Is Nintendo Trapped By Its Legacy?

GS:Tom Mc Shea explains why Nintendo's latest game announcements fail to muster much excitement.

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NYC_Gamer2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

I don't understand why Nintendo won't create new[meaningful] characters/franchises...It' ;s time for Ninty to step outside the box and build up new software instead of just playing it safe with established brands...

Root2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

I agree but how can they when they aren't given the push to do that. Most hardcore Nintendo fans would rather live in denial and pretend like everything is they don't mind the same franchises over and over.

If everyone could admit it and push Nintendo to create new characters to join Mario and co then we all would win.

Your never going to get anything if you don't ask, it's the same with Microsoft fans and exclusives....Microsoft isn't bothered because they see that their hardcore fans are fine with the same old franchises over and over.

It's saddening because nobody wins thinking like that....couldn't we all just agree so all of us can get new franchises and characters for each console.

WiiUsauce2832d ago

come on, don't act stupid guys. You guys clearly have never played Nintendo games if that is the way you talk about them. They are not the same games over and over again. Anyone who has played Ocarina of Time, and then gone to play Wind Waker can plainly see the two games are drastically different from one another.

They use the same well established core mechanics that work well, and they change everything else and only keep around a few core characters. In the case of Link though, you're never playing as the same Link you played as in previous game. Same thing with Mario Kart for example. No 2 Mario Kart games control the same. there are always different tweaks to the control that make every game in the franchise feel different and unique.

I'd point you to the difference in weight and feel Master Chief controls in Halo CE vs Halo 3 as an example. They are games of the same franchise, but control completely different from one another, and include completely new stories, characters, weapons, ect.

Anyway, it's not like Nintendo is not trying create new IP's because, in case you haven't heard, they've already announced that they ARE working on brand new IP's, but it's just that they haven't showed them off yet. Just wait til E3, I guarantee you you'll see stuff from Nintendo you've never seen before. I'll bet anyone on that.

Root2832d ago

Mate don't tell me what I've played and what I havent played....please it just comes off really big headed and ignorant.

I had a SNES, N64, Gamecube, the Wii and all of the handhelds which came out. Lately though I'll admit I've slipped I didn't buy a Wii U and I haven't bought a 3DS yet.

They are the same games though most of the time, look at the New Super Mario games, even the Wii one and the Wii U one have been the same with minor improvements.

SilentNegotiator2832d ago

Ps3/Xbox-oriented developers that sell fine even where there's controversy are much more often kicked into taking action on issues than Nintendo. It's not about success or "voting with your wallet", it's about the community.

If the Nintendo community stopped saying "What we get is enough" and start shouting "That's ENOUGH!!", Nintendo, a company in a great position to try some new games here and there, might give them something unique.

And new types of controllers simply aren't enough to not be status quo. Mario Kart on a dual stick controller, a wiimote, with a touchscreen....they're all just Mario Kart to me.

Ezz20132832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )


"""come on, don't act stupid guys, You guys clearly have never played Nintendo games"""

soo any one who disagree with you is stupid and never owned a WII ...right ?!!

i gotta respect someone with logic and commensense like you /s

MasterCratosKong662832d ago

i know miyamoto has already said he is working on a new ip. i will most likely buy it if it looks good. i know everyone complaining about not enough new ips better buy it cuz if they dont then they have no reason to wonder why nintendo plays conservatively

ElectricKaibutsu2832d ago

In the comments on the article itself, someone named augmira said this:

"I've already posted here but after a little reflection time I think I can better articulate to those who agree with Tom's opinion why it comes across to so many others as an affront, and I think it has to do with the style and dress of this type of journalism.

