Consumer Satisfaction Concerns Led To Wii U Software Delay Says Iwata

By Ishaan . June 18, 2013 . 1:30pm

The people that buy videogames are becoming harder and harder to satisfy, says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Cheap or free games released for smart devices are making people think twice before spending money on game purchases, and this in turn is pressuring traditional developers to create games that are even higher in quality than before.


“With countless games offered for free, consumers are far more careful than ever to decide whether it is worthwhile to spend dozens of dollars to buy one game,” Iwata said to analysts during a recent Q&A. Iwata was replying to someone asking why Nintendo have been delaying so many of their upcoming Wii U games.


“Under these circumstances,” Iwata says, “we feel that it is important to offer games that are even more polished than before in terms of quality to have consumers buy our products, understand the value that they offer and recommend them to others by word-of-mouth. It now requires incredibly high-quality products to satisfy consumers to the level where they feel compelled to recommend them to others; the barriers are indeed higher than before.”


He continued: “Moreover, it is not an easy task to regain the trust of the fans of a franchise once you lose it. Therefore, it is critical for us to improve and re-polish any game that we feel is still lacking in quality. Failing to do so, we feel, would be detrimental to what makes our strong franchises the valuable assets that they are.”


Iwata then elaborated on the Wii U situation specifically.


“We had to push back the releases of some games because it has become more difficult to satisfy the quality standards that we feel are necessary for games to satisfy before they are released,” he explained. “It was not because it took us more time to take advantage of what is unique about the hardware.”


“On the other hand, we have become more experienced as we continue to develop software on our platforms, and we have gradually been able to predict more accurately how long it will take a particular game to meet our quality standards. There has been a software shortage in the past two years (for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) in the early stages of their product lifecycles because it took us time to meet our quality standards.”


Nintendo’s slate of Wii U titles for 2013 will begin with the launch of Pikmin 3 in August.


Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Herok♞

    Well Nintendo gets it, lets hope that from here on out we get a steady stream of stuff.

    • J_Joestar

      IIRC they also want to try and avoid making announcements too early (maybe with a few exceptions like Smash), so that games are usually only a several months off rather than Versus13 levels of waiting.

      • Herok♞

        well they don’t have anything to far out right now.

  • Yan Zhao

    “Moreover, it is not an easy task to regain the trust of the fans of a franchise once you lose it.”

    Sear this message into your mind, Capcom.

    • Warboss Aohd

      an’ EA, an’ Bioware, an’ Sega, ‘goes on a tangent naming multiple game companies’

    • GH56734

      Mother 3 was impopular in Japan because it was “disappointing” compared to the huge expectations set by the cancelled N64 version, according to earthboundcentral… maybe Nintendo consider this series an example of losing trust with fans? (I know Itoi said there won’t be M4 but still.. no remakes?)
      It’s good to hear someone (unsurprisingly, Nintendo) in this decaying industry still upholding values such as franchise integrity and customer respect

  • French

    This is why I never have a problem with Nintendo…

  • French

    I dont mind waiting extra long for an extra special game…I think games like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed which come out yearly adds pressure on other companies

  • No problems here. I have plenty of patience, so I can wait as long as I need to play great games. Just as long as I don’t have to wait 7 years :P

    But I have to say that I think they should of planned better. New Super Mario Bros. U would have potentially been a big system seller if they didn’t release New Super Mario Bros. 2 just 3 months ahead of it. Are most people, parents in particular, really going to go out and buy a whole new system just for a game that’s largely identical to the one that came 3 months before it?

    A lot of people would have already had a 3DS to play NSMB2, and even if they didn’t, the most expensive option to play it, which is buying a 3DS XL and a brand new copy, is still much cheaper than paying for the Wii U basic system alone. And by the time it launched, people already had their 2D Mario fix. I think that would at least somewhat explain why they are having trouble with sales.

    But still. I’m happy one major game is launching each month beginning in August. The no gaemz argument will hopefully come to an end soon.

  • puchinri

    I forgot how Miyamoto worded it, but I always remember when that quote from him about a delayed game being able to become a good game, but a rushed game would always be a bad game.

    Personally, the time and effort that Nintendo put into their titles is also beyond satisfactory to me, and I’m glad that while they’re a business and they’re upfront about it, they always appreciate and respect their consumers and fans; and they also realize how essential the role is of the consumer (because who’s going to buy your product otherwise).

    I don’t mind delays usually as long as it’s legit. Yeah, waiting can be tedious, but if it means more quality, that’s not a problem. That should not be something to complain about. (However, delays like the Rayman one are something entirely different.)

    Hopefully, Nintendo will always live by this standard and the other standards that they’ve set for themselves. I also hope that Iwata’s words here (and what Reggie has said recently) mean that they realize even more how valuable many of their franchises are and give them more love – older and newer ones alike.

    • SetzerGabbiani

      Yeah, the Rayman business was all about potential profit. Even if I understand why they did it (and Square with Deus Ex), they still deserved the ire of the fans who were waiting for the game…and it was less than a month until release too which made the sting all the worse.

      • puchinri

        Pretty much.

