If I were the CEO of Nintendo... - Apricot Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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If I were the CEO of Nintendo...

If I were the CEO of Nintendo...

     As you should know, Nintendo, one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, has recently been struggling to gain a foothold with their newest video game console, the Nintendo Wii U, and Nintendo is still recovering from their major financial losses that affected them for two years. Nintendo has made many flaws in the past as well as many flaws currently in many factors, which is why I'd like to imagine what would happen if I became the CEO of Nintendo. Don't get me wrong; Nintendo has made a large number of improvements over its course as a video game developer, and they even shaped up what is the infrastructure of the video game industry. Without them, the industry itself would be much dissimilar than what it currently is. Regardless of all of the benefits they brought to the world, I would like to focus on what I'd bring to the company if I became the CEO of Nintendo, whether it is fixing one of their flaws or bringing new additions that will strengthen the company.

(Image Courtesy of Nintendo)

Upgrade Hardware Power-Wise

     If I were the CEO of Nintendo before the Wii U released, rather than releasing the Wii U with the specs it currently has, I would choose very powerful hardware to be under the hood of the Wii U while retaining the new innovation brought by the Wii U and more classic controllers. The hardware I'd choose would be either just as powerful as the PS4's specs or maybe even better, with the more PC-like architecture being present in the Wii U. On top of all of that, I'd also slap a reasonable price tag onto it. I'm aware that, if I did do that, it would already be very costly, but, in the long term, this is more beneficial than it is detrimental. Sure, the company would probably end up losing a lot of money in the beginning, like how Nintendo currently is with the Wii U's hardware and price, but, as time goes on, the cost for manufacturing this hardware will decrease because of the influx of newer hardware. Because of how powerful the Wii U would be, third-party developers would be very attracted to it, kind of like how many currently are with the PS4. This allows third-party developers to make the game run just as well or even better than the competition, leaving the Wii U being a viable option. For the Nintendo 3DS, although it isn't as powerful as the PlayStation Vita, it seems like it is pretty fine to me. I mean, the Nintendo 3DS is able to handle large-scale games with ease in glasses-free 3D, which I believe is pretty powerful. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Fire Emblem: Awakening are very large-scale games that we've already seen run on the Nintendo 3DS with ease, so I don't think that the Nintendo 3DS really needs much more powerful hardware at the moment.

(Image Courtesy of Great Wall of China)

Deliver High-Quality First-Party Titles

     First-party titles, games developed/published by Nintendo, are what truly define a Nintendo console, with high-quality titles that are exclusive to consoles by Nintendo. With the large number of intellectual properties (IPs) Nintendo has, the very talented staff Nintendo has, and the fact that Nintendo can create a completely brand-new IP, Nintendo can easily pump out some high-quality first-party titles that will be must haves. If I was the CEO, the first thing I would do is to get the staff at Retro Studios and Nintendo EAD to start developing some games from franchises we haven't seen in so long, such as Star Fox and F-Zero. Many people around the world, including me, have been clamoring for new titles from those franchises, so, obviously, this would be one of my first moves. I'd also keep production of Mario games going along with some new Zelda games. Plus, I'd have some of Nintendo's developers work on a new Metroid game and Donkey Kong game at some point. I'd release the Donkey Kong game on the Nintendo 3DS along with two Metroid games that release in conjunction: one 3D Metroid game for the Wii U (kind of like Metroid Prime) and one 2.5D Metroid exploration game for the 3DS, which would be similar to Super Metroid. To add to this, Intelligent Systems can be working on a new Fire Emblem game for the Wii U along with a brand-new IP altogether. Games like these would most certainly make gamers around the world happy and would make Nintendo's net profits skyrocket. 

(Image Courtesy of FanPop)

Attract Third-Party Developers and Establish Excellent Relationships

     Over the last 6 year, because of how powerful the Nintendo Wii was and its core focus on motion-based gaming, the biggest blow Nintendo has had is attracting third-party developers to their consoles to develop for them. At the moment, this doesn't seem like a problem at all with the Nintendo 3DS because of the large amount of third-party developers swarming over it, but the Nintendo Wii U is stuck in a huge rut when it comes to third-parties. In order to repair this issue, I would, firstly, make the Nintendo Wii U have more powerful hardware (more details above). Powerful hardware typically attracts more developers these days, so this would be my first move towards attracting third-party developers. Next, I would do exactly what Nintendo has been doing recently: give away free development kits. This may be costly in the beginning, but it would most certainly make developers want to pick one up and at least try to develop some high quality Wii U games. Afterwards, I would actually go with some experts from Nintendo and negotiate business about developing Wii U and 3DS games to third-party developers such as Electronic Arts, Capcom, Ubisoft, Konami, and SEGA. Electronic Arts currently despises Nintendo after the rejected Origin integration offer, but I would at least try to flip things, even if gamers haven't been very fond of them lately and they mostly have been developing sports games. Lastly, I would make an attempt to work with third-party developers in developing either cross games between two franchises or a brand-new IP. Nintendo has been trying to achieve this, as shown with Atlus and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, but I would try and work with more third-party developers to much greater volumes. For example, if I negotiated with Capcom about an upcoming Wii U game that we could both work on together, I would definitely try and help Capcom develop a Mega Man game exclusively to the Nintendo Wii U, which brings me to my next point when working with third-party developers. When convincing them to develop projects for the Wii U and 3DS, I'd also try and get them to develop Wii U and 3DS exclusives, which can easily make hardware sales skyrocket with high-quality exclusives. Nintendo have started trying this, but I believe that they need to work with third-parties to create more Wii U and 3DS exclusives.