I truly enjoy IGN and check in ever day because I trust their reviews and news updates. Their editorial pieces are a mixed bunch, which should be no surprise to anyone familiar with journalism, but speculative articles like this one require a certain grace in order to both stir the pot of conversation and motivate healthy rethinking of accepted norms. In this case, the title gives the impression that there is some existing concern or public problem with Nintendo and its legacy IPs. It's a provocative choice of words and a potentially intelligence-insulting statement passively posed as a question. There is no question in this article. Statements like, "Nintendo has a knack for catering to its excitable fan base" clearly make assumptions about "Nintendo fans" (as though they are any different from the usual gamer gamut) and Nintendo's modus operandi. Nintendo is in this to make money (*duh!*) but they don't sell out. At least, not in my reviewing of the historical facts. To imply that Nintendo is somehow pandering to the fans or resting on their laurels by returning to their IP staples is poor journalism because it is poor logic. EA is moving to microtransactions in Dead Space 3. That's horse doody. MS and SONY have both been rumoured to be incorporating anti-used-game technology into their next consoles. That's pig squirt. Call of Duty is on its 8th reincarnation, Halo is on its 7th game, Assassin's Creed is pushing ten clones and the Need for Speed franchise is pushing 17. Who's pandering? Does Nintendo release $60 games with day-one DLC at a premium? Will there be a Nintendoland Online Pass for $20 granting access to five new character costumes, a new weapon and a level that does little to enhance the original game? Will Mario Kart U have in-game purchases for engine improvements that make online play unfair or uncompetitive? The point is that NIntendo is loyal to its supporters and its supporters want to see their favourite characters come back. Its a lineage that I think is worthy of respect rather than the pessimistic bile of a bored journalist. Heaven forbid our lives be darkened by a slightly unoriginal roster of first-year titles by a company responsible for carrying this industry through two dark ages. But maybe I am just an "excitable fan". Thank goodness."

PS3and4_HAS_GAMES2831d ago

thats why i love sony, they take chances and have the best exclusives out. I dont care what anybody says.

Nintendo just recycles old levels and charicters and mixes them up and has the nerve to name these titles "NEW" SUPER MARIO BROS. Should be called "recycled super mario bros.

Microsofts problem is they're stuck on halo and the sad part is 360 owners are fine with that

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iamnsuperman2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

That is my main issue with Nintendo. I will love them to take risks but they are too stubborn to do so. They are not the same company they used to be when they started out

edit: I would just like them to make new franchises that goes outside their norm

Root2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

I like to think they changed when the Wii came out

Even then the whole "mainstream" / "casual" thing started around then which changed gaming for the worst in my opinion...developers started screwing over their loyal fans to gain a bigger audience, franchises were ruined to appeal to more people and we had nearly everyone that played on crappy shovel ware saying they were a gamer...I mean it wasn't all on Nintendo...COD didn't help either but you get my point

I'd rather take the Nintendo who released the N64 and the Game cube then the ones now. They just seem to stubborn, arrogant and big headed these days.

They just need to take more about a huge open world Mario game. Drive around in unlockable Mario Karts, find a easter egg horse named Epona or even get on Latikus cloud and fly around the Mushroom Kingdom etc

doogiebear2832d ago

Nintendo is not the same because of Iwata. Nintendo started milking franchises and becoming kiddy ever since the Gamecube. THAT is exactly when Iwata became president Coincidence? Nope.

xursz2832d ago

I found myself thinking about this when the "New" Zelda was announced. I can't for the life of me figure out why Nintendo purists don't want new things. I thought it was embarassing seeing how many were chomping at the bit for and old zelda in hd when it's a given that a real game is in the works.

We ALREADY KNOW what franchises Nintendo is going to throw at us, then they announce "HD REMAKE TO HOLD YOU OVER!" and fans go bananas. This is why they give us the same thing over and over again!

N4GDgAPc2831d ago

"They just need to take more about a huge open world Mario game. Drive around in unlockable Mario Karts, find a easter egg horse named Epona or even get on Latikus cloud and fly around the Mushroom Kingdom etc"

Hehe that sounds like stupid fun. I probly would purchase that.

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Thatguy-3102832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Exactly lol its funny how ppl always say Nintendo innovates but I always have trouble seeing in what way. They stick to the same franchises in every generation consoles and handheld and bring no "innovative" changes to it.

Zhipp2832d ago

Mario Galaxy, Skyward Sword, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Other M, and Super Paper Mario all brought some significant changes to their respective series, so I'm not sure what you mean.

Riderz13372832d ago

@Zhipp, I think he meant that Nintendo keeps focusing on those games which you listed and doesn't try to create brand new franchises. Every console generation we get Mario games Zelda games etc. It's sort of hard to be surprised by what games Nintendo announces nowadays because it's an ongoing trend of them making new iterations of their previous franchises.

