Nintendo has reclaimed their throne

In 2012, Nintendo, videogame industry royalty, fell from its throne upon release of the Wii U home console. Selling only 13.56 million units over its lifetime, the console, an attempted upgrade of the highly successful Nintendo Wii, fell short of all expectations. In one fell swoop the 128-year-old company’s reputation was scarred. The name Nintendo lost its status of being synonymous with “quality” and “fun”. Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo’s main rivals, took advantage of their failure and dominated the gaming business for over four years. Long-time videogamers and even loyal Nintendo fans began to lose hope, as Nintendo showed no sign of correcting its mistake.

In April of 2016, Nintendo announced its intentions to develop a new console, then dubbed the Nintendo NX. Gamers were skeptical at first, but as time went on, Nintendo released more information, and many restored their faith in the videogaming giant. On March 3rd, 2017, the Nintendo Switch was released alongside its launch title video game, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Receiving almost impossibly high critic and consumer ratings, (10/10 IGN, 97% Metacritic, 5/5 Gamereview, 10/10 Gamespot), the game took its place as the second highest rated video game ever created (the highest rated being Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, released in 1998). Sales soared, and Nintendo reclaimed their throne.

A mere few months later, on October 27th, the same day as the release of Assassins’ Creed: Origins (Ubisoft), and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Bethesda), Nintendo released the next installment of the most successful video game franchise ever: Super Mario. The new game, entitled Super Mario Odyssey, received scores nearly identical to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and quickly overpowered other games on the market.

Before I delve into the relevance of this information, I would first like to address the stigma associated with the name Nintendo. Ever since the release of the Wii U, and even before then, the name Nintendo was often associated with games meant for children, particularly by videogamers that only play games in the first-person-shooter genre. However, when considering the statistics, this is false. According to recent [Nintendo] polls, 63% of Nintendo consumers are aged 16 or older. Nintendo’s mission, rather than simply attracting the younger age-group, which is a common misconception, is to attract all age groups. Regarding its success with its mission, Nintendo currently owns EIGHT of the top ten best-selling video games in history, including the number one best-selling, Tetris.

What does this information mean for you, the average reader? First, if you’re not a videogamer, Nintendo’s return will likely have little impact on your life, unless you’re either closely associated with a videogamer, or have stocks in Nintendo. Second, if you are a videogamer, but not a fan of Nintendo, then now is the time to take interest. Although I’ve always been a fan of Super Mario, I never cared to try the Legend of Zelda. Upon my purchase of the Switch, I bought the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and out of the hundred or so games that I own, it became my favorite. I cannot guarantee the same outcome for everyone, I only insist that giving Nintendo a chance is well worth your time. Third, if you are a videogamer, and adamantly refuse to even consider playing a Nintendo game, then this is still good news for you. Nintendo’s immense success and reclamation of their throne forces their competitors, Microsoft and Sony, as well as other videogame producers, such as Naughty Dog and Activision, to produce higher quality games. While this will not stop flops like No Man’s Sky, it could prevent The Elder Scrolls VI or the next Assassins’ Creed from being as bug-heavy as The Elder Scrolls V and Assassins’ Creed: Origins (for funny results in AC: O, carry a dead NPC to water and toss them in). Fourth, if you are a videogamer and are a fan of Nintendo, then sit back and enjoy their return.

Will Bethesda ever stop re-releasing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Will Electronic Arts finally realize that customer service is important? Will the next Halo feature a return of the highly-desired split-screen function? Who knows, but it’s never been better to be a videogamer.