Recently, there have been quite a few articles stating how Nintendo of Europe needs someone working there who’s willing to reach out to third-party companies and get support for their systems. A sort of friendly face the indie devs can go to in order to get help, an equivalent to Dan Adelman for Europe.
But am I the only one who thinks this is actually one of the least of Nintendo’s issues? And that there’s also a lot more ways Nintendo of Europe needs to take inspiration from Nintendo of America?
Here’s some more ways they need to take inspiration from Nintendo of America…
1. Nintendo of Europe needs more press support
First and foremost, I think Nintendo of Europe really needs to improve how it goes after press/media support.
Because you see, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of ‘official’ channels to go through to become ‘licensed’ press in Europe like there is in America. For example, while Nintendo of America has a nice, easy to find press site with a working registration form and lots of relevant information:
Nintendo of Europe… doesn’t. For one thing, can you even find an equivalent easily? I don’t think so, even the sitemap doesn’t give any indications where you need to go in order to contact the company for media related enquiries. And when you do eventually find their ‘equivalent’ of the press room (thank you Google search!)…
You find the site is ‘currently being modified’ and will be back shortly, with only a telephone number to contact them through. No, that’s not quite a temporary message, it’s apparently been in the process of being ‘modified’ since at least 2008 (according to the Internet Archive). Is there a working press site behind this ‘still not updated’ front end? Who knows. But I do think Nintendo of Europe really needs to get a proper press room online sometime within the next decade, preferrably within the year.
So that’s one thing Nintendo of Europe needs to learn from Nintendo of America in regards to, having an actual press site and more ‘modern’ way of getting media contacts.
2. They also need more ‘interesting’ marketing ideas
Another thing I think Nintendo of America does well that Nintendo of Europe needs to learn from is in regards to marketing video games. You see, Nintendo of America tries some more ‘clever’ things to grab attention. Like the Game & Wario ‘Crowdfarter’ website:
The Donkey Kong Country Returns promotion at the zoo:
And various others. They have the really popular Nintendo World Store and its various game launch events, they have commercials which try to advertise games in unique ways (like this Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon commercial):
And they just seem to try all kinds of attention grabbing stunts to advertise their games. Nintendo of Europe on the other hand? Seems a bit too content to just either show families sitting around a TV playing games or a generic trailer with very little in any kind of ‘viral’ marketing. That’s not saying their ads are bad, I really thought their Luigi’s Mansion 2 commercials illustrated the game really well…
But they need to realise that marketing isn’t always limited to TV ads and social media. They need to hold events to celebrate game launches, they need to generally foster more of a ‘community’ feel with their fans and they need to try to do a few more things that get the press writing about them. That get them free publicity. And that get people talking as much as some of Nintendo of America’s marketing gimmicks do.
3. They need a figurehead, someone recognisable in the community
Here’s a quick game to start. Name me some important Nintendo employees from each division of the company. First, Nintendo of Japan:
Satoru Iwata you might say. Or Shigeru Miyamoto. Or Eiji Aonuma.
Very good. Now name some recognisable people from Nintendo of America…
Reggies Fils-Aime! Perhaps also Charles Martinet (if you don’t count him as a general Nintendo employee) or Dan Adelman (if you’re into indie games).
Finally, try to name someone from Nintendo of Europe…
See what I mean? Oh okay, I guess Satoru Shibata might be JUST about getting there as far as name recognition goes (thanks to him hosting Nintendo of Europe’s Nintendo Direct presentations), but in general we don’t have enough people from Nintendo of Europe that everyone can really recognise or see as representing the company. So I think Nintendo of Europe needs to put a face on the company so to speak. To come across as more than just a vague business lurking in the shadows. Someone people online actually know the name/appearance of and that can actually speak for the interests of Nintendo fans living in Europe.
So in conclusion, I think Nintendo of Europe actually needs to learn quite a bit from Nintendo of America, and in regards to more than just indie dev/third-party support. They need more fan support in general with more events and stunts, they need someone the fandom can look up to and see as important in the company like Iwata or Reggie and they need to generally be a bit more open to the press/media than they currently are.
Do you agree with this? What other things should Nintendo of Europe learn from Nintendo of America?