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Default Why has Nintendo given up on making non-kart racing games?

DidntKnowJack

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Feb 26, 2009
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Possibly a nitpik, but I believe Stunt Race FX was developed by Nintendo with an assist by a 3rd party (Argonaut). At any rate, it definitely counts as a Nintendo game.

But I hope Nintendo comes to their senses and make another Waverace. Those games are so good. Especially WR 64. That game was perfection.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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Mario Kart sells way more.

There, I gave you the definitive answer to this question.
Once again, this is not the whole answer. Platformers, puzzle games, strategy games, and more, Nintendo keeps making games in those genres beyond only their most popular series! Racing games should be no different.

Possibly a nitpik, but I believe Stunt Race FX was developed by Nintendo with an assist by a 3rd party (Argonaut). At any rate, it definitely counts as a Nintendo game.
I guess you're right. It's really a first/third party hybrid project...

But I hope Nintendo comes to their senses and make another Waverace. Those games are so good. Especially WR 64. That game was perfection.
As a futuristic racing game fan F-Zero is my favorite Nintendo racing game series by far, but yeah, Wave Race 64 was really, really incredible, and is one of the all-time greats in the genre without question. It's crazy that Nintendo let it die -- as I said in my last post, why not have NST make a new Wii Wave Race game after Project Hammer was canned instead of shutting down their 3d game development side and moving them over to pretty much only Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Crosswords, and Virtual Console stuff? :(
 

BruiserBear

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This has been one of my biggest complaints with Nintendo for years now. It seems they've decided if a game doesn't sell massive numbers, they don't care about it anymore.

Waverace is one of my favorite racing franchises ever, but Nintendo hadn't made one in 13 years now. So sad.
 

timetokill

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No, that isn't all there is to it. Mario games vastly outsell Kirby or Donkey Kong most all the time, and yet Nintendo keeps making Kirby and Donkey games regularly anyway. Why have such a different standard for racing games?

For instance, why shut down NST's console team after Project H.A.M.M.E.R. failed, instead of, say, having them do another racing game, given that they were a proven and high-quality racing game developer (they made Ridge Racer 64, Wave Race Blue Storm, and 1080 Avalanche)? Why give up on console F-Zero after GX did only okay? Why give up on Wave Race at all, given that all three Wave Race games were quite successful? Etc.

Except it pretty much is all there is to it. If F-Zero was selling even half a million reliably they'd still be making them. It always comes back to sales as the #1 thing. After that point it gets a little muddy.

Check the sales of the GBA F-Zero games. Sales were going down the toilet. They figured it's a niche series (it is) that isn't going to attract people to buy the hardware. It also doesn't have "general" appeal. Captain Falcon isn't a mascot character like Donkey Kong and Kirby. Wave Race guy isn't a bankable character. Excitebike guy isn't a bankable character. Notice that DK and Kirby have value outside of their games, in merchandising.

I love F-Zero, and I think there's a decent chance we get a new one now that we're in the HD era (or a HD remake of GX or something), but it's easy to see why they haven't made one since the GBA games cratered.
 
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Except it pretty much is all there is to it. If F-Zero was selling even half a million reliably they'd still be making them. It always comes back to sales as the #1 thing. After that point it gets a little muddy.
That's not all there is to it because games like Wave Race Blue Storm did NOT sell poorly! Nintendo hasn't even tried releasing a Wave Race game in 13 years. You cannot say that this is because they don't sell. As for 1080, I don't know how Avalanche sold, but I think it did okay, though not as well as Blue Storm. And F-Zero GX did okay as well; not great, but not terribly either. 300,000 on the Gamecube's not bad, and maybe the series could have done better on the Wii, but Nintendo never tried.

Check the sales of the GBA F-Zero games. Sales were going down the toilet.
The GBA F-Zero games weren't any good! I love F-Zero too and didn't buy any of them new, and that was the right decision. I don't know why Nintendo kept making those mediocre GBA F-Zeros, but all it did was hurt the franchise with their lacking quality. That's nothing that another great console game couldn't fix, though!

