Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Open Letter to Nintendo of Canada

An Open Letter to Nintendo of Canada,
Hi. I'm Matti. I grew up with you. I watched you go from 8 bits, to 64 bits. From SD Wii to the Wii U, and it's because I've known you so long that I think we need to talk.
I have a soft spot for you. I always have. I always will. Some of my best gaming memories are with you. I loved you from the moment I picked up my first copy of Zelda. I remember spending hours playing with Mario's face in Mario 64. When I got my very own Nintendo 64 under the Christmas tree that year, I very nearly shit a proverbial brick. You had so many good games and so many interesting ways to play and to experience new things.
And here lies my problem.
Where's the new?
I just watched your Nintendo direct and I was underwhelmed. Yes, I love Zelda. Yes, I love Pokemon, and Smash Brothers, and Donkey Kong and will most likely get them when they come out (If I've bought a Wii U at that point).
But I have a serious issue I need to discuss with you. You're stuck.
I don't know how else to say it Nintendo, but you are stuck. You are stuck, stuck, stucky stuck-stuck. Your proverbial rut runs so deep that it's shocking to me that you can't see how stuck you are, or that you've been in this position before.
When you innovate you do great things. You've given us THE major gaming franchises. Juggernauts like Metroid, Mario and Zelda. The gaming franchises that crafted some of my most tender childhood memories. I can't count the hours I spent on Smash Brothers, playing alongside my childhood friends...
But there is one thing that you used to do that you don't anymore.
Nintendo: Please innovate again.
In your entire press conference you displayed a total of ONE new franchise. Beside that, you had Smash Brothers (the fourth in the series), Donkey Kong Country Tropic Freeze (The second in a reboot of a series that ran for three), a new Mario 3d land reboot (countless entries), and a Zelda Remake (Mind you, for one of the BEST Zelda games that has ever been made... but still... Not even a new Zelda game?)
Nintendo, you are an amazing company who makes great franchises... but you haven't had a new standout franchise since Pikmin... and that was 10 years ago now. I LOVE me Animal Crossing... and that was 10 years ago... It seems like your desire to create new franchises died with the Gamecube. Now you pump out new iterations of franchises every year. Yes, I love Mario Kart, but we have 8 of them now! Yes I love Mario, but two-five new games every year is pushing it, even for gaming's most recognizable mascot.
I am frustrated by you because I want to see you succeed. Remember the Wii? Remember how well it did because it was something fresh, innovative and new? You can't just expect to keep pumping out old franchises and hoping that these projects will float your company indefinitely. Something either grows or it dies, and right now you need to innovate or face the harsh consequences.
You are perfectly poised to do amazing things, especially with the Xbox One fiasco and the PS4 easily poised to swoop in and become the system of choice for the next generation of games. If you can find the right games to reach peoples hearts, you can easily succeed for decades to come.
A gaming world without Nintendo is not a gaming world that I believe to be worth it. We need your innovation and spirit back again to help keep the competition in line and the world gaming in new and unique ways.
You were once the ultimate in innovation. I hope to see the day when you are again.
With much love from a big fan,
Matti McLean

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