Nintendo is Attending Gamescom 2016

But what games will they bring to Gamescom? Well, that’s actually a good question.

It’s likely that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be featured. After all, that’s their major new game and one that everyone expects to see at these events.

Inside a shrine. Very futuristic.

Above: Breath of the Wild may be featured at the event.

Paper Mario Color Splash is possible. I mean, it’s the only Wii U game of note that’s coming out before the end of the year (at least as far as we know). So that’s another possible choice.

And Pokemon Sun/Moon… again, it’s possible. Pokemon announcements have been made at past Gamescom events. Heck, in some cases, they’ve distributed special Pokemon at Gamescom events, like Shigeki Morimoto’s ones in 2015.

Other than that? Good question really. They might do something with Sega in regards to Sonic Boom. Or promote Mario Party Star Rush a bit more. Or do some other third party deal we don’t yet know about. It’s all on the table here.

But yeah, Nintendo is at Gamescom 2016, and is on the list of exhibitors for the show. Should be exciting for people attending the event this year!

Source:

Nintendo of Europe – Gamescom Exhibitor List

Why Sakurai Shouldn’t Return as Super Smash Bros Director

Up until now, Masahiro Sakurai has been the director for the entire Super Smash Bros series. He’s personally worked to balance the games. He’s decided various mechanics and characters to include (albeit not all of them), and he’s basically become the face of the franchise.

But Sakurai shouldn’t return to the series. Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Super Smash Bros For Wii U should be his final games.

Why is this?

Well in short, for the same reason Miyamoto should take a break from Mario. Why Aonuma should take a break from Zelda. Why Sakamoto . . .

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Zelda Breath of the Wild Needs to Sell 2 Million Copies to be Profitable

With the new Zelda game having such a large world and so many different mechanics included in it, it’s pretty clear the budget for the game was rather high.

It’s the price of admission for a triple A game. Spend a lot of money, hopefully make it all back somewhere down the line.

But there’s a cost. Namely, the more a game costs to make, the more it has to sell to keep the series a viable business offering. After all, remember what happened to that
Tomb Raider game? Square Enix claimed it selling 3.4 million copies was ‘not hitting expectations’. More money you put in, the more money you need to get out to succeed.

So the Breath of the Wild needs to sell enough units to make up for its dev costs. But what is the amount required here? How many copies does Zelda need to sell to be profitable for Nintendo?

2 million copies. In Miyamoto’s own words (from an investor meeting):

Breath of the Wild has over 100 staff, and over 300 people in the credits, spending over 5 years. Our current efforts will be helpful in the next production. The costs will be recovered by selling in large volumes, passing 2 million sales. A game is a hit in the domestic market if it reaches 300k sales, but we’re targeting worldwide sales. Reviews on the Internet get around. Details get pointed out, so our staff is working more than is required.

Fortunately, this is a really reasonable sales goal for a Zelda game. Throughout the entire series, only three games have failed to sell 2 million copies.
The Minish Cap, Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes.

The Legend Of Zelda Tri Force Heroes Box

Above: This will not outsell Breath of the Wild

And out of those, only one of them was a traditional Zelda game. Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes were heavily multiplayer focused titles which were a lot less interesting to go through on your own. Minish Cap wasn’t like this, but it was a handheld game that was clearly overshadowed by its home console counterparts of the era.

So unless Breath of the Wild fails on the same level as Star Fox Zero, it’s going to be profitable for Nintendo. There’s no two ways about it.

Source:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Needs to Sell 2 Million Copies to Make a Profit – Gamnesia

Activision Almost Bought Rare in 2002

Back in 2002, many Nintendo fans were disappointed by one of the worst pieces of news in gaming history.

Microsoft had purchased Rare, and the likes of Banjo-Kazooie would probably not be seen on a Nintendo home console ever again.

Above: And Donkey Kong fans got this…

But did you know it could have been very different? That instead of Microsoft buying Rare, it could have been Activision that had done the deal!

Yes, as this comment by Xbox co-creator Ed Fries reveals, Microsoft’s buyout only succeeded due to a last minute increase in their bid:

So we put in a bid and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we were going to lose the deal. And then at the very last minute Robbie increased our bid and we won the deal. And that was it. Who knows what could have happened with Rare.

But imagine if that last minute bid increase had never come. That Activision had bought out Rare from Nintendo. What would it have been like?

Probably a mixed bag to be honest.

On the one hand, it would mean that Rare would be free to release games on all platforms. Which for Nintendo fans would mean we’d get the likes of Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark on the Gamecube, Wii and Wii U.

That’s especially good for news for Viva Piñata, Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Kameo, which underperformed due to their aesthetics and general themes being a poor fit for the Xbox. Okay, they may not have all sold fantastically, but you can imagine that more Nintendo fans would have tried them than Xbox or PlayStation owners.

Viva Piñata

Above: Perhaps not right for the Xbox

It’d also likely mean that their Kinect Sports phase would never happen. Activision has no interest in motion control gimmicks and wouldn’t force Rare to change everything like Microsoft did. So that’d be a positive point too. No long period of Wii Sports rip-offs here.

However, you can’t deny that Activision has a poor reputation for spamming sequels to popular franchises. I mean, they basically killed Guitar Hero by milking it to death in a few years. And well, we all know how they treat Call of Duty and Skylanders. As cash cows that needed to be milked every year on the dot.

This is not a good thing for Rare. Remember, Rare are infamous (to the point of rivalling Nintendo and Valve) for delaying their games to make them better. Heck, Diddy Kong Racing was basically only released when it was because Banjo-Kazooie wasn’t ready for the end of the year.

That wouldn’t sit well with Activision. For these folks, games are basically a merchandising business; get at least one title out per year, then release DLC packs and updates right up until the next one the year after. As a result, I suspect any Rare buyout by them would end up with us seeing a long string of mediocre Banjo games year after year with the hope being that it might become the next Spyro the Dragon or Crash Bandicoot.

Talking of Crash Bandicoot, I also suspect a Rare buyout by Activision would basically tie Rare’s IPs to Spyro and Crash more directly. For example, back in 2004 they released Crash Bandicoot Purple and Spyro Orange for the Game Boy Advance. These games had Dr Neo Cortex (Crash’s archenemy) team up with Ripto (Spyro’s archenemy) in a bit to defeat each others nemesises once and for all. If Activison owned Rare as well, I can see Banjo and Conker being involved in such a crossover deal too, with the likes of Gruntilda joining Neo Cortex and Ripto.

Spyro Orange

Crash Bandicoot Purpl

Above: Could Banjo have been in a game like this?

And then there’s Skylanders. Spyro and Crash got merged into that series in recent years, and it’s also become of their company’s biggest cash cows. With Rare owned by Activision, Banjo and Conker could be Skylanders too. Which would be a disaster for their fans, but good business for Activision as a whole.

Either way, Activision nearly ended up buying Rare.

Fortunately though, they didn’t. Releases on non Microsoft systems would not have made up for a glut of samey sequels to beloved classics or the franchises buried under waves of DLC.