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Nintendo Explains Why It Returns To Existing Franchises


Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen has explained exactly why Nintendo returns to its existing franchises, rather than pumping out new IP’s. Trinen says Nintendo stick to existing franchises, such as Mario and Zelda, because adding fun and interesting gameplay ideas to these already established franchises makes the most sense.

“There’s a couple of driving reasons why you keep seeing a lot of the same franchises come back. One is just the way that we develop games. What we don’t do is start off and say we’re going to develop a new game in X series or what are we going to do with it? It’s really more about what is a fun and interesting new gameplay element or gameplay mechanic? How do we develop that? And then what kind of a character or what series is that really best suited to?”

“And so, in a lot of the cases, if you’ve got an idea that’s really fun and really interesting, pairing that with, for example, Mario, then that takes a fun and interesting gameplay mechanic and puts it with a character that makes it instantly appealing to a very wide range of people,”

“Of course the other approach is, as you frequently see with Nintendo Directs and announcements like this, when we do announce something like a new Yoshi’s Island, there’s a tremendous fan reaction to that because they want it [laughs].”

“You do on the one hand want to try to find a way to bridge that gap between what are the new experiences that we can offer? How can we give the fans what they’re looking for in terms of new installments in existing series? And it is a balance that you’ve got to find.”

114 thoughts on “Nintendo Explains Why It Returns To Existing Franchises”

    1. Right. Some while ago Miyamoto-san said something along those lines: first he thinks about the gameplay, and then he looks for a character that fits the most in it. This is creativity!

      1. nintendo haters will say its not and nintendo are the epitome of innovation and creativity while sony and microsoft just copy ideas and claim its theirs, im looking at you ex employee of sony that claims that patent of wii motion stuff is sony’s and stole nintendo’s money. he should go to jail for fraud and extorting nintendo

        1. The funny thing bout the PlayStation Move, the creator of Wii remote showed Sony the idea and they hated it and yelled at the at the man. When the creator showed Nintendo, they loved it cause it was something new and different. Nintendo then showed it at E3, Sony sees the idea, steal it and names it PlayStation Move. /facepalm

        2. But at the end of the day, whoever has the “innovative” hardware won’t mean diddly squat if they don’t have the library to back them up.
          And Nintendo isn’t exactly all perfect, you know. Remember their policies for licensing games back in the NES days? They pretty much had a monopoly on the industry.
          Bottom line, don’t kiss Nintendo’s ass, or any company’s for that matter, because nobody’s perfect. And “stealing” ideas just allows others to take existing ideas and build upon them. Hell, you may as well yell at SEGA for “stealing” the idea of a d-pad, originally on the NES, to use on the Genesis.

  1. Thing is with original franchises like Mario and Zelda doing so well, You wanna get the best stuff out and get the console selling and then consider doing some new IP’s

  2. Seems understandable. Now all that needs to happen is a Mysterious Murasame Castle reboot (developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo) since Takamaru deserves a new game out off all Nintendo’s classic/obscure characters.

      1. The absence of a Mother 4 isn’t due to Nintendo not caring, but rather Itoi not wanting to make one. Not yet anyway. He said he was working on stuff for the series, but it wasn’t a fourth installment. Re-releases on the VC is probably what he was talking about.

    1. I’ve also been thinking, what if Nintendo teamed up with Rockstar to bring back Wild Gunman? It could be open world like Red Dead Redemption but more of a humorous Pixar style version of the Wild West (but still violent like Red Dead). I think it could turn out pretty good.

  3. That’s a shitty reason they’re pretty much saying we like to rehash because it makes and we are lazy to make new Ip

      1. Well, and exactly what he said about “makes it instantly appealing to a very wide range of people”. So yeah, it’s all about making money. It is a business after all. Duh.

      2. Rehash for the last decade are eh….
        Make tons of new ips not just 4-5 like 6-8.
        I own I wii u so i can play alot of games not just Nintendo first party.
        I didnt buy it for Mario truthfully I dislike mario so much.

