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Author Topic: The Struggles of Marketing GameCube  (Read 5831 times)

Super-Jesse

  • Unstoppable News Machine
« on: August 17, 2013, 05:18:35 AM »
Thought y'all would like to see this interview that was posted recently with Kyle Mercury, who was a part of the major U.S. Concepts/Nintendo marketing strategies from 2001-2007. He talks a lot of why the GameCube failed, and what why Smash Bros. is still seen as a dangerous brand for Nintendo.

My favorite quote:

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“No one I talked to at Nintendo could understand why the company was struggling, why the whole brand was in danger of collapsing much like Sega before them. “But we’re Nintendo.” I can’t even recall how many times I heard that as a catch-all excuse.” says Mercury.  ” No one, not a single soul, could believe that Nintendo was capable of being unseated as Number 1, even while it was happening right in front of them.”

Read the full interview here!

Edit: Fixed the link
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 08:36:05 AM by BP »
<Kojinka> When I saw this thread back on top, I was afraid this was gonna be another pointless bump by a new member, but when I saw Super-Jesse's username, my fears were laid to rest.

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 09:37:23 AM »
Is it any wonder they couldn't shake the kiddy stigma? The controller and console itself look more "toy"-like than "device"-like as the competitors were, the big Mario title of the time was called "Sunshine" (still waiting on Super Mario Rainbows and Super Mario Lollipops), Zelda was a cartoon so soon after Majora's Mask turned darkness into an art form, Mario Kart got much brighter and the cars much sillier-looking, the other Mario spin-offs just ruled everything, the new first-party franchises were about a tiny elf-like alien on a planet of colorful plant men, and little kids who live in towns populated by adorable talking animals... it's not a short list

Not to say all or any of these were bad games, just that it's pretty straightforward where that reputation came from. Kind of miraculous that embracing all of that even more with the Wii was what turned them back around, but actually having plenty of Mario games is probably not hurting them either. After a couple of disappointments in the past I've tried to personally not get too hyped about games anymore but I can't help but get excited and hopeful about the Wii U's games to come, although this is the first time I actually just really love a console for the console itself... so I hope the dang thing starts selling more. And gets a Dark Souls II port.

On Smash Bros.: I don't think that's true. If it were they wouldn't be making a new one. And Mario wouldn't be wearing this expression of unbridled rage in it and Brawl. What's with that?
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 12:27:29 PM »
Fascinating article. It's hard to imagine that "social media" wasn't even a term during the GCN era. The use of print ads and TV commercials seems so... 90s.

That Heineken ad was pathetic.
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Suffix

  • Steamed
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 12:37:38 PM »
Now that you mention it, that argument against streaming Smash Brothers really doesn't add up, huh.

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 01:08:14 PM »
It does sound like something Nintendo would say especially regarding characters from the tamest of the tame games like Villager and Yogapants but guess which of those two is new to SSB4? Both of them.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

Super-Jesse

  • Unstoppable News Machine
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 06:32:28 PM »
Is it any wonder they couldn't shake the kiddy stigma? The controller and console itself look more "toy"-like than "device"-like as the competitors were, the big Mario title of the time was called "Sunshine" (still waiting on Super Mario Rainbows and Super Mario Lollipops), Zelda was a cartoon so soon after Majora's Mask turned darkness into an art form, Mario Kart got much brighter and the cars much sillier-looking, the other Mario spin-offs just ruled everything, the new first-party franchises were about a tiny elf-like alien on a planet of colorful plant men, and little kids who live in towns populated by adorable talking animals... it's not a short list

Yep, you just basically quoted my Nintendo documentary. It was really weird that they were trying to market to 18-35 a purple looking square. I don't know why they didn't just instead embrace the "kid" image. Parents would've probably come out in droves if they had advertise it similar to the way they do the 3DS.

Reggie's no nonsense attitude was awesome, and his reaction to Geist was perfect.
<Kojinka> When I saw this thread back on top, I was afraid this was gonna be another pointless bump by a new member, but when I saw Super-Jesse's username, my fears were laid to rest.

