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Nikkei: Iwata talks about Animal Crossing downloads, game dev and free to play

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
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Its not just you Iwata, even me I thought it will under preform like other titles in comparison to its DS counterpart.
And now - not only is it roughly double the sales of City Folk in Japan, but it's out-pacing the DS version significantly.
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
Jul 31, 2007
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The games success is not that surprising on a handheld, but Iwata's comments make me believe they had a lot of stress with the Wii version bombing.
As they should have as that game had almost no new content. They tried to half-heart a sequel and it came back to bite them.

As a result, it appears this new one is totally new.
 

Terrell

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Apr 1, 2006
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I think the fact that they haven't announced a release date yet is proof enough of how they've botched things already. In a game that depends so much on the social aspect, there is no reason the release dates for the different regions should be so far apart. They could still gain back some ground, but they are already starting behind.

As for NoA's marketing, their recent efforts have been pretty poor IMO. Their holiday push was far too Wii U heavy, and they didn't even have enough new content to support that after the initial buzz wore off.
Hear that, folks? The amount of lines of dialog is completely irrelevant! Localizations of million-lines-of-text games can happen at the snap of a damn finger!!
 

Hours Left

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Jun 28, 2006
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Hear that, folks? The amount of lines of dialog is completely irrelevant! Localizations of wall-of-text games can happen at the snap of a damn finger!!
The Japanese and North America versions of Wild World and City Folk were both released within a week or so of each other. New Leaf could of been the same if NoA had made it a priority, which they did not.

Nintendo needs to make concurrent localizations of their text heavy games more of a reality with the 3DS. The gaps between Fire Emblem and New Leaf's Japanese and North America releases are far too wide.
 
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As they should have as that game had almost no new content. They tried to half-heart a sequel and it came back to bite them.

As a result, it appears this new one is totally new.
Exactly how I feel. AC is my favorite Nintendo franchise, and the Wii version was a huge letdown. :(
 

panama chief

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May 2, 2011
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with all the praise and love....why take so long to get it out in the US? stop the "we need to translate it" shit and start hitting us with worldwide releases please.
 

Tiktaalik

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Aug 6, 2004
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All those digital sales at such a premium price point suggests that Nintendo is on the right track with their current digital strategy. It's not as if the Japanese market is unfamiliar with cheap iPhone price points and free to play options.
 

donny2112

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Apr 18, 2005
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Well, Iwata, you would have to realize that's what happens when you make a almost-direct port of a DS game on Wii and expect people to treat it as something entirely new.
Why? The DS game was basically a direct port of the GameCube version
with tons of great features removed
, and it sold marvelously. Why shouldn't they expect to rinse and repeat to success on Wii?

So glad they're adding back in some of those "lost" GameCube features along with so many other changes in the 3DS game!
 

Zenaku

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Feb 20, 2007
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500k huh? Nice.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but within the last month or so AC took 1st place on the eShops download ranking. In other words, it's sold more download copies than anything else on the eShop, including the Pokemon AR Searcher.

Great for AC, but I get this means a 500k limit for every title under it, not that I expected many to have sold that much.
 

wsippel

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May 25, 2006
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Right, this is why we actually see so many companion products, apps, social media accounts, community managers, and every other aspect of social networking tied to major game releases these days.

That Nintendo is actually finally seeing there is a notable benefit to this however, is a good step forward for the company.
That's not really a valid comparison. Nintendo is in a very different position compared to all those other companies you're talking about, and handles things quite a bit differently as well.
 
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I've never played an AC game. But extremely hyped for the 3DS version. In fact the first half of 2012is all about 3DS for me with the only console on my radar being Ni No Kuni.
 

watershed

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Mar 12, 2011
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So 500K downloaded? That's pretty damn good for Nintendo. I bet all those in store shortages helped.
 

remnant

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Despite all the monthly threads on GAF calling for Iwata to be fired, when you read something like his comments about smartphones helping drive AC's popularity it seems like he's one of the few in the industry who actually "gets" it.
As long as Nintendo releases underpowered consoles and purposely builds a platform 3rd party don't want to work on, he doesn't get it and should be fired or at the very least demoted
 

Terrell

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Apr 1, 2006
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The Japanese and North America versions of Wild World and City Folk were both released within a week or so of each other. New Leaf could of been the same if NoA had made it a priority, which they did not.

