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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nintendo's "Transform" Theme This E3...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A simple form change... or is it a fundamental transformation of America?!

Before E3 2015 began, I wrote a great article about my fear of... change within the videogame industry. Change for the worse, which is the only direction change really goes in nowadays. There's little hope for better. This negative direction follows the same direction as our greater non-gaming culture.

I made a point that we used to be able to stand behind Nintendo as a great safe-house from this negativity and destruction, but that is changing and changing quickly. And my fears were confirmed when Nintendo, out of Reggie's mouth, stated that "transformation" was their theme of E3.
"It also represents a theme you're going to encounter consistently throughout Nintendo's experience for E3. That theme is transformation. Recently, Mr. Iwata has made several announcements on how Nintendo itself is being transformed. [...] Today, our purpose is more immediate: To focus on the transformations you'll be enjoying right inside your Nintendo gameplay in the coming months." [Emphasis added]
You know what this reminds me of that is totally not just a ridiculous tangent?

The Curious Case of Brutlyn Jenner. But more importantly, President Barack Hussein Obama (while he was still Senator Barack Hussein Obama) campaigning in 2008:

"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

I could write a ton about how Obama has fundamentally transformed America (and for the worse, obviously), but this is about Nintendo. If you wanna read more about Obama, see our search results or check out our sister station CainTV.

So what transformations has Nintendo announced? Well, obviously there are form-changes like the Arwing in Star Fox Zero turning into a walking vehicle, or Yoshi transforming into a cute yarn dude in Yoshi's Woolly World. Or even Metroid Prime transforming its focus from Samus to the Galactic Federation.

Of course, Genei Ibun Roku #FE transformed Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei into something completely unrecognisable. And Fire Emblem Fates assures that the transformation of the Fire Emblem series starting with Fire Emblem: Awakening is complete and... perhaps irreversible. (I blame Mark Bozon for contributing to Intelligent Systems's need to make Awakening the way it is.)

Of course, these are just solitary franchises. For Nintendo as a whole, Reggie went out of his way to say this to the Activision/Vicarious Visions dude for Skylanders SuperChargers:
"So, as you go through this collaboration with Nintendo, a company that is very protective of its franchises, that always likes to have total control... what was that like in terms of working with us to bring these fabulous experiences to life?"
Karthik Bala Reggie Fils-Aime Vicarious Visions Activision Skylanders E3 2015 Nintendo
Reggie scaring Vicarious Visions man Karthik Bala.

Bala described a very friendly and cooperative Nintendo licensing department. That's gotta be a GOOD transformation, right? Less insular and more opportunities for Nintendo IP to be seen in the world?

You'd think that, but there is a very grave risk here. There might be the wrong sort of representation here, or the gate-to-entry might be so low it dilutes the brand. Case-in-point: Nintendo (eventually) allowed Meme Run into the Nintendo eShop. This resulted in people seeing the eShop as a cesspool of shovelware. That's a transformation! A bad one!

And, as we've been observing, amiibo has also transformed Nintendo back to its toy company roots. Enough amiibo have been sold now to pretty much fund development of a new game (or more depending on its scope)... or they can go back to fund more amiibo design. Reggie himself said,
"Finally, nothing in our history has transformed our franchises quite like amiibo."
And then he promised more and more amiibo and amiibo integration. And we know that is a recipe for a bad transformation, seeing as how amiibo are killing in-game universes. Amiibo are being used to create disc-locked content behind a paywall. These things are both a menace and a joy.

Nintendo is fundamentally transforming itself and its franchises, but every transformation is becoming scarier. By E3 2016, we may start seeing Nintendo announce new mobile games and have that take up a significant portion of their conference, like Bethesda and especially Square Enix did with theirs.

...Well, that would probably be a better use of my time than showing a creepy plumber fanboy jump into a pool.

Ludwig was afraid of change, and he got change. And dislikes it. Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? You can watch Ludwig wrestle with all of Nintendo's changes in the future by keeping the dial (or DVR or whatever you folks in the 21st century use) straight on KoopaTV! Also follow Ludwig on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas!

For more about Fire Emblem Fates and subversion of values, click here.
Nintendo licensed out Donkey Kong for the movie Pixels... not a good result.
Nintendo is licensing out its properties and working closely with Universal Parks & Resort.


  1. Well, Nintendo caved. Apparently there will be same sex marriage in the new Fire Emblem game. Not that I was interested in the game in the first place. Were that many people upset over the Tomodachi game lacking it?

    1. Yeah, I'm gonna write on the same sex "marriage" thing.

      Tonight, actually.

      It's not that many people were upset over Tomodachi Life, it's that the media was upset. (And G.L.A.A.D.)
      The media being upset is huge, because it meant for a time whenever you searched "Tomodachi Life" into Google the only thing that appeared was controversy, which is terrible PR.

      (I wrote more about that when it happened here:
      which is how I remember the search engine thing 'cause I wrote it, and tried it myself.
      I tried to search information on if the baby Mii takes the visual traits of the two parent Miis when it's born and all I got was Miiquality stuff.
      ...BTW it does take the traits of both the parents so you can get really weird-looking kids.)



  2. Change is bad.
    Unless it's good change.
    Like when Nintendo rolled out A Link To The Past after the abomination that was Zelda 2.

    1. Well, Zelda 2 itself was (bad) change. :p

      You can see how Nintendo totally didn't want to reference that Zelda 2 existed when they chose LoZ 8-bit Link for Super Mario Maker despite Zelda 2 Link also being 8-bit AND ACTUALLY BEING FROM A SIDESCROLLER ALREADY.

  3. Well, I honestly think it's the bad kind of change. Never played Zelda 2. You really thought it was that bad?

    1. It was garbage and anyone who ever played it will agree.
      Unless you're trying to not be mainstream.

    2. I played it as part of the Collector's Edition.

      ........It's garbage.


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