Reggie Fils-Aime: Fan input and petitions don’t affect Nintendo’s decisions

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Of all the videogame companies in the world, I would make a vehement argument for Nintendo’s fans being the most ferociously loyal, but also the most outspoken when it comes to the publisher’s future directions.

Nintendo stewards a collection of the most beloved characters and franchises in the world across all mediums of entertainment so when the company looks to be straying too far from what fans want, we all hear about it.

The reverse is also true, though: When Nintendo succeeds, the fans let everybody know it.

Reggie Fils-Aime

According to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, however, despite such a staunch following the company doesn’t really take its fans’ input, needs and wants into consideration when making decisions over future directions and projects. In a recent interview with Siliconera, and when asked “how much do what fans want or say influence your decisions,” Fils-Aime responded:

“I have to tell you — it doesn’t affect what we do. We certainly look at it, and we’re certainly aware of it, but it doesn’t necessarily affect what we do.”

Strangely enough, Fils-Aime provided an example of when Nintendo did not listen to its fans, citing the decision to localise Xenoblade for North America, saying:

“I wanted to bring Xenoblade here. The deal was, how much of a localization effort is it? How many units are we going to sell, are we going to make money? We were literally having this debate while Operation Rainfall was happening, and we were aware that there was interest for the game, but we had to make sure that it was a strong financial proposition.”

To hammer the point home that Nintendo is a business that needs to make the right decisions in order to be successful, Fils-Aime said:

“I’m paid to make sure that we’re driving the business forward—so we’re aware of what’s happening, but in the end we’ve got to do what’s best for the company. The thing we know [about petitions] is that 100 000 signatures doesn’t mean 100 000 sales.”

Is Fils-Aime contradicting previous supposedly fan-driven decisions, like the development of a new Kid Icarus game and the release of EarthBound on the Wii U eShop? Or were these games planned for release despite what the fans wanted?

Do you think a company like Nintendo is right to ignore the wants of its fans to do what it thinks is best for success, or is giving what the fans want key to its success in the future?

Source: Siliconera

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