Nintendo (NCL) wants to avoid devaluing indie games, sees them the same as AAA, wants both on Switch

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by ggx2ac, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. ggx2ac

    ggx2ac Member Original Poster

    Interview 1/2: (2 pages)

    Interview 2/2: (3 pages)

    This is an interview with two Nintendo (Nintendo Corporate Limited) employees in Japan.

    I give my thanks to Fukuzatsu for translating and verifying the articles. Please give thanks to him because these were pretty long.

    Interview 1/2

    To summarise, Mr. Yusuke Soejima and Mr. Park Seong-sa including those in their department work with indie developers.

    On how titles are treated on the eShop.

    On bringing indie awareness on the eShop in Japan.

    Why they wouldn't want to risk using an indie label in Japan.

    Branding risks.

    The following is Google translated but it reads fine.

    On using Player's Voice to give exposure to games available on the eShop.

    That ends interview 1/2

    Interview 2/2

    There is only one part of the interview I wanted to show and here is the transcription.

    There was more info for Interview 2/2, such as Mr. Park recommending Stardew Valley for playing by yourself and Overcooked for playing with friends. Mr. Soejima for a long time wanted to play Enter the Gungeon, and he likes the SNES look of Owlboy. (I can't find the correct name of the puzzle game he likes)

    Note: I've only picked from parts of the interviews, not everything was translated.
  2. Muu

    Muu Member

  3. Toni Codrea

    Toni Codrea Member

  4. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud Member

    I think someone from Nintendo said this a while back. That’s why indie games fill the perceived “gaps” between big games. There’s no distinction for Nintendo and every week there seems to be a good game on the Switch.
  5. Vareon

    Vareon Member

    Interesting, thanks for sharing. NCL seems to avoid labeling games as indies while NoA/NoE likes their Nindies label. Is this a Japanese thing? Does the label "indie" felt the same as doujin games there?
  6. Rogue Agent

    Rogue Agent Member

    Thanks for translating and verifying these articles, Fukuzatsu

    Indie games having more exposure can only be a good thing. They complement AAA releases quite well too.
  7. #7
    Who cares anymore. Look at some of the most popular games on all consoles and pcs. Rocket league, minecraft, are pubg all what I would consider indie games and look at their playerbases. If anything I think the term AAA should go away bigger sure as hell doesnt mean better anymore.
  8. ggx2ac

    ggx2ac Member Original Poster

    As pointed out on the interview, indies aren't that popular in Japan like in the west. They don't want to start using an indie label right away because consumers might generalise all of them as being crap.

    While on the other hand, games such as Minecraft, Overcooked, Stardew Valley, Human Fall Flat and more have sold well going by Japan eShop rankings on Switch so maybe they don't need to push an indie label as of yet.
  9. Stopdoor

    Stopdoor Member

    Interesting point about creating a kind of "indie" section - like Xbox 360's explicit indie game section really didn't have a great reputation and made the whole selection of games easy to ignore.

    One thing that helps with this is Nintendo being really strict on curation right now, I wonder when they'll slack that a bit.
  10. Metal B

    Metal B Member

    Makes sense, since Nintendo doesn't get much of the big AAA games on the Switch, so having Indie titles just be seen as "games", helps the developers and Nintendo.
    The eShop still needs a better grouping layout and sorting function, so that people find older titles.
  11. Spine Crawler

    Spine Crawler Member

    Read as "Triple-A Title". There is no clear definition, but it refers to big hits and other popular games, as well as large-scale games with a large development budget.

    this says everything.
  12. #12
    I do not think they will ever just let anything through the gates. I am sure that the game selection will always be curated some way.
  13. Ehoavash

    Ehoavash Member

    I do tend to avoid the indie section lol

    Always be browisng best sellers x.x
  14. Bandage

    Bandage Member

    Indie games are becoming the new standard for games.
    Too many AAA games are boring these days.
  15. Stopdoor

    Stopdoor Member

    From accounts it seems especially strict right now though, so at some point that will probably loosen.
  16. HeyImNewHere

    HeyImNewHere Member

    This is a good thing. Indies have been racing to the bottom for a long time.

