The reason most 3rd party games sell poorly on Nintendo systems

#1iKhan88Posted 3/10/2014 6:41:10 PM(edited)
I'll start by telling you what it's not
-It's not that Nintendo 1st party games are so good that no one is interested in 3rd party games. Sonic and the Secret Rings wouldn't have sold over 2 million units if that were the case
-It's not because Nintendo's entire fan base isn't interested in non-Nintendo games
-It's not that there is some anti-Nintendo agenda among 3rd parties.
-It's not that most of Nintendo's fan base is kids.

Here is the issue. While Nintendo fan base isn't mostly kids, those who exclusively own Nintendo system ARE mostly kids. This is because Nintendo has worked hard to become known for having family friendly offerings, so often the first games kids play are with Nintendo characters. However, adults generally have more open and mature minds, with interest in 3rd party franchises in addition to Nintendo franchises. As a result, they often have more than one system, because 3rd party games aren't on the Nintendo system.


Now let's say an M-rated 3rd party multiplat comes to a Nintendo system. The kids certainly won't be buying it, and the adults will buy it on the platform on which it is superior. That tends to not be the Nintendo system, not because the Nintendo system is worse, but because an easy port to a Nintendo system with weaker internal hardware will necessarily be worse. In order for the Wii or Wii U game to be worth buying (to some people) over another system's version, the 3rd party has to invest additional resources into making the Nintendo version different. They probably aren't going to spend that extra money when it's just going to take away from sales on other systems.

This feeds back into the cycle of not having 3rd party games on Nintendo systems because they won't sell well, causing adults to purchase two consoles.

But where did the cycle start? With the N64, the N64's 3rd party support was rather poor. But 3rd party support stayed away because of the cartridge format, not because of inferior multiplats. The GC did notably have improved 3rd party support and improved 3rd party sales, but it was still lackluster due to the mini-disc format and a much larger kids audience (because adult consumers tend to be ridiculously shallow, but that's a discussion for another time). Even though neither of these systems had weaker power, the fact that most of the exclusive audience were kids hurt the sales of mature 3rd party games.

That said, when the Wii came along with weaker power, the cycle exacerbated adding the inferior multiplat problem. Which is where we are today. Games like Sonic and Rayman still sell great, but the likes of CoD and Metal Gear don't

How can Nintendo get out of this rut? Whenever they start a new system from here on out, 3rd party support will be lackluster because previous experiences indicated Nintendo platforms don't sell 3rd party games well.
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"That does not excuse the things we have done. It is merely a motive, not a justification" --Kratos Aurion
#2SSJ4CHRISPosted 3/10/2014 6:50:32 PM
If people actually bought 3rd party games, then they couldn't blame them for Wii U failing. To fanboys, Nintendo didn't make a console people didn't respond to, or that they market terribly. They say devs made games that were "gimped" just because it was on a Nintendo console.

They assume that devs magically forsaw the Wii U failing so drastically after the huge gains of the Wii, and decided long ago to made subpar ports for it. It sounds ignorant and foolish to normal people, but fanboys are far from normal people.
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#3iKhan88(Topic Creator)Posted 3/10/2014 7:09:53 PM(edited)
SSJ4CHRIS posted...
If people actually bought 3rd party games, then they couldn't blame them for Wii U failing. To fanboys, Nintendo didn't make a console people didn't respond to, or that they market terribly. They say devs made games that were "gimped" just because it was on a Nintendo console.

They assume that devs magically forsaw the Wii U failing so drastically after the huge gains of the Wii, and decided long ago to made subpar ports for it. It sounds ignorant and foolish to normal people, but fanboys are far from normal people.


Nova made a good point on another topic.

The fact that it is a Nintendo Console DOES matter, because 3rd party games have typically sold poorly for the reasons I explained in the first post. So 3rd parties are more cautious going in.
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"That does not excuse the things we have done. It is merely a motive, not a justification" --Kratos Aurion
#4MonicasBackPosted 3/10/2014 7:08:58 PM
I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but honestly you are right.

When I was a teenager and had a gamecube, xbox, and PS2 I would never get a 3rd party title on the GC because it was kiddy...I mean it had a handle on it!

That has just kinda carried on into my adult hood. I still love Nintendo but I'll never buy a multiplat on it. I'll get my wii u used when its 150 bucks and only get the good exclusives.
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Monicaaa
#5iKhan88(Topic Creator)Posted 3/10/2014 7:11:25 PM
MonicasBack posted...
I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but honestly you are right.

When I was a teenager and had a gamecube, xbox, and PS2 I would never get a 3rd party title on the GC because it was kiddy...I mean it had a handle on it!

That has just kinda carried on into my adult hood. I still love Nintendo but I'll never buy a multiplat on it. I'll get my wii u used when its 150 bucks and only get the good exclusives.


Well my point isn't that it's kiddy. My point is that 3rd party multiplats are better on the other systems, so adults aren't exclusive Nintendo owners
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"That does not excuse the things we have done. It is merely a motive, not a justification" --Kratos Aurion
#6MonicasBackPosted 3/10/2014 7:14:06 PM
Adults buy multiplats on other systems because of the stigma. Even if all multiplats were equal I doubt Nintendo would be doing any better in 3rd party sales.
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Monicaaa
#7comicman117Posted 3/10/2014 7:17:16 PM
That would explain why Wrestling Games were successful on the N64.
#8retrogoodsPosted 3/10/2014 7:21:30 PM
comicman117 posted...
That would explain why Wrestling Games were successful on the N64.


One company does not excuse the lack of 3rd party games, even if their games were successful.
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#9comicman117Posted 3/10/2014 7:23:32 PM
retrogoods posted...
comicman117 posted...
That would explain why Wrestling Games were successful on the N64.


One company does not excuse the lack of 3rd party games, even if their games were successful.


No, but that was during the mid to late nineties when wrestling was really popular among kids (especially where I lived).

Also those weren't the only third party titles that sold well on the N64 (I could go through a list, but I won't).
#10The_shoemakerPosted 3/10/2014 7:26:05 PM
Yeah I'd say that's the reason. I'd also say a lot of Nintendo fans are interested in different types of games and appealing to that side of the gamers is a better idea. Games like Rayman Legends, Sonic Lost World (and Boom), and LEGO City Undercover are a little more Nintendo is spirit so Nintendo fans are more interested in them. At least more than they are for Watchdogs and whatnot.

It also has to do with exclusivity, more people would buy 3rd party games if they were exclusive, but that sort of leaks into what you were saying; why buy a lesser port of a game?

I have a PS3, but I don't play it anymore. We get Assasians Creed and Watchdogs, and I'd rather play those on my Wii U than PS3, but even so I don't want those games because I know they weren't made for the Wii U or the Wii U fan base specifically.
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