Posts tagged #marketing

amiibo Tapped Out?

An amiibo Collector's Impressions of amiiboTAP: Nintendo's Greatest Bits

by Ryan Thompson

Good news! You're coming off the shelf tonight!

Good news! You're coming off the shelf tonight!

My wife and I (and our kids?) have lots of amiibo. Yep, we’re in deep enough to know that the plural form is amiibo, not amiibos. We were excited to have a reason to pull them off the display shelf. But, that reason is not compelling enough to add much needed value beyond display, and they do look awesome hanging out on our china cabinet.

AmiiboTAP is free, for what it’s worth. We didn’t find it worth the space on the hard drive. Scanning an amiibo scores you twenty-seven minutes, in most cases, of time with a Nintendo or Super Nintendo game. These minutes are split up into three-minute scenes. Some games have nine, others four to seven scenes.

Sonic knows this isn't worth the time.

Sonic knows this isn't worth the time.

Our amiibo collection is vast enough to have unlocked all the glorified demos available in AmiiboTAP, and to start seeing repeats of titles….

There are a few games we haven’t played before. My wife initially thought that “scene” meant we would be watching a video playthrough. She was only slightly more impressed when we actually played through a bit of Wario’s Woods. The playtime was enough to know why we missed that game back in the day.

Here are the games unlocked by our amiibo. This certainly appears to be random.

In a year, we’ll revisit the demos of amiiboTAP. When our daughter is old enough to experience some of the classics, TAP might make more sense. I’m sure kids will enjoy tapping their amiibo on the gamepad, registering owners, nicknaming them and watching the game present animations – over and over…. Allowing kids to play through bitesize chunks of the classics is a great way to expose them to older games and mechanics, without forcing them to endure outdated gameplay for too long.  For those of us familiar with much of Nintendo’s back catalogue, TAP is a reminder of the games we loved and justification for the few games we’ve missed. But hey, all our amiibo now have registered owners and nicknames!

Posted on May 2, 2015 and filed under Reviews.

1UP with a look at the success of the Wii

Jeremy Parish, writing for 1UP:

Nintendo's gamble paid off: The Wii sold strong through that first year. Then, despite constant predictions that the Wii bubble would burst or the Wii fad would end, it kept right on selling. It's only been within the past year or so that the console's momentum has finally fizzled out -- and even then, its downward trend matches that of its competitors' faltering sales as the current console cycle runs out of steam.

A look at the system's best-selling games tell the full story: It's played host to more than 100 million-selling titles, a feat matched only by PlayStation 2... and its nine most successful games have exceeded 10 million units apiece. Its top five titles are among the 10 best-selling games ever. Thanks to being a pack-in title outside Japan, Wii Sports is the single most successful console game in history. Any way you slice up the data, it tells the story of a staggeringly popular machine.

The full article is found here: Blue Ocean Thinking: How Nintendo's Wii Gamble Paid Off

Posted on November 13, 2012 .

Fascinating look at the marketing of Wii U

Scott Moffit, executive VP of sales and marketing, on the timing of advertising for the Wii U:

The timing is almost to the day the same as we used for Wii. We weren’t trying to copy that plan exactly, but it just happened that way. We put a media plan together. We wanted to build awareness quickly, so it’s multi-touchpoint. There will be messages coming at people from every direction. We thought that Wreck-It Ralph was a good place to have some cinema. That’s where our advertising premiered over the weekend.

It’s not like a hardcore game where you need to release your advertising five weeks ahead of a game launch. For us, it’s fine to be closer to the launch. I think that makes more sense. The other factor, candidly, is that with an election campaign this year, there was less media available prior to when we bought, and it was much more expensive.

The full interview at 

Posted on November 11, 2012 and filed under News.

The slow burn of Nintendo's Wii U Marketing

The Wii U launches in less than two weeks, and many have criticized Nintendo for not doing enough advertising. Among the main complaints are the fact that the first Wii U TV commercials didn't appear until last week, and that there is almost no awareness of what the Wii U is among the general population (most people initially assume it's a new Wii peripheral). Is the "hype engine" revving too low? I don't think so.

When the Wii U launches in North America on November 18th, all signs point to a complete sell out at this point. I think Nintendo is going slow on the advertising because, well, they can.

