Nintendo Articles

Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.

Let’s Interview; Gaming’s Watchdog SidAlpha!

Over the last few years or so, we’ve seen a rise in questionable practices in the gaming industry. There’s the increase in microtransactions and real money spending, which often introduces a gambling element to the games it included in. There’s the situation on Steam and the app stores where quality has mostly fallen off a cliff and asset flips reign supreme.

Add people involved in making games either attacking their audience, suing critics or trying to take down videos about games featuring their music andyou’ve got a situation where consumer advocates are needed more than ever.

Which is where SidAlpha comes in. A YouTuber with a large following of 50,000 subscribers and growing, his channel basically exists to discuss both the admirable and sleazy tactics of game developers and industry folk alike, covering such topics as the recent Alex Mauer takedowns and the Shadow of War controversy with aplomb.

And we’ve gotten to speak to him for an exclusive interview! So, if you’re interested in his channel, video games on Steam or his opinion on games as a whole, keep reading!

Let’s start with the usual personal story first. Who are you as a person, outside of the world of video games?

Who I am is really no one special when it comes to “meatspace”. I’m a father of a 13-year-old girl, I work as a Project Lead for an IT Consulting Firm, and I live out in the boonies in the northwest. To be honest, I would probably be one of the more uninteresting people you might meet due to the work schedule I deal with. I typically work 12-14 hours per day plus being a single father on top of it. That doesn’t leave much time for excitement.

And how did you get started with them anyway? What was your first console generation?

My first console generation that I ever played on was actually the Atari 2600. Although even way back then I was still a PC Gamer at heart and I enjoyed playing games on our Commodore 64 much more. With games like Archon and Archon 2 being my favorites when my lifespan was still in the single-digits.

Archon 1

Archon 2

Were there any games then you thought were really amazing?

Well, I was between 4 and 9 years old, but probably the games I thought were the most “amazing” were Moon Patrol and Defender. I was also quite good at a game that was called “Asteroids”. Once, I ended up going on a tear and seemed like I just could not fail. My dad and his brothers were so excited watching me burn through the game that they kept me up so late so I could keep playing that I literally passed out mid-game. I used to find it hilarious to see 4 grown men shouting and cheering while watching a little kid destroy a video game and now I look on eSports and think there really wasn’t much difference.

Moon Patrol Screenshot

How about terrible ones that probably could have gotten a video about them had they been released on Steam?

All of them. You have to remember that games back then were actually exceptionally basic and were fairly terrible. Many people are nostalgic over them, but the vast majority of them would not hold water or even compare to today’s standards.

Either way, you’re most known for your YouTube channel and videos on Steam developers/games. How did you get started with that?

I’ve always been a person with strong opinions and I had actually planned on starting up a YouTube channel for a few years. After watching people like Angry Joe, Totalbiscuit, Nostalgia Critic, and a few others, I really resonated with the idea of consumer awareness and consumer protection. What with all of the excesses that we’ve seen within the Triple-A Games Industry, I really had a lot to say but usually I would just rant to my friends. They were the ones who told me that I should start a YouTube channel, but that could very well have been just so I would quit pestering them all the time about it all as I’m really the only core Gamer in my circle of friends.

How I got started was more on a whim. I had used my Christmas bonus to build myself an actual Gaming rig that January and I decided that, now that I was earning enough money from my day job, I could afford the equipment necessary. So, on a whim I ended up spending far more than I needed to on recording equipment to be able to get started. The decision to start my own channel to first video recorded took all of a week to complete once I started moving on it.

What about the name? Why SidAlpha?

The name SidAlpha was actually a combination of corniness and probably way too much Irish whiskey. Even though my legal first name is Sidney, I’ve been called Richie for longer than I can remember. The Sid part in SidAlpha actually isn’t a reference to me, but my father. His name is Sid as well, and with most children I’ve seen my dad as one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. I’ve also been a fan of history and from that I borrowed the idea of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. And I’ve also ascribed to the idea of “Knowledge is power” and there is never a more effective consumer than one that is well informed. So, the SidAlpha name is essentially “Beginning of strength” within the context of consumer information and awareness.

