Pachter: "Nintendo Is Doomed"

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Pachter: "Nintendo Is Doomed"

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Satoru Iwata made some comments at GDC that have generated a number of strong opinions, including Michael Pachter's rather extreme comment.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata's comments at GDC this week have rubbed some members of the industry the wrong way, and they're not afraid to say so. Essentially, nobody agrees with the man, but exactly how much they disagree with him seems to be varying.

The boldest statement came from industry analyst Michael Pachter. "Long-term, Nintendo is doomed," he said of the company's fight for the handheld market against iOS devices and smart phones. "He's under full frontal assault by Apple."

Meanwhile, Iwata's keynote comments, that he feared the industry would be hurt by the current emphasis on making low-cost social games instead of high-quality titles, aren't being accepted by some rather high-profile members of the videogame industry.

Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communication at Electronic Arts, didn't completely dismiss Mr. Iwata's opinions, but he didn't agree with them either. "He may be right, but then the 200 to 300 million people who play games on Facebook are wrong," he said. "Social gaming as a whole aggregates into a business that is undeniably big money. When it's that big you are forced to pay attention."

Meanwhile, Brian Reynolds of Zynga was a bit more vocal with his disapproval. "I expected better from Nintendo," he said. "They are missing the point of what we are doing, We are making games that everyone can play and socialize on while playing."

Personally, I think Iwata's comments bear some consideration, but it's a bit too early to determine whether or not he's right. That said, claiming that Nintendo is "doomed" seems like an incredibly rash judgment.

Source: eMoney via GamePolitics

Permalink

patcher is an idiot, we all know this

Nintendo has been in business in the games industry for well over, what, 25 years? I think they'll be fine. They seem to know how to make a hit. Its been proves with the Wii, the DS, and the 3DS(which is apparently a massive success in Japan).

They also seemed to have catered to the "casual" market quite a bit. Agian, with the Wii and DS. Also known as the two best selling consoles of this generation.

They're playing the market. Going from the "core" audience, to the causuals, back to the core ones, and will go again to the casual space. At least thats what I assume what will happen.

The 200-300 million people who play games on Facebook aren't wrong. They just have boring jobs.

If you're gonna take Nintendo down though Apple, you're gonna fall as well. This isn't Rockem-Sockem Robots anymore. Or vice versa.

Haaaa, what an idiot.
They've sold 5 times as many DS's than there are Canadians.
Doomed my ass.

I think Patcher's comment of 'Nintendo is doomed', is complete bollocks. While I do agree that the hand held market has changed since Nintendo has released its first handheld console. I find it really hard to believe that Nintendo is 'doomed'.

Mr Pachter, I believe in this instance you are wrong. Nintendo have broken new ground with the Wii, and look set to do the same with the 3DS. I'm fairly sure that they will continue strong at best, and survive at the very worst.

Haha, he actually used the "Nintendo is doomed" line? Talk about ascended meme (I'd link to TVTropes, but I don't wanna send anyone on an accidental hour-long binge).

On an unrelated note, the ReCaptcha gave me this:

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Umm those linked comments are from a year ago :S

Singularly Datarific:
Haaaa, what an idiot.
They've sold 5 times as many DS's than there are Canadians.
Doomed my ass.

Not if he's right in 2015. Just because the DS(etc.) is the shit now doesn't mean nintendo are fuckwit proof, plenty of companies have ruined themselves before with willful stupidity.

>Nintendo
>going bankrupt and dying

oh man, the I almost die laughing

Mr. Fister:
Haha, he actually used the "Nintendo is doomed" line? Talk about ascended meme (I'd link to TVTropes, but I don't wanna send anyone on an accidental hour-long binge).

On an unrelated note, the ReCaptcha gave me this:

image

I thank you for that consideration, I only lost a day there yesterday and I don't want to be sucked in there, again.

OT: Doomed? Wow Pachter, you must really love jumping over sharks.

"None of my predictions are correct, but most are close. The nature of my work is like a game of horseshoes, where close counts." - Michael Pachter

I wonder what qualifies as "close" to doomed? Semi-doomed? Quasi-doomed? Who knows?

Social games are a pile of crap to be perfectly honest. They're repetitive and useless and just a genuine waste of time. There are no goals, just simply endless. You get to a point where you feel you should stop, yet you've played so much that you feel it would be a waste to stop.

I got up to level 100 on Mafia Wars and I decided enough was enough. It was horrible and I've pretty much turned my back on facebook since realising how much time I used to spend on, Facebook is just a bad, bad thing in my opinion.

As far as young children go, I think that parents playing with children in the same room is much more healthy and something that parents are more comfortable with. Also, if people want to have a party or just generally hang out with each other then they are not going to sit in different rooms in the same house playing facebook games.

