Nintendo: A core brand in video gaming that played a key role in its migration to the home entertain format. No one will ever forget their contributions as that is now part of history. Having said that, they are now a dead in the water company flailing in the water as the Wii U continues to flop in its first half-year of release. Even the once prominent handheld market is having a bit of a hiccup for them, and that is cause for concern. Yes, they are making a slight profit, but that is due to shrewd business practices and not a continued wave of support.
Naturally, the heads of the company are searching for any way possible to make up for lost revenue and the sort as a way of padding the balance sheet by time the next quarterly statement comes around. We see this a lot in the corporate world (particularly when a company’s leadership wants to maximize earnings before resigning–why else do you think the CEO of EA released SimCity before it was ready?) thus introducing a bit of a problem. The tactic is typically short-term in spirit which is exemplified in the Kyoto-based group’s most recent move.
I am talking about how Nintendo is laying copyright claim to all of their content on YouTube now. That is not to take it down from the site as that mostly constitutes free advertisement, but now using some of the site’s tools, the business is pocketing all the revenue which previously went to the websites and various individuals that made a living off promoting some of this content.
The problem with that is blatantly obvious. What this niche group of people do (some with subscribers in the six figures) is essentially offer whiffs of games from Nintendo and other company’s in exchange for the promise of ad revenue. Without that, they lose complete motivation to talk about these products. In other words, they can say goodbye to a large percentage of their free advertisements to their core audience of throwback gamers.
It is a basic question of whether or not advertising and marketing is worth the million or so in revenue Nintendo was forfeiting each year. Clearly, this is a terrible move on their part considering such ad income is not worth it when factoring in lost virtual console sales and the like from decreased awareness. They might be overestimating the desire for people to share and iconize Mario for free, and that is tragic. It is almost as short sighted as their ploy to forgo E3 in favor of Best Buy demos for new games six months out from release. Maybe they did not get the memo that the blue shirt retailer skews much older nowadays, but then again a comparison of Nintendo being behind the times is hardly new.