I know, it is extremely corny, but like I said… Irish whiskey was involved.

Similarly, what about the music? Why did you choose that song for your video intros?

The intro was actually developed by a designer in Greenland that I purchased on Fiverr. The music came with it. I used it as I wanted my channel to have a bit more of a professional feel but every time I’d attempted to change it was met with resistance, so now it’s just become a part of my channel’s identity.

What about the general content? What made you want to create videos about dodgy Steam developers and ripoffs in gaming?

That was a slow evolution and it mostly came from the fact that I can’t stand the idea of someone enriching themselves unjustly at the expense of others. I think part of that also spawns from my being so terrifically poor for most of my life, that I have an overinflated importance on how valuable money is.

Also, I’ve seen how hard some of these Indie Developers work and it frustrates me to no end to see an Indie game that I KNOW in my heart of hearts is a good game get lost in the shuffle in the midst of asset flips and shady devs posting garbage games that take attention away from those games that legitimately deserve to be seen and merely promoting those good games are not enough. Those others need to be drug out into the light to be shown for what they are so people don’t waste their money on them and instead are better able to go find a game worthy of their hard-earned money.

I knew it was a gamble to go that route. Many people said “Stick with the triple A’s. No one cares about the Indie games. They’re a dime a dozen.” But to my mind, a lot more good could be accomplished within the Indie scene and I didn’t care about how famous or not famous I got. It was about my passion for games and my desire to help inform those that would wish it. Even if I influenced 1 person, that would be enough for me.

Were there any influences there? People like Jim Sterling have made videos on similar topics before…

There are a LOT of influences there. Angry Joe, Totalbiscuit, Jim Sterling, and Nostalgia Critic would be the biggest ones. And while I know that there have been others to cover these topics before… and probably better… I still feel I have something to contribute to the conversation. While those others have been heavy influences on my own content and style, I have still maintained my own voice and method of relating things. From Angry Joe, I remember to not always take things too seriously, which is something I do tend to fall prey to. From TB, I learned that more often than not, the loudest voice in the room tends to be the calmest and most well-reasoned. If you have something important to say, you don’t need to shout. Because if you do, the ones you are shouting at most likely still won’t listen regardless. From Jim, I learned that it’s ok to have an ego from time to time. Just remember what you are doing and why you are doing it. And then from both Nostalgia critic and TB I learned what it was to break something down and analyze it effectively.

I try to learn something from other successful YouTubers in order to make myself and my content better, but at the end of the day it’s still about the message and the information. People cannot make informed decisions with an absence of information and we have learned we cannot trust the vast majority of traditional Games Journalists. I intend to set my own example in that regard.

Out of all the games and developers you covered, which ones were the worst/most sleazy and why?

Oh wow, there are so many. I would think Dokey and Dalas of Fur Fun to be the worst outside of Digital Homicide. They issued large numbers of spurious DMCA strikes, issued review code only to later revoke those keys when the reviewer said something they didn’t like, mass forum bans and thread deletions… not to mention that Dalas is himself a YouTuber who weaponized his audience in a variety of ways… To post positive reviews of a crap game in exchange for game keys, to downvote negative reviews, and to flood his game forums in order to further drown out fair critique.

How about the least? Which of your ‘Diamond Devs’ subjects were the best?

The one that stuck out in my mind was Stardrop. That one actually started because the developer himself emailed me to ask my advice and my opinion as he was mortally terrified that people would label his game an asset flip because he did make use of pre-bought assets. I found the game itself to be charming and the voice acting quite well done. I was excited to be able to present the game before it even went into Early Access and I look forward to the finished product. The fact of the matter is, he cared so much about his game that he sought out a random YouTuber because of the content they had discussed and he wanted to be certain people wouldn’t judge his game sight-unseen. That is the level of heart that I see in so many Indie Developers and it is those exact types of people, those that are invested in their project and talented enough to see it through, that brings me the greatest amount of pride in being able to raise awareness of.