    1. Well if you actually read it properly what they are actually saying is that it is easier to promote new ideas and have them sell because they exist on a platform already established as a major franchise within the gaming industry. Creating a whole new concept and bringing it up to the level of these other games tend to be difficult, especially for Nintendo since mor Nintendo fans would prefer to buy the new Zelda or Mario over whatever new is made if they were forced to pick and choose. It’s a matter of not taking unnecessary risks

      1. But, if you never take any risks at all you stagnate and alienate your fans. I for one love Nintendo franchises and characters, but I feel like Nintendo themselves aren’t putting forth the effort to realize any new IPs. They seem to be riding out the last of the “Miyamoto wave” before he retires and just becomes a consultant for them. I would love to see Nintendo make new versions of old games and bring them into the fold of well-recognized Nintendo mascots that deserve to have these new gameplay ideas implemented in a new game built around that character. KI: Uprising was a great reboot!! Follow those lines and there could be more successes like that from older Ninty franchise characters. Give new employess at Nintendo EAD the opportunity and incentive to create new franchises, based on a low input method, and bring them to Nintendo consoles… especially the Wii U!!!

        1. There have been loads of derivities of the franchises. Look at Mario. We got classic mario (1,2,3, world, nsmb), then we have the 3D version (64, sunshine, Galaxy), as well as the RPG’s (Mario RPG, the paper series and mario and luigi series), the Mario Party games, of course the Mario sports games. I suppose you could toss Luigi’s mansion in there as well since it’s part of the same IP, but plays completely different again, almost like a resident evil but substitute the scares for laughs.
          Zelda went top down like the original, then side scrolling rpg with “link”, to 3d with Ocarina. Metroid has done a few changes as well.
          These are all new games and new ideas, but they use the same IP’s because they are familiar to people, and people know they are 90% of the time in for a great gaming experience.
          That would be like if Contra went fps as opposed to side scrolling. It’s a different game but carrying the same IP.
          Final Fantasy did the same thing with Tactics (strategy rpg)as opposed to their traditional RPG.

  4. That makes sense, but we also need to see something new that can expand the company with a variety of new franchises, characters, and worlds that surround them. The only last new things we got from them were Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower in terms of original IPs. However, I do have one question. Why don’t they put out marketing campaigns for the Wii U and 3DS at this time? Being the sales leader shouldn’t justify the means to not market their products. Where are those awesome commercials from TV that they used to do to get people excited? Why haven’t they done any promotional campaigns with big name companies outside of gaming? Why haven’t we seen any of those behind-the-scenes documentaries like what we saw with Donkey Kong Country: Exposed? Not only to the systems need to be marketed, but so do the games.

    1. I don’t understand why people say Nintendo doesn’t make new IPs.

      1. Xenoblade, The Last Story, HarmoKnight, Pushmo, Dillions Rolling Western, Pandora’s Tower, I mean, those are new IPs that were made by or inconjunction with Nintendo. That isn’t enough?

      1. Ever read a book called “Give a Mouse a Cookie?” Same predictable mentality from those clamoring for new IPs.

      2. I did forget to mention about the eShop titles. Thanks Francis! Love your site, too! ;)

        However, I think what most people meant was for like games that have more quality like The Wonderful 101 and whatever new game that Miyamoto is working on. That is where I was getting at. However, I just wish that that there are certain factors that could be improved in Nintendo’s business like their marketing, for instance.

        1. yea might as well be an xseed and gamestop ip in america because they didnt fund any of them accept having a gamestop exclusive deal with xenoblade which doesnt count because gamestop saw the demand and nintendo obviously doesnt care. they could also have fatal frame, doesnt care…lets see…. captain rainbow earth seeker and many more because they would rather of had there fans with mario and shovelware

          1. Did you just antiquate Mario with shovelware? Are you serious? Well okay then. Since that is the largest and most popular franshise then every franchise is shovelware. Guess gears of war is shovelware, as is god of war, cod, battlefield, encharted, and every other game every created.

