It’s time for Nintendo to take Apple seriously.
More specifically, Nintendo should take the App Store, and its incredible success, seriously.
Whether the company (this includes Sony) likes it or not, the $0.99 App has quickly become the rule, not the exception. Gamers know they can score a bargain via Apple’s platform, downloading cheap games that will last them several weeks, if not months, thanks to a variety of free updates.
That’s all I could think about after purchasing some games from the 3DS eShop, the recently released virtual store featuring classic Game Boy titles and DSiWare, with 3DSWare on the way. The result? Almost $40 spent on five games.
Think about that. Two Andrew Jacksons (including tax) produced five downloads, two of which debuted over 12 years ago, that being a $3.99 copy of Super Mario Land (Game Boy, 1989) and at $5.99, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX (Game Boy colour, 1998).
Another two, Mighty Milky Way and Shantae: Risky’s Revenge are among the best DSiWare games developer WayForward Technologies has to offer (I also picked up Dr. Mario Express), but there’s no way an App Store user should feel comfortable spending $7.99 and $11.99, respectively.
That, of course, is the tragedy (arguably relief) of being an iPhone/iPad owner. The concept of a $12.00 game is preposterous.
To be fair, the App Store has no shortage of $6.99 and $9.99 downloads, but iPhone/iPad owners appear to be more frugal when it comes to getting the most bang for their proverbial buck, and companies have sales all the time. Nintendo? Not so much.
I know. Games cost money. Games take time. Companies want a return on the investment, or at the very least, to break even. It makes sense, but that’s the thing about the constantly evolving industry. What made sense even three years ago doesn’t necessarily work today.
On the positive side, the publisher has a wonderful catalogue of games to fall back on, and it’s tough resisting Super Mario Land; a free copy of Excitebike doesn’t hurt either. Nostalgia will always have its place, but Nintendo would be wise to rethink its strategy moving forward, especially since the 3DS fell short of the company’s projected sales. Otherwise, the big N may go from innovator to casualty.
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