintendo has made it abundantly clear they don’t like their fans. Fans of the Mother series are thrown in with fans of Operation Rainfall in Nintendo’s contempt. IIRC, Nintendo is focusing on pushing out the Wii U, but this debacle with the Operation isn’t going to go over well with fans.

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Fans of the Mother series are thrown in with fans of Operation Rainfall in Nintendo’s contempt.

Well, that should prompt another 7-10,000 words from Tim Rogers.

Also these guys (over at That Guy’s…), who seem less than impressed with Nintendo TV’s shitacular output, arriving at the same conclusion: Nintendo just doesn’t care about its customers.

Cap'n Jack (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If they’re going to buy legit games from europe, nintendo still get the money, if the console breaks, the waranty is void.
> if the console breaks, the waranty is void. I’m presuming that nintendo have a similar ‘kill box’ attitude that microsoft use against chipped xbox’s, so if you go online your console is disabled.

Not even close. Wii hacking is very sophisticated and has been for years. It’s all done by soft-mods that can be reversed, you can even flash the boot-up manager and restore a bricked console if it comes to that. Once you’ve installed the homebrew channel, you can use it to play anything you want, while not affecting games played off a disc.

Not that it matters, because Nintendo’s online is a disgrace and not worth considering. The only risk is system updates, which are also utterly useless.

> Also, why won’t the game(s) in question get released stateside?

Most likely because Nintendo isn’t concerned with appeasing the hardcore, and the translation/advertising costs would outweigh the predicted profits made.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“those same people are modding their consoles in order to get these games…and he’s doing F*ck all about it”

Sadly incorrect. They’re not doing f*ck all… they’re trying to make such mods completely illegal and punish those who make them. You know, because of “piracy”. The same piracy that’s partially being encouraged by them trying to enforce region coding, which leaves situations where there’s literally no legal way to obtain content, as per the above.

This is just one of the many situations where corporations are shooting themselves in the foot. They’d have to adjust their business tactics in order to take advantage of the modern marketplace, but I don’t see how it would actually lose money in the long run. Then, perhaps they’d have more sympathy when “piracy” actually is a major primary driver for people to mod consoles.

If anything, this example might be a positive issue in the long run. Since it’s the American market getting screwed over by region blocking for a change, maybe some people will actually take notice.

Donnicton says:

Nintendo has made it pretty clear that they have no intention of listening to their customer base, and instead are interested in catchy gimmicks and re-release after re-relase after re-release of pre-established franchises.

This is why the 3DS bombed, this is why they had to drop the price less than six months after release, this is why the 3DS still has shit all for titles, this is why the 3DS store’s virtual console has shit all for titles(try to count how many games newer than the Gameboy and Gameboy Color are up there, I bet you won’t get past the first hand), and this is why they have the sheer audacity to wonder why they have shit all for unit sales.

Let’s not even get into the extremely clunky nature of the store itself(Your store account is tied to the unit and if the 3DS dies you lose your account? What.the.F-?)

This is the same spiral of hubris that caused Atari and Sega to fail out of the console market. As much as I liked Nintendo, I hope they fail if they don’t wise up.

Donnicton says:

Re: Re: Re:

The 3DS store doesn’t have an account system like the Playstation store does – There’s nothing by way of an account to create or sign on to. It’s tied in some way to your own 3DS unit(MAC address? I have no idea here).

There’s a System Transfer option to completely move your settings to another unit, but it’s not available yet(“to be added in a future update”), and likely doesn’t do much good if the system’s dead anyway.

There’s an option to link your 3DS to your club Nintendo account, but as far as I can tell and from everything I’ve heard, it’s only really for registration purposes and has no practical application yet.

There’s also plenty of horror stories about people with Ambassador 3DS systems losing their Ambassador status when Nintendo replaces their 3DS, since the replacement doesn’t count. That’s really anecdotal in my eyes, but that much wouldn’t surprise me either.

