We love Nintendo for the almost unprecedented way in which they deliver high-quality title after high-quality title. And as a fan of Nintendo games, that makes me very happy. However it also means that they struggle push those games out quickly, which in turn leaves their often under-supported systems starved for games. And as a fan of Nintendo consoles, that makes me very sad.
The good news? with the Switch, Nintendo seems to be doubling down on both indie games and their own first party offerings. We’ve got ARMS, Zelda, Mario and Splatoon 2 either released, or on the way. We’ve got Metroid, Pokemon, Yoshi and Kirby formally announced.
That’s not the end though. Oh no. We’ve got whatever this Mario + Rabbids game is to look forward too. And that brings me to the point of todays article.
Embrace the New
The one thing Nintendo has over Sony and Microsoft is its IP. They’ve got a back catalogue of games that is unmatched by anyone else in the industry. They’ve got gamers of all ages who genuinely love the characters and worlds in which they’ve grown up. These games are exclusive to Nintendo platforms and they’re capable of moving systems; providing they’ve got backup. And that’s been the problem. They have no backup. Limited 3rd party support knee-caps the Switch. It knee-capped the Wii U and to a lesser extent the Wii. It’s time for Nintendo to do something bald. Something interesting. It’s time Nintendo let 3rd party developers run with their IP.
Now Nintendo might be a little worried about quality. I get that. They’ve built their entire company on the idea that quality is the most important thing; they’ll happily delay a game if it isn’t up to snuff. And that’s great. Truly. But they’re in a position whereby they cannot get away with releasing 3 games a year on a console. People aren’t going to be okay with that, and that’s why I want to see Nintendo outsource their IP.
Take Some Chances
So what sort of games would we see from these new partnerships? Well my hope is that Nintendo takes the breaks off and allows 3rd party devs to go a little wild. Would a Nintendo walking simulator appeal to anyone? I know I’d take a look at it. How does a genuine Wario platformer sound? Maybe they could bring back Starfox? I want puzzle games with Mario, I want Donkey Kong wrestling games. Go mad. Be crazy. See what you can come up with.
Nintendo’s IP is the company. And in order to succeed in 2017, they need to leverage that IP, but they can’t do that alone. Developers would be lining up to have a shot at making something new and interesting with Mario, Zelda and Samus. It’s time they started to use those developers to bring exciting and fresh ideas to the somewhat stale and formulaic world of the Nintendo game.
Not every title would be a home run, but if Mario + Rabbids has shown us anything, it’s that there’s an awful lot of excitement around seeing something new and interesting done with the much-loved stable of characters that we’ve all grown up playing with.