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Randy Pitchford believes Nintendo should try connecting with new people

Posted on June 18, 2015 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

This excerpt is from a GamesIndustry article with Randy Pitchford (Gearbox Software, Borderlands) and Amazon’s Mike Frazzini…

While much of the discussion covered larger industry trends, one question put to the participants specifically dealt with Nintendo. Considering the company has been putting out games with enviable Metacritic averages, why is it that Nintendo seems to have struggled so much in the market of late.

Pitchford said it doesn’t matter how good their games are if people don’t know they exist, and likened it to a common situation in movies. He said he’s noticed a trend whenever he goes to Rotten Tomatoes to look for the best films now playing.

“It tends to be that some of the highest rated things on Rotten Tomatoes are films I’ve never even heard of,” Pitchford said. “They’re indie things that are marketed not to me. Nintendo’s gotten really good at talking to Nintendo customers. But I think that Nintendo could at least lead more if they figured out how to talk to new people that they’re not already talking to. And that’s a very difficult problem.”

Frazzini agreed, and brought up another Disney analogy. He took his kids to Disneyland and asked them if they wanted to see Mickey Mouse, only to find out they legitimately didn’t know the character. Of course, they were still very familiar with Anna and Elsa, stars of the recent phenomenon Frozen. Pitchford picked up on that point, saying Nintendo faces a common problem in the industry in being a slave to its past success.

“We’re always trying to invent the new thing, and it’s scary because no one knows what the new thing is, so you have to build the gravity up,” Pitchford said. “Meanwhile, your existing customers are screaming, ‘Give me more of the old thing!’ But we know the biggest brands of the future don’t even exist today. And the brands that are biggest today will fail, will go down. So from my point of view, the only option is to create new stuff. I’m making a new game and nobody knows what it is. A lot of people know and like the last big thing we did and ask why aren’t you doing more of that? It’s funny because I had the exact same thing happen the last time. When we were trying to figure out Borderlands and telling people why that was going to be cool, everyone was like, ‘Why don’t you make more Brothers in Arms?'”

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