As far as I can tell, this also means that you likely have to double-buy your games off of the 3DS store if you own more than one unit. #cashgrab

JaDe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Completely agree here. I used to be such a huge Nintendo fanboy back during the N64 and GameCube eras. However in recent years they’ve been doing some really stupid shit that pisses me off. I play my DSi all the time on my commute so I was originally interested in the 3DS. Then I started to hear some of the crap they were doing to lock it down, so I waited to see how things turned out. So far the only game that I really want for it is Ocarina of Time, which is just sad really. There’s definitely no way it’s worth buying the whole system just so I can bask in nostalgia for a little while each day.

Cap'n Jack (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I’m glad there’s someone who agrees with me. Although, I have to admit, if they release a golden 3DS with a Triforce insignia, principles be damned, I’m buying that shit.

But they won’t get a single DLC purchase from me. I downloaded some games on the Virtual Console, and I completely regret it. They’re locked down to my old, withering Wii – I wanted to sell the PoS and buy a black one but I would have lost the games I bought.

The only question I have to ask is: why doesn’t Nintendo want my money? I give it to Steam freely.

Anonymous Poster says:

Nintendo has been blind to its fans’ wishes and to the industry itself since the PlayStation Era.

“CDs? Pssh. That’ll never work. We’ll stick with our proprietary cartridges instead!” That lost them the battle with the PlayStation One; Final Fantasy VII saw to that.

“DVDs? Pssh. That’ll never work. We’ll use our own proprietary mini-DVD format instead!” That lost them the battle with the PlayStation Two and the X-Box.

“Online gaming? Pssh. That’ll never work. We’ll use our own proprietary ‘friends code’ system instead!” Sure, the Wii sold incredibly well amongst “casual” gamers and all, but the disdain for Nintendo’s ass-backwards online gaming system is near-universal.

“Import games with a solid story? Pssh. That’ll never work. We’ll just keep letting publishers put out rushed, low-quality shovelware instead!” Look where that’s gotten them now: the X-Box 360 and the PlayStation Three are kicking Nintendo’s asses again, and Nintendo’s missing out on getting a lot of high-quality third-party exclusives that fans are eager to buy.

Nintendo has been trying to control the industry since the Great Console Wars (when they stomped Sega into a fine little paste). They lost that control when Sony stepped in and said “this is my town now, bitch”; now Nintendo is desperately trying to hang on to whatever relevancy they have left in an industry that is slowly passing them by.

Gimmicks like motion controls, two screens, 3D-without-the-glasses, and the Wii U’s tablet controller won’t save them. It’s going to take an entirely new strategy of — and this might come as a shock to Nintendo — listening to their loyal fanbase to learn why they abandoned Nintendo and what it would take to get them back. Chances are, they don’t want tablet controllers or dual-screens or things like that — they just want games that are on par, both in terms of graphics and gameplay, with what they’re seeing and playing on the PS3 and the 360.

I fear that Nintendo only will realize that ignoring their fanbase is a dumb idea when it is far too late to do them any sort of good.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’d almost agree with you, but I wouldn’t call the motion control stuff a gimmick that won’t save Nintendo.
Given that MS and Sony have sought to copy that (after deriding it the year before) with Kinect and PSMove, respectively.

That motion sensing stuff in the Wii is what saved Nintendo from a certain doom. And the DS did the same thing with the dual screens.

The 3DS however failed miserably indeed (mostly, because the 3d doesn’t add functionality or even gameplay, at least not in the way a touch screen does).
And I have my doubts about Wii U as well.

I do agree with you that Nintendo needs to listen to their fanbase. It doesn’t hurt to leave the paved roads for a bit to revolutionize the industry, but at some point it does have to look at the people who are following them almost religiously and see if these fans are being catered by Nintendo. And it’s quite clear that they are not.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’d almost agree with you, but I wouldn’t call the motion control stuff a gimmick that won’t save Nintendo.
Given that MS and Sony have sought to copy that (after deriding it the year before) with Kinect and PSMove, respectively.