Zhipp2832d ago

That's what the article is saying, and I agree with that, but dboyc310 seems to be saying that they don't innovate with their recurring franchises, which is blatantly untrue.

Anyway, I am still looking forward to a fresh franchise from Nintendo (besides Xenoblade, that is). Something entirely new, like Pikmin was, back in the GameCube days. I'm sure they have something up their sleeves, even if it's just a downloadable game. Maybe it'll be a Retro game. All I know is that new consoles always bring new IPs.

kesvalk2831d ago (Edited 2831d ago )

yet no one mentions their new series, like disaster, another trace memory, xenoblade and battalion wars.

even pikmin started on the GC, yet ppl just ignore this series and keep saying nintendo don't try to make new ones...

i am sure 90% of the ppl who bash nintendo for being "stale" never played magical starsign, hotel dusk: room 215 or starfy.

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EddieNX 2832d ago

Wii sports , Rythm Heaven , Xenoblade chronicles , Excite truck/Excite bots , Batallion Wars , Nintendogs , Pushmo/crashmo , Dillons rolling western , Sakura samurai , Ketzals corridors , Nintendo Land , Art academy , Freaky Forms , Steel diver and many many others on Wii , DS , 3DS are all new Nintedo IP.

And you have Old school revivals like Pilot wings Resort , Kid icarus uprising , Punchout .

Nintendo have so many IP that they don't even need to make new ones they just need to rotate the ones they have at an even and fair rate.

Just think how many IP's Nintendo actually have .... there is about 100.

Tales RPG addict2832d ago

about 100 franchises YES but more than 1/2 of them are handheld Mostly. I love Nintendo Handhelds but most of their series is portable. Nintendogs is on DS,3DS.

SONY also Owns a buncha frachises at least 100 or more, and Innovates too. look at Littlebig Planet that took Platformers like Mario and put in the Play Create Share idea which was groundbreaking. Dark Cloud was Innovative as you could recreate the destroyed World any way you wanted.

Heavy Rain, Uncharted,InFAMOUS,and many more.

LOL_WUT2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Yea but they always stick to Mario and Zelda, just like others mentioned playing it safe.

Wouldn't you as a hardcore Nintendo fan wan't some new refreshing IP's? Something that can distinguish the console from all the Mario and Zelda sequels? And I don't mean old classics that have been long forgotten i'm talking about new games. ;)

This article may be hard to take if you're an obsessed/hardcore fan but it does make some valid points.

live2play2832d ago

i think its harder to keep the same franchises and mascots that have been here for decades
still relevant and fun today

miyamoto2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

Nintendo is always waiting for the next generation of young kids (or their parents) to play (or pay) their games - their tried and true customer base since the NES. That is a constant.

This is why they do not change their strategy and identity. Just look at their first party Wii U games. They will never get their hands dirty with mature games like God of War. They have a family image to maintain.

Metroid is as far as they can go.
They will let 2nd or 3rd party devs do the dirty work for them and deliver the promise of mature games.

This is very obvious since NES.

Even if its new IP it will still be the same formula and business practice.

Sony avoided this practice since PSOne to break the stigma that video games are only for young kids and show the world that video games are legitimate forms of mainstream adult entertainment. And they were right to the point that PlayStation caught the eye of Microsoft.

As long as there are young kid gamers Nintendo will always target that market. Its the bottom line of their operation and they tend to build up on that up to the Rated Teens games like Zelda but that's it. They wont go beyond that.

PS. Anyone notice that Kirby and Yoshi's Epic Yarn looks awfully familiar to Little Big Planet's craft work premise?

I saw what they did there Nintendo XD

Picnic2831d ago (Edited 2831d ago )

It sounds like a nobile aim for Nintendo to always be family oriented. But their mascot is a fat plumber with no personality and his weird sidekicks. He might as well be Ronald McDonald and cohorts. At least Disney had the grace to realise that Mickey may be a good figurehead but he isn't always all that as a film star and he rarely features in any of their major feature films. Nintendo should have taken a leaf out of Luigi's Mansion - people loved that game. It's a Nintendo game that has ATMOSPHERE
and that's sadly not always a frequent thing with Nintendo. The lesson that some Nintendo games teach children is the importance of milking a sure and easy thing like Mario Party.