        2. Have you played any of the IP’s he mentioned? They are all quite good. But thats the risk with new IP’s. People don’t know them. You actually just proved the point that nintendo was making by returning to existing franchises. New IP’s can often get over looked because they don’t carry the same name, and aren’t going to hit as large of audience.

          1. I have played them as I own all of them. They are quite good with their own merits. I just wish the average consumer would open up to different franchises than being keen on ones they wish to see recycled over and over, again. I’m not saying that for Nintendo’s franchises as they all have gameplay elements different from past installments and ones you won’t see anywhere else, but I’m just saying that most of them that are usually third-party are true rehashes that does not do anything different with newer installments; like Call of Duty and Battlefield for instance. I want more gamers to be open-minded with their choices instead of being fixated on a specific IP. That hurts a developer’s creativity.

  5. “because adding fun and interesting GAMEPLAY IDEAS (1) to these already ESTABLISHED (2) FRANCHISES (3) makes the most SENSE (4).”

    1. You spelled GIMMICKS wrong
    2. You spelled MILKED wrong
    3. You spelled CASH COW wrong
    4. You spelled MONEY wrong

    1. And u are supposed to know the gaming industry and development more than the ones who are actually in it , there is a reason for people to keep buying Nintendo games , give it some thinking and u will understand why .

        1. Dude! I love Banjo-Kazooie! I liked Banjo-Tooie a bit more, but whatever, both are like… some of the greatest gaming experiences of all time. Great experiences in general. Ah, maybe my deep love for the game sub-conciously made me pick the name I did. Anyway, thanks for noticing because now I’m kind of thinking that too.

          1. just always did i dont know why.. great games and i finally beat tooie like a month ago got every jiggy. the game really makes you think of how to get some of them and how to progress in some of the levels because its hard. so beaten it all the way was awesome. if nintendo would get rares ips back, that would be great and then i would be cool with nintendo because retro could make them and you could get some great games back.

      1. Without Nintendo, Sony would have never released the PS
        All because of both the Nintendo and the Phillips CD-i

          1. Another retarded fucking mistake from IcyDeadPeople…. that did them good. U mad because you want Sony to take over Nintendo. Too bad it didn’t bode well as you wish.

            1. im sure losing all support from squaresoft and all other 3rd party was good, at least they had some good games on n64 because of rare. oh wait they sold the only good company that they had been working with them at the time, how can anything get worse, but yet it has

    1. Ignoring that Nintendo is innovative. But because Sony isn’t as innovative people want get bored? After all, the Wii U is more different than Wii compared to PS4 and PS3.

  6. High Command listens to our requests, even if they sometimes arrive a bit late…

    Although as Gandalf would say if he was ours:

    A Nintendo game arrives precisely when it means to…

  7. they can put out anything with mario or zelda related and i would buy it because i know i already like it. pokemon on the other hand i will never understand.

  8. What they should do is bring back some old ips like Takamaru that originally came out on the Famicom!

    1. Ignoring Rare is dead so it doesn’t matter. What they need to do is buy back Banjo-Kazooie though. But bitch ass Microsoft is holding on to dear life because they know Nintnedo knows how to make money off of the popular bear and bird better than Microsoft can.

  9. Do anyone know way to contact Nintendo so we can tell them our ideas? Because I have a lot of ideas that can help!

    1. Believe me millions of people contracted Nintendo. It’s a waste of time. Trust me. Nintendo can’t change bitch ass Microsoft’s mind for nothing.

  10. Nintendo does release new IPs now and then, but they certainly do focus more on recurring ones. Then again who buys a Nintendo console and not expect a new Mario or Zelda on it? I mean please.
    And lets stop pretending other companies don’t reuse their hit franchises. Nintendo just has more of those to juggle.

