…It’s really quite a shame. It seems that Nintendo of America is hellbent on squandering whatever goodwill and respect the company as a whole received from the news that they would publish Bayonetta 2. I’ve said many times that I adore Nintendo as a software developer but abhor much of what they do as a company, and this advertisement after the jump just seems to be the icing on the cake.
It’s no secret that Nintendo has been trying for years upon years to seize the casual audience. For some time, they’ve also succeeded in doing so, as well. The Wii was the best-selling console of the previous generation, and the Nintendo DS is the reigning champion of hand-held consoles, with over 150 million sales.
As a result of this newfound focus on “casual” players, many gamers felt forsaken by Nintendo after the Wii. By all means and purposes, the Wii U was supposed to be an answer, an apology letter, featuring a return to complex controllers, a plethora of “hardcore” third-party titles out of the gate, and as was revealed not too long ago, Bayonetta 2. Recently, I had actually found some satisfaction in being a Nintendo fan.
But then… this.
“I am not a gamer.”
Every bit of progress, every hint of reconciliation, all of it thrown out the window. Nintendo of America doesn’t want to be associated with “gamers.” What exactly is Nintendo trying to say with this horribly misguided campaign? At best, the message can be interpreted as, “You don’t need to be an intense enthusiast to enjoy Mario,” but at worst, it comes out as, “Nintendo games and the 3DS are for normal people like you and me, not those troglodytic basement-dwellers.”
I just… I’m just disappointed. It seems that Nintendo of America is so desperate to retain its casual fanbase that it has gone beyond negligence of the fans that have built it up and gone straight to indirect insults. Maybe, maybe, this ad would have fit in during the launch of the Wii, but it’s ridiculous now. Is it really still a social stigma to play video games? In between the Wii and mobile gaming, the market has opened exponentially in recent years to new targets. Video games aren’t just for children and “hardcore gamers” anymore. They haven’t been for quite some time.
Please, Nintendo of America. Don’t try to attract sales through alienation. Your new target audience already has one foot in the door- wouldn’t it be better to invite them in?