Nintendo President: The Free Market Is Not A Game We Like To Play

from the no-cheat-codes-in-the-real-world dept

Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime really has a way about trying to suggest that perfectly reasonable and consumer-friendly market developments portend the end of video gaming. Two years ago, we wrote about his attempt to convince people that used video games were bad for consumers (yes, he said that) and his latest, via Slashdot, is to claim that cheap games are a risk to the entire video game industry.

His main concern, it appears, are games for mobile phones that run a dollar or two. He's complaining that these games:
Create a mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be $2
Darn those consumers for actually going where the market goes, when Nintendo apparently would prefer to keep things priced at what the market doesn't like. Welcome to the modern world, Reggie, where prices change, and businesses adapt. I'm sure the last laptop you bought cost a lot less than the one you bought a decade ago, but that didn't herald the end of laptops. It's a digital age: prices get cheaper, and the only companies that are really at risk are those who don't adapt and don't learn to be more efficient. Oh, wait... perhaps he's telling us something about his employer...

Filed Under: business models, competition, pricing, reggie fils-aime
Companies: nintendo

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    Rob (profile), 9 Feb 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Reggie's being really silly and short-sighted here. I think most consumers understand the difference between a big-budget, big-screen game that will deliver a long, engrossing experience, and a $1 phone game that will entertain them in brief spurts on the subway. Nintendo's challenge here is to make SURE customers understand that distinction, if they want to keep producing big-budget games and selling them at (understandably) higher prices.

    The real test will be if Nintendo can recognize that consumers clearly enjoy these small, cheap games, and diversify its own product line to accommodate that - not only creating their own "mini games," but opening up their gates a little so 3rd parties can, as well. I don't think handhelds like the 3DS can compete in the long run against smartphones if they don't create a gaming marketplace open to all developers, like Apple's app store. Through branding they could clearly distinguish the difference between this marketplace and their own big-budget games. And I guarantee they'd make a lot more money than they currently are on their incredibly lackluster digital download store.

    Hardcore gamers will always be there for the big console companies. I think what Nintendo's really miffed about is that they made huge gains in opening up gaming to a casual audience with the Wii and DS, but now that the same casual audience can play Angry Birds on their phone for a buck, their Wiis and DSs are collecting dust. You'd better adapt, Nintendo, or that "blue ocean" of yours will dry up.

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