Nintendo: Petitions "Don't Affect What We Do"

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Nintendo: Petitions "Don't Affect What We Do"

Xenoblade Chronicles

Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime says the company is "aware" of petitions but doesn't base its decisions on them.

It's not hard to see what people like petitions on the internet. Whereas other forms of activism can require dedication and work, an internet petition makes it possible to attach yourself to a cause with the click of a few buttons. They essentially take activism, which is otherwise often a difficult endeavor, and boil it down to something you can do in a few seconds while you're browsing Facebook.

We're not belittling online petitions necessarily. That being the case, it would perhaps not be unfair to question how effective they really are when it comes to influencing a company's decisions. In the case of Nintendo, for instance, they apparently don't do a thing. "[They] don't affect what we do," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "We certainly look at it, and we're certainly aware of it, but it doesn't necessarily affect what we do."

According to Fils-Aime, while petitions and campaigns like Operation Rainfall do show up on the company's radar, the inevitable decider behind the company's actions is fiscal feasibility. "I wanted to bring [Xenoblade Chronicles] here," he said. "The deal was, how much of a localization effort is it? How many units are we going to sell, are we going to make money? We were literally having this debate while Operation Rainfall was happening, and we were aware that there was interest for the game, but we had to make sure that it was a strong financial proposition."

Fils-Aime wouldn't paint this as apathy towards fans of the company or of any one game, however. He'd color it in terms of simply doing his job. "In the end we've got to do what's best for the company," he said. "100,000 signatures doesn't mean 100,000 sales." Of course, Xenoblade Chronicles actually went on to sell fairly decently, to the point that it's now a rare game stateside. That said, we do understand what Fils-Aime is getting at. Even when you give your fans everything they want it's no promise that they'll actually spend money on it. We don't necessarily think that means companies should avoid fan-based risks, but we can understand exercising at least some caution when it comes to satisfying their whims.

Source: Siliconera

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And this is why Nintendo continues to lose more and more its core fanbase on a daily basis.

That sound is the last shred of Nintendo's relevance dying not with a bang but a whimper.

However, I have a solution that meets everybody's needs. Nintendo should kick start certain games. As he said, an online petition doesn't equal sales, however if, in the case of say... Earthbound (or Mother) if they were to start a kick starter, it would essentially be a petition that you pay to sign, already purchasing the product, proving yur true interest in the sale.

I guess what I'm saying is, Nintendo, if you want to survive, you need to give us the Mother series, and release a new one. Although, I'd prefer if that waited until you Sega-out and makes games for other consoles. Earthbound on 360? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

If they made P.C ports of some of their more popular titles and sold them on Steam, they wouldn't have to worry about pesky details like regional sales.

Nintendo seems to be getting worse with PR as of late. Not as bad as ubisoft and all that but people seem to hold them to a higher standard over those sort of things as they never tried to actively piss people off before but now they do seem to saying fuck off to fans like most game publishers have been doing.

Not cool nintendo, just realese your damn games.

Well, now I can just laugh at N fanboys when they say that Nintendo actually cares about the fans. Nope, its all about the cold hard yen for them

For a start, maybe they should not region-lock their damn systems.

Can't say this surprises me. I've always been critical of petitions in general and their effectiveness. They sound good on paper, but then, you can make anything sound good on paper honestly.

So in other words. 'We don't listen to what our consumers and potential consumers have to say. Suddenly every decision from the Wii onwards makes perfect sense....

008Zulu:
If they made P.C ports of some of their more popular titles and sold them on Steam, they wouldn't have to worry about pesky details like regional sales.

that would frankly be the end of them as a hardware manufacturer

BigTuk:
So in other words. 'We don't listen to what our consumers and potential consumers have to say. Suddenly every decision from the Wii onwards makes perfect sense....

Funny thing about that: the Wii made them a spectacular sum of money.

Nintendo needs to stop behaving like they're set. They think that they're still on top of the foodchain with nigh a competitor in sight, and they definitely behave accordingly. To think they have the balls to say that they ignore petitions? Good god ...

Dear Nintendo, your desire to strictly stay traditional and conservative is going to kill you in this changing market. For a company that likes to be innovative and treat their systems as a toy, you just need to realize that several of your recent ideas are just outdated, and despite your efforts to create new ways to play, developers have little to no idea on how to make use of them in a necessary and critical manner, and instead turn them into a gimmick, resulting in many unimpressed people.