SerodD2832d ago (Edited 2832d ago )

I don't understand all this bashing on Nintendo, Sony does the exact same thing, and microsoft aswell, with their franchises but no one complaines, just look at this:

There are 7 God of War games across 4 platforms ( ps2, psp, ps4 and 1 for mobile), everyone wants a new god of war.

There are 6 Zelda Games across 4 Nintendo Platforms( 1.5 Gc, 1.5 wii (twilight princess is on both) 2 for the ds and 1 for the 3ds).

There are more God of war games then zelda games across the same number of platforms but nintendo won't create new franchises, sony is the good guy.

There are 5 Gran Turismo titles across the ps, ps2 and ps3, everyone is expecting a 6th Gt for the ps4.

4 Mario Karts ( N64, GC, Wii and Wii u in the future)

3 Uncharted on the ps3, everyone is expecting a 4th on the ps4, if they make 3 more they'll sell aswell as the first 3, and no one will complain!

5 Jak and Daxter games, 4 Sly cooper games, 11 Ratchet and Clank games (all across the ps, ps2 and ps3)

Nitendo has 5 mario games across the (n64,wii and wii u) (mario 64, 2 mario galaxys, and 2 NBSM)

There are 7 Halo entries across the xbox and xbox360, with at least 2 more to come, no one is complaining.

4 Metroid games across the Gc and Wii

3 Kill zones across the ps2 and ps3

5 Forza Motorsporto across the xbox and xbox360

4 Fables again across xbox and xbox360

And I won't go on with this, I don't own a 360 so I really have know ideia if there are other microsoft franchises.

Anyway the point of this is, all of the 3 Big companys keeps milking they're franchises but it seems people around here only see Nintendo doing it, and I understand you're a fan of Sony/Microsoft you complain about Nintendo milking franchises, you're a fan of Nintendo/Microsoft you complain about Sony doing it and so on.
But come one grow up, every company does this, they'll keep doing it because we keep buying this games, and i'm sure i'll keep buying them, i'll buy the next 3 uncharteds, the next 3 zeldas, the next 3 Gt's, the next 3 God of war games,the next 3 metroids, cause in the end they will be good games and that's all that matters.

G20WLY2832d ago

With respect, you're being ridiculous by choosing games carefully...

Why pick Zelda to compare to GOW? Why not pick the obvious one that people are referring to as over used - Mario? Oh's because that doesn't make your point look very good at all, isn't it - now I get it lol

On a more serious note, what the defensive types seem to forget is that it's not really about how many games there are from the same franchise, it's more the lack accompanying diversity available outside of that franchise and the frequency of worthwhile new IPs being introduced that people have a problem with.

To illustrate; I don't care if there were 15 versions of Halo/Uncharted/Mario/whatever on a console as long as there's plenty of DIFFERENT choices of the same caliber and there are regularly NEW IPs coming too. It's this approach that further stops your "Sony 7: Nintendo 6" argument holding any weight, as it focuses on one element instead of recognising the problem as a whole.

Best case scenario: satiate the fans of existing franchises with more versions AND introduce quality new IPs as well for those that are bored of them.

Both are necessary; one won't do...and that's the point.

CBaoth2831d ago

Mario64 N64
Mario Sunshine GC
Mario Galaxy Wii
Mario Galaxy2 Wii
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
New Super Mario Bros. DS
Super Mario64 DS
Mario 3DS Land 3DS
Super Mario Bros.2 3DS
New Super Mario Bros. U WiiU
A confirmed new 3D Mario WiiU

I'll refrain from listing all the party, sluggers, strikers, and tennis games Nintendo slapped Mario on the cover to sell to the masses.

You're right. All companies milk. But G20WLY is right too. It's what you do besides relying on existing IPs that matters.

SerodD2831d ago (Edited 2831d ago )

@G20WLY I chosed God of War to compare with Zelda because those are games that are launched with a simular frequence, they take about the same time to make, and have similar quality standarts, if I did pick mario I could compare it to Ranchet and Clark or Jak that has about the same quantity of games as marios couting with the ones in portable consoles,and simular quality, the point would be the same.

I really not mean this in a bad way, those are all great games that I enjoy playing.