Why do so many developers and companies respond so poorly to criticism anyway? Almost every few months we get another developer torpedoing their own reputation over a DMCA threat or review take down…

It really speaks to the type of personality of those that engage in those behaviors. It is ultimately born of a self-centered and selfish desire for profit above all else. You have to remember, the vast majority of those people never had a reputation to begin with and they rail against anything that will cost them money. They have no passion for gaming, they have no talent for it nor any desire to produce anything worthwhile. This isn’t about the game for them, it’s just a means towards easy money.

Continue Reading…

WatchMojo Caught Stealing Content from Guru Larry on YouTube!

As you may know, WatchMojo is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Covering everything from TV and films to video games, their videos are usually your standard top ten lists about various subjects. Like the top ten worst selling consoles or the top ten most expensive sci-fi movies.

You know, the typical stuff you find on Buzzfeed like clickbait factories. Poorly researched, minimal effort attention grabbers that often retread the same ground as legions of others beforehand.

But in itself, that’s not a bad thing. After all, top ten lists aren’t a crime against humanity. And hey, everyone does need to just switch off and watch something a bit more mindless every now and again, right?

Well, I guess so. Except there’s just one problem.

Namely, the info in the videos is stolen from other YouTube creators.

Yep, I’m not kidding. All the facts are straight from other people’s work with no credit given.

How do we know this?

Because Guru Larry has seen his whole video ripped off and reused as a WatchMojo list. Yep, they took one of his Fact Hunt videos, noted down the entries there and remade the entire thing as a video on their channel.

Normally, that wouldn’t be too noticeable. Unfortunately for WatchMojo though, Guru Larry was prepared.

That’s because Guru Larry (like many map makers and dictionary writers of old) is known to sneak ‘copyright traps’ into his work. These traps are very minor ‘mistakes’ that can then be used to prove someone stole your data and reused it in their own work. They’re quite common on maps, with ‘trap streets’ often used to prove a mapmaker copied one of their rivals.

And since WatchMojo clearly didn’t do any other research on the topic, they copied the fake information without checking. Good job guys! How lovely of you to tell us where you get your information from now!

Here’s Larry’s tweet about the subject going into a bit more:

As well as Top Hat Gaming Man’s great video about the controversy:

So either way, the cat was out of the bag and Twitter was talking about it. So what did WatchMojo do?
Did they apologise for their actions like mature people would? Take down the video to stop people being fooled by fake information?

Well, not quite. They took down the video sure, but actually admitting they stole someone’s research never factored into it. Instead they sent Guru Larry the following, rather hilarious letter:

As you can see, it’s filled with examples of questionable journalism ethics. For example, why don’t the organisation credit people for their findings?

Because they don’t know said people are the original finders. Yes really. They outright say they won’t credit anyone because they don’t know said people are the ones they should be crediting.

That’s just… wow. Can you imagine if someone did that in school or college?

Like, if they handed in an essay with no citations because they ‘didn’t know’ the researcher was the original discoverer? Or told the lecturer they didn’t credit anyone because they didn’t know whether their sources were the original ones?

They’d probably get thrown off the course. That’s an obvious example of plagiarism, no matter how you cut it.

Yet that’s not all the letter implies.Oh no, it also implies they’re rather terrible at research.

Why?

Well, isn’t the job of a journalist about verifying the information they’re posting about? Aren’t journalists supposed to hunt down the source of a piece of information before writing about it?

Yeah, I think they are. But thanks to the fact WatchMojo clearly isn’t finding the original source, it implies the channel’s ‘researchers’ don’t actually do much research at all. That they find whatever a few other YouTubers or writers have said about a topic, copy down the information and merely assume it’s accurate. Verifying stuff? Who has the time for that, right?

Additionally, they also seem to imply they don’t really check their videos for originality all that well either. That’s because their letter goes and says ‘their tool didn’t pick up the similarities to your video’, implying the only thing they do is put the information through an automated plagiarism checker and hope nothing comes up as a match.

