Is It Possible For Nintendo (Or Anyone) To Make A Game For Everyone?

By Spencer . August 10, 2009 . 3:28pm

image At Nintendo’s E3 briefing Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, mentioned the concept of “everyone’s game”. This tidbit was glossed over in favor of other Nintendo announcements like Metroid: Other M and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

 

The question is can a developer make a game that suits veteran gamers and newcomers?

 

During Nintendo’s recent investors conference Iwata discussed the idea further.

 

This is easier said than done. It is a huge challenge to make a game that will please and be fun for both veteran gamers with the expected depth and novice gamers who say “I don’t get it” but provide them with particular depth that can lead them to deeper points just as they become eager to play longer. Nintendo would like to tackle this enormous challenge.

 

This is one of the reasons why we spent time fine-tuning Wii Sports Resort and this is also the challenge with New Super Brothers Wii. When we can finally demonstrate to the world that these products can satisfy different types of people at the same time, you will probably understand what Nintendo was talking about. For your information, when I talked about this “Everyone’s game” concept at this year’s E3 media briefing, I really did not get any response from the audience. Maybe it was a sign that people do not believe it would be possible.

 

Wii Sports Resort might be pretty close. There’s a skill component for core gamers and the controls are natural enough for newcomers to skip the instructions. Swordplay might tilt towards ludicrous shaking than skill, though.

 

This is probably a good Siliconera Speaks Up question, but we’ll ask it now. Is it possible for Nintendo or any other publisher/developer to make a game that satiates core gamers and is intuitive enough for newcomers to play?


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  • malek86

    They already exist. Think Peggle, for example.

    But on a larger scope, the problem is, you still have to take the lowest denominator. If you want to make a game for everyone, you have to first make it for the casuals, and only then you can add the depth required for veterans. Can you make a SRPG that both players will like? It’s difficult. Chances are, the casuals won’t even try to understand it. And if you make it too simple, veterans will complain.

    This essentially limits your choices to what the casuals will like from the beginning.

  • Ereek

    No game is ever going to satisfy everybody. People love to complain, even if it’s about the smallest things. In fact, many traits us “core” gamers whine about are generally not good for a game as a whole. We might want some things changed, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best business decision to change them.

    However, I think some games do bridge the gap between “core” and “casual” well. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking the very first Devil May Cry and pretty much any Metal Gear Solid. In a sense, one might say Kingdom Hearts does, too.

  • Saturnus

    I think it’s possible, though extremely difficult. Some genres just wouldn’t work though ([S]RPGs for example).

    Pokemon comes to mind as a game that appeals to kids and casuals, as well as people looking for the competitive aspect of it (breeding, etc).

    • Joanna

      ha. I was thinking pokemon as well. God that game is a time sink! (not complaining, I love it for that XD)

      I also agree that S/RPGs are hard to get into for newcomers. I tried to get my brother (10 years old) hooked, but he just gets frustrated with them. He does however play pokemon! I think part of the problem is that we have different genre tastes as well, he seems to be warming up to action games & platformers more so than S/RPGs.

  • symytry

    A game designed for everyone is really a game for no one.

    • Saturnus

      Where is your logic behind that?

      I smell an elitist horse.

      • symytry

        lol.

        the quote comes from Yukio Futatsugi…and he’s right.

  • daizyujin

    No.

    • Pesmerga00

      Second.

  • Joanna

    I think it’s possible, just I doubt it will work for every genre. Adding difficulty modes could help when aiming for an Everybody game. And those in-game tutorial that Nintendo talked about before will also help. So it is possible, but Nintendo has to be careful not to make the games too easy, while giving newcomers the option of an easier setting or tutorials.

  • Jirin

    Here’s an idea. Have DIFFICULTY LEVELS.

    The problem is now gamers expect to be able to coast through a game. It used to be, the early levels were super easy and the later levels were super hard. It used to be, new gamers would enjoy the early levels, then the later levels would be there to please the hardcore gamers. Now companies for some insane reason think the entire game has to be the same difficulty and never really get harder!

    So either go back to how games are *supposed* to be and scale difficulty throughout the game, or have two fundamentally different difficulty levels. Like, how Zelda 1 had a second quest and Valkyrie Profile’s hard mode had completely different dungeons. Every game should have a second quest that’s insanely hard. Throw that in, I’ll stop complaining games are too easy. There, everyone gets what they want.

    • Jirin

      One note to add. The problem with most games’ difficulty levels is that they’re the exact same game with enemy stat multipliers. So you get the same overly simple level design and control, only with less room for error. That’s boring. Do it like Zelda 1 did.

  • jarrodand

    Alexey Pajitnov did it.

    • Parable

      Tetris FTW!

  • QBasic

    100% impossible. Maybe two decades ago it might’ve been possible. But people are bitchy and douchebags today. A good chunk of our society will act like asshats and hate on something just for the sake of hating it.

  • Parable

    The only game IMO that perfectly fits this concept is Tetris. In my mind, Puzzle games would work best and then possibly breeding/fighting games like Pokemon and Monster Rancher or even the good old platformers like the original Sonic the Hedgehog. But you would need a game that doesn’t necessarily have an ultimate goal so you could play until you fail and then replay to get better. If there’s a story and ultimate goal but the game gets progressively harder then we have the problem of newcomers who give up and/or hand off the controller constantly to a core gamer to get them past a part. Often that leads to frustration and getting tired of the game if you can’t overcome it yourself. There also needs to be modes with increasing complexity and strategic thought for the core crowd. Or at least actions that aren’t necessary for a newcomer but would make things more interesting in the eyes of a core gamer.

    I don’t believe this could be done at all with an S/RPG.

  • nekoswirl

    *cough* Burnout *cough*

  • Serge73

    I think Wii Sports Resort or NSMB Wii is as close as it can get, but judging by the whining of all the hardcore people with “I don’t wanna wave my arms around!” or “The game sucks because there’s the option for it to play itself if I’m stuck”, there’s no way to make everyone happy. There’s just too many whiners out there…>_>

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