Over the years, Nintendo has often been associated with a younger fan base and, with their recent focus on games like Pikmin, Animal Crossing, and Kirby, that sentiment is understandable. It hasn’t steered them wrong in the past; they are one of the most successful gaming publishers for a reason. However, Nintendo seems to be pushing a more mature tone with their upcoming Wii U line-up.
Although Nintendo platforms have always had their fair share of mature content, it seems now more than ever that they are trying to show gamers they are not merely Jigglypuffs and Wigglytuffs. For instance, take a look at Team Ninja’s upcoming Wii U exclusive, Hyrule Warriors. As you and the rest of the Internet probably know by now, Team Ninja hasn’t been afraid to add some suggestiveness to the Zelda universe and I personally couldn’t be happier! Now, get your mind out of the gutter — that’s not why I think it’s great! It’s exciting because it’s nice to see Nintendo go down a path of the unknown. While they have always excelled with new ideas and new ways to play games, they’ve always kept things a little more family-friendly for the most part.
Nintendo is also doing the unexpected by reaching out to third parties to get exclusive and mature games on their console, with games like Bayonetta 2 and Devil’s Third are prime examples. Oddly enough, if it weren’t for their financing and publishing, neither game would be seeing the light of day. While Devil’s Third was stuck in development hell, Nintendo picked up publishing duties for the title to be released for their own console. Bayonetta 2, on the other hand, would have never existed if it weren’t for Nintendo partnering with developer Platinum Games (Mad World, Vanquish) to make the game. These games make it clear that Nintendo is reaching for a more diverse audience than normal.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Nintendo has always had mature content on their platforms, like Mad World, Red Steel, and No More Heroes.” While that is true, they havent been one to hunt down and personally finance third-party developers to gain the aforementioned exclusive and mature content in the past. Instead of merely allowing more mature games to be on their systems, they are now actively pursuing them.
They have always been a company willing to adapt and evolve their marketing strategy to fit with current gaming trends throughout their long history. I think this is what’s happening. Gaming as an entertainment medium is making a shift towards a more mature audience and Nintendo is following that in stride. I don’t think that they will go guns a-blazing into this M-rated future because it’s just not their style, but instead, will always stick to their roots and continue to grow upon them.
What do you think about Nintendo’s lurk toward a more mature future? Do you think it’s real or just a fluke? Would you rather see games along the lines of Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker or Xenoblade Chronicles X? Let me know in the comments below!