  11. I’ll explain it.

    THEY MAKE MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is it really that hard to understand? Rather than making new franchise all the time, they take franhcise they know people will be interested in and give us new gameplay EXPERIENCES within the franchises.

    Based on the amount of sales of 1st party content and the amount of profit Nintendo makes on them, it’s seems pretty self explanatory.

  12. This does make sense. Making a new IP would be better but if you don’t want to changing the gameplay idea would also be great too!

  13. you don’t need to expain anything Nintendo. We all know why, its because your franchises are the best!!!

  14. Bollox i really wanted this game on my wii u since i dont have a 3ds and have no planes of getting it :/ i hope the will port it to wii u somehow.

  15. This idea works really well, but two things:

    A) I want new IPs. I hope Miyamoto’s IP will be excellent and for the Wii U, and I hope Retro’s project is either Metroid Prime or a new IP. At the end of the Wii U’s life, I want Retro to have completed both of those two projects.
    B) If we don’t get a lot of new IPs, I would forgive Nintendo by making series revivals, particularly F-Zero or Mach Rider and Startropics.
    C) There are too many Mario games. I understand that Mario sells, and every game is of a different genre, but at least spread the releases out. Since Camelot just finished Mario Tennis, I would have loved if they made a new Golden Sun instead and then made Mario Golf during the last years of the 3DS. Instead of Mario Kart and Mario Party, how about Super Party Bros. and Super Kart Bros.?

  16. Pingback: Bill Trinen explica por qué Nintendo ha vuelto a usar sus antiguas franquicias |

  17. Um how about because you’re already existing franchises are the best anyways! You know if you don’t make them we will whine and complain until we get your already existing franchises in sequels.

  18. Here’s a novel idea, release new IP’s and continue to do remakes, sequels and spin-offs. Its a Win-Win-Win scenario all around. Only a moron would think that there was no other way of doing things… look at the spin-off success of games like Mario Kart, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros.. etc.

      1. I’m hoping it is something totally out of the blue. I know in the past Miyamoto has stated that he was interested in doing a 3rd-person shooter. As tired I am of the shooter-game genre, it could be Nintendo that actually injects new life into it and shows how it SHOULD be done.

        I seriously doubt that it will be, but you never know. Quite often Nintendo is the company that proves that just when you think you have all the answers, they change the questions.

  19. The much more honest and simple answer: money.

    Otherwise, why not use a new IP to try out new gameplay ideas? Brand recognition means better support means better sales means more money.

    They could easily just make a new IP if they have a new gameplay idea(s). If the gameplay is so good as they (and fanboys) say it is, the game should sell well solely on that factor alone.

    Bet lets face it: not all Mario or Zelda games are awesome or have such new and innovative gameplay, and the ones that do aren’t always amazing. But the fact that they use those franchise names makes up for that.

    To deny that is naive. They’d never admit it, because it’d be bad PR to do so. But it’s the truth. Not that it’s a bad thing; every business does brand recognition. But to so blatantly try to lie and make up feel good reasons for why you constantly go back to the same franchises is just silly. We all know why they do it, and they’re not fooling anyone.

    Microsoft admits they like to milk the Halo franchise because it’s already so well liked and well known. Nintendo does it too, they just pretend it’s for different, more noble reasons. Not all of us are so gullible, though.

    1. Key example of this: “New Super Mario Bros.” The games are fun, yeah, but not “New” by any means necessary. The only one that’s been different from the DS version was the one on Wii. The 3DS one and the Wii U version were fun, but not “New” like the title states or innovative by any stretch of the imagination. (Change the title to “Not as New Super Mario Bros.” or “Slightly Used Super Mario Bros.”
      But hey. I have a fun time playing them and I don’t mind double-dipping. Then again, I’m not that picky.

  20. Those trailers were awesome, but from this article, will they ever make a new one someday then? Because new ips can be great too.

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