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 07:43:24 PM »
I also think that was a sort of period where nobody was really getting what they wanted from Nintendo. Japan didn't like Metroid Prime, Fusion's linearity wasn't taken well. Pokémon generations 3 and 4 are almost unanimously regarded as the series' lower points, many players declaring they stopped after or before Ruby and Sapphire. It took a long time for The Wind Waker to get its due respect. And, of course, this was Mario's rut of spin-offs. Sunshine was the closest we had to a new Super Mario Bros until... well, New Super Mario Bros. for the ten years following Mario 64. A REMAKE of SM64 came out before a second proper sequel did. Holy crap. Granted, the early aughts brought us what in my humble opinion were and remain the three best Mario RPGs all in a row (PM1, M&L:SS, PM2) and I do love both Luigi's Mansions, but I haven't been disappointed with a Super Mario [rest of title here] or felt like grumbling "Another Party and another Golf game?" in a good long time. That is how I like it.

Nintendo's weakness may still simply be their lack of third-party support. They're right about one thing, they have loyal fans who will buy a Nintendo console because, naturally, it has a lot of exclusives. But adult gamers who want to play a little bit of everything also need to take their pick from 360, PS3 or PC just to play all those games that are on every system except Wii/Wii U. I know I wouldn't bother if I didn't have to... but I don't really mind it this way, either, and competition is good.

I'll not hesitate to take the Wii U version of any game I'm ever interested in (barring simply awful ports), though, because I just love making Miiverse screenshot & drawing posts that much.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

Super-Jesse

  • Unstoppable News Machine
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 08:25:45 PM »
Wii U will hit its stride. Everyone was calling for doom when the 3DS first came out and now it's owning. I think this time next year it'll be a different story.

Nintendo became the complimentary console. This "I am confused between Wii and Wii U" garbage is just an excuse or reason to complain (Wii has no gaems syndrome).
<Kojinka> When I saw this thread back on top, I was afraid this was gonna be another pointless bump by a new member, but when I saw Super-Jesse's username, my fears were laid to rest.

« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 08:08:04 PM »
Interesting read. Some odd statements from the interviewed (" No one, not a single soul, could believe that Nintendo was capable of being unseated as Number 1, even while it was happening right in front of them.” You mean unlike the N64?). Feels like a typical NES article in that it lacks the extra work and rigueur needed to be a great piece rather than a merely interesting one, someone on NeoGaf made a great post explaining the problems with it;

Quote
Emily clearly has a passion for this stuff and her heart is in the right place. It's very interesting to read an interview with someone who worked for NOA, which in and of itself is a very rare thing.

That being said, the guy's narrative has him in a room full of obvious idiots, the lone voice standing up for what is clearly true--and then he follows it up with a second stroke of genius. Especially with the lurid detail on Reggie's expressions. It's the kind of blustery story that someone tells. I have no doubt that this guy had a role to play in Nintendo, and quite possibly that he made those suggestions to Reggie. And certainly the allegations of myopia and blindness register true based on the external evidence we have. But the story reads like one guy's boasting.

Like when the junior staffer of the political campaign quits and writes a book about how close he was and all the meetings he was in on and all the great ideas he has and then the candidate and the actual inner circle say "Who? Oh yeah, that guy. He seemed okay, I guess?". I'm not saying that these events did not occur... it's possible they occurred exactly how he said them... but typically when presenting one person's personal narrative, especially one that self-elevates, it's important to be critical and skeptical of it. Maybe there were multiple meetings. Maybe the marketing idiots weren't quite so uniform as they expected. Maybe multiple people had suggestions.

That's also why journalists typically don't run single-source interviews as history or descriptive pieces. If you keep it in interview format, you're saying "that is what he said". If you make it the basis for your story--which this clearly is, given that it has a history piece preceding it--you're endorsing it. Obviously it is labeled as an interview, so there is that, but still I think distance is a good thing. Typically a journalist gets a second source to confirm, corroborate, extend, or refute the first source in order to construct a more holistic picture. I'm sure any of the journalists on GAF would be happy to tell what industry best practices are for handling single-source information like this.

And basically everything post-his departure is just "asking a guy what he thinks". Which is common for interviews, but not super productive. There are a lot more people who want to play inside baseball than those who are actually on the inside ;)

I do love the quote section, though.

Suffix

  • Steamed
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 08:13:44 PM »
The internet needs more perceptive commenters like this guy.

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 09:07:27 PM »
And now I've just learned this thing existed.

I don't even know what to say about it.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

The Chef

  • Simon Cowell
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 09:49:37 PM »
I remember seeing pictures of that in magazines.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 10:28:03 PM »
I remember hoping it'd get released here.



Up until a few years ago, I had only ever seen the one stock photo of it, and I didn't realize just how stupid shiny it is. I mean, that's just a straight-up mirror.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 10:31:39 PM »
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 10:59:15 PM »
Imagine the fingerprints.
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