So Reggie was joking yesterday when he said "If the Online Petition for me to be in the next Smash Bros. gets 100,000 sigs, then we'll seriously consider it"? That's a shame, I was really considering signing it (Because I think it would be funny).

OT: I can understand why they would ignore it, some of the petitions are ridiculous like Making Bayonetta 2 a Multiplat game. But sometimes Fan Petitions are important, and could actually be useful for the company for Business making decisions. Like Importing Mother 3 for example. Numerous online Petitions have been for that, and I think Nintendo should seriously consider doing it.

Also, I don't think simply not listening to Fan Petitions all of a sudden makes you completely irrelevant. If that were the case, then a lot of Companies, who do ignore a lot or all of their Fan Petitions, would also be irrelevant (EA, Rockstar, Ubisoft, etc.).

But it's odd: Didn't they listen to a Fan Petition with that Project Rain thing (Bringing those 3 RPGS on the Wii to America from Japan)? Or was that not a Petition?

OuendanCyrus:
For a start, maybe they should not region-lock their damn systems.

I have no idea how this relates to their approach to petitions. But if they don't really consider petitions to be a driving force in their decision making, then what makes your post the thing they'll listen to?

TheRealCJ:
And this is why Nintendo continues to lose more and more its core fanbase on a daily basis.

So he doesn't have a point? He never said that they ignore petitions completely. He just said that they have to factor in a lot of things.

He is especially true with 100,000 signatures does not equal 100,000 sales.

Everybody wants a new Earthbound game. But how much is really everybody?

People say they would buy a Wii U for a new F-Zero game, but how many people are actually going to go through with that?

That same line of argument is so often used in other facets of gaming against minority groups that it's amazing that people aren't seeing it.

I'm not even sure why this viewpoint is shocking.

I'm fairly certain if you ask any game developer this question you would probably get the exact same answer.

Desert Punk:
Well, now I can just laugh at N fanboys when they say that Nintendo actually cares about the fans. Nope, its all about the cold hard yen for them

Right, and how many petitions towards videogame companies in general have worked, or even so much as affected their business?

Rockstar isn't going to make a PC port for their games any faster because 500k people took two seconds to sign an online petition.

You could basically argue that no company listens to their fans because a company basing all of their decisions on online documents with digital signatures that range from stupid to something with actual worth is asking for financial ruin.

While I'd normally have no problem being critical of "evil corporations", I'm with Nintendo here. Petitions are garbage and online petitions more so. Even pen and paper petitions don't actually represent the number of signatures they contain because often times people will sign them just to make the smelly hippy go away and let them enjoy their mocha frappa dessert crud in peace(LOOK! I bashed two opposite groups in the same line! *High five*).

Online petitions are far worse, with the inventions of bots being able to spam signatures onto petitions (ex. EA.... you whores!)making them even more irrelevant. Without needing 3 forms of ID and a preorder, Nintendo has no reason to listen to petitions.

Mr.Mattress:
So Reggie was joking yesterday when he said "If the Online Petition for me to be in the next Smash Bros. gets 100,000 sigs, then we'll seriously consider it"? That's a shame, I was really considering signing it (Because I think it would be funny).

OT: I can understand why they would ignore it, some of the petitions are ridiculous like Making Bayonetta 2 a Multiplat game. But sometimes Fan Petitions are important, and could actually be useful for the company for Business making decisions. Like Importing Mother 3 for example. Numerous online Petitions have been for that, and I think Nintendo should seriously consider doing it.

Also, I don't think simply not listening to Fan Petitions all of a sudden makes you completely irrelevant. If that were the case, then a lot of Companies, who do ignore a lot or all of their Fan Petitions, would also be irrelevant (EA, Rockstar, Ubisoft, etc.).

But it's odd: Didn't they listen to a Fan Petition with that Project Rain thing (Bringing those 3 RPGS on the Wii to America from Japan)? Or was that not a Petition?

A lot of people are misreading the article.

It was even stated in the article that they look at petitions and they are aware of them. However whether they go through with it or not is based on a lot of factors such as how many people are actually going to buy said product they want in their region as opposed to simply vocalizing it.
If it's viable they will go through with it.
If not, than maybe next time.

Hence what they meant by "Petitions don't affect what we do" they aren't run by fan petitions.

