by Brian Crecente To be perfectly clear: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata didn’t apologize. “It was not an apology,” said Nintendo of American president Reggie Fils-Aime. “It was not a statement about the content we’re showing, essentially it was an ‘I hear you’ message.” The not-apology, the message, was a tweet sent out by Iwata seemingly in reaction to a tidal […]
by Brian Crecente
To be perfectly clear: Nintendo president Satoru Iwata didn’t apologize.
“It was not an apology,” said Nintendo of American president Reggie Fils-Aime. “It was not a statement about the content we’re showing, essentially it was an ‘I hear you’ message.”
The not-apology, the message, was a tweet sent out by Iwata seemingly in reaction to a tidal wave of negative online reaction to the company’s E3 Nintendo Direct this week.
One translation, by NeoGaf user Cheesemeister has Iwata saying this:
“Thank you for watching. We take opinions of this year’s Digital Event seriously and will work to better meet your expectations.”
But Fils-Aime says that translation isn’t exactly right and misses some of the context.
“Mr. Iwata is in Japan and what he’s trying to do is help explain to consumers in Japan what’s going on at E3,” he said. “The correct translation of his message was: ‘Thank you for your feedback. We hear you and we are committed to continuing to meet your expectations,’ was essentially his message.
Apology or not, it was certainly spurred by the reaction to the games and news Nintendo pushed out at E3.
Many fans reacted with vitriol, either disappointed with what wasn’t said, or with what was. Nearly 12,000 fans signed a petition on Change.Org to try and convince Nintendo not to continue developing one of the newly announced games: Metroid Prime: Federation Force.
But Fils-Aime seems unfazed by the reaction.
“One of the things I find interesting is that if you look at E3 historically for Nintendo, typically what happens is a press briefing happens or our digital event happens,” Fils-Aime said, “and then over the course of the next couple of days people see the games get to play the games and the appreciation and understanding of what we’re doing increases over those three days and continues to build into the holidays.”
Take for example Splatoon, he said.
Splatoon, a new sort of shooter unveiled at last year’s E3 based on an entirely new IP, didn’t receive an entirely positive reaction at the show. At least not initially.
“Splatoon is a game that people are loving right now, but if you rewind to E3 last year, Splatoon was being viewed as, ‘Yes, it’s innovative and it’s different, but the controls are a little hard and I don’t understand the mechanic of turning into a squid and going through the ink.’ There were all of these complaints. But now you look at the finished product and the satisfaction is huge.”
The key to Nintendo’s success, Fils-Aime said, isn’t just to make good games, but to help people understand why they’re good.
“For us, our goal is to make sure we announce the content, help people understand the content, but most importantly get hands on with the games,” he said.
That’s why Nintendo has programs like the one that delivers demo versions of unreleased games at Best Buys around the country or allows people to download early version’s of games on their Wii U to try for themselves.
“I haven’t heard the feedback (for this year’s Best Buy demonstrations), but I think the feedback is going to be quite positive because what we do is make great games and they show well and they really lead to consumer excitement.”