Polygon Believes Disney Can Save Nintendo

Polygon writer Steve Bowler has written an interesting article that suggests that an acquisition of Nintendo by Disney could help turn the company’s fortunes around. It should be taken into account that this is an opinion piece by Polygon, but it does raise some interesting questions. Although it’s unlikely to ever happen it makes for a good read. Be sure to check out the article, here.

“Nintendo would be Disney’s second priciest intellectual property grab to date. A fairly straightforward way to ballpark a company’s worth is to multiply their net revenue by three to four times. This puts Nintendo somewhere in the neighborhood of a $11 to $22 billion buyout based on the numbers of fiscal 2014″

“This is the lowest it would cost to buy Nintendo in seven years, since the company is in a slump and bleeding cash. If Disney were to buy the company, this is the time. Things are looking up for Nintendo in some ways, but coming off a long stretch of losses and struggling hardware sales there’s only so much big games can do to help the company. Nintendo is at a historic weak point, making the company very attractive for acquisition at a good price.”

“It would still cost a ton of money. To put the $19 billion-ish price into an easy to digest number, buying Nintendo would cost Disney more money than they paid for Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel, combined. It’s a huge purchase, unless you’re Disney.”

“Disney’s current Net Worth is hovering around the $142 billion mark, and the profit they made from the last two fiscal years would allow them to buy Nintendo with cash, if it came to that. And it wouldn’t.”

“The last time Disney made an acquisition this size was when they paid $19 billion for ABC in 1996. With inflation, that purchase would have cost about $29 billion today. Disney is no stranger to huge, ambitious acquisitions.”

“Disney — using the same game plan they used for Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars — could recoup that cost within five years. The secret is that Disney wouldn’t be investing in the video game business, they would be furthering their already near monopoly on characters.”

Thanks, Michelle

Ubisoft Developer Says ‘Linear Story Games Will Suffer In Modern Marketplace’

Far Cry 4’s creative director Alex Hutchinson believes that traditionally linear story based titles that we are all used to will eventually lose appeal with consumers. Hutchinson thinks that big open world games are the way forward giving consumers a choice about how they go about approaching the world presented to them.

“I’m really interested in emergent games and where that’s going with video sharing and Twitch. I think linear story games are really going to suffer in the modern marketplace.

“They’re already super high-quality, and we’re already seeing their audiences migrate to the big open world games. If I open my friends list and see everybody on the same mission, doing the same thing… I think that’s nowhere near as strong a sales pitch as opening your friends list and seeing 40 people doing completely different things.”

Shovel Knight Developer Claims Wii U Has Very High Game Attach Rate

Yacht Club Games, the revered developer behind the acclaimed Shovel Knight, has revealed in a recent interview that the Wii U has a very high game attach rate. The developer conceded that despite the small install base on the console, the system has a very high game attach rate, so it might surpass the sales you’d see on another system.

“Figure out what makes sense for your game. Maybe you think the Wii U install base is small, but in actuality, it has a very high game attach rate, so it might surpass the sales you’d see on another system. Getting the game running on the 3DS might be quite a challenge, but compared to the iOS market, it may be a lot easier to make your game stand out from the competition. It could be possible your game fits more with what a Nintendo fan would buy. Development for any system is expensive and difficult, so do the research to make sure the platform you choose really makes sense for your game!”

Thanks, Kallum S

GameSpot Says ‘None Of The Inherent Appeal Of Zelda Is Present In Hyrule Warriors’

US gaming publication GameSpot recently went hands on with the upcoming Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. However, according to writer Tom Mc Shea, the fusion between Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda doesn’t quite comes together. Mc Shea concludes by saying that those who are eager for a new Zelda and think Hyrule Warriors will fill that role will ultimately come away disappointed.