        I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand the delay. Going multiplat? That’s fair, but the delay (that big of one in this circumstance) is just uncalled and ridiculous. It’s a pretty sad instance, and the type that I hope won’t happen often this gen.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    This is the very reason I will always buy Nintendo consoles and support their games. They get that there is a delicate balance between business and consumer satisfaction, and they treat their brands like works of fine art. Most of their titles have staying power for a reason.

  • Göran Isacson

    I wonder if they mean that they needed time to get used to working on HD graphics, or if it was also gameplay and other such design-related stuff that also took them so long. Like, from what I’ve heard THE big money and time-guzzler in HD development is making sure the graphics look okay even if they are blown up to HD proportions, so I wonder if they just felt their games didn’t look pretty enough or if it was more than just that they felt they had to polish.

    • glenngunnerzero

      Perhaps a mix of both, Making graphics better while preserving the gameplay and fluidity of fidelity. I can name a couple of games last year that upped the graphic department at the expense of Framerate.

      • Göran Isacson

        True, the games with the flashier graphics and effects often take a frame-rate hit and have the developers skimp out on some areas of the gameplay in order to ensure it stays pretty.

        I just hope that this is something which they can learn to do quicker next time around. Because if not, I fear that we may see another game drought when the titles they’ve been holding back finally get released, only to then have them go into developing the next games and then have THOSE games take just as much time t oget done.

  • TalesLaw

    Hating something won’t give what you wanted.

  • Kandou Erik

    As a Wii U Early Adopter, I have to say the drought of games hasn’t been pleasent. BUT – Its that top-notch eye for quality that made me want to invest in Nintendo’s next system. The wait will be worth it.

    • Sylveria

      Same, my Wii-U may not get much use other than as a Wii-machine currently, but the end result is when stuff like Bayonetta 2 and Zelda come out, the only loss I’ve incurred for adopting early is the time I spend cleaning off dust and finger-prints.

  • Oh Iwata, always taking the high road. That’s why we love you. Just hope it doesn’t end up hurting you in the end…

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    Honestly, that’s all nice but I don’t think Nintendo should get away with it. When it happened with the 3DS I didn’t have a problem. It was new technology altogether, they made mistakes. We can all make mistakes. However, we should learn from our mistakes. Nintendo is the company who one year ago was telling in an interview how Sony should’ve learned from their mistakes and not release a console (PSV) without adequate software to keep up the momentum~.

    Well. Whatever happened with the Wii U then? How come that a company who felt first hand the weight of mistakes at launch goes and repeats the exact same ones? Having standards for quality is fine, but right now, Nintendo basically made people buy a console to wait for X amount of months until the real games come out. And that it is all swept under the floor because of the premise of quality seems far too lenient to me~.

    • Sylveria

      I believe one of the differences between the Wii-U and Vita (keeping in mind I own both) is that Nintendo is supporting the Wii-U and their lack of software is based on an expectation of quality. The Vita, on the other-hand, is not being supported by Sony in any significant fashion and Sony’s 1st party titles are not, and never have been, console sellers, while Nintendo’s always have been.

      There’s also price and competition to consider. The Vita is going up against the 3DS – a cheaper console with no hidden costs (proprietary memory cards) and tremendous backing from 1st and 3rd party developers. While I am quite fond of my Vita, you need at least a 8gig stick to make the thing even remotely viable and, really, you need a 32gig stick because of how many “vita exclusives” are digital only. The “best” original IP on the Vita is Soul Sacrifice, which is directly in competition with Monster Hunter which is available on the 3DS and Wii-U.

      There’s also the considerable problem of titles that may actually sell the console in the states, admittedly not in 3DS quantities, but will sell the device, are not being localized. The same problem the PSP had and continues to have in the states. What Sony should be doing, imo anyway, is offering whatever sexual favors they can think of, or take the burden of the localization/publishing costs, to someone like Square to get stuff like Type-0 localized.

      • Enzo

        A lot of what you said is exactly what I was thinking when reading Juan’s comment. Thank god there are people like you here that can broaden the scope for people on the possibilities and the realities of the gaming world from the viewpoint of the companies.

  • thaKingRocka

    Quality is the only reason anyone needs. I was not happy with my 3DS right away, but now I love the thing. I don’t have a Wii U, but after seeing the lineup at E3, I will buy one for sure. Take your time.

  • Letiumtide

    I look forward to being able to show them I care and appreciate it by picking up a Wii U later this year (I don’t have the money now). It’ll be nice to have along with my PS4.

    There will always be a place on my shelf for a Nintendo product, the only Nintendo console I never purchased during it’s run was the N64.

  • Namuro

    It’s quite disheartening (and annoying) when the media complains and makes fun of Nintendo’s delay with their games. But at the end of the day, it’s the end result that matters. A rushed but rubbish game will be discarded from memories in mere seconds (or forever mocked), but the well polished ones will be praised for years to come.

    Keep up the good work, Nintendo! I’m with you all the way.

  • Ryumoau

    They have no one to blame but themselves. Why would anyone in their right mind get a Wii U now that PS4 is announced at $399 later this year and will have a for better variety of game genres, specifically third party titles (which Nintendo systems seem to fail at getting).

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Let’s do this without the name calling. As noted, Ninty consoles have been purchased for Nintendo first party titles since well — the NES. Throw in an oddball exclusive here and there and folks who are of a mind to buy the WiiU are more than happy.

  • Setsu Oh

    even the kids they target get picky.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos