[Throughout the Wii's lifespan, we've seen Nintendo market their games, then ultimately change their marketing strategy over time. Some of the time, it was for the best, sometimes for the worse. "Wii would like to play." I wrote this quite a while ago and late, so it may sound a little whiny.]
Remember a time a few years ago, when no one fully understood why first party games were the only thing selling on the Wii? What's that? It's still happening now? How is this possible? I think I may know the answer. Nobody knows how to market very well on the Wii. This is a story on how Nintendo let themselves and their third parties market Wii software. I will try my best to pretend like I was in 2007-2008 again.
When a fantastic game is out for an entire month and some odd days and has only sold 65,000 copies, that's a problem. 65,000 people is less than the population in Times Square. That means it's time to stop marketing the Wii as a casual-only console. Have you, like many others, wondered why many hardcore games don't sell on the Wii? It's mainly because they are not marketed whatsoever, or they are marketed towards the wrong crowd. Let's go back a few years. 2007 to be exact. I mean just look at Metroid Prime 3: Corruption's sells, sure it can be considered very successful, but let's compare it to something like Link's Crossbow Training. It's sales figures are not very stellar compared to that. Compare Metroid Prime 3's 1.57M units to Link Crossbow's 4.61M units, then you can clearly see the gap. The reason is because Nintendo marketed Metroid Prime 3 extremely casually. When you have elderly people and children gathered around smiling in an airport, for me, there's a major issue. This game is not intended for that demographic, why did they market it to them? Beats me. If it weren't marketed in those poor "Wii Would Like To Play" commercials, it may have sold much more than what it did. This is the same thing Nintendo had did with Call of Duty: World at War back in 2008. Remember at the E3 Media and Business Summit in 2008? Here's a heads up, Nintendo, when you have adults smiling and giving each other high fives in an M rated title, there's clearly an issue that needs to be resolved. World at War was not intended to be for the casual demographic, yet Nintendo marketed it as if it were suppose to be. Then when we look at the sales figures of the game (Wii: 1.57M units) and compare it to the other versions (360: 6.51M, PS3: 4.22M), someone flubbed up with the marketing of the game. Was it Activision? Was it Nintendo? The answer is both Nintendo and Activision, but Nintendo simply can't just allow their third parties to do the marketing alone, they should be willing to step in as well. Look at Microsoft and what they do with their 360 software, and then look at how well their games sell. A marginal difference from what you see on Nintendo's home console. Maybe the reason why the Wii software sales were once slowing down in America was because the casuals weren't buying games anymore. Guarantee you, this will carry over to Europe as well. In case you didn't know, casuals do not buy games very often, nor do they play them often. When you are marketing to a group of people who do not buy, nor play your games often, of course sales are going to slow down. After a while, you're just beating a dead horse, and flooding a market. It's clearly time to move away from that, and start showing some ads on some games that's for a different demographic. People are going around wondering "what's happening to the Wii in America?" What's said above is clearly what's happening. It's time to move on. Nintendo is forgetting all about the people that got them where they are presently. Don't you think it's time to start marketing to them now. Take a hint, start telling your third parties to actually market their hardcore games like hardcore games, and not these casual "cop-outs." It would deeply impact sales of a game, and maybe even respect of a game. I can't tell you how many people laughed at the way Call of Duty: World at War was marketed at the Nintendo Press Conference at E3 2008, and how Metroid Prime 3 was marketed by the "Wii would like to play" guys. As said many times before, it's time to move on.
Now I will answer the question to this editorial. "How far has Nintendo distanced themselves?" In recent times, it seems Nintendo has let their third parties get a grasp at marketing. It's working out, somewhat. I don't think they have distanced themselves too far. The above may make it seem like it, but I was sort of pretending I was back in 2008.
[Anyway, what do you think?]
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