“As someone who adores The Legend of Zelda, there just isn’t much here for me to latch on to. Yes, I’m as weak as anyone to the aesthetic charms of the franchise, but that’s the only part of Zelda that has made the transition. The rest is pure Dynasty Warriors. I thought the game was fun enough, and was impressed by how I could kill so many enemies with so little effort. But I need more than window dressing to make me care about a game. For those who are in my position, eager for a new Zelda and hopeful Hyrule Warriors will fill that role, keep your expectations very low. None of the inherent appeal of Zelda is present here, so you need to care an awful lot about the characters and music to remain interested. If you already enjoy the Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors won’t spoil what draws you to it. At least from what I’ve seen, It sadly doesn’t reach an interesting balance that could have expanded the audience to include those who love The Legend of Zelda, too.”


VGS Says Sonic Boom Is The Worst Sonic Game They’ve Ever Played

Online gaming publication VGS tried out Sonic Boom at this year’s E3 event and didn’t entirely come away enamoured. In fact, the writer claims that Sonic Boom is the worse Sonic game that he has ever played and he has played Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog. One of the writers biggest gripes with Sonic Boom is the game’s pacing which he claims is slow. Like, Werehog stages slow. You can read his opinions about the latest Sonic title for Wii U and 3DS, below.

“Let me be clear by saying that I’ve played nearly every single Sonic game. Yes, even the bad ones. As a Sonic fan from the early 90’s it’s hard to pass up any of his games. And even though people claim his 3D adventures sucked I actually enjoyed many of them especially SA, SA2, and Generations. Up until now though it’s been well known that Sonic 06 and Shadow the Hedgehog are the worst things to ever happen to the Sonic universe (Spinball for me). Well, after my time spent with the Sonic Boom E3 demo, I walked away frightened and shaken feeling that this could very well be the worst Sonic game made to date.”

“My E3 demo allowed me to explore a few of the game’s different themed levels. There was platforming, running, and a boss battle—each showing the unique aspects of Sonic Boom. The first platforming stage paired me up with Knuckles and it was sort of a brawler type stage. Straight from the get-go I felt something was incredibly off. The timing and precision when attacking enemies felt very clunky and some of my attacks barely registered. This also applied to many of the segments that involved jumping. Then came the lasso. Oh, god. Every time your character needs to pull something they would use this energy lasso, which in concept sounds interesting but ends up feeling dull in practice. It’s basically a web shot mechanic we see in Spiderman games except it’s highly broken and requires a lot of effort to get something simple accomplished. For example, when trying to move the box I had trouble trying to get the lasso to register properly and even when it did it required me to keep pressing down on the A button and move in a certain direction. The one before me (who was playing Sonic Boom at the Nintendo booth) gave up entirely because the lasso didn’t work half the time. I only did it because I wanted to see what was at the end of the demo. Turns out it was a mini-boss which can only be defeated using the lasso by throwing enemies at it. The only problem with was the throwing distance felt off. At times the enemies I threw landed close to where they were supposed to causing more frustration.”

“This leads to my next biggest problem with my Sonic Boom impression, the pacing. This game is slow. Like, Werehog stages slow, maybe even slower considering the lasso takes forever to get something done. I understand that this is an adventure take on the Sonic universe and I honestly don’t mind that at all. But between the long fights, and moving objects around, it just felt kinda boring. There were diversions that broke up the action. For instance I used the Wii U’s gamepad screen to scan the level for items and then dig them out using Knuckles.”

“Sonic Boom needs a lot of work. When I completed my demo I asked one of the reps at BigRedDot if these levels were final and to my horror he acknowledged it with a firm yes. I’m worried what will become of Sonic Boom and if it does turn out to be the next Sonic 06, then that’s a shame because there were some elements I enjoyed. I liked how the characters finally have personality, I enjoyed swapping characters on the fly, and the adventure elements really brought back the Sonic Adventure feel (which is something I haven’t felt in a long time). I want Sonic Boom to succeed but judging by my E3 impressions I fear it will be destined to fail.”

