Nintendo….. We Need To Talk
And here we go again with another dose of publisher madness
For those unaware of the development process I guess I should explain things a little. When a group is deciding to rely on a publisher (the money) they need to present a game pitch. It’s usually a document going over the who, what, where, and why of a game concept. It’s an exhaustive process where only the very “best” or rather ” the guarantees” will actually get the funding they need for the game projects. Apparently over at Nintendo they have become so very filled with fear over piracy that they are now telling people to go make sequels instead of original games because they think the piracy is lower. I am now angry, and here are the reasons why:
1: Piracy Cannot Be Fully Tracked
I don’t care if you have every country in the world all pointing their internet cannons at Piratebay, at the moment no one in the world will ever know for sure how large or small the problem of piracy actually is. There’s no centralized core, no way to to track each person on the planet, and certainly no way to interfere with countries that don’t feel like following our crazy DMCA rules. Yes, you can freak out over how some titles like Spore were downloaded heavily, but to make it your one reason to stop game developers from making new titles for your HANDHELDS is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life.
2: The 2011 Most Torrented List Is Mostly Sequels
How can Nintendo make game developers believe original games will lead to rampant piracy when it’s the sequels that most gamers truly fear? Look, I’m a recent college graduate that was sitting in the middle of a lovely tech obsessed university that talked about piracy on a daily basis. Everyone I know basically reflects this list. It wasn’t the original titles that made people download games; it was the ones they knew might be good but weren’t sure if they would be different at all from last year’s model (If more developers had some confidence in themselves and released demos, then I think most of my friends would have never bothered). The only original game I ever heard of someone going after was Xenoblade Chronicles and that was only after they had first heard it would never be released in the USA (really glad Nintendo changed their mind on this one and oh look! it’s on the list).
3: Just Because You Don’t Like Something Doesn’t Mean It’s Evil
Over the last couple years I have seen Nintendo go from laughing at Social Games and anyone else (indie) that is thinking of heading to cellphones, to hating them for affecting their game sales, to accusing them of being shuffle ware (when that’s all the Wii Store had on it), to now talking to Indie Developers about getting on the 3DS. They change their story on a daily basis, they refuse to stay current with everyone else, and it takes way too long to prove them wrong on something. It’s like talking to a really stubborn grandparent.
4: Great Game = Great Sales, Bad Game = Bad Sales
You can cry to developers all you want about how you need more sequels to fight piracy, but it won’t save your company in any way. People are tired of sequels, they are tired of playing the Modern Action BroSniper 2013 Super Bash with its expensive DLC. They are growing weary of seeing the same Assassin three games later that they were really tired of five installments ago. And everyone is still trying to clean the color based slime out of their mouth from playing ME3. Nintendo can think whatever they want, but before they start telling developers what they believe is a major issue with their products, they should at least have the common decency to provide some solid science first or just admit they don’t like their game idea enough to provide them with the appropriate funding like any honest human would.
In short, Original games will be bought if the reviews are good, they are given the same marketing treatment as any established title, and the developers are given the freedom to try something that may very well fail. It takes more then just a piracy rating based on fake science and possible sales projections to determine if a game is going to be successful and with sequels, it’s actually only a matter of time before you start losing out on an investment. Why make something that has gotten away from the original concept (that based on my experience no one on the team is really happy with) when you could make something new that will likely get a better reaction?