Recently, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Scott Moffitt, gave an interview in which he stated that Nintendo listens to their fans. What exactly does it mean when he says that they listen to their fans? Well, it doesn’t mean being snarky and dismissive when the company legitimately says that they listen to their fans. It obviously doesn’t mean that the company is fishing for direction from fan, either. So what exactly does it mean?
Why does it automatically cause some people to immediately refute their claims without reasoning, first? When the first part of the Scott Moffitt interview with Examiner, the amount of “fans” who scoffed at the thought was baffling, yet predictable in the current climate of “fandom”. I’m sure you have seen them too. Making videos, and writing articles, and the like.
What was severely missed in all of their musings, was, of course, the fact that Scott Moffitt’s statement was not a stand-alone statement, and listening to fans does not mean they are taking their every cue from fans.
“We don’t use them as our sole inspiration but we certainly like to hear what they are saying, enjoying and appreciating about a game, in addition to what they would like in future iterations of that game. We take a broad look and always pay attention to what is going on beyond our walls with trends, but it starts with listening really carefully to our gamers,” said Moffitt.
I think somehow there are many people who believe the most vocal people represent the majority of the people. That may be true in some cases, but more often than not, it isn’t the case. What people don’t realize is, as you may have many people making videos or writing articles about certain things they feel the company should do to accommodate their desires, there are many others who don’t make videos or write articles, who have expressed opposing viewpoints directly to Nintendo. Now, I’m not saying that is the case every time, but perspective should be taken into account.
I think one of the drawbacks to Nintendo being such an open company, when it comes to communication with fans, is it gives some fans a false sense of entitlement. Yes, we are the consumers and thus we ultimately vote with our wallets, but we also don’t have “the right” to dictate terms of surrender to Nintendo. That “my way or the highway” attitude is counterproductive, to say the least. And when fans pit themselves against each other with the “you’re either with me or against me” attitude it is simply ridiculous. How many times have Sony, Microsoft or even PC fans gotten into an uproar over the choices that are made on that end? Not many…maybe a handful, at most! Then, of course, they may be greeted by the “Deal with it!” response.
The bottom line is, as listening to fans is the question, the simple answer is, of course Nintendo does. What ultimately needs to be recognized though, is the company also has a chief aim to reach. The company wants to bring to market, unique and exciting experiences that cannot come from crowd-sourced directives from the fans. And I am absolutely fine with that. The fans didn’t expect Splatoon, but we got it. I think in the last 30+ years, Nintendo has earned some benefit of the doubt. Their desire to continue to be the artists who bring their vision to reality should go undeterred, as they have obviously learned to do it well.
There is no denying, there is a great amount of things that Nintendo does, that most people find peculiar, but to understand Nintendo is to understand, that is par for the course. Nintendo intends to do things that are outside that box that others WANT to be in, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s the company’s saving grace. They listen and take into account what people have to say. Just know that dissenting views don’t always mean they will change course.
“We like to be different, unique and tend to march to the beat of our own drum,” said Moffitt.
As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!