That’s again pretty bad for a channel like this. It’s basically admitting that people can send in anything and they’ll post it so long as it doesn’t ‘look’ enough like the source it’s paraphrasing. It feels like one of those cases where someone assumes Copyscape or Turnitin is good enough on its own.

And when you add this to the clear mistakes the channel makes in their videos (Top Hat Gaming Man references the terrible ‘Jaguar sales data’ in his response), you’ve got a lazy, uninspired YouTube channel trying to cash in on other people’s work for their own gain. Which is a trend that’s all too common now. Giant clickbait channels spamming low effort videos based on other people’s work for quick views.

So don’t support these guys. They clearly don’t put a lot of work into their videos, they steal from other people and their journalistic integrity is virtually nil. Treat them like you would Brash Games or other thieves. Organisations you refuse to support for their complete lack of morals and sheer laziness.

Because WatchMojo doesn’t deserve your patronage. And nor do any other such channels who refuse to credit people for their work.

Amiibo are on Disc DLC Done Worse

As every Nintendo fan knows, Nintendo has been really pushing the whole amiibo concept in the last generation or two. A series of toys that can be used to unlock content in games, these things are tied to pretty much every major game possible. Super Smash Bros uses them. Splatoon uses them. Zelda Breath of the Wild uses them…

Heck, even the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey will use them. Isn’t that awesome?

Bowser Wedding Amiibo

Well, no it is. In fact, amiibo may be one of the worst ideas Nintendo has ever had.

Why?

Because they’re literally just on disc DLC done worse.

For starters, they quite literally are the same thing. Remember, amiibo don’t have much space to store data.

Seriously, look it up. The total amount of space an amiibo holds is a whopping 8KB. Yes, KB. It’s barely enough to store your average text file.

So most games don’t actually use it. Instead, they merely connect the amiibo scanning system to data that’s already on the disc. All those armour sets you got from Breath of the Wild? On the disc already. The cards in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam? On the disc already.

Bowser Battle Card

And that’s the case for pretty much every major amiibo focused game in history. You’re paying money for figurines that merely unlock data you already own. It’s no better than paying for an unlock code on the eShop.

Indeed, it’s actually far worse than buying an unlock code. Think about it. What do you have to do to buy an unlock code for on disc DLC?

Simple. Go to the eShop equivalent, spend some money and unlock the DLC. It’s easy, it’s quick and there’s absolutely no chance they’ll ever run out of DLC to distribute.

But amiibo don’t work like that. Because they’re physical toys, you have to go out in the real world and hope you can find the bloody things on the shelf somewhere.

However, that’s unlikely to be the case cause every scalper on the planet is buying them up to resell on eBay. And Nintendo don’t like producing more than the bare minimum of each figure.

So you’re off to eBay (or the internet reselling site of your choice) looking for toys to unlock that one level or character you already owned to begin with. Don’t you see the problem with this? It’s worse than just buying the DLC through the eShop.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if amiibo functionality was kept to a minimum. If only a few games used amiibo, who cares if you can find easily?

No one. But that’s not the case. In fact, Nintendo is getting more and more brazen with this stuff. What do I mean by this?

Well, look at it this way. In Super Smash Bros for Wii U, it was all optional character building stuff. In Super Mario Maker, you can alternatively unlock the costumes through 100 Mario Challenge. That’s fine and good. It’s treating amiibo as a nice extra.

Yet that’s not how it works in modern Nintendo games. Instead, whole features are locked behind them. These include the likes of:

  • Amiibo Party in Mario Party 10
  • Almost all of the best battles in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam
  • A whole bonus dungeon in Twilight Princess HD
  • As well as the entire game of Mini Mario & Friends Amiibo Challenge

And many more in addition to just those. Just look at the list of amiibo compatible games here and tell me all that shouldn’t have been included by default.

Amiibo Party Example

What’s worse, this is even at the expense of other DLC as well. For example, look at the Fierce Deity Link armour from The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Not only does it look cool, it’s objectively better than the alternatives you get elsewhere. It looks better than the Barbarian Armour. It upgrades more easily than said armour. There’s a cool weapon included you cannot get elsewhere.

