A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with Greg Wiggleton of ZeNfA Productions...
NL: When did you have the idea for this Nindies Love You sale?
GW: I truly had the idea for this group event sale around a year ago when the 1st and 2nd "epic indie sale" events were happening. I was curious if it was possible to host my own type of sale with other indies I'm in contact with and if Nintendo would advertise it on the eShop at all. It was around August 2015 that I finally started to get active in recruiting other Nintendo indies and contacting Nintendo directly about setting up one of these sales.
NL: What was the first step in making it happen?
GW: The very 1st step I took was taking charge of this idea and contacting Nintendo (already with a few select indies interested) back around August 2015. I was curious on how these group sales came into being. Nintendo would go on to tell me that these group indie sales were 100% created from indies and that Nintendo just helped set it up with the indies being in charge of it. From there I tried to gather a bunch of different indie Wii U games that would go well with this sale and show Nintendo that we were interested in doing our own sale. From here, I would go on to be Nintendo's main contact for our group and talk to Nintendo on what is required, type of banners needed, and deadlines for different parts were. Every few weeks I would send updates to all involved as well as keep Nintendo involved with our developments to help keep them informed that we were serious about doing this sale.
The original goal was to have this 2 week sale period occur sometime around Christmas of 2015. A few of us involved early on thought this might be a good idea. After all, the Christmas period can be very nice for sales. However, a problem with this plan was that this period is usually very crowded. Nintendo themselves even warned us that a sale like this in December was a bad idea and recommended January or February for doing this sale. By October we finally decided to officially make it a February sale. Since this would take place around Valentine's, we decided on that as a theme and came up with the "Nindies Love You" title for it.
Krysta: Really excited this week. Guess why?
Kit: It’s “peach week” in your Fruit of the Week club?
Krysta: How did you know? I’m excited about that but I’m really excited about Fire Emblem Fates!! We started Fire Emblem FEbruary last week on Nintendo Minute and we’re doing a month of videos dedicated to this amazing game. So, since it’s occupying our hearts and minds, why not talk about it today too!
Kit: That IS more exciting than peaches! We’re both pretty deep into it, so we wanted to share with everyone this week a few of the things that we are absolutely loving about it so far. Deploy the list!!!
Krysta: NUMBER 1: The two versions of the game, Birthright and Conquest, are really different and each have unique qualities!
A portion of an interview from 2011, featuring Mega Man manga artist Hitoshi Ariga and Akira Kitamura, the creator of Mega Man...
Kitamura: I joined Capcom as a graphic designer, but very quickly I became seduced by the lure of game design, so I requested a transfer to the planning team. I found out, however, that I still had a lot to learn about games and hardware. After a period of study and working on various projects, the Mega Man development began. But as I thought about game design then, I started to wonder if designers had really thought deeply about enemy placement and behavior.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this before, Ariga, but in an action game or platformer, there’s often that one part in a stage where you always die, right? And quite often in those parts, it’s the way the enemies act that’s totally unfair and absurd, don’t you think?
Ariga: Ah… yeah! That’s true.
Kitamura: In fact, no matter what game, it’s those difficulty spikes that become the bottlenecks for players, and leave them with the impression that the game was too hard. And yet, at the same time, it’s a fact that those tough parts also comprise some of the core gameplay in any game.
Well, in order to sort it all out for myself, I decided to play a bunch of different games and study just those difficult sections, replaying them over and over. In the Rockman Tanjou Densetsu comic, where you mentioned my character being locked away playing games all day, I guessed that you were referring to that experience.
Also, two of my personal goals for Mega Man were to create a game where all the stages could be cleared in an hour, and to make something that players would want to come back to again and again. To that end, I actually calculated the total number of stages by measuring Mega Man’s walking speed and seeing how long it would take to get through each stage. I then split that up so that the first half of the game would be the robot master stages, and the second would be the Wily stages.
Coming from a Polygon interview with former Activision dev, Daniel Dilallo...
"I knew that the prototype belonged to Activision, but I had developed the animation-based filming in college. Then, when I joined Activision, I used those ideas in the innovations lab. When I left Activision I was still developing those techniques and expanding on them.
I was working with the mentality that I was going to re-pitch it to Activision as soon as I polished the prototype up and really had a full-fledged design. Not just one little feature. Really show them how it would work with the first-person perspective and the animation-based filming. I spent about a year really polishing it up for Activision.
