Topic of the Week: A future without Mario?
The Wii U has had a disastrous start to its life. No doubt, Nintendo would have liked more lively sales from the Wii U. In my opinion, the main cause of the Wii U’s poor sales is the lack of original and compelling software. Many of the software on the Wii U are simply ports of games you can find on cheap consoles. Right now there are very few reasons to invest into the Wii U. Maybe the only games worthwhile on the console right now are ZombiU, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land.
Having a Mario game at launch is a blessing, I suspect Nintendo placed all its chips on New Super Mario Bros. U to sell the Wii U, well at least until the next round of games. Don’t get the wrong impression NSMBU sold well, but not enough to sustain health numbers for the Wii U.
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Whether it was Nintendo’s Intention, to have Mario as the lone star of the Wii U launch, or the delays of major games were an unavoidable inconvenience, Nintendo needs to re-evaluate their future strategy. If there is one thing, we can take from the Wii U launch, is that Mario cannot always save Nintendo when they are in trouble. In my opinion Nintendo has an over reliance on Mario – a potentially harmful habit.
This got me thinking. What if Mario, loses its relevance in the future and no longer the system seller? What happens to Nintendo when Mario is gone? Is Nintendo even prepared for a future without Mario?
We have been playing Mario games for over 25 years; we have been accustomed to think that Mario is invincible. But like all good things in life, everything has an end. God forbid, but Mario is going to die eventually (hopefully not anytime soon).
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So what is my take on this?
Well I believe Nintendo’s fate is tied with Mario. When Mario fails and falls, so does Nintendo. Mario is the heart and soul of Nintendo; he is the embodiment of Nintendo’s principles and believes. If Mario is struggling, then it is a good indication that the Big N is in trouble. Fortunately Mario is going anywhere soon.
But I think Nintendo should really start preparing for the future. They need to stop riding on the glory of their Legacy. Perhaps one way to move forward in an uncertain future is to experiment and make new IP’s. Mii gamers have been asking Nintendo for new IP’s. Nintendo have responded well with a couple on the 3DS e-shop games but none are on the same level as the older IP’s.
Nintendo has an incredible ability to make long lasting and relevant franchises. Their current Ip’s are proof of this. But Nintendo needs to make the necessary investments for the future.
So what is your take on this?
Do you think one day Mario will die?
What will happen to Nintendo, if Mario Falls?
What ways can Nintendo prepare for the future?