They figured it's a niche series (it is) that isn't going to attract people to buy the hardware. It also doesn't have "general" appeal. Captain Falcon isn't a mascot character like Donkey Kong and Kirby. Wave Race guy isn't a bankable character. Excitebike guy isn't a bankable character. Notice that DK and Kirby have value outside of their games, in merchandising.
I don't buy this argument. Nintendo doesn't only make games with hugely marketable stars -- how about the new Codename Steam game for the 3DS? That's clearly not a game with the biggest stars, and I doubt it'll be a huge hit either. It could be successful, but a big hit? We'll see I guess. But regardless, it's being made, while no non-kart racing games are. None! Also, of course, Wave Race and Excitebike are both franchises about the gameplay over any specific graphical look. Excitebike has had several, between the motorcycle games, Excite Truck, and Excitebots. Wave Race has had both boats (GB) and jetskis. If you want "marketable stars" then invent some and try to sell it, though it's kind of pointless in that kind of game. That's fine though, those franchises did well based on their gameplay. And as for F-Zero, Captain Falcon keeps appearing in Smash Bros. games -- Nintendo clearly thinks that he's at least somewhat marketable!

I love F-Zero, and I think there's a decent chance we get a new one now that we're in the HD era (or a HD remake of GX or something), but it's easy to see why they haven't made one since the GBA games cratered.
No, I don't think there is. If you're using mediocre to bad games as your test for whether a series is worth continuing of course you're going to get a negative result! And anyway, saying "every single racing game that isn't Mario Kart all failed to sell" isn't true... some did, others didn't.
 

InsaneZero

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Why is nobody else producing a similar futuristic high-speed racer today? Answer that question and you'd have your answer for why F-Zero has been shelved.
 

Hiltz

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Dec 8, 2007
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Miyamoto comments on F-Zero:

April 2012


I think at the time it was a really big surprise, a new thing, a product that made sense. I don't see with current hardware how you could create a similar surprise.But maybe with future hardware, with Wii U coming up, maybe we could create something that does make sense, either as a smaller game, or a fully fledged title.

November 2012

"I thought people had grown weary of it.Thank you very much and try to wait by playing Nintendo Land's F-Zero mini-game."

June 2013:

"I certainly understand that people want a new F-Zero game.I think where I struggle is that I don't really have a good idea for what's new that we could bring to F-Zero that would really turn it into a great game again. Certainly I can see how people looking at Mario Kart 8 could see, through the anti-gravity, a connection to F-Zero. But I don't know, at this point, what direction we could go in with a new F-Zero."
 

Pikma

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Miyamoto comments on F-Zero:

April 2012




November 2012



June 2013:
It's not like there are other alternatives in the current market. What makes it even more baffling is the fact that Nintendo (or Miyamoto) believes they need a gimmick in order to justify working on a particular project, instead of focusing on gameplay quality first, as they do with every other series
 

SatoAilDarko

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I don't expect a new F-Zero and especially not a new Wave Race. The latter seems is so niche.

I would welcome an HD version of F-Zero GX wit u online. You could integrate the AX tracks from the arcade game that were already on disc. Sell it as F-Zero AGX so you can charge $20-$30. Maybe stick a simple Captain Falcon brawler with it by Skip (Chibi-Robo) and sell it at retail.

Miyamoto comments on F-Zero:

April 2012

November 2012

June 2013:

This is why I laugh I people who call Metroid dead. This is a franchise that is dead. Miyamoto has been keen on a new Metroid since the Wii U launched. I think we'll see something at next E3.
 

Elija2

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Aug 16, 2012
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Even though they aren't a second-party developer, I think Shin'en's FAST Racing League and FAST Racing Neo should be mentioned. They're the F-Zero games that Nintendo themselves never bothered to make.

Miyamoto comments on F-Zero:

It's kinda sad that Miyamoto is supposed to be this incredibly creative person and yet he can't think of anything new to do with F-Zero. It's not like the Mario Kart sequels are adding anything crazy new. I think that's just an excuse he made up and the real reason there isn't a new F-Zero is because they don't sell as well as they'd like.
 

Hiltz

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Yeah, Miyamoto's thinking can seem odd at times. Nintendo outsourced development on New Yoshi's Island for 3DS, yet what was really new about it ? Nintendo didn't have a problem delivering that kind of derivative experience.

What did New Super Mario Bros U do that was new ? The GamePad player making makeshift platforms on the touchscreen ?