(Image Courtesy of Yacht Club Games' Kickstarter Page)

Attract Independent Developers to Develop for the Wii U and 3DS

     Independent developers, lately, are becoming very crucial to a video game console/handheld's success and are being embraced by Nintendo and Sony (not so much Microsoft). Since Nintendo has already been doing an excellent job attracting independent developers, I don't really think they'll need to do much more to attract them on the Wii U. The Wii U has become a beehive for independent developers, as they are coming to the Wii U in swarms. Nintendo's only been making things better with their recently introduced "Web Framework" for independent developers to develop games for the Nintendo Wii U. The Nintendo 3DS, on the other hand, could really use much more support by independent developers, though. The Nintendo 3DS hasn't received nearly as much support from Nintendo when it comes to giving independent developers options for developing for the Nintendo 3DS. The first thing I would do to entice independent developers is to bring over the options available from the "Nintendo Web Framework" over to the Nintendo 3DS. This may not be possible due to some hardware restrictions, but, to me, it seems like this is possible. If it isn't, though, I would hand out free 3DS development kits to just independent developers so they can take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS. I would then provide seminars where independent developers may come and learn how to produce games using the 3DS development kits. In addition to all of this, I would do what Nintendo is currently doing and allow them to earn a bigger profit by developing for the Nintendo 3DS than the competition allows. Plus, I would most certainly be very friendly to independent developers, as well as third-party developers, and always give them help and advice whenever they need it. If Nintendo did take these measures, they would, undoubtedly, end up alluring independent developers into developing for the Nintendo 3DS, just like how many are with the Nintendo Wii U.

(Image Courtesy of JustPushStart)

Allow more Engines to Support the Nintendo Wii U

     This would tie more into establishing third-party relationships and improving console hardware, but I would make sure to get more video game engines, such as Unreal Engine 4 and Frostbite 3, to support the Nintendo Wii U and to allow developers to create games with these engines that run flawlessly on the Nintendo Wii U. Some developers, like Electronic Arts, are claiming that engines, such as Frostbite 3, won't support the Nintendo Wii U, but I would make sure that Nintendo themselves test this and see if it really would run fine on the Wii U or if they weren't lying about it. If you add some evidence up, it seems like developers are lying about video game engines supporting the Wii U, especially when Electronic Arts claims that the Frostbite 3 engine supports the XBOX 360 and the PlayStation 3 but not the Wii U when considering that the Wii U is more powerful than the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3. I would make sure to get the Wii U be supported by multiple of the latest and high-tech video game engines, which would help third-parties make creating video games/porting video games for/to the Wii U much easier than before.

(Image Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Unify Nintendo eShop Accounts and Include more Options in the Nintendo eShop

     While rather new, the Nintendo eShop has become a very robust and lively service for the Nintendo 3DS, with great additions such as Pushmo, Dillon's Rolling Western, HarmoKnight, and more. On the Nintendo Wii U, the Nintendo eShop has just started finding its footing and is slowly building up momentum, especially with the help of independent developers. For the Nintendo 3DS, I would keep Nintendo developing Nintendo eShop games at the pace they currently are being developed and keep encouraging developers to develop games for the Nintendo eShop. As a new addition, I'd allow 3D videos to be available for purchase, sort of like how Nintendo offered 3D Halloween videos by DreamWorks on sale on the Nintendo eShop in October 2011. I wouldn't just let anybody make and release videos for it, though. I'd create relationships with companies, such as DreamWorks, for them to create videos that people can download onto their Nintendo 3DS. I may also experiment with making a music app for the Nintendo 3DS, which would allow people who are interested in buying video game music to be able to purchase video game music. I can try and implement these ideas into the Nintendo Wii U, too. For the Nintendo Wii U, though, the first thing that I'd need to focus on is getting Nintendo to develop games for the Nintendo eShop and release them rather soon for people to purchase. At the moment, there is a distinct lack of Nintendo-made games on the Nintendo eShop and that needs to change. As for brand-new options, I'd unify the 3DS and Wii U eShops in order to provide a much better experience. By unifying them, I can allow people to create one Nintendo eShop account where all of their data, such as credit card information and video game downloads, can be saved. This can be useful in many different ways. For example, if you lost your Nintendo 3DS that contains many retail games downloaded digitally, if you purchase a new one, you can link it to your Nintendo eShop account and download all of the retail games you bought digitally. You may also unlink the lost 3DS from your account in order to stop anybody from stealing games from your account if they find it. The new features and games I would add to the Nintendo eShop would definitely help Nintendo expand themselves digitally and give more options to many around the globe.