I had this whole pitch behind this technique and why it lends itself well to crowds specifically, for concerts and for Guitar Hero. That's why I feel like a lot of it was sparked by my initial prototypes. They used the idea and the design behind the idea, the techniques behind the idea."
A portion of a TWP interview with Hajime Satomi, President and CEO of the Sega Sammy Holdings Inc....
TWP: On the innovation angle, what kind of next-generation concepts are Sega Sammy working on?
HS: Sega Sammy Group is currently planning with Sony Pictures to create a live-action and animation hybrid “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie scheduled for release in 2018. Like with this CG animation production, we would like to expand our business into other entertainment areas beyond what we are currently involved.
Coming from Tatsumi Kimishima...
First, I will address Nintendo 3DS software sales in this fiscal year. As I acknowledged in the presentation, the titles we have released this fiscal year have not had quite the same potential as titles such as Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS that we released last fiscal year. To expand this business in the next fiscal year, reaching young consumers and women and expanding our sales of our evergreen titles will be key.
As I said before, we have sold over 54 million units of Nintendo 3DS hardware, but it would have been possible to sell more software if all 54 million systems were in frequent use. I believe there are two approaches we can take to improve this. The first is to release software that makes people want to play, and the other is to create an environment where people around you are playing. These approaches will spur people who have not played games recently to jump into our games again, and help our software drive hardware sales. For the next fiscal year, it will be important to release titles that are different from the ones we have released this fiscal year, so we will make efforts to provide a strong lineup.
The question asked about issues that we have had. One of our endeavors this fiscal year has been to release multiple titles for young consumers and women. There was some variance in the response to these endeavors across different countries. For example, each of the European markets has different characteristics, but we were able to achieve a great response with our promotions and advertisements aimed at women in France and Spain. Going forward, we will also focus on promoting sales in regions where we did not meet expectations for this period so that Nintendo 3DS will be well-received there, too.
Coming from Tatsumi Kimishima...
As you said, when I became president, I stated that my role was to continue to proceed on the course that I helped to set with President Iwata and the rest of the management at that time. The ideas of our young employees are also key to our ability to transition to the next generation and to continue to produce exciting ideas. It is important to structure our organization so that these young people can take active roles. We have worked to establish such an organization; one that will allow our employees to reach their full potential in many different areas. It may be difficult to see from outside of the company, but we have made major changes to our organization. For example, our game developers have not had much of a public presence in the past, but we would like to create more and more opportunities for you to get to know them in the future.
Coming from Tatsumi Kimishima...
The policy I have discussed (in the "Message from the President" on the Nintendo website as well as in the Corporate Management Policy Briefing in October 2015) is our mission to increase the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP. For example, due to changes in our industry, the proportion of young consumers who are first experiencing games on our systems has been falling. We want to have everyone become familiar with our IP by reaching as many people as possible from an early age within their daily lives. Our long-term strategy is to spark our consumers' interest in playing Nintendo game systems and encouraging continued growth of our games business.
I can provide a couple of examples from outside of Japan. In America, many children are using electric toothbrushes featuring Mario characters to brush their teeth every day. We have also worked with a shoe company to launch shoes that feature the designs of Nintendo game systems. As you know, we are also working on a theme park featuring Nintendo IP. Our policy and the focus of our current activities is to create more chances for our consumers to experience the charm of Nintendo IP, not just on our dedicated video game systems, but outside of game software as well.
Coming from Tatsumi Kimishima...
The previous and current fiscal years have been a period of preparation to launch a number of new endeavors, such as NX development, development for smart devices and business using our character IP, in addition to driving our Wii U and Nintendo 3DS businesses. At the same time, it has been our priority to take a close look at areas of our existing business where the revenue and expenses had become unbalanced, and to make sure that we corrected this balance. As I have said before, we will be launching many of our new business activities as we move from this fiscal year into the next.
When you start any new business, it is important to make the public aware of what you will be doing. In the next fiscal year, we will have to make preparations and investments to achieve these goals, and that comes with certain costs.
The question was to pick one area with which we will be able to achieve Nintendo-like profits, but I would like to suggest two areas. One area is our NX business, and another is our business for smart devices. I believe that keeping these two endeavors on track will be key to achieving Nintendo-like profits. I don't have any further details to share about the next fiscal year at this time, but we will explain about our plan and when we will aim to achieve Nintendo-like profits at a future date.