We know Miyamoto is bringing back Star Fox, but is it going to be a different kind of Star Fox game because of how the GamePad is used? It could work out well, or it could turn out to be something Star Fox shouldn't have been.

Mario Kart 8 has the whole anti-gravity stuff, but while it added a cool aspect to the game's presentation, the anti-gravity sections felt like a subtle aspect to the actual gameplay experience... but that was kind of the whole point, wasn't it ?

Sometimes, there's nothing wrong with a derivative experience, especially if an IP has been dormant for so long. A lot of fans just want to see it return the way it used to be like for example, Starfox.

Pikmin 3 was apparently more of a refinement and balance of Pikmin 1 and 2 instead of a title that tried very different approach.
 
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I understand not releasing another F-Zero or Wave Race on retail, but these two ar the perfect type of games for small digital releases...
 

Hiltz

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Wave Race seems like an accessible IP Nintendo could more easily bring back and even outsource to a studio like Monster Games.
 

Punchy4486

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Even though they aren't a second-party developer, I think Shin'en's FAST Racing League and FAST Racing Neo should be mentioned. They're the F-Zero games that Nintendo themselves never bothered to make.



It's kinda sad that Miyamoto is supposed to be this incredibly creative person and yet he can't think of anything new to do with F-Zero. It's not like the Mario Kart sequels are adding anything crazy new. I think that's just an excuse he made up and the real reason there isn't a new F-Zero is because they don't sell as well as they'd like.

It's a combination of these points.

Plenty of Nintendo sequels don't add anything "crazy new", but they sell loads.

F-Zero doesn't sell loads, so putting out a sequel that doesn't add anything "crazy new" will almost assuredly sell just as poorly as the others did. The series as is doesn't sell enough, so they need to come up with a good idea to "update" it so that it actually becomes a successful series.
 
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Mario Kart outsells all the others combined. That's really all there is to it.

I think we'll get another racing game out of another series but there's a reason Kart has a dedicated team and is a priority at Nintendo.

Mario Kart was already outselling everyone since the SNES and yet, didn't prevented Nintendo to invest on such titles back in the day being able to get solid sales in return as many of the racers where notable hits.

It was Nintendo's decision to go family/casual that put non-Mario Kart racers on the shelf.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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Miyamoto comments on F-Zero:

April 2012




November 2012



June 2013:

These statements, of course, make absolutely no sense. Why does F-Zero need some wild new idea in order for them to make another game? They make a great many platform, strategy, and puzzle games that just iterate on or copy past titles! F-Zero X and GX are a near-perfect formula, and all they need to do is continue with that style. The series doesn't and never has needed some crazy redesign or "good idea" beyond just making more of what they've already done on past console (ie ignore the GBA stuff) F-Zero games.

It's a combination of these points.

Plenty of Nintendo sequels don't add anything "crazy new", but they sell loads.

F-Zero doesn't sell loads, so putting out a sequel that doesn't add anything "crazy new" will almost assuredly sell just as poorly as the others did. The series as is doesn't sell enough, so they need to come up with a good idea to "update" it so that it actually becomes a successful series.
F-Zero X and GX both sold over 300,000 copies in the US alone. Maybe the problem is that in Japan they were only around 100,000 each -- Nintendo cares more about home sales, probably. As for European sales I don't know, but GX seems to have done well there -- it got a Player's Choice re-release there as well as in the US, which in the US at least required 250,000 sales on the GC. I don't know what the bar was in Europe though. So sure, F-Zero isn't a million-selling series, but for the GC, GX did perfectly decently. It did not do poorly.
 

Punchy4486

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F-Zero X and GX both sold over 300,000 copies in the US alone. Maybe the problem is that in Japan they were only around 100,000 each -- Nintendo cares more about home sales, probably. As for European sales I don't know, but GX seems to have done well there -- it got a Player's Choice re-release there as well as in the US, which in the US at least required 250,000 sales on the GC. I don't know what the bar was in Europe though. So sure, F-Zero isn't a million-selling series, but for the GC, GX did perfectly decently. It did not do poorly.

Apparently it did poorly enough that they don't want to make another one unless they have an idea for it that they think will help it sell better. That's my point.

