While all Pokémon games are supposed to appeal to everyone, Nintendo’s Seth McMahill believes upcoming Nintendo DS titles Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 are made specifically for core fans of the series. For example, Misty, who is a Gym Leader in the original Pokémon games for Game Boy, is a part of the World Tournament in Pokémon Black 2 & White 2. The games will launch October 7th in North America, October 11th in Australia, and October 12th in Europe.
“If you look also at all the Pokémon that are included, like non-Unova Pokémon—Mareep’s in there, one of my favourites from Gold/Silver—they really kind of made this one the Pokémon player’s game. It’s really aimed at a player of the core series. A fan. Look at Join Avenue, an area where shops open up the more you communicate with other players. There’s the World Tournament, where you can fight old Gym Leaders. Misty’s in there. That takes me back to the Blueversion, before I even worked at Nintendo.”
“So, although this game appeals to anybody—obviously, I have to say that, as I work at Nintendo—as a Pokémon fan myself, when I first picked it up and started playing it, I was absolutely blown away. I was like, ‘This game is made for the fans.’ Anybody can play it, but a fan is going to love it, because they’ve opened up all those things.”
-Seth McMahill, Assistant Manager of Product Marketing at Nintendo
An inquisitive Nintendo shareholder directed a question to Satoru Iwata at a recent company meeting, asking how Nintendo plans to respond to the wealth of fan fiction and Nintendo tributes.
In connection with Nintendo’s basic strategy of “gaming population expansion”, I would like to ask about the handling of fan activities and intellectual properties. Recently, there are many fan magazines, original short movies, music bands, cosplay activities, websites, orchestras and so on, based on Nintendo’s titles. If these activities threaten Nintendo’s intellectual properties or licenses, will Nintendo crack down on them aggressively, or just view them as fan activities? If Nintendo has any policies, please let us know.
As the principle, please understand that the question is regarding a rather delicate issue to which no one can perhaps identify a clear-cut criterion. Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties’ world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.
In these meanings, we cannot say OK to any and all such activities and, at the same time, it is not feasible for us to immediately respond to each small issue of this nature every time. However, these days an individual can easily transmit information through the Internet. Hearing your question today, as we cannot find these problems only by ourselves, we feel that a kind of contact window should be set up so that people can somehow report to us any inappropriate uses of Nintendo’s intellectual properties which diminish their dignities or values, so that we can respond appropriately.
- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata addressing a shareholder regarding fan fiction