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While reading about another angle on the history of Nintendo on 1UP earlier today, I can’t help but realize another reason why Nintendo dominates the gaming market: The fact that they have honed the craft of marketing memories.
When the rehashed IPs started coming out for the Wii, you would think I would have been overjoyed to be meeting up with my old friends in new places. But, as a “hardcore” gamer and huge fangirl, I was angry. I was angry because the cycle of Nintendo’s nostalgia knew no bounds. After playing new franchises on my DS, I was sure that the ingenuity for the Nintendo handheld would carry over to its newest console. A few titles have found its way over (as discussed in earlier articles), but it’s nothing to be impressed by.
But when I read through the article and comments of “The Life and Times of Nintendo”, it all made sense: In addition to its corporate philosophy towards both gameplay and consumers, Nintendo not only markets the contemporary titles of yesteryear because they’re a surefire hit, but it also because of the collective memories consumers embrace for those games.
When playing a game, gamers are very used to the feelings of euphoria and excitement when they enter into a creative gaming experience. When playing an inventive version of an older IP, Nintendo not only knows how to wow its past and present audience with its innovation, but also plays to the memories that the characters had acted out years before.
I know when I played games like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I was not only impressed by the new levels of gameplay, characters and abilities of both titles, but I also re-encountered the warm fuzzies I felt when I first played the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World and Melee with my friends.
When I bought my Wii, my intent was to enjoy ground-breaking game mechanics with friends while reliving old gaming memories and making new ones. I’m sure Nintendo knew this too, which is why their gaming catalog is clogged with Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc., thus, “marketing memories.” As angry as I was about this before, I now understand why I willingly pay for a repeat cast, why I can play the same game on different Nintendo systems, and why the franchises have outlived the test of time.
Though I do appreciate that Nintendo has been able to cater to all my gaming and the memories of it, please remember, Nintendo, that we would all would like to make new memories on new IPs, too.