Nintendo needs to make concurrent localizations of their text heavy games more of a reality with the 3DS. The gaps between Fire Emblem and New Leaf's Japanese and North America releases are far too wide.
Consider that there's already been accusations of WW and CF being incredibly similar to the original, then add that both were released in a time with no games competing for the localization team's attention. With New Leaf, Fire Emblem was currently the first priority for localization. Two large-scale localizations don't just magically happen overnight.
 

Pociask

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Nov 30, 2009
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Consider that there's already been accusations of WW and CF being incredibly similar to the original, then add that both were released in a time with no games competing for the localization team's attention. With New Leaf, Fire Emblem was currently the first priority for localization. Two large-scale localizations don't just magically happen overnight.
This excuse doesn't make sense. It's not as if NCL was like "SURPRISE! We're releasing two text heavy games in a week. Good luck Tree House!"

If NOA can't strategically plan to have resources in place to get NCL games released concurrently, then that's Nintendo's fault.
 

Hours Left

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Jun 28, 2006
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Consider that there's already been accusations of WW and CF being incredibly similar to the original, then add that both were released in a time with no games competing for the localization team's attention. With New Leaf, Fire Emblem was currently the first priority for localization. Two large-scale localizations don't just magically happen overnight.
Granted, City Folk was not a big expansion but Wild World was a big step up IMO, though this isn't really relevant to my point.

NoA/Treehouse doesn't work in a vacuum, they are certainly capable of planning their localization schedules better. Whether or not some of blame lies with Japan is unknown, but they need to be a lot more proactive. The localization of Fire Emblem should of much sooner, and then they would of had the resources to devote to New Leaf.

Nintendo as a whole needs to get their releases on a more globally concurrent scale. These huge gaps of time between Japan and North American releases, (and then PAL, etc.) are not acceptable.
 

Fewr

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Jun 2, 2006
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"Not one of the developers was thinking about how many units the game would sell. They were purely focused on creating a game that the users could say 'Yes, this game satisfied me' and focused on improving a game series they love. And with that, hundreds of thousands of people have spent over 20,000 yen for a single game and the hardware. That's not a method or phenomenon that many other game developers get to experience, I imagine."
Capcom + Megaman

So many more examples...
 

donny2112

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Apr 18, 2005
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Granted, City Folk was not a big expansion but Wild World was a big step up IMO,
Just curious, but what was the "big step up" for Wild World over the original besides online and portability?

Edit:
No sense listing all the stuff they took out. It's just too frustrating.

Does the 500k figure include download clothes?
It's downloaded games, including download cards. What "download clothes"?
 

Hours Left

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Jun 28, 2006
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Just curious, but what was the "big step up" for Wild World over the original besides online and portability?

Edit:
No sense listing all the stuff they took out. It's just too frustrating.
There's a good article on the Animal Crossing wiki that details all the changes. While not all of them were welcome (the faux holidays for example), I feel that it was a substantial upgrade over Population Growing.
 

donny2112

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Apr 18, 2005
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There's a good article on the Animal Crossing wiki that details all the changes.
Nothing I didn't remember then (played GameCube one for around 2 years and still go back to it from time to time for holidays, played DS one for around a year and just hated all the wonderful things from the GameCube version they took out with almost no worthwhile additions). Opinions. For me, the series has been going downhill since the GameCube original. Portability is a big bonus, but the DS game itself was a huge downgrade content-wise for me. The 3DS game seems like they're finally moving on to an "Animal Crossing 2" content-wise, so am really looking forward to it. Since they're finally bringing back some of the stuff from the GameCube version that they pulled from all subsequent versions, it's even better. :)
 
Iwata: Wait a minute... people buy games... DIGITALLY? Why did no one tell me this before?!

