So it seems that Splatoon is “saving Nintendo”, at least according to Fortune. Nintendo released their Q1 financial report for fiscal year 2015 and the company has posted an operating and net profit. This is the first operating profit that the company has posted since 2012, and it’s a very welcome sign.
For all of the financial report details visit:
Consolidated Financial Highlights
For the issue at hand, though, it’s interesting that the narrative that Fortune led with was that Splatoon is “saving” Nintendo as if the company was in need of saving. Now, I am not blind or “damage controlling” anything here, just hear me out. Ever since Nintendo concluded the previous generation (DS in the handheld market and the Wii in the home console market) there has been a constant din signalling the fall of “the Great Nintendo”! The doom and gloom articles, the negative press spin, the cry for of failure, the inevitable demise and bowing out of our beloved “childhood gaming company” from the big boy field!
In a sense, Nintendo’s successes of the previous generation haunted them coming into the current generation, as many “analysts” saw the lack of continued momentum from the company’s most successful selling hardware devices (both handheld and home console) as a sign of some “end” to come. One thing I’ve noticed in this age of rapid information exchange, a lot of people feel it’s necessary to be first with everything. First to break the news, first to predict an outcome, heck, even first to comment on a forum thread. So, this desire to be first has caused many to play armchair psychic, and the thing about human nature is, when we say something, whether it’s due to ego or something else, we tend to want to make sure it is proven to be.
So, you have people who predict the fall of Nintendo, reinforce their statements pointing to distorted information and call it facts, then when the climate changes despite their efforts, they do a complete 180° turn-around. This current environment is a breeding ground for a certain narrative that has taken root in the gaming industry. The media falls victim to it, then they try to keep up with their prior statements, and pass those sentiments on to the people they influence. Case-in-point, the recent article by Fortune referenced earlier.
Here’s the thing, for the majority of the life of both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the systems have been selling at a profit. With over 57 million 3DS units sold, and over 10 million Wii U units sold, Nintendo hardware is doing fairly well (mainly the 3DS). When you add that to the nearly 15 million amiibo that have sold since their initial release, the continual million-seller games for both gaming devices, and future planned titles, you get a company that is not in need of “saving”, but one that is doing well with even more room for growth.
I think it’s important to be better stewards of our language. Things we say can absolutely have huge impact, so continual negative language can truly cause irreparable damage. Not just in the video game industry, but on the whole there can be lasting consequences. But sticking to the gaming industry; many people don’t realize people should really understand tolerance in all of their interactions. By creating a narrative that alienates a large group of people, animosity and resentment can form. And on the whole, how senseless is it to have a prevailing amount of bad feelings among the people in a community comprised of people who are supposed to be having fun, playing games. I am not saying that competition doesn’t set boundaries and force opponents, but it also doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) linger beyond its own bounds. Favorite companies have fans, some die-hard, and others casual. That’s not a bad thing, but accosting fans of a different gaming company just because they are not a clone of yourself is short-sighted and downright detrimental to the thing you claim to love. My point is, Gamers, don’t let these outrageous and sensationalist narratives cause you to become the biggest problem in this industry; an industry that is, for many people, an escape from problems in the first place.
Just remember, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!