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How is Nintendo successful?


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I have absolutely no idea how they are so profitable. I guess because the main audience is children and they eat anything Nintendo throws at them. Which isn't much at all. I wish they just stopped with consoles and made games for the Xbox and ps.

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They make fun games. Who doesn't love Mario Kart or Smash Bros? If people say they don't like Nintendo because they make games for kids...those people probably also think that Pixar movies are only for kids, too. A fun game is a fun game, regardless of how grim dark the content is.

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Nintendo has an insane profit per employee ratio and their CEO is "only" making like $10m/yr including bonuses. They must be doing something right if they've managed to keep employees around for an average of 14 years, each. Compared that to, say, EA which is 3.5 years or Activision which is 3.2 years.

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Because they’re the GOATs and they figured out several generations ago how to carve out a niche so they don’t have to compete directly with Sony and MS. They make amazingly fun games that are generally always bug free and have little to no competition in the space they’re in. I also believe they don’t sell their hardware at a loss. Although that maybe have changed with the Switch. I’m not sure. 

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I think they’re ahead of their time in some aspects. Ex: Wii Motion controls (controllers have that and VR is motion detected), Switch portability (people wanting to play wherever, including standard tv if they’d like).

 

Plus, their first party is great. if they out Sony announce something, I’m all ears.

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They learned with the Gamecube that they can't directly compete with the big companies in an arms race, so they just decided to do their own their thing, and other than the WiiU they've pretty much nailed everything they've done since. And the WiiU was just a branding thing, like most people didn't even know it was a different system until the platform was already dead.

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5 minutes ago, Fizzzzle said:

They learned with the Gamecube that they can't directly compete with the big companies in an arms race, so they just decided to do their own their thing, and other than the WiiU they've pretty much nailed everything they've done since. And the WiiU was just a branding thing, like most people didn't even know it was a different system until the platform was already dead.

 

People still don't know.  

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they built brand recognition early on, when gaming "caught on"... they built their franchises and are in strict control of their IPs.

 

above all things they still know how to make great games...not just games that catch the attention of fans, they make products that other game creators look to and iterate upon..

 

they are one of the most brilliant and ignorant company out there...

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33 minutes ago, Fizzzzle said:

They learned with the Gamecube that they can't directly compete with the big companies in an arms race, so they just decided to do their own their thing, and other than the WiiU they've pretty much nailed everything they've done since. And the WiiU was just a branding thing, like most people didn't even know it was a different system until the platform was already dead.

But the GameCube failed because of their decision to use mini-discs, not because it was or wasn't powerful.

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51 minutes ago, CastletonSnob said:

But the GameCube failed because of their decision to use mini-discs, not because it was or wasn't powerful.

 

 

I thought it was the childish reputation.... 

 

Playstation was the in-thing and had the "cool" factor

and Xbox was the new kid with the Killer app and the most powerful hardware....

 

What would have happened if no Xbox and the Cube was the most powerful console??

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They make great games and interesting hardware in spite of their insanely bad understanding of pretty much literally everything in the world, not because of it. They're the Dan Ryckert of game companies.

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3 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

Ehhhh not quite so much with the N64, Gamecube, Virtual Boy, Wii U or early 3DS.

Nintendo has been profitable for nearly their entire history. Count how many copies of Mario or Zelda they sold even during those times and get back to me.

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They know how to bring people into the fold constantly. During the pandemic, my ex texted me asking me for help in Mario Odyssey.

 

My ex who never had an inkling of interest in gaming when we dated and would look at me confused when I would talk to her about game design projects I was working on during grad school. SHE bought a Switch. 
 

Nintendo knows how to have mass market appeal. 

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They don’t just dial in sequels generally.  Most have a unique new hook, even if it doesn’t always fundamentally change things.
 

They cater to families with a majority of their games rather than a minority of them.  So they win that audience by default.
 

They’re invested in games and studios with cultural aspects instead of homogenized, Western-flavored AAA.  Because tech isn’t the push, their audience is receptive to it.

 

They won the indie market this gen.  People care about playing those games portably with a control stick and buttons.

 

Mainline Pokémon, Zelda, Mario and Animal Crossing together on one platform pretty much guarantees their relevance.

 

They manage franchise fatigue well.

 

Their video presentations are the most intriguing to watch, because surprises tend to show up.

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I do think part of what’s currently going on with Nintendo is that the crowd that they very specifically catered to during the Wii / DS / 3DS eras (namely, young children), especially on the handheld side, is the generation that is currently driving pop culture and popular opinion. 
 

The switch is ALL the rage for like the 20-30 year old crowd, in a way that personally I feel is disproportionate with the quality of the console and its software, and I do feel like that is driven by that crowd’s love and nostalgia for nintendo. Obviously that’s just my opinion, but man my switch has been pretty much a fancy paper weight for over a year now. Their first party software really isn’t doing much for me (I hope metroid changes that), and now every time I play a game and think hmmm this would be nice if it were portable, I keep thinking about the steam deck. 

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10 hours ago, Xbob42 said:

Ehhhh not quite so much with the N64, Gamecube, Virtual Boy, Wii U or early 3DS.


The GameCube was the most affordable console ever. Not considering inflation, it cost £140 less than the Switch cost me when bought new.

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One of the things that strikes me about Nintendo that I also see in Disney is that they intentionally make their largest franchises appeal to as wide an audience as possible, especially on the age demographics.

 

This works well when done right because you retain your fanbases as they age while constantly bringing new younger fans in.

 

Sony and MS seem to cater more and more to an age range of around 15-35 year old males. Not exclusively, but the kids younger than that playing Sony/MS consoles seem overwhelmingly to be playing titles available everywhere like Minecraft and Roblox.

 

I also suspect the focus on online multiplayer is a turn off to older gamers.

 

Fortunately there is clearly room for these various strategies as all the platform makers are doing very well.

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