(Image Courtesy of Gamenesia)

Strengthen the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console

     When the virtual console was first announced for the Nintendo Wii years ago, it was a great idea that many around the world were, and still are, very fond of. The virtual console service just recently launched on the Wii U with mixed reception and has been released on the 3DS for quite some time. While there are already some great titles released on the virtual console for both devices, the Wii U and 3DS virtual console could really use more improvement. For the Wii U, I'm aware that it just recently started and needs more time before becoming amazing, but there are many games that Nintendo should add to the library that haven't been mentioned or look like will arrive. The first and foremost thing Nintendo needs to do is re-release some GameCube games on the virtual console. People around the world have been demanding for GameCube games to release on the virtual console, so this would be the first step into meeting demands for the Wii U virtual console. Nintendo needs to re-release games like Luigi's Mansion, Pikmin 1 & 2, Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime, Star Fox Assault and Adventures, F-Zero GX, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and more if they want it to be successful. Plus, highly acclaimed N64 games are required to make the virtual console a hit. We already know that N64 and GBA games are on their way, but we don't know what games are coming and when. To make the Wii U virtual console even better, Nintendo should partner up with SEGA and release games from SEGA consoles onto the virtual console; I would definitely try and get SEGA to agree to releasing games from the SEGA Dreamcast, SEGA Genesis, SEGA Saturn, and more onto the Wii U virtual console. For the Nintendo 3DS, it could really use some GBA games although they are coming to the Wii U. I'd start by releasing highly acclaimed GBA games like Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga on the 3DS virtual console. I'd also try and get more GameGear games onto the 3DS virtual console. It was a great idea for Nintendo to partner with SEGA and release GameGear games onto the 3DS virtual console, but there are only 3 GameGear games on the virtual console and there really needs to be more. More Gameboy and Gameboy Color games are required to make it successful, so I'd certainly release more games from those handhelds onto the 3DS virtual console. The Wii U and 3DS virtual console has great potential towards being remarkable, but Nintendo does really need to embrace it more, especially with GameCube and Gameboy Advance games.

(Image Courtesy of Nintendo Wikia)

Add New Services/Applications while making others Available Internationally

     Since the Wii U and 3DS's launches, Nintendo has been partnering up with a variety of companies, including Netflix and Google, to deliver new services for the Wii U and 3DS while creating noteworthy applications. Although Nintendo is actively expanding upon the applications/services they provide, Nintendo will really need to come up with some more applications/services to their console and handheld. First, I would like to focus on the Nintendo 3DS. If I were the CEO of Nintendo, the first new application I'd bring to the 3DS is one that we saw in the Nintendo DS: Pictochat. Many gamers, along with me, were sad to see Nintendo let go of Pictochat with the Nintendo 3DS and really wish for its return. I'd bring back Pictochat for the Nintendo 3DS but enhance it to have a better interface, online capabilities, attachment capabilities, and more. Sure, Nintendo has already created Swapnote for the Nintendo 3DS, which is a very nice application, but Pictochat is an application that can add something completely different to the table: the ability to chat with your friends online in a chatroom. Nintendo could also use a YouTube application for the Nintendo 3DS, which allows you to watch YouTube videos, even videos that can be seen in 3D, on your Nintendo 3DS. If the Wii U has it, why can't the 3DS? Hulu Plus also needs to release on the Nintendo 3DS sometime soon, as that hasn't been released yet. Nintendo promised it to arrive soon back in 2011, so why hasn't it arrived yet? If I were the CEO, I would make sure that it makes its way to the 3DS soon. I'd also like to make Nintendo Video available internationally. For people who live in countries that don't support Nintendo Video, such as Brazil, it must be heartbreaking to not be able to watch the great videos made available on Nintendo Video, so why don't we make it available internationally for everyone to see?

     For the Nintendo Wii U, it already has some pretty good services available, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video, but it's lacking in applications very badly. The first thing I would do with the Wii U is to transfer Swapnote and Nintendo Video over to the Wii U to remain alongside the 3DS versions. Swapnote can be optimized for the Nintendo Wii U to allow for message sending to friends, and it can even be cross-compatible with the 3DS version and allow for note sending from a Wii U to a 3DS or a 3DS to a Wii U. Nintendo Video should also invade the Wii U's eShop and be available for download. You can use Nintendo Video on the Wii U for the same thing that the 3DS version has: allowing you to see certain videos for a limited time. It would also be in HD and available internationally.