This is news? I thought everyone already knew this.
Big companies generally don't care what it's consumers think.

Submitting to a petition with 100,000 signatures may not result in 100,000 sales, but ignoring a petition with 100,000 signatures definitely results in 0 sales.

What I find interesting is that all big name gaming companies are taking turns in embarassing themselves in a way that almost looks like it's on purpose. One'd think they would learn from eachother's mistakes.

Petitions like Operation Rainfall only benefited the company and got the game on the map, exposing great games to thousands of potential (and realized) buyers.

Reggie should have rephrased that message. Yes, there are other factors involved...

... but Xenoblade sold more than it did in Europe or Japan, despite Wii owners getting the game years later and basically towards the very end of the Wii's lifecycle when nearly everyone had abandoned it.

... Xenoblade being released earlier, and selling well, could have kept Wii momentum going and shown that great games can still sell on the humble system, rather than Nintendo themselves displaying a shocking lack of faith in such a great game.

... Xenoblade sold more than Europe and Japan, despite being only available directly from Nintendo or Gamestop. No Amazon, no Wal-mart, no Best Buy... and yet it SOLD OUT. Every last single new copy of the game is gone, with demand outstripping supply, and jacking up prices of used copies to nearly $100 due to Nintendo's unwillingness to do a second printing, indicating both their gross underestimation of the game's appeal, as well as their indifference at capitalizing on its success.

... Nintendo of America claim that the issue was the cost of "localizing" the game and the time and money it would need to do so... and yet all they did was use the localization of the European version, who actually spent the money and effort to translate and dub the game into English. All Nintendo of America did was change the region setting and print a few copies. They put in the absolute, most bare-bones effort into bringing the game to our shores, and they only did so after YEARS of waiting.

... The game still sold out despite die-hard JRPG fans importing the game from Europe, with even major websites like Destructoid and Kotaku giving players steps on how to mod your Wii just so you could play the game.

Xenoblade is easily one of the best JRPGs of all time, and easily one of the best Wii games in its library, and the fact Nintendo acted like it wasn't their responsibility and that an American audience didn't exist, when it eventually became a success (and might have been MORE of one had it had a wide release and a second printing so more people could buy it), just shows how... clueless... Nintendo is about their actual audience.

In fact, the Xenoblade successor on Wii U is the ONLY game that interests me for the system. Sorry Mario. Sorry Pikmin. Sorry Smash Bros. The follow-up to the game Nintendo almost couldn't be bothered to release in America is the game that would make me buy a system I'm not particularly interested in otherwise.

Seriously, Nintendo... you're a game company. You have ONE job. Release great games. If a great game fails, that's all on you, not the audience of the game that you failed to attract. Starving JRPG players proved that by making all three of those JRPGs you ignored successes once you actually put in the smallest modicum of effort to make them available.

Makes me think of all the petitions to Rockstar for PC ports that keep getting taken down.

I thought those would be a no-brainer; every game that's ever existed has an unofficial ROM port for PC emulation. Why chose to make no money at all off PC gamers by not offering a legal port? Too expensive to port? Get some fan-volunteers to do it for a free copy. Too much time & effort to recode? Same answer as before. I'm still holding out for rumors of a 2014 release before I give into temptation.

Anyway, everyone who signed those petitions said "hey man, I'll give you cash in advance. Just give us the damn game without making us pay a fortune for a system to play it on."

I thought the "news" here was fairly obvious. Nintendo is a business, not a political party reliant on simple written acceptance.

martyrdrebel27:
Nintendo should kick start certain games. As he said, an online petition doesn't equal sales, however if, in the case of say... Earthbound (or Mother) if they were to start a kick starter, it would essentially be a petition that you pay to sign, already purchasing the product, proving yur true interest in the sale.

I guess what I'm saying is, Nintendo, if you want to survive, you need to give us the Mother series, and release a new one. Although, I'd prefer if that waited until you Sega-out and makes games for other consoles. Earthbound on 360? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Nintendo is too old-fashioned and steadfast to use crowdfunding, let alone bring its own products to other consoles. They won't "Sega-out", because their corner of the market is most likely enough to keep them up for a few years.

Answer is simple: any game that doesn't look like a huge success becomes a digital downnload.

...People didn't realize this? It's basic business, if they don't think the level of interest is high enough to turn a profit, they won't make a PC port/localize the game etc.