Pushing hard with a huge campaign right now would increase demand for a product which is already constrained. Now some would argue that they should hype up demand anyway, but I think Nintendo needs to be smart with their money right now, and slow and sustainable is better than blowing your budget too early.

What has Nintendo done so far?

  • September:
  • Initial New York press conference announcing Wii U
  • Pre-orders sell out quickly
  • October:
  • Two "Iwata Asks" detailing the console hardware and the Gamepad technology
  • UK commercial debuts
  • Discover Wii U Tour launches in Canada
  • November:
  • US commercial debuts on TV and in theaters ahead of Wreck it Ralph movie
  • Second US commercial debuts featuring New Super Mario Bros U
  • Wii U kiosks start appearing in stores
  • Burger King kids toys cross-promotion and TV ad
  • Nintendo Land TV ad debuts
  • Disney website cross-promotion

Doesn't seem so shabby when you put it all together, does it? While initially slow, the ad campaign seems to be building up steam since November. What it makes clear is that Nintendo's real target is not the launch, but the holiday season.

This all important sales season is still a month and a half away, by which time two things will have happened. First, the initial shipment will have sold out and people will have the system in their hands, and will be talking about the console, providing free advertising for Nintendo. These initial buyers will help Nintendo test its Miiverse network, and the TVii features. It will give Nintendo a chance to fine tune their network. Second, it gives Nintendo time to ramp up production to meet demand for the holidays. While the history with the Wii launch and short supply helped add to the demand, I think Nintendo is eager to avoid disappointing consumers with a Wii U shortage.

It appears that Nintendo is content to release info and advertising in dribs and drabs. While no doubt this is frustrating for fans who want to know everything (and want to know it right now!) it does have the beneficial effect of keeping attention on the Wii U for weeks on end. Nintendo is capitalizing on the all important news cycle to keep the Wii U if not exactly a hot topic, at least a warm one.

Posted on November 6, 2012 and filed under Article.

First Wii U commercial for US shows off multiple use cases for "How U will Play Next"

Released today on its facebook page for Wii U, Nintendo's new TV commercial for the US shows off various games, the TVii functionality, and highlights the fun elements of 5 player local multiplayer.

I also noticed they showed off Sing Party twice, showing how the singer sees the words on the Gamepad as they face the rest of their friends in the audience.

All in all it's a fast paced commercial and a lot of it goes by very quickly, so hopefully something in it will be able to catch people's attention, and not just be a huge blur.


Posted on November 1, 2012 and filed under News.

Physical and digital distribution still around: Ubisoft

Chris Early, of Ubisoft, speaking to Eurogamer:

"I just want you as a player to be able to get our content however you want to," he said. "I don't really want to penalise you for wanting to get it digitally, or penalise you for wanting to get it physically. Whatever your choice happens to be. Because I know retailers will get a certain type of customer that maybe can't pay online. So there's always going to be a reason there, right?

"And the discoverability process is one we're still struggling with on the digital market. You have a long tail where there are all kinds of products you can get to, if you can figure out which one you want. But the flip side is the problem with the retail level, which is, you can walk in and see all kinds of products for a brief period of time, because then shelf space has to change and turnover and the product I wanted from last month might not be there anymore.

"So each channel has its challenge. Our challenge as a publisher of content is, how do we make sure you as a player can get it wherever. We will see an on-going evolution of content available digitally. I don't think that will be to the exclusion of other ways of giving the content."

Just give me as many ways as possible to give you my money for Assassin's Creed III, ok?

I mean, look at this guy:

Posted on March 27, 2012 .

On Marketing to Kids (and Parents) in Free to Play MMO's

Karen Bryan:

In a talk at GDC a couple of years ago, Jesse Schell of Schell Games talked about ways to design family-friendly games, and one of his suggestions was to market the game in a way that gets the parents on board. He said things like newsletters and emails that notified parents about the good things that kids were doing in game was a good way to gain a parent's trust and convince them that their purchase was worth it. He also cited flexible subscription plans, and family plans in particular, as great ways of connecting parents, children, and even extended families in MMOs.

The free to play model is not without its problems for publishers either. Witness the demise of Wiglington and Wenks, which had to shut down because of lack of funds.

Posted on March 22, 2012 .