And unlike the Phantom Armour from the DLC, you can actually upgrade it to boost its stats. So not only does it look good, it’s objectively better than the stuff they’re giving us in the DLC packs!

Which is a bit of a running theme here really. Despite DLC existing and the core game going for $50 or so, the best content nowadays is being locked behind the amiibo pay wall. It’s like Nintendo has started prioritised toy buyers over gamers.

What’s more, the recent Metroid Samus Returns amiibo functionality makes this game even clearer. Why?

Because it locks the sound test, art gallery and even hard mode behind amiibo. Yep, features that many other Nintendo games offered for free…

Are being used as an excuse to sell toys. That’s what Nintendo has come to now. On disc DLC for features that were free in previous games. It’s absolutely pathetic, and clearly shows Nintendo are trying to gouge you for every cent they can.

You’d think people would be furious about all this.

But no, they’re not. They would be if EA/Activision/Konami/Capcom had been responsible, but because Nintendo’s involved everything’s fine and dandy to them. Like there’s one rule for Nintendo, one rule for the rest of the industry.

It’s absolutely ridiculous, and needs to stop now. Stop defending everything Nintendo does like they’re some kind uncle you’ve known since childhood. They’re a business like any other, and needed to be treated as such here.

Otherwise we’ll see even more of their games cordoned off behind $20 figures. Time to stop supporting this ‘pay to win’ behaviour, before Nintendo’s games become the same sort of exploitative crap as so much of the rest of the industry is now. Amiibo are no better than any other on disc DLC is.

Thank you for reading.

How to Make The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Unwinnable

In The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, you can go anywhere at any time. You can fight the final boss the minute you get off the Plateau. You can take on the Divine Beasts and story quests in any order. Heck, even stables of the Zelda series like the Master Sword can be skipped altogether.

And that makes it quite tough to really mess up too. I mean, how can you mess up? Everything you can do in the game can be worked around or ignored when necessary.

There’s no way to make the game unwinnable.

Or is there?

Because as I found out earlier, there are indeed three ways to completely destroy a save file in Breath of the Wild. They’re absolutely batshit insane ways yes, and they’re never going to occur to 99% of people playing the game.

But for those who are curious (or want to screw over a friend, family member or video game store), well here you go. Here are three ways to render your Breath of the Wild save files completely unusable.

1. Escape the Final Boss Battle Then Save on a Divine Beast

Starting with the first of two tricky sequence breaks involving the final boss glitch. How does it work?

Well, basically, you can escape the battle with Dark Beast Ganon by taking a horse to the wall of light outside the arena and getting off while the horse is trotting along. This puts Link outside the barrier with no easy way to get back inside.

Link Outside Final Boss Barrier

However, this state also has a severe problem.

To put it simply, you can’t save or teleport at will. Instead, you have to go to Lurelin Village, attempt to open one of the treasure chests in the gambling mini game, then end the mini game to reenable saving and teleporting.

Can't Teleport

And that’s key to the glitch here.

You can’t exit a Divine Beast dungeon without teleporting or going through a cutscene.

So if you use this ‘final boss escape’ glitch, go to an uncompleted Divine Beast and save the game…

You have pretty much bricked the save file. That’s because the teleport option (and the leave button) do not work when you reload the game. You need to get to Lurelin Village to reactivate the features.

As you cannot escape the Divine Beast to reach Lurelin Village though…

You’re screwed. Your save file is now virtually unusable, since you have no way of leaving the Divine Beast.

And to add insult of injury, that even applies to the boss terminal and entry pad too. Because thanks to another glitchy effect of the ‘final boss world’ state, neither are loaded when the glitch is active.

Now admittedly, you could revert to an older backup. That’s certainly possible if you’re not careful.

But if you were ‘smart’ enough to overwrite them with auto saves taken on the Divine Beast, then you’ve absolutely wrecked the save file with no way to recover it. How frustrating!

Can't Teleport

2. Escape the Final Boss Battle Then Save Out of Bounds

Still, what if you don’t have at least one Divine Beast not completed? Is there a way to screw up your save file with the same glitch then?