    Unfortunately I don't think that most people will purchase the more expensive Switch version if they can get the title for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

    I also don't see the majority of Indies as on par with AAA, there are certainly exceptions but for the majority no.
  17. famikon

    famikon Member

    it makes sense – some smaller Nintendo 1st party games are competing for the same audience. For example, it would be hard to sell games like Mario Golf or Tennis for $40 (or even $60) when you can buy a similar indie title for $15 or less.
  18. darkazcura

    darkazcura Member

    I'm probably wrong but I always felt like the definition of a AAA game changed with the PS360 generation. Growing up I always defined AAA as quality, and honestly I felt that's what most people did when I discussed games on forums back on IGN and the like. Never thought it was exclusively related to budget until the last 10-12 years.

    In that sense I like that Nintendo seems to be looking at it through a similarish scope.
  19. AndrewDean84

    AndrewDean84 Member

    Couldn't agree more, especially when for a while there, everything was open world and a collect-a-thon.
  20. Malakai

    Malakai Member

    The problem isn't that Nintendo isn't getting AAA games. The Switch isn't even getting the AA games that would most likely sale well on it.
  21. Thirty7ven

    Thirty7ven Member

    They can't afford to, they need indies to fill the gaps.
  22. Thatguy

    Thatguy Member

    Making games that are about as fun as Indies but charging $60 devalues Indies.

    Owl Boy
    Axiom Verge
    Stardew Valley
    Steamworld Dig series
    All $20 or $40 if physical

    Compared to

    All $60

    And those indie games are better games that if money wasn't even a factor I would rather play than the $60 Nintendo games. I want to play the Nintendo games too, but Indies are just too awesome and value is so good that the $60 sidescroller is just a bad value now. I think Nintendo should get a little premium for name recognition, but not $40.

    Kirby/Yoshi/DKTF should be $30 or $50 for physical. But since they're $60, I'm just buying a bunch of indie titles this spring. Way more fun for the money.
  23. jakoo

    jakoo Member

    Pretty forward thinking by Nintendo, and accurately reflects the mix of games that are propelling the success of their platform. I enjoy the simplicity of their eShop and how it just gives the list of game with prices, not really trying to segment them into any arbitrary boxes.

    There was that other thread discussing how Nintendo is having a weak Q1 in terms of big name titles, but I guess I just don't see it. Sure, Nintendo's output itself isn't a massive continuation of last year, but then you have a game like Celeste that comes out and accomplishes nearly everything it sets out to do perfectly. Budget =/= quality, and it's smart for Nintendo to treat each game release by it's own merits instead of treating games with indie roots as a "big indie release".
  24. Ashflow

    Ashflow Member

    “There was really nowhere where you would see the 3DS or WiiU supported... It was absolutely a situation where we weren't even seen as a practical option. It was here that we thought we'd like to have the Switch's logo up there with the other companies.”

    Corporate entities making me feel things, awww. You can practically feel the dejectedness here.
  25. HeRinger

    HeRinger Member

    The term "AAA" lost all it's meaning anyway.
  26. Mandos

    Mandos Member

    Yep this week we’re getting the awesome ace of seafood, which should scratch the edf itch. Not to mention the classic magical drop 3
  27. BloodshotX

    BloodshotX Member

    isn't that still the case for 95% of the games these days? To me it comes across that developers/publishers are scared to put out a good 15 to 20 hour game. Variety comes a long way, not everything NEEDS to be open world, and not every franchise works with an open world model.
  28. Gridlock

