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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Eugene (profile), 9 Feb 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fear is somewhat different here - in some genre cases it's technology which is allowing games that should be priced at least around $10 to be priced much lower by developers who aren't aware of the value of their product. In other genre cases, it's large companies feeding into this cycle by spending parts of their budget on fancier games intended to be loss-leaders for their AAA title.

    The first case is less a danger to the "Ditkas" out there; it's those developers shooting themselves in the foot by devaluing their own product. As they grow, costs are going to rise while the tech they're on will stay essentially the same. Quality will go up art-wise and content-wise, but mobile game customers value gimmicks over polish, so their higher-priced follow-up game is going to be in a tight spot. With a decentralized market that has no authority behind it, it becomes very difficult for devs to just decide "okay we've enticed our customers, now it's time to sell our product for what it's worth" when that shift isn't happening around them. 'Divided we fall' and all that.

    In the second case, it's bigger devs will less of a stake in this market (these are the real McD's and Burger Kings - dollar menus are loss leaders after all), helping to perpetuate a culture of devalued content. There's a reason you don't see independent burger stands that sell hamburgers for a dollar. Or I could go with a Walmart analogy or something. It's similar to that, except in this case, the small devs are too naive to realize there's a problem here yet.

    Yeah, Nintendo sounds whiny here and I have little sympathy for them. This is really just them preemptively inventing an excuse for their shareholders, when it turns out the 3DS is way too expensive for the demographic it's going to be sold to. But just because Fils-Aime is full of it doesn't make the mobile game pricing problem nonexistent.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.