It is. Nintendo hasn’t put up as many games with motion controls recently. It was used to garner interest, but think of it as the ROB system from the Nintendo era.

But even now, the Kinect and Move are NOT good for motion control. Sure, the Kinect has a lot of gimmicks that can be hacked for enjoyment, but there is no reason to pursue games with motion controls when people don’t have space or it has wonky stuff it does in regards to games.

Donnicton says:

Re: Re:

They lost that control when Sony stepped in and said “this is my town now, bitch”

Don’t forget the grand irony, Sony’s entry into the console wars was brought about thanks to Nintendo’s breaking of their partnership with Sony in favor of Philips a day after Sony revealed the console at CES ’91.

Good times, good times.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Gimmicks like motion controls, two screens, 3D-without-the-glasses, and the Wii U’s tablet controller won’t save them.

nintendo has always been a hardware company that uses its beloved game franchises to sell people on it’s unusual hardware.

nintendo has never been able to compete with sony or microsoft due to it’s [comparatively] small size. it’s always tried to compete by using experimental hardware (gimmicks) and its exclusive titles.

nintendo’s marketing model has pretty much always been: cheap consoles (i.e. parent friendly), tons of hardware accessories, marketed mostly at kids, featuring a huge roster of characters that are confined to nintendo hardware.

now that you’re no longer a kid, i’m sure you feel like you’re entitled to tell nintendo what you think. but i think that nintendo truly believes that it’s primary user base is aged 8-14, not exactly the kind of folks you solicit for business advice, and not the kind of people who have traditionally had a strong need for online gaming.

Lord Binky says:

Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

I find it hard to believe that paying one person to change the text in a game’s code to another language (cut& paste from a translation) does not make money even if it only sells a million units over a few months. It seems ridiculous that they don’t even offer the “small market” games as digital download titles so they do not have to worry about physical good issues and misjudging the market. I could understand you don’t want to make 10 million discs to have a title in every gamestop/walmart/etc when you will only sell 1 million of them, but digital download titles remove that problem. I’m looking at you especially SONY, are monster hunter really not publishing in english when the game is already made? Just look at fan subs for anime, they translate and release edited video sometimes in under an hour of a show airing and these are just fans!

Lord Binky says:

Re: Re: Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

I was speaking of the practice as a whole which is sadly quite common. There seems to be some boogey-man when placing strongly eastern or western style games in the market they were not developed in towards. This case is comical with how poor business decision it is by not releasing the game, since the product is ready for release and there is known demand for the product. He is running a company that says “You want me make a profit from this completed product? No thanks.”

I understand there are reasons to be wary of production, but there are many options to make it available without shunning customers. It seems ridiculous to miss out on offering a product that you can’t overproduce, can’t have supply less than demand, and gives near guarenteed profit (don’t do something stupid like spend 100 million in advertisements for a game that will net 50 million over it’s lifetime).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

This is why I am so happy we have Atlus. They seem willing to listen to potential buyers, and bring over what they can. There was even some suggestion of Atlus taking over for the trinity of Wii games NoA refuses, but…

Of course, once Atlus takes the risk and proves there is a market, then we get NIS America to take over the NIS games, and Namco publishing Dark Souls. So, it also seems like being the guy who does the smart thing is punishment too. Ah well.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re: Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

This case is comical with how poor business decision it is by not releasing the game, since the product is ready for release and there is known demand for the product.

Yes, but it’s not ready for release in America. Before releasing any foreign game in the US, Nintendo goes through them with a fine-tooth comb and censors any religious imagery, gruesome scenes, swearing or nudity. You know, because all Nintendo games have to family-friendly. Besides, you’d have parents and church groups marching with pitchforks if little Johnny saw a boob in a Nintendo game.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

He is referring to a dark time in Nintendo history, a time before the ESRB (and after), a time when then forced Maniac Mansion to remove a statue for non-existent pubic hair. Where Mortal Kombat (MORTAL KOMBAT mind you) had to remove reference of death and shower of blood were replaced with showers of sweat. The throwing of boomerangs to fight dracula, instead of a cross, and the purging of the cross from medical kits due to the religious overtones, the stripping of nazism in Wolfenstien 3D, and of course, the mysterious cleaning up of all cities replacing dirty bars with hip cafes.