Pachter always talks down Nintendo. Nintendo are not always going to do everything right or always make money but I think they have some fight left in them.

EA spent a huge amount of money on a social game company that I don't think has paid off. If any of the big publishers is doomed then it's EA and everyone knows it. They reek of desperation.

Brian Reynolds just wants people to take his pathetic facebook games seriously, I guess. Nobody here cares Brian, earn some bread then come back and make a real game if you still care.

Hah Nintendo doomed? Iphone games are mostly just gimmicky things to kill some time. And the "social games" that you would also find on facebook are the most gimmicky crap of them all. The original and good ideas are few and far between in that market.

Nintendo will survive just based on their popular series like Mario and Zelda, and that people trust they will make FUN games. They may not be the best with 3rd party development, but their bread and butter areas they still dominate.

Why do you keep running stories about this guy? If I want to read ill-informed and erroneous opinions about gaming I can just visit the forums.

More to the point, who the hell is paying this idiot to keep coming out with idiocy like this and stunning insights like "GTA5 could be very successful." ?

Irridium:
Nintendo has been in business for well over, what, 25 years? I think they'll be fine. They seem to know how to make a hit. Its been proves with the Wii, the DS, and the 3DS(which is apparently a massive success in Japan).

They also seemed to have catered to the "casual" market quite a bit. Agian, with the Wii and DS. Also known as the two best selling consoles of this generation.

They're playing the market. Going from the "core" audience, to the causuals, back to the core ones, and will go again to the casual space. At least thats what I assume what will happen.

actually nintendo has been around like over a hundred years, they started out making playing cards

Worgen:

Irridium:
Nintendo has been in business for well over, what, 25 years? I think they'll be fine. They seem to know how to make a hit. Its been proves with the Wii, the DS, and the 3DS(which is apparently a massive success in Japan).

They also seemed to have catered to the "casual" market quite a bit. Agian, with the Wii and DS. Also known as the two best selling consoles of this generation.

They're playing the market. Going from the "core" audience, to the causuals, back to the core ones, and will go again to the casual space. At least thats what I assume what will happen.

actually nintendo has been around like over a hundred years, they started out making playing cards

I know, I was referring to business in the game industry.

I dislike Pachter as he always claims that Nintendo is doomed at any given oppurtunity.

That said though, I disagree with Iwata on this, and think that it could cause problems in the long run. Nintendo, the forebearers of the disruption era of gaming (ie. Making games that are cheaper to make, cheaper to sell and have a broader appeal) are now ignoring that Apple is doing it to them. My DS hasn't been touched in almost a year (will be picking it back up for Pokemon though) and in the next couple of weeks the 3DS comes out; leaving me with a tough decision:
Do I spend $249 on a system with a sub 5hour battery life and games that will cost $40 or do I buy an $230 iPod touch where the games only cost $5. For me, as a customer, the best option isn't being clearly spelled out as Nintendo.

However, I also do believe that Iwata's comments do hold some worth: most iDevice games contain little content and thus hold little value. If I buy an iPod, I might get Angry birds, but nothing else will hold my interest, conversely, I REALLY want that Paper Mario 3DS game they showed off a while ago (However, to a new customer who doesn't have any bias, a game like that doesn't upset the power balance).

Overall I'd say that Nintendo's biggest problem isn't Apple, but itself. In the past all of their Portable devices have succeeded because they are customer oriented: they are cheap devices designed entirely around playing games in a portable environment. The 3DS is an outlier, it is exprensive (it's launching at the PSP's price for heaven's sake!) has a bunch of features that no one will care about (Many people who have played it lament that the 3D gives them headaches) and it has pathetic battery life. Nintendo shouldn't try to fight Apple, it should be trying to fight disinterest in its product. Mark my words: The 3DS will sell out at first, but after the buzz dies down (which it will, as the 3DS isn't customer oriented) it will not sell well at all.

Edit: Also, to all the people who say that Facebook/iPhone games are just "Cheap, gimmicky products" because we don't like them even though it is clear that they have mass appeal, I must ask: Haven't we seen this exact situtation before? The company that makes the product that the customers want wins, there are no exceptions.

He said "long term". He isnt talking DS or wii. Nintendo isn't doomed but since they've made it clear that they are taking on apple, i think they are going to find it difficult to take people away from apple products. The ds sold a lot, but its a different market now. Casual market is different and they have a new handheld to compete for the core market. The 3ds will surely sell well, sell as much as the ds? I sincerely doubt it.

Sixcess:
Why do you keep running stories about this guy? If I want to read ill-informed and erroneous opinions about gaming I can just visit the forums.

Or you could just watch Fox News, either way works

teh_Canape:
>Nintendo
>going bankrupt and dying

oh man, the I almost die laughing

Almost happened before, bub.

