Although Nintendo has survived pretty darn well on its own so far, is it time for them to collaborate with other companies? If they were to collaborate with, say, EA or Marvel, perhaps they could all succeed even further. Is it time for them to open their doors and allow more companies in?
Electronic Arts (EA) produces outstandingly popular games in the ‘Sport’ genre, which Nintendo just cannot compare to. In 2010, the FIFA series had sold over 100 million copies, which made it the best-selling sports video game franchise in the world. This is not to say that Nintendo don’t produce good sports games (I’m sure we all loved Wii Sports Resort!), but it’s pretty clear that EA surpasses them in this category. Perhaps if the two companies were to combine, Nintendo could appeal to another audience.
The main target audience for EA, it seems, is young adult/teenage males (almost exclusively). Although they tried to change this by including female players for the first time in FIFA 16, their primary audience generally remains the same. Nintendo, on the other hand, has a whole different audience they appeal to with their ‘cutesie’ games. The sort of games they create are perfect for Nintendo lovers, and merging with companies such as EA would produce games that may not fit so well with this crowd.
Not only that, but both companies seem to have very different ideals when it comes to online multi-player socialization. For example, with the Nintendo 3DS, it requires you to actively input a specific code to find a friend, with whom you can only really connect with over online gaming. The Miiverse too is more of a social media aspect than an individual messaging feature.
This has been massively criticised, as people think Nintendo has missed a trick by not allowing players to communicate properly. However, this may have been a strategic manoeuvre instead. This way players cannot send or receive unfriendly messages, which would deter them from playing the games. EA, on the other hand, thrives on this feature and includes voice chat through online gaming, which means many players receive unnecessary harassment and hurtful comments. As a result of this it seems that the collaboration of these two companies would not work so well, based on their different values.
In terms of grasping a larger audience, Adrian Askarieh, CEO of Prime Universe Films, says that Nintendo should follow in the footsteps of Marvel Studios and expand into the movie-making world. Even though their last attempt at a film only achieved a score of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, several of their characters have made appearances in other films, such as Bowser in Wreck-It Ralph. Askarieh tells Polygon that, even though it was a huge risk for Marvel, “Nintendo should do the same thing”.
With regards to Marvel Studios, I feel as though Nintendo could flourish even further by working with them. The Marvel characters appeal to a massive audience, and, although they haven’t produced any overwhelming video games (aside from the Lego ones; am I right?!) they have the potential to create great things. Imagine a Super Smash Bros. where the Avengers are playable characters, or a crossover between the Marvel characters and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. I mean, I’m sure Hawkeye would destroy everyone at the archery event, but you get the idea! Both companies could gain so much more from working together, and it would bring a larger audience to both. Perhaps this is something Nintendo should consider for the future.
For the time being though, Nintendo seems to be doing just fine on its own, but a small change (such as collab titles) could breathe some fresh air into this niche gaming world.