Family Games Publisher Little Orbit Says We Shouldn’t Underestimate Wii U

Matt Scott, founder and CEO of family games publisher Little Orbit, still thinks there’s hope for Nintendo to boost Wii U sales figures. Scott believes part of Nintendo’s problem has been poor marketing around the console, but this can be rectified. He went onto say that he believes Nintendo needs to be more open with consumers and developers.

“The Wii U is an interesting platform: I think it’s challenged, no question,” Scott said. “Every publisher is caught between the audience that’s out there, and the content they want to put out there. You’re always looking for where the audience is playing games.”

“One of the challenges with Wii U started at the very beginning with Nintendo because they couldn’t target a demographic,” he explained. “They had a zombie game and this and that at launch, and with the Wii it was clearly family-oriented off-demographic. They had content that said, this is what the Wii’s all about.”

“With the Wii U, it had two major problems,” he added. “One is that they didn’t lock the demographic down, they had just a bunch of everything. And two, I believe that they mismarketed it. By calling it the Wii U, everybody thought it was an accessory for the Wii, they thought it was a tablet for the Wii.”

“Why not call it the Wii 2? I just think there was consumer confusion and it’s hard to un-ring that bell now since they’ve been out for almost two years.”

“I think it’s got a unique play pattern with the tablet,” Scott said. “I think kids and adults like the feel of the tablet and that play pattern. There are some really exciting asymmetrical things you can do where you’ve got one guy controlling the field and a bunch of people playing next to him with Wii Remotes, and it’s compelling. It’s different.”

“I think the Wii U should have been the Wii 2,” he reiterated. “I think the consumers that see that, that adopted it — that’s who we’re making games for.”

“Never underestimate Nintendo, right?” he said. “We’ve learned that over and over. Everybody saw GameCube and went oh, this isn’t working, and then it blew us all away. I tend to take a fairly straight view of Nintendo, I think they have a methodology to the ideas they are implementing. I don’t think they are implementing them fast enough, but there are some compelling play patterns between digital products and interaction.”

“Just communicate what you want to do,” he added. “They make great first-party games and design experiences that we all love and that are fun to play, so just tell us what you’re going to do and I think that’s the core problem.”

TIME Doesn’t Think Nintendo Can Save The Wii U

Influential publication TIME doesn’t think that there’s a possibility that Nintendo can save its struggling Wii U console.  The piece was written after Nintendo announced today that overall net sales fell from last year’s 635.4 billion yen (£3.6bn) to this year’s 571.7 billion yen (£3.3bn). The company posted a 23.2B yen lossHere’s what the publication has to say.

“Nintendo’s Wii U, in contrast, lacks compelling specs, a sweetheart price or a historical PlayStation 2-equivalent to build on. It’s in the same ballpark as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, oomph-wise, but that’s not what gamers who’ve lived with Sony and Microsoft’s systems for the past six or seven years were looking for in November 2012, nor what seems to be moving them now. The Wii U’s price hasn’t helped matters: $350 at launch, for the only version you’d care to own, the sticker probably forced up by Nintendo’s pricey pseudo-tablet pack-in. The message Nintendo seemed to be sending was this: spend more than you would for an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3—each of those systems sporting massive libraries flush with acclaimed titles—on a backwards-looking system without a game-changing system-seller. The Wii U has yet to find its Super Mario 64 or Wii Sports.”

“Nintendo’s problem is that it’s in that deadliest of platform catch-22s, where you need a slew of standout, signature games to make your case, leveraged by third-party support for all of the triple-A multi-platform titles. The company has too few of the former and a shrinking dearth of the latter at this point. Third parties have either abandoned the system or failed to sign up for duty in the first place, their worries doubtless confirmed for the second cycle running with these latest fiscal results.”

“And that’s why people aren’t buying the Wii U. Enthusiasts view it as anemic, casual gamers see it as overpriced and there simply aren’t enough diehards loyal to the beloved Nintendo brand to make up those deficiencies. The proof is in those figures.”

Thanks, Simply G