Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is hopeful that Splatoon will eventually revolutionise the action shooting genre in the same way as Mario Kart shook up the racing genre when it was released back in 1992 on the Super Nintendo. Reggie is obviously very confident about the colourful shooter and judging from the previews he probably has a right to be. Splatoon is released on the Wii U in May.
Speaking to us directly on what the title means to the company, President Reggie Fils-Aimé noted that it was “aiming to do for action shooters what Mario Kart did for racing.” He went on to note that it was a “major” new IP for Nintendo, and that the game is “not just about kills. It’s designed to be fun no matter what your skill level is.” We’ll see how major it is sales-wise come May, but for now, it does have a strong niche following on paper.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime still remains extremely confident in the future of the Wii U and its video game business in general. Reggie says that it’s ultimately software that will shift hardware and with the content they’ve got coming they’re sure to keep the Wii U afloat. If they decide to bring their content to the iPhone then they will lose out on hardware sales and they don’t want that.
“In this games business, the axiom is that software drives hardware, and we’ve seen that over our 30+ year experience in this category,” Fils-Aime said. Put the software somewhere else, like the iPhone, and the hardware loses, the theory goes.
“And in the end it’s going to be placed on our ability to have these unique compelling experiences that stand up to time.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that the company failed to create the momentum that they wanted with regards to Wii U software, but says that it’s something the company is working on. Reggie said that key Nintendo titles such as Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD should have been on the Wii U around launch to help drive momentum.
“What I would say is that we have been slower than we wanted to be in bringing the key games into the marketplace that leveraged the full functionality of the system.”
“Just look at the games that we launched over the last nine months. Everything from Super Mario 3D World to Wii Fit U. Let’s include Pikmin 3 in that group. Let’s include Zelda [Wind Waker] in that group. These are all games that we wanted to launch earlier in the system’s life. And because they have not launched early, we have not been able to create the momentum that we wanted.”
Reggie Fils-Aime recently took some time out to speak to IGN about a number of subjects related to the Wii U. One of the things that IGN quizzed Reggie about is the software droughts we’ve seen on Wii U and how they plan to fix this. Fils-Aime says that they are relying on independent developers to bring content to the platform and the small number of third-party exclusives coming to the console.
IGN: One of the common patterns we keep seeing with Nintendo is a long gap between major games. We got Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze in February, but didn’t have another big game until Mario Kart 8. What is Nintendo doing to alleviate the software droughts between game releases?
Fils-Aime: “We’re doing a couple of things. First, we’re doing much more second-party development. Everything from Bayonetta 2, which is an exclusive to Wii U game, Devil’s Third is an exclusive to Wii U game. Certainly, leveraging more second-party development is critical to us. The other thing we’re doing is much more with independent developers. And I would argue that this is a big industry shift that’s happened over the last couple of years. You look at all of the developers that have left the large major third-parties to create their own small studio. We’ve been able to attract them not only with some of the tools made available, like Unity. But also the fact that these developers love having their content merchandised in our eShop right alongside Mario and right along Zelda versus putting them in separate area with all other Indie content. We merchandise it along with all of our other key games, which really helps the sell through of this independent content.”
“So second-party, independent content, along with great first-party content. Along with strong third-party as well, in terms of the support we’re getting from Ubisoft, Warner Bros., and a number of the Japanese third-party developers. For us, that’s how we have to mitigate this potential of longer wait times between product launch.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has reassured Nintendo fans that the Wii U has a long life ahead of it. Reggie was asked by Kotaku whether it would be best at this point for Nintendo to scrap the console and start over to which Reggie said a defiant, no. He concluded by saying the Wii U has great content coming to it.
Totilo: The company has lost money lately, which is unusual in its long history, and if you look at 3DS it started sluggishly, there was a dramatic price cut and that helped turn that business around. If someone comes to you and says, ‘Reggie, just refresh, just start over, do a new console, do-over,’ You say?
Fils-Aime: I say, ‘No.’ And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it. It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform. For us, we think the 3DS is a very illustrative example. It wasn’t just the price cut. It was having great content that started with Kart 7 and 3D Land and then progressed and created a larger and larger footprint
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says that the company’s recently announced Amiibo figures will have a significant impact on Wii U sales worldwide. Reggie says Amiibo could be a major business opportunity for the Kyoto based company.
“I think Amiibo can have a significant impact on driving the install base for Wii U on the sales of figures themselves. I think this could be a significant business opportunity.
“We will continue to make new figures available through the balance of holiday 2014 and then we’re going to continuously launch new figures throughout 2015. For us, we’re not putting a numerical limit on how many varied figures we can launch. Our potential catalogue of figures in the space is quite broad.”
“One, we wanted to be thoughtful in our approach,” Fils-Aime explained. “In our view, going down this path you have to have differentiation. Second, we wanted to make sure that we would launch the concept with a big franchise, and certainly Smash (Bros.) fits that bill.”
“Smash is really perfect. All the various characters, the gameplay that Mr. Sakurai has created is fantastic. So for us it was really making sure we had the right approach and the right method to launch it.”
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime doesn’t believe that the technology behind virtual reality devices is quite there at the moment, but when it is, Reggie says Nintendo will deliver a virtual reality experience that the fans will clamour for.
“For us, it’s all about fun gameplay,” said Fils-Aime. “That’s what we want. We want a fun, compelling experience. Right now, the technology isn’t quite there yet, in our view. Certainly, it’s something we’re looking at. We look at a wide range of technologies. When it’s there and enables a fun experience, we’ll be there, too.”