Yes there is. And it’s ludicrously simple too.

Just save the game while out of bounds in said state. If you do, you won’t be teleport out when you reload the save file, permanently ruining it and requiring the file to be deleted and started over. It’s that simple.

Stuck Out of Bounds

However, it’s not just tricks with the final boss battle that can wreck your save file.

3. Fill Up Your Whole Inventory With Wild Outfits Via the Dupe Glitch

Nope, it’s also possible to screw up your file with the new item duplication glitch as well.

But… there’s a catch.

You need all 120 shrines first, to unlock the ‘Wild’ set.

That’s because in Breath of the Wild, you cannot sell certain armour or clothing pieces. These pieces are:

  • The Wild set (Cap, Tunic and Trousers of the Wild)
  • The Thunder Helm
  • Champion’s Shirt
  • All of the Zora set (Helm, Armour and Greaves)
    • To do the trick mentioned though, you need an armour set/piece that respawns with the duplication glitch. The only valid option there is the Wild set.

      So here’s how it all works.

      First of all, make sure you haven’t entered the Divine Beast Vah Ruta yet. Yes, you can get all 120 shrines before that point, don’t worry.

      Then, activate the item duplication glitch. If you can’t remember how to do that, you activate it by entering the Trial of the Sword, warping to a Divine Beast then leaving.

      Now head to the Forgotten Temple. If you’ve beaten all 120 shrines, you’ll see three treasure chests with pieces of the Wild set in.

      Wild Set Chests

      Get them, set the Travel Medallion and warp back. Eventually, you’ll fill all spaces in your inventory.

      Multiple Wild Sets

      Go to any shop in the game and sell every piece of armour/clothing that can be sold.
      Return to the Forgotten Temple. Keep collecting the Wild set.

      Once you’ve filled all 100 slots with unsellable armour, you’ve done it. You have absolutely and utterly broken your save file.

      That’s because to enter Vah Ruta, you need the Zora Armour. However, you don’t have room for the Zora Armour, and the King won’t give it to you.

      Problem is, because the Wild set can’t be sold, you can’t sell any of it to make room for the Zora Armour, so you have pretty much hard locked yourself out of the Divine Beast Vah Ruta main quest altogether.

      In addition to this, you’ve also potentially made Divine Beast Vah Rudania virtually impossible, since you have no room for fireproof armour in your inventory. Good luck there. Especially given how even stepping into the North Mine will require chugging fireproof elixirs like a man possessed.

      Finally, while you’ve already cleared Vah Medoh and Vah Nabooris for this (since said shrine quests need them cleared), you now have no way back into Gerudo Town either. Cause hey, you can’t buy the necessary Gerudo clothes to get in, and have no way to get the Sand or Snow Boots either.

      Admittedly it’s not a complete write off, since Hyrule Castle and Ganon are accessible at any time. But the good ending is lost forever, 100% completion is lost forever, many sidequests are lost forever and every other piece of clothing in the game is lost forever as well.

      In other words, your options are drastically limited at best. Talk about making a dog’s dinner of your whole adventure!

      And that’s how to make the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild completely unwinnable. Is it likely to happen? No, especially not by accident. You have to be really trying to mess up the game via the methods mentioned above.

      But it is possible, and it’s interesting to think about none the less.

      So if you’re totally bored with Breath of the Wild (or have an annoying friend or family member to screw over), give ‘em a shot. It’ll at least be a bit more interesting than aimlessly helping the same NPCs all day. Or whatever else you do with a completed save file.

No Michael Pachter, Japanese Games Aren’t Irrelevant

As any Nintendo fan likely knows, Michael Pachter has a… tendency to make some rather stupid arguments in his analysis. He claimed the Wii would fail in 2006, then said the same thing over and over till the console generation ended.

He argued that home consoles would be finished in 2014, with the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One being non existent.

Add his constant comments on Nintendo going third party or his rude attitude towards Satoru Iwata back in 2016, and you’ve got that someone no one in the gaming world takes seriously.