    Gridlock Member

  29. Raijinto

    Raijinto Member

    You can't run a business like this, valuing games based on something as subjective as 'fun'. I'm sure if you asked around people would not find Super Mario Odyssey or BotW remotely fun at all either so are they rip-offs too?
  30. jakoo

    jakoo Member

    Just looked at the trailer for Ace of Seafood and it looks dumb as hell in all of the best ways, lol
  31. #31
    Makes sense considering the line up is pretty empty so far this year. It needs to fill those gaps and indies are doing that. However charging full price when there's deals even pre release on other platforms is crazy. I don't get why they don't get more discounts.
  32. #32
    I’ve heard concern that a Virtual console system would harm the Indies so to speak in terms of cheap priced classic Nintendo games and the charts would be flooded with them. What are people’s thoughts on that?
  33. dragonflys545

    dragonflys545 Member

    I usually wait for flash sales. I would never buy indie games at full price.

    Switch indie sale price so far has been abysmal compare to the competitors.
  34. Oregano

    Oregano Member

    NOA/NOE use the term Nindies but it's worth pointing out that the people dealing with indies(Damon Baker for instance) are the same people who deal with the big third parties.

    Tembo must have broke their hearts.
  35. Raijinto

    Raijinto Member

    There are deals pre-release on Nintendo Switch too...
  36. Harald23

    Harald23 Member

    In EU most of the best sellers are indie: Overcooked, Enter the Gungeon, Rocket League and Stardew Valley has been in the top 10 forever.

    In JP everytime i check their best sellers, Human Fall Flat is always there.
  37. Burdmayn

    Burdmayn Member

    This is awesome and an approach I want to see more of! Celeste is one of my favorite games this year, and I value it more than some AAA titles. There's no reason that a game's budget or development status should change the perceived quality/placing.
  38. #38
    Not as often as it should I don't see it. The deals section is not even that big in the eshop
  39. Zelas

    Zelas Member

    These guys should have a talk with NoA and help them get their act together.
  40. Notaskwid

    Notaskwid Member

    I hope Kyoto mandates all branches to delete the word "nindies"
  41. phanphare

    phanphare Member


    this approach seems to be working as well, seeing the success of so many indie games on the Switch

    games are games, nuff said
  42. jakoo

    jakoo Member

    I kind of wish that Nintendo should be more open to using the $40 dollar pricing model more for some of their less ambitious titles. All of the examples you gave are ones that I'd have trouble justify spending a full $60 on based on their scope--they will be fun games for sure, but nowhere near the likes of Mario and Zelda. I remember they did this last gen with Captain Toad (which I think was 30?) and I totally felt like I got my moneys worth.

    That being said, Nintendo has no incentive to lower prices on these titles as they are all massive franchises that are going to sell well based on who's on the cover. Even though the indie titles mentioned may have superior gameplay, they can't get away with charging 60 out of the gate, since they have no brand recognition outside of enthusiasts.
  43. ShinUltramanJ

    ShinUltramanJ Member

    I view indies the same way I would any other game. They compete equally for my money, and outnumber games from the big publishers by a wide margin.
  44. #44
    Why? It's a great brand and a great communication word.
  45. Ashflow

    Ashflow Member

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    You won’t believe where GameFreak put its...
  46. Luchashaq

    Luchashaq Member

    I guess this is why switch digital sales are so awful.
  47. Notaskwid

    Notaskwid Member

    Indies are indies because they are made independently of a big publisher, calling them 'nintendo indies' is an oxymoron. Also, it sounds like a baby diaper's brand.
  48. BubbleButt64

    BubbleButt64 Member


    I know Nintendo have caught some flak in the past from many notable indie devs (including Lorne Lanning) so it's nice to see them get their shit together.
  49. Meelow

    Meelow Member

    Smart. Like some people say, "the small indies companies of today are the EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Capcom, etc of tomorrow."
  50. Thatguy

    Thatguy Member

    Then why did Sony charge $40 for Ratchet & Clank, Everybodys Golf, and Tearaway on PS4 from day 1?