Nintendo hasn't had a happy history with online games, but I feel that they have made some pretty impressive strides this gen with their online presence. Animal Crossing is definitely a series that could greatly benefit by having stronger online integration, so it's good to see Nintendo is aware of this.
 

VGChampion

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May 5, 2007
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Nothing I didn't remember then (played GameCube one for around 2 years and still go back to it from time to time for holidays, played DS one for around a year and just hated all the wonderful things from the GameCube version they took out with almost no worthwhile additions). Opinions. For me, the series has been going downhill since the GameCube original. Portability is a big bonus, but the DS game itself was a huge downgrade content-wise for me. The 3DS game seems like they're finally moving on to an "Animal Crossing 2" content-wise, so am really looking forward to it. Since they're finally bringing back some of the stuff from the GameCube version that they pulled from all subsequent versions, it's even better. :)
Yeah, this is the first time I'm excited for an AC game since the Gamecube. I couldn't get into the DS or the Wii version.
 

BriBri

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Jul 6, 2012
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Thanks for the translation StreetsAhead. I'm 148 hours into New Leaf now and can only praise it. Hoping they skip the Wii U and keep the series on handheld in the future. Like mainline Pokémon it's designed for portability.
 

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
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Thanks for the translation StreetsAhead. I'm 148 hours into New Leaf now and can only praise it. Hoping they skip the Wii U and keep the series on handheld in the future. Like mainline Pokémon it's designed for portability.
No, damnit, I want a Wii U version - one that looks at least as good as the one from Nintendo Land. It uses edited assests from the 3DS anyway.
 

cacildo

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Oct 19, 2009
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However, the Wii version, it was highly anticipated and we released it into the world but it didn't go very well, right? That game is, for us, one with many points of reflection."
"Yeah, selling the same DS game again on the wii wasnt such a good idea..."

At that point, the core members of the Animal Crossing team used this reflection as a spring board, saying 'Let's make the next game one that our customers can really enjoy'.
Sooo... you released City Folk thinking "our customers wont enjoy this, but lets release it anyway"?
 

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
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Sooo... you released City Folk thinking "our customers wont enjoy this, but lets release it anyway"?
More like low sales + (possibly) low Club Nintendo scores means they realised fans didn't enjoy it.

Honestly, I expect Wii U AC to really show off Miiverse, more than any other title.
 

RaidenZR

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Jul 14, 2004
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Does anyone have that gif of the sales chart showing the various 3DS games racing to 2 million, and Animal Crossing steals it?
 

Spirit Icana

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Jan 16, 2006
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As they should have as that game had almost no new content. They tried to half-heart a sequel and it came back to bite them.

As a result, it appears this new one is totally new.
I wonder if that is now happening to another sequel to a mega seller that they have that is indeed half-hearted and this new Animal Crossing is currently beating it to a pulp in Japan.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
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Space is the Place
The business with not using an existing IP for other models such as free-to-play seems pretty key to how Nintendo thinks.

It seems they tend to create IP not just for the sake of having random characters nobody's seen before, but to support a concept or idea. I.e. people complain often that Nintendo doesn't make enough new IP. But typically in the industry, new IP is created merely to graft onto an existing game framework and sell it as something "fresh" - like all the copycat first person shooters that chase the COD dollar. Nintendo didn't get any respect from the enthusiast crowd this gen for all the new IP they created like Wiiverse stuff (there has to be a name for Miis, Wuhu Island, etc), but it was kinda major new IP. Created for new kinds of games and new purposes.

When they came up with a fresh and original combination of gameplay ideas for Dillon's Rolling Western on 3DS, they did indeed create a new universe and cast of characters to support that.

If they become concerned and interested in striking out into various new territories once more, it seems we'll see a variety of new IP.