Iwata's starting to sound like Ken Kutaragi when the PS3 was announced. We saw how that turned out.

Yes, because the person behind "Schamya" and someone whose working for a company currently involved in a shameless ripoff scam of a game called Dragon Age Legends charging $5-10 just for a lvl 2 weapon for your toon, reaaaaally have an unbiased opinion on the matter...

As for Pachter, he's a joke, and I've completely forgotten him to be anything but.

scottxxxx667:

However, I also do believe that Iwata's comments do hold some worth: most iDevice games contain little content and thus hold little value. If I buy an iPod, I might get Angry birds, but nothing else will hold my interest, conversely, I REALLY want that Paper Mario 3DS game they showed off a while ago (However, to a new customer who doesn't have any bias, a game like that doesn't upset the power balance).

Overall I'd say that Nintendo's biggest problem isn't Apple, but itself. In the past all of their Portable devices have succeeded because they are customer oriented: they are cheap devices designed entirely around playing games in a portable environment. The 3DS is an outlier, it is exprensive (it's launching at the PSP's price for heaven's sake!) has a bunch of features that no one will care about (Many people who have played it lament that the 3D gives them headaches) and it has pathetic battery life. Nintendo shouldn't try to fight Apple, it should be trying to fight disinterest in its product. Mark my words: The 3DS will sell out at first, but after the buzz dies down (which it will, as the 3DS isn't customer oriented) it will not sell well at all.

I think the lack of content on mobile devices could change quite a bit over the next few years or even months...I agree with all the other stuff though.

Icehearted:
Almost happened before, bub.

Iwata's starting to sound like Ken Kutaragi when the PS3 was announced. We saw how that turned out.

I know, basically the reason of what I posted

you just can't truly kill Nintendo XD

Anything that Zynga makes or says should be automatically void.

OT: Social games are meh to me. Though its a good way casuals can at least pretend to be playing something.

Who is this Pachter and why does The Escapist quote him so much?

Seriously, what does he do? I can make predictions too, doesn't mean I need articles about me.

teh_Canape:

Icehearted:
Almost happened before, bub.

Iwata's starting to sound like Ken Kutaragi when the PS3 was announced. We saw how that turned out.

I know, basically the reason of what I posted

you just can't truly kill Nintendo XD

lol, yeah. you can only freeze it, smash it, and watch it re-congeal into something more menacing.

Wait. Nintendo is criticizing casual games?! Nintendo is one to talk. Hell what was the Wii? A console created to play casual games. I have yet to play one game on the Wii that I can take seriously. Have you played Modern Warfare on the Wii? Absolute shit. Don't like being the devil's advocate but Wii needs to step up their consoles or stop trash-talking Farmville (which I think sucks but thats beyond the point).

Icehearted:

teh_Canape:

Icehearted:
Almost happened before, bub.

Iwata's starting to sound like Ken Kutaragi when the PS3 was announced. We saw how that turned out.

I know, basically the reason of what I posted

you just can't truly kill Nintendo XD

lol, yeah. you can only freeze it, smash it, and watch it re-congeal into something more menacing.

though you tottally shouldn't feed it after midnight nor expose it to water

trust me

On a similar note, GamaSutra had an article about "social developers" (why are these games called social... as someone else put it, they aren't "social" at all... [1]) holding a fit at the GDC of how they're "under-appreciated".

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/33363/GDC_2011_Social_Game_Developers_Direct_Their_Rage_Outward_Inward.php

The GDC rant panel is regularly one of the most memorable events of the conference, and this year's was no exception, with social game developers of all shapes and sizes unleashing their rage about their perception and also social games themselves.

Rant co-host Eric Zimmerman started things off by reminding the audience that social game developers are often seen near the "bottom of the barrel" when it comes to the industry's coolest jobs. "The social game developers arguably have drawn a tremendous amount of ire and controversy, some would say jealousy, form inside and outside the industry," he said

Wizardry designer and co-founder of social game studio Loot Drop Brenda Brathwaite was up first, letting loose with a breathless, rapid-fire rant. She recalled how the game industry stood together through controversies ranging from the move to graphical games and the inclusion of console game developers in the old Computer Game Developers Conference to congressional hearings over Mortal Kombat and sex scandals in Grand Theft Auto. "We stood together, you and me, because we love games," she said.

Now, she said, the industry should resist being divided by the supposed threat to the industry being created by social games. She differentiated between the social gaming "strip miners" trying to maximize profits at the expense of good gameplay and the thoughtful game designers up on the stage, who think that the new, non-traditional audience of social gamers deserve good games, too.

Zynga chief game designer Brian Reynolds was significantly more mellow in his rant, suggesting that social games have value because they provide an excuse for people to socialize, and that he's now reaching more people than he ever did in traditional game development.

