Coming from a TIME interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...
T: The games we played at the press event feel very core gamer focused.
R: Yeah, and I read some of the same feedback from the video we launched in October. And it’s absolutely true, the actors we had were all young adults. And people suddenly read into it that Nintendo is abandoning the family market with Nintendo Switch.
Furthest from the truth, so again, we believe that our systems need to be mass market systems, from 5 to 95. A broad footprint. But each game is going to appeal to a certain part of that demographic. And it’ll fill out the base. That strategy continues. This is a system for everybody. This is a system that will appeal to a wide group. It’s going to get filled in over time as the different games come in.
T: Nintendo has pointed to 80 third party Switch games in development. Given similar messaging around the Wii U, how do you reassure a nervous public that you’re covered this time?
R: I think in all candor, as executives, we can only say so much, and then the consumer believes or doesn’t believe. However, if the question is Nintendo first party development, I can say that our pipeline is quite robust, in what we are working on and that we will deliver next year and early into the year after that. We have that visibility in our pipeline.
From a third party perspective, I don’t want to oversimplify things, but third party developers look for a handful of things. First, they look for a straightforward development environment in order to create their games. And that was one of the challenges with Wii U. Now with Nintendo Switch, we have Unity as a platform. We’ve got the Unreal Engine as a platform. These are known development environments for content creators to build content.
The second thing they look for is a consumer demographic that’s going to meet their needs for the content they’re creating. And so again, you’ve got Zelda for the core. You’ve got 1-2 Switch for the family audience. You’ve got Arms. You’ve got Splatoon. You’ve got Mario Kart 8. You’ve got Super Mario Odyssey. That looks like a pretty wide and diverse audience to build content for.
And third, they look for a large install base. That’s what we’re trying to create.
And then lastly, they look for a full range of ways to monetize their investment. And that’s where having a robust online environment comes in. And again we are pushing the envelope, we’re doing things differently, and we’re working hard to make sure that environment exists. So as an executive for the company, I believe we’re doing everything we need to, to create that environment for third parties. So far they’re reacting extremely positively. Bethesda hasn’t been on a Nintendo platform. A fully featured FIFA, that has not been on a Nintendo console in some time.
T: Thinking about online gamer profiles and achievements and legacy content purchased online, will Switch include a meta layer that follows players around and lets them keep those purchases?
R: First, there is much more that we will be sharing about our subscription service—the mechanics, the types of content that you’ll get access to, free, on a monthly basis, the price point for the overall service. All of that information will come.
Second point, as you know, we are very aware of what the consumer has articulated to date as to what they want. We are very aware of what our competitors do. The way Nintendo thinks about it, is we want to make the consumer happy, and we want to give them some of the elements that they have been asking for. And we want to give them things that they haven’t even thought of to ask. But, we also believe in differentiated experiences. We believe in doing things differently.
And so our overall proposition will not look the same as our competitors. But what we will do, is we will recognize what consumers like about our competitors, we will look to do it in a way that has a Nintendo flair to it. And we will look to make sure that in the end, we’ve got this robust, online environment that not only works well for our games, like Splatoon and Mario Kart and Smash Bros., but that also works great for our third party developers.