With Pokemon Go an incredible success, Nintendo had gotten better recognition than it has at any point since 2009 or 2010, the years the Wii boom ended. For all you can say about the people who walked into traffic playing Pokemon Go (and I do question the decision to require people to walk as they play, which was asking for a disaster), there’s no question that people love this game.
Capitalizing on this success, Nintendo has wasted no time releasing plans for a mobile Mario game: Super Mario Run. This has some gamers disappointed. They don’t like simple games meant to be accessible to casual gamers and as so many gamers start with Nintendo, they don’t like losing the company to these other people.
Here are the reasons why I must disagree:
1.) Console gamers don’t play Nintendo anymore. Nintendo has always been the most casual of all the console giants. While there have been exceptions like Metroid and Goldeneye, Nintendo has generally favored simple titles like Mario, Zelda, and Wii Sports. Additionally, such simple third party games as Mega Man and Castlevania have had Nintendo as their natural homes.
Sure, part of this is Nintendo’s own fault. Famously, it has always had a third party developer-hostile strategy that worked in the immature industry of the late 1980s, but not now; not for decades. But you can’t ignore that console gamers have seen Nintendo as something you grow out of and that casuals don’t. If you didn’t want Nintendo to enter mobile gaming, you should have bought their systems.
2.) Give them a chance. Do all games have to be complicated? I’m not a mobile fanboy by any means, but I have played Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds and found them to be quite fun. Simple gameplay can be great gameplay.
3.) You don’t have to buy a Nintendo console anymore. While I’m not sure I’d recommend that Nintendo abandon the consoles wholesale, gamers who like Nintendo’s franchises but fear slapping down a lot of money for systems that have nothing else are liberated.
4.) Technology is not a problem (for the most part). Some may argue that technical limitations of the mobile market will decrease the quality of these games, but other than Super Smash Bros. and maybe one or two other exceptions, the basic nature of these games make them so that they do not require much power. The only sacrifice is graphics, which didn’t much help Nintendo beat Sony in the N64 and Gamecube eras.
5.) It’s only Nintendo. As noted, Nintendo has always favored simple games. Sure, it’s been very inventive in spinning new twists, but at the end of the day, it’s casual gamer’s biggest repper.
So if Nintendo has always been making simple games for casual gamers anyway, what has this move really changed?
In conclusion, this is a good move on Nintendo’s part with few drawbacks.