Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime has reflected on how they chose to approach E3 2015, explaining that the Nintendo Digital Event was “one of many tactics.”
Their strategy began with the Nintendo Direct Micro that made sure that selected 3DS games “would not be overshadowed” during the week, before Masahiro Sakurai’s Super Smash Bros. special presentation detailed the brawler’s latest update and revealed Ryu and Roy as roster additions. Then, we had the glorious Nintendo World Championships 2015, Nintendo Digital Event and the, once again, superb Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3 coverage to round off their plans.
“First is that the Digital Event is one tactic, one of many tactics, and I would encourage us all to look at E3, at least from Nintendo’s perspective, as the series of events that we’ve executed over the last couple weeks, starting with the Mini Direct, where we highlighted a number of key 3DS games that we wanted to make sure would not be overshadowed if we simply introduced them today,” Fils-Aime explained to IGN.
He continued, “Case in point, Chibi-Robo! – people are very excited to play that game. Personally, I really enjoy playing that game. Something like that, with its charm – in our view – had the risk of being lost. Communicating games in advance of E3 was a key tactic for us. What we did on Sunday with Super Mario Maker, we thought was very strategic. Certainly, the excitement we’ve created for that title is palpable. That was a key thought process. Then you look at the Digital Event and how we showcased Yoshi’s Wooly World, Mario Maker, Star Fox… we think that was very effective.”
It wasn’t an entirely perfect execution, most notably seeing a furore surrounding Metroid Prime: Federation Force‘s announcement. Fans were left disappointed after it had been anticipated that the time was right for Samus Aran to set out on an adventure for Wii U.
“In terms of opportunities for improvement… there are games where you need to have hands-on time to really appreciate,” Fils-Aime admitted. “Certainly, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is one of those types of games. We anticipated that consumers would say ‘Where’s Samus?’ and ‘Where’s my traditional Metroid Prime game?’ We anticipated that.
“As I walked the floor and talked to people who were playing Blast Ball, they’re loving it. They’re excited about it, they’re excited about the controls. One of our challenges at Nintendo, always, is how do we communicate the charm and appeal of a game to people who don’t get a chance to play it? It’s always a challenge. I say with Federation Force, we may have fallen a little short in communicating what the charm is of that game.
“Good news: we’ll have lots of other opportunities to address that and get people to experience it hands-on. We think they’re gonna come away in the end feeling like it’s a lot of fun.”