"I think it's interesting and I [now] have a chance to talk to audiences larger than those that I or anybody else have been able to talk to before ... People I've never been able to reach or talk to through games," he said.

Playdom's Steve Meretzky directed his rant at all the non-designers, from the CEO down to the mailroom, that think they have what it takes to design a good game. He let loose a barrage of derision for those who "think you can just waltz into into a design meeting and contribute because you play a lot of games and read a couple of articles on Gamasutra."

Even though Malcolm Gladwell's book outliers says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, Meretzky said he's still learning after over 60,000 hours, largely because the game industry is such a constantly changing place. The industry should respect this kind of learning, rather than trying to cut it out of the game development process entirely, as some executives are trying to do.

Special guest ranter and Spy Party designer Chris Hecker provided an interlude focused on the wider world of games, and how they need more human moments to really achieve their potential. Rather than the gamification of life, he's interested in "the lifification of games," an admittedly awkward phrase, he said.

Hecker said he could do with never seeing another game with aliens and orcs in it, especially when they're not needed to make a real personal or controversial statement, as they often were in classic science fiction. He also stressed that adding a human touch to games can be as simple as reaching out for a hand-hold in Ico or letting people form a connection to their very mortal horse in Red Dead Redemption

Zynga and Playdom designer Scott Jon Seigel directed his anger at the vast majority of social games, which he said have been led down a distressingly myopic path in the last two years by the success of Farm Town and similar games that generate a slow drip of reliable, time-based rewards. These games have been wildly successful, but have squashed the potential shown in great social games like Parking Wars, Bejeweled Blitz, and Mouse Hunt, he said.

"We started mimicking success patterns and everything became more and more recursive," he argued. "We took a hard right turn and never looked back."

Seigel urged the social game makers to take advantage of an "etch-a-sketch moment" to start over with a blank slate, building more meaningful social games.

EA and Digital Chocolate founder Trip Hawkins worried that social and mobile game developers may be "lambs to the slaughter" as new platforms erode the idea that games are worth money. He highlighted the fact that the $1 billion generated by Apple's App Store has been divided up among 250,000 apps, leaving a $4,000 per app average that "doesn't even pay for a good foosball table." (the actual revenue figure may now be closer to $2 billion)

Hawkins said that while the walled garden of console-style license agreements could be equally restrictive, and meant fewer people got access to platforms, "at least Nintendo had the decency to tell you up front how you were going to get screwed."

He also compared many of those trying to strike it rich with their game idea to the deluded American Idol contestants who all think they are going to be the big winner. "There's something very inspiring about that, but just thinking you're going to make the superior game that's better than Angry Birds... what you don't know is about the 1000s that tried and failed," he said.

Ian Bogost was the rant session's last presenter, using his satirical game Cow Clicker to highlight how even inherently pointless social games could be made into platforms for creative expression. That alone doesn't mean they're worthwhile, though. He drew the analogy to Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka, who was forced to write poetry with feces on toilet paper when in jail as a political prisoner.

"Shit stinks," he pointed out. "When forced to root in it we retch and cower, and yet despite it, we rise above. We find crevices... and rise up out of the filth... No matter what shit we throw, people grow and thrive."

http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/02/15/jonathan-blow-interview-social-game-designers-goal-is-to-degrade-the-players-quality-of-life/

[1]: Jonathan Blow: Well, they're not very social. A game like World of Warcraft or Counter-Strike or whatever is way more social. Because you actually meet new people in clans or guilds. You go do activities together and help each other out, right?

[With certain social games] it's about the game exploiting your friends list that you already made, so it's not really about meeting people. And it's not really about doing things with them because you're never playing at the same time. It's about using your friends as resources to progress in the game, which is the opposite of actual sociality or friendship.

Regarding Iwata, I think he's right and should be respected for not jumping on the bandwagon, he'll probably produce quality games long after Facebook, Myspace and Co. are long gone and forgotten and something "new and shiny" has dazed the mass-market with its shiny-ness. As for Apple, they simply have no connections or ties to game development and shouldn't really be considered a "game-system" at all (and have tried and failed before)... if anyone has the chance to actually make a successful handheld-based game system it'll probably be Google with Android instead of Apple...

Worgen:
patcher is an idiot, we all know this

I don't know why he feels its nessisary that whenever someone says something stupid. He has to pipe up with an even dumber comment.

Wait...what...the company who basically INTRODUCED casual gaming...does not think that casual gaming is viable...

Look, I have bashed the Wii in the past, and I am not really convinced it is a real gaming platform...BUT I will in no way argue its viability. So...Nintendo built a business model on a cheap console, loaded with mostly cheap (shovelware) games...so eh...be quiet Nintendo...

Generically,

Dave.

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