The folks over at Glixel were able to get an insightful interview with Nintendo America President Reggie Fils-Aime, discussing the direction Nintendo is heading with the competitive scene, Revamping Franchises, their Mobile Game Market strategy and so much more. We have provided a few extracts below but you can check out the full interview here.
Nintendo seems to be quietly becoming more and more about competition in the design of its games. Mario Kart, Splatoon, nowArms and of course, Smash Bros. Is that a recent shift? Is there a broader, esports ambition there?
You know, it’s not a recent shift. When you look at the NES system – the first system with two dedicated controllers. If you look at what we’ve done with N64, which was a true four-player machine – and you look at GoldenEye and some of those experiences and obviously Smash Bros. has been part of the competitive gaming circuit for a long long time and even the original Nintendo Championships from 1995, we’ve been in the space for a long time. What I would say is different in how we think about competitive gaming is that we think about the community, we think about trying to encourage and empower the community – you see that with Splatoon, you see that with Smash Bros. – and for us it’s about having more and more players engaged and having fun and battling each other versus how others are thinking about in terms of leagues and big startup money and things of that nature, that for us is not as interesting, at least not today.
It seems with the DS, and now especially with the Switch, that there’s a closeness – an intimacy – that you’re going for with your hardware.
Honestly, I think that’s driven by the game. What I mean by that is – let’s take The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That is about me and my Nintendo Switch, and whether I’m playing it this way or that way, to me that is not an experience I’m looking to share with others versus Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I mean, to me that game’s all about four of us or six of us or eight of us playing together. And so, I think it’s game-based whether I think it is a personal experience or whether it’s a social experience. We’re fortunate in that our devices enable you to have both.
Is that why Kirby and Yoshi are very simple brand names – which feels like a reboot? Are you seeing a generational shift?
Certainly we constantly have to reintroduce people to our IP. Zelda:Breath Of The Wild – I’m a huge Zelda fan – but I recognize there were 15 year olds who didn’t know what Zelda was, didn’t know the magic of the Zelda franchise and creating something that they could own and say “this is my Zelda, this is fun, this is a game I want to play,” was critically important. And yes, we’re doing that with Metroid and we’re doing that with Yoshi and we’re doing that with Kirby. We have to. Continuously. Folks like us will continue to play these franchises that we love but we constantly have to refill that pipeline with new fans to engage with these intellectual properties.