The problem is, even after Nintendo gave up its censorship code for the United States, people of a certain age and up still have that image of them. Never mind Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64, Resident Evil and Eternal Darkness for the Game Cube or No More Heroes and Godfather: Black Hand for the Wii, a lot of people seem to simply go glossy eyed and don’t see them when scanning the store shelves, and shake their head in disbelief when you tell them Nintendo consoles have adult games.

As such, there is the CLAIM (not sure how reality will match) that since the average US person remembers the Nintendo Code ports from the NES and SNES era, they will only buy games that fit those kid game types. Thus, why No More Heroes ‘failed’, and why Xenoblade and Last Story would be ‘colossal failures’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why don't entertainment companies like easy money?

I would assume the cost of a translator and English editor on the staff of the company would be insignificant to the revenue generated in the market they would open up.

If they planned ahead they could cheaply outsource their translation. Having a programmer go to the command prompt and type “grep (display text command) file.c | translateme.txt” and give the file to the outsourced translator wouldn’t be any problem. The you just have a guy doing CTRL+F (display text command) , cut then paste each text line and all that is left is to compile and make sure they didn’t break anything with a simple text change.

Lesath (profile) says:

I can’t believe Nintendo is even relevant anymore. I give 10-1 odds that all the people that bought a Wii use it to collect dust now. The titles Nintendo puts out are what amounts to the same game from 25 years ago and 3rd party support for the Wii is lackluster at best. The last Nintendo product I owed was the original Gameboy back in the mid 90’s. Used it to play Tetris.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: @"Lesath": "I can't believe Nintendo is even relevant anymore."

Your and other comments above on how Nintendo is going downhill fast so intrigued me as against impressions (I don’t care beans about gaming) that I used The Google and The Wiki. You appear to be ill-informed:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars

Worldwide sales figures

1. Wii ? 87.57 million as of 30 June 2011 (2011 -06-30)[update][9]
2. Xbox 360 ? 55 million as of 4 June 2011 (2011 -06-04)[update][40]
3. PlayStation 3 ? 51.8 million as of 30 June 2011 (2011 -06-30)[update][41]

I hope that facts correct your opinions. Regardless of your vast expertise with a Gameboy from 15 years ago, Nintendo appears to be selling a lot of dust-collectors.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: @"Lesath": "I can't believe Nintendo is even relevant anymore."

For once, I actually agree with you. I dare say that Nintendo probably care as much about Lesath (someone who has not been a customer for nearly 2 decades) as he does about them (a company whose products apparently don’t appeal to him at all). Half-formed assumptions like the above are one of the most annoying things about discussing gaming online.

Having said that, the danger here is really for Nintendo going forward. The unprecedented sales numbers for the Wii are largely built on top of people who don’t normally play games. There’s certainly an argument that the Wii’s success was as much luck as judgement, and that they’re failing to understand the customers most likely to buy further consoles.

While, despite Lesath’s assumptions, a great many Wiis are indeed in regular use, this feat is unlikely to be repeated with the Wii-U. Therefore, their future is largely back in the hands of the same people they’re alienating right here. Time will tell, but just because they’re at the top now, that doesn’t mean they will be later on – and it’s a high pedestal to fall from.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

I keep reading “underserved customers” as “undeserved customers”. I know that’s not what it says and always go back and re-read it, but my backbrain keeps insisting that it’s “undeserved customers”. It’s just a pattern-matching issue with amusing results.

The (somewhat ironic) amusing part is that it’s just as true. If they can’t service their customers properly, those customers are undeserved. Even if those customers end up illegally hacking the product.

(On a Punctuation Nazi note, I have to wonder if “under-served” should be hyphenated?)

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