I'm not criticizing the game. I'm just saying, they don't want to put development time creating a new "by the numbers" F-Zero and have it break even or sell 300,000 or whatever. It's not worth it to them. So, they won't release a "by the numbers" F-Zero game. They'll either go all out with it, or do nothing with it (or go slimmed-down digital with it... if they weren't Nintendo). And they haven't thought of a way to go all out with it yet.
 

Pikma

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I'm sure there'll be at least one more in the future, and it'll be great, I don't doubt that, the question here is when, and if I'll still be alive by then. :(
 

Soul_Pie

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It's a bit of a shame, really, because Nintendo has an incredible pedigree in the racing space. Nowadays it really does seem to be Mario Kart or bust. F-zero GX is probably my favourite racing game ever and at this point I'd be pretty happy with a remaster of that game even if we don't ever see a new entry in the series. That would have sold me on a WiiU day one.

I do think the way they think about their lineup of games is entirely short sighted. I mean, F-zero, Wave Race and the like were never the biggest sellers but they added much needed depth and variety to the lineup and attracted a very different set of fans, probably the ones that used to buy ten games a year as opposed to playing Wii Sports and Mario Kart for the entirety of the Wii's life. It seems like Nintendo caters to a very narrow audience these days.
 

Madao

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Because the universe is unfair, I mean look at this shit. Online and HD are some new things we want Miyamoto, goddamn it.

It's not like there are other alternatives in the current market. What makes it even more baffling is the fact that Nintendo (or Miyamoto) believes they need a gimmick in order to justify working on a particular project, instead of focusing on gameplay quality first, as they do with every other series

they don't even have to create new content.

just port FZX to 3DS with the Expansion Kit, improve the graphics and everyone outside japan already gets a game that is 50% new since the Expansion Kit had extra content that was never released outside japan and it also has a track editor that is pretty much new to anyone living outside japan and a new idea that none of the F-Zero games that came in the west had.

this is why i hate miyamoto nowadays. he's fine with shitty sequels like Yoshi's New Island and yet F-Zero can't return because "there's nothing new we can do with the series". fuck off douchebags and sell the series to someone that cares.
 

neohwa

Junior Member
May 16, 2012
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Mario Kart are cheaper to make and sell a lot better than some other racers like waverace and 1080 snowboarding.

but please bring back Waverace.
 
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Apparently it did poorly enough that they don't want to make another one unless they have an idea for it that they think will help it sell better. That's my point.

I'm not criticizing the game. I'm just saying, they don't want to put development time creating a new "by the numbers" F-Zero and have it break even or sell 300,000 or whatever. It's not worth it to them. So, they won't release a "by the numbers" F-Zero game. They'll either go all out with it, or do nothing with it (or go slimmed-down digital with it... if they weren't Nintendo). And they haven't thought of a way to go all out with it yet.
No, I don't think this is it. Thinking about it, maybe the bigger problem is that the game only sold 100,000 in Japan on the N64 and Gamecube? Sure, in the US it sold triple that, and it seems to have done well in Europe as well, but not-great sales in Japan might lead Nintendo to not care because they care the most about their home region...
 

Bill Rizer

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Nov 9, 2005
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Wave Race 64 is undoubtably one of the absolute greatest games of all time, it is maddening to think we've never been graced with a new installment.
 
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You missed BS F-Zero Grand Prix 1 & 2.

Huh? The BS F-Zero games are on the list, in the Satellaview section...

If someone made a list of the most recent non-Kart racing games Nintendo has made, I am betting that most of those games did not sell very well.
Excluding those two Domo games for DSiWare, Nintendo hasn't released a non-Mario Kart racing game that isn't a NES Excitebike port or redo (NES Remix, 3D Excitebike) since 2010, and hasn't released one on physical media -- and, that means, one with a significant budget -- since Excitebots in 2009. And yes, Excitebots didn't sell great, unfortunately, but it also got almost no marketing; Nintendo seems to have given up on it before release, which is unfortunate for the followup to the reasonably successful, and quite fun, Excite Truck.

And seriously, even if Excitebots didn't do nearly as well as it should have, that game released five years ago now! Time has passed, and their new system needs games.
 

Woo-Fu

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Probably because the arcade racer is a dead genre on console. Criterion could have done something but they've been assimilated by EA and are only allowed to make a series of NFS games nobody wanted in the first place.