I understand your point and nintendo has quite changed they're main franchises across they're history, look at mario for a second, mario 64, sunshine, galaxy, are all really inovative games, look at Zelda different art styles, and they're now working on changing the formula for Zeldas, the game has been inovative, the same can be said for Metroid, prime is it's own trilogy, other M and the other metroids are something completely diferent from that.

The list could go on, but there's no point in that.

As for new franchises they are there aswell, there was a lack of those on the wii, I can see that, but myamoto is working on 2 new Ip's, and there's wonderful 101, xenoblade, pikmin is farly new, kid icarus just had a reboot, there's bayoneta which right now looks like is going to be an exlusive for nintendo, and maybe it will cotinue to be in the future with other titles.´

And I really don't mean to defend Nintendo, they milk they're franchises aswell, and probably a bit more than the others, but as I said previously the quality is there, and that's what matters.

People don't see it because they don't want to see it, most of them don't even try the games before saying "new game from the same franchise= crap game", if you want to be a fanboy be a fanboy I don't care, but this is the way the gamming industry works, you establish a quality franchise, and keep making quality games for the same franchise, you create a standart quality for those games that garantee a purchase from fans through the whole series. (look at fifa, pes, call of duty, mario, god of war, zelda, metroid, gran turismo, etc. They all work this way)

@ Darukian:I was talking about home consoles marios, and i did forget about marion sunshine.

As for Mario I do agree with Nintendo not inovating on the NSBM series, but you should really take a look to the evolution from Mario 64, to Sunshine, to Galaxy, and beyond. The main Mario series is quite innovative in terms of gameplay, and that's what makes it worth buying after all this years of Mario, as for NSBM if it's not worth it for you, don't buy it, the games has been almost the same for years.

It is true Nintendo uses Mario for a lot of spin-off games, sports games, dr.mario, party games,etc. But you really should look at those as diferente games, apart from having the same characters they are truly diferent games.

Darukain2832d ago

They do have new IP's though:
e.g. xenoblade
wonderful 101,
yoshi yarn,
and more TBA.
The WiiU is 2-3 month old give it some time to conjure more IPs. It's seems it's fanboyism to a single console that is trapping the Nintendo.

Denethor_II2831d ago

"I don't understand why Nintendo won't create new[meaningful] characters/franchises."

I call it the Call of Duty effect. When people settle for the same games, then that's what they'll continue to get.

ZombieNinjaPanda2831d ago

You mean the same characters. Many of the games are vastly different. It's like the N4g hivemind cannot differentiate between what a game is and what a character is.

Denethor_II2831d ago

I would never describe one COD game to the next "vastly different". And as for Nintendo, for example, Zelda has used the same gameplay format for nearly thirty years. Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, being newer examples, are very similar. I could go on. And yes you're right, they have also lacked in new character development as well.

chronoforce2831d ago

the problem is not Nintendo, the problem is their fan-base,money talks and nintendo fans buy zelda and mario games etc so why on earth would Nintendo stretch their resources to make all these new IPs if the fan-base will just go out and buy mario and Zelda. That is not to say they should abandon the games that helped form the industry, still all The nintendo fans out there BUY SOME NEW GAMES DAMMIT!

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jakmckratos2832d ago

Finally a well written , intelligent article that doesn't necessitate flame wars but actually looks at the fact Nintendo hasn't done anything super original in years. You can't just rely on side scrollers, mini games and old faithfuls like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart and expect to be respected. The wii suffered from a lot of apathy. I see the Wii U repeating this if Nintendo doesnt get off their ass and do some original/unexpected. Pikmin 3 was a nice sentiment but there's gotta be MOAR!

tigertron2832d ago

I think it's great that the Wii U is getting more of what we love, but I think Nintendo should get back to the drawing board and make some new IPs. As much as I love the likes of Mario, Nintendo should be doing what Sony is doing and investing lots of dough in new franchises.

Yodagamer2832d ago

Well they tend to put them on the eshop, they made quite a few new ips on the 3ds eshop and i don't mind nintendo using old ips, i just wish they would use some of the ips they haven't used in a while. Ex. Geist, F-zero, Wario Land, External Darkness, Baten Katos, among others.

thaimasker2832d ago

Isn't miyamoto confirmed to be working on a new IP? Any way the wii has only been out for 2 months
Nintendo has created some new IP's for the 3DS...Lets at least wait until its first post release E3...