Even if there is a petition of 100 000 signatures, they will have sales expectations (probably factoring in petitions but many other elements as well). They will then compare that to the estimated costs of whatever it is they're doing. If the difference is not deemed profitable enough they won't proceed.

If it was deemed to be likely to be profitable, do you think they wouldn't do it just to piss you off? That just does not make any sense whatsoever. Companies exist to make money people.

I hate to take the corporations side here, but this time they're actually talking sense.

Counterpoint: 100,000 signatures does not imply less than 100,000 sales.

Well, so far your cold, hard strategies have led you to lose to Microsoft, buttmonkey of the year. Maybe you should rethink that.

Alcom1:
Counterpoint: 100,000 signatures does not imply less than 100,000 sales.

This is technically true, but only in the sense that a petition barely means anything at all, since the effort to sign a petition is essentially zero, while spending $60 to buy a game requires a substantial commitment.

It's kind of weird to me that people are complaining about this. Literally any game developer (hell, any business) will behave the same way. Before doing a thing, any business needs to ask "how much will this cost us, and will we then make enough on it to turn a profit?" Examples of businesses not doing this (or at the very least doing it wrong) include the latest Tomb Raider game, which sold more than double what could be reasonably expected, and flopped because they were expecting it to sell more than that.

Yes, Xenoblade ended up being a success in the US. But Nintendo didn't really have any way of knowing that with certainty before they released it and it was a success.

MinionJoe:
Submitting to a petition with 100,000 signatures may not result in 100,000 sales, but ignoring a petition with 100,000 signatures definitely results in 0 sales.

This is why they do a cost-benefit analysis. Believe it or not, producing a retail game in a new region costs money, even if the translation work has already been done as was the case with Xenoblade Chronicles. There's (minimal) cost in converting the game from PAL back to NTFS (or in applying the UK translation to the Japanese NTFS version), there's a minimum number of units they can manufacture in a single run, and they need to be sure that it will sell enough to pay for pressing the discs, as well as packing and shipping all of them. Even instruction booklets can get costy.

This is actually why Ace Attorney 5 only got a digital release; Capcom was able to completely forego any manufacturing costs. They still took some financial risk by investing in translating the game, but considerably less than a physical retail release.

That said, there's virtually no cost at all in releasing Virtual Console games, or in making US versions of JP games with next to no text. I guarantee a translated digital manual can be done for under $1000, and a high-quality scan of a physical manual (for games that already got US releases on the SNES/NES/Gameboy/etc) can be done for under $100 in man-hours and equipment. They have so much opportunity to get us to pay for things that cost them virtually nothing to produce, and they're totally squandering it.

P.S. Thanks

TheRealCJ:
And this is why Nintendo continues to lose more and more its core fanbase on a daily basis.

Did you read the article? Your comment doesn't make sense. I'm not going to defend Nintendo's general actions as of late, because I don't really agree with many of them. That said, I definitely believe that if they made business decisions based on things that the internet wanted them to do, they wouldn't stay in business for more than a week.

Alcom1:
Counterpoint: 100,000 signatures does not imply less than 100,000 sales.

Completely true. 100,000 signatures could imply 10 or 10,000,000 sales. It requires so little effort or investment to sign a petition that it's almost impossible to judge anything.

From what I can tell, I would guess that Miiverse is actually the best "petition" for Nintendo. When they did the Earthbound VC announcement, they showed all the Miiverse posts of people asking for it. It requires some effort, and can only be done by actual potential customers. Not that you would want to make decisions based on that, but if someone puts effort into asking for something, you can probably count them as an actual sale.

I wish reports of what big-wigs say would stop happening, because you simply can't trust what they say to be true. They can, and will, lie to improve their image. For all we know, in the background, Nintendo could actually be desperately clinging to what customers petition for.

Who freaking knows. One thing is for sure, I don't (and never will) give a rats bum what some big-wig says.

Especially if they make their career off of profiting from children... :/ but still!

Is he talking more about policies, hardware, software? Everything?

Because about Software I agree with him, consumers don't even know what they want.

And this is one of the reasons I generally don't sign petitions. While you might support what the petition is aiming to do, unless that petition has money tied to it large companies don't give a shit. For example, Needing to have a Google+ account to comment on YouTube; unless you can wave around a big fat check or just simply stop commenting Google isn't going to care how many people sign a petition.

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