Which his latest ‘argument’ won’t be changing one bit. Why? Because Pachter quite literally calls Japanese games irrelevant. He does this in an interview with Game Bolt stating that:

Japanese games don’t matter in the larger scheme of things, You are talking about 2 million units, I mean, a piece of crap like Mafia 3 sold 5 million units, and that game is a piece of crap. So, no, 2 million units is a rounding error, that doesn’t matter. No one is making money off of that.

It’s a very general view, and I guess I can see where he’s coming from.

But at the same time, his arguments also have a lot of flaws in them.

For one thing, they kind of assumes that every Japanese title is niche and every Western one isn’t. Because hey, Persona 2 (a niche title) only sold 2 million copies whereas Mafia 3 (a less niche one) sold 5 million.

But that’s not the case in any region of the world. In fact, a large percentage of games in the West also sell as much or less than Persona 2.

And that’s absolutely fine. If you’re making game for a niche audience (or as part of an unpopular genre in general), it will sell less than a mainstream ‘shoot everything’ title would. That bullet hell shooter, that super hard platformer, the visual novel or comedy RPG… they’re always going to sell less than the likes of Call of Duty or Halo, regardless of their quality.

Yet that’s not something that makes them irrelevant. I mean, imagine if you applied that logic to the real world. Could you really say every other restaurant is ‘irrelevant’ because McDonalds sells more on a daily basis? How about that all drinks sellers outside of America are irrelevant because Coca Cola has so much of the market?

You couldn’t, because many of these other products and businesses are not directly competing with McDonalds or Coca Cola.

So you’d compare say, the top soft drink brands, or the top beer brands, or the top tea brands with each other, not with the market as a whole.

On that level… Street Fighter V might be a success, since it’s popular in the fighting game community. The Resident Evil games may be successful, because they’re popular among survival horror fans. And while Persona 5 may not be up there with Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, it’s still pretty popular and well liked among RPG fans.

That’s what really matters here. Not whether one or two niche titles from Japan compare to one or two less niche titles from Western developers.

And this is especially true given that said niche/mainstream titles are only a tiny part of their respective markets.

Seriously. Go and compare Mario, Pokémon, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Smash Bros or Splatoon to mainstream Western games. Those (and many more) sell at roughly the same level, because they’re also mainstream titles meant for a general audience.

If you want to compare your Western triple A games to anything, compare them to Japanese triple A titles like these:

Not the niche titles that aren’t aiming to sell 20 million copies in the first place.

But Pachter didn’t do that, because comparing mainstream titles to other mainstream titles would show that the Japanese gaming industry is not ‘dying’ or ‘dead’ compared to the Western one.

It’s like saying the ‘Western’ market is dead because you compared Shovel Knight to Pokémon.

But hang on, you argue. Doesn’t Pachter discount Nintendo as ‘different’ to Japanese games as a whole?

Yes he does. Problem is, with that logic you could argue a lot of questionable things. Remove what’s considered ‘outliers’, and you can twist the truth into anything.

I mean, imagine if you said ‘social networks aren’t that popular, with the exception of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat’. That’s pretty misleading isn’t it? You’ve cut out four of the most popular social media sites and made a claim that’s very clearly wrong by any normal way of thinking.

Or how about some others?

If you ignore the USA, UK, Australia and Canada, English isn’t a popular first language worldwide

Ignoring Disney, animated movies haven’t done that well in the last decade

Eh, no one uses search engines any more. Assuming Google doesn’t exist

Either way, it’s the same case here. You’re basically removing the number 1 player in the Japanese gaming market if you pretend Nintendo doesn’t exist. Or is somehow ‘different’ from the rule.

You may as well by saying this:

And that’s the case here. By comparing niche games to mainstream ones and deliberately leaving out any evidence that disagrees with his theory, Pachter is being dishonest and making the Japanese video games industry look worse than it actually is.

So no, it’s not ‘irrelevant’. The Japanese gaming industry is doing just fine.

You just need to stop comparing apples and oranges here.

Thank you.

Source:

Japanese Games Are Still Irrelevant to the Mass Market, says Michael Pachter (Gaming Bolt)