     Along with all of these services and applications I would bring to the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U, I would actively listen to feedback by people and fans alike to see what Nintendo should create for these devices. If you compile all of these ideas, the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS would include a very robust library of applications/services and can please gamers across the globe.

(Image Courtesy of TheMogBlog)

Improve Club Nintendo: Add Better Rewards & Adjust Coins you can Receive

     If you're a Nintendo fan that frequently buys Nintendo products and third-party titles on Nintendo consoles, such as video games and consoles made by Nintendo, Club Nintendo might just be something you've already signed up for and are taking advantage of. Club Nintendo, if you aren't already aware, is a website you can sign up on where you can receive coins by filling out surveys for Nintendo-related products that you bought and receive cool rewards in return. While I enjoy Club Nintendo and love what it offers, Club Nintendo could really use more features and some better rewards. If I was the CEO of Nintendo, the first thing I would do with Club Nintendo is bring some European-only rewards over to North America. When you compare what North America has to what Europe has, North America doesn't have rewards that are as good. For example, Europeans are able to get Mario Kart 7 and Nintendo eShop Prepaid Cards while us at North America get greeting cards, notebooks, and pen cases. Sure, North America has some pretty sweet rewards, such as the giant Mii AR card, Animal Crossing Cards, Super Mario T-Shirt, Hanafuda Cards, and Game & Watch Ball, but it doesn't have as many or as good as the rewards that Europe has. For Club Nintendo, I would pretty much have every country/continent's Club Nintendo feature the same rewards, with maybe a few exclusives in each. For example, North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia would all have the same rewards on Club Nintendo, but each one of these Club Nintendos would host one or two different exclusives.

     I would also adjust the prices of games offered for coins to make it fairer. For example, rather than charging 150 coins for a game like Punch Out!! on the 3DS, I'd charge 50 - 100 coins. Plus, the amount of coins you receive for games/consoles should be adjusted. I would change it so that you'd earn 170 coins for registering a 3DS, 200 coins for registering a 3DS XL, 300 coins for registering a basic set Wii U, and 350 coins for registering a deluxe set Wii U. It may be a bit generous but why not? Virtual console games would give you 5 coins for registering them and another 10 for the post-play survey, DSiWare would give you 10 coins for registering and another 10 for the post-play survey, 3DSWare would get 15 coins for registering and 10 for the post-play survey, and WiiUWare would get 20 coins for registering and 10 for the post-play survey.  In addition, I would take user feedback and implement it into Club Nintendo to see what people want Nintendo to add by sending a user feedback survey to Club Nintendo members, let's say, every 6 months.

(Image Courtesy of Google)

Allow Let's Players on YouTube to Earn Money from Let's Plays on Nintendo Games

     This decision by Nintendo is more of a recent and odd decision, but Nintendo has recently announced that they will earn all revenues from let's plays on games by Nintendo. If I were the CEO, I'd return the right of let's players to earn revenue off of games featuring Nintendo games, as it would be beneficial to Nintendo. I, along with many others, agree that Nintendo should've never done this and that they should fix this immediately. First of all, I'm aware that these are videos on Nintendo games and Nintendo has every right to do this because these are their games, but it seems more like they are "double-dipping" for revenues. Nintendo already received money from their games when their customers, the let's players, purchased them, so why are they "double-dipping" and attempting to earn more money off of their games from let's plays? If they allow let's players to continue to earn money off of let's plays, Nintendo will be able to earn more free advertising because of these let's plays. This free advertising may boost their revenues due to people who purchase Nintendo games after watching let's plays about them. Because of this new enforcement, it is currently unknown what will happen to let's plays, but it is most likely they will slowly diminish along with Nintendo's free advertising. On the let's players' side, some let's players even make a living off of let's playing Nintendo games, so, since Nintendo is enforcing this, they can potentially ruin many people's lives. As you can see, this is a major detriment to Nintendo's future and will give Sony and Microsoft the upper hand on free advertising and let's plays if they don't enact this on their games. I would most certainly put an end to this enforcement and issue an apology to let's players and Nintendo fans alike if I were the CEO of Nintendo.

     If I were the CEO of Nintendo, these would be some changes I'd bring to the Japanese company in some form or another. While some of these changes that I'd make would be much harder to actually accomplish than it would to actually type up the idea, such as establishing third-party relationships or improving the Wii U's hardware, I'd, at least, attempt at these and try to change things for the better. Nintendo is already taking many strides in the right direction, but Nintendo still is neglecting to do many things that will benefit their future, which is why I would attempt to change things for the better if I actually could become the CEO of Nintendo.

Image of Satoru Iwata Courtesy of TopNews

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