Nintendo Tries Jedi Mind Trick

You -will- hate used games!

You -will- hate used games!

You know Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, seems like a pretty okay guy. After all, what other higher up in any company would allow themselves to be put on a t-shirt? But every now and then  he says or does something that reminds me that no matter how cool video game executives may seem, they’re all tools.

Gossipgamers.com had an article today, that took a terrible nosedive into “Battle of the Sexes” but it started out with good intentions. Reggie gave an interview to VentureBeat (go Team Venture!…sorry) magazine and, bless him, made himself sound like an idiot. Here’s the bit that has people talking:

VB: Used games are coming up as a big issue again. Why?

RFA: More and more retailers are experimenting with the used game model. We don’t believe used games are in the best interest of the consumer. We have products that consumers want to hold onto. They want to play all of the levels of a Zelda game and unlock all of the levels. A game like Personal Trainer Cooking has a long life. We believe used games aren’t in the consumer’s best interest.

VB: Because?

RFA: Describe another form of entertainment that has a vibrant used goods market. Used books have never taken off. You don’t see businesses selling used music CDs or used DVDs. Why? The consumer likes having a brand-new experience and reliving it over and over again. If you create the right type of experience, that also happens in video games.

VB: Could this be rectified if the retailers share some of that used game revenue with the publishers?

RFA: That could make it more palatable. But we just think it’s a bad idea. The one retailer that has a substantial business in this has figured out a way that is effective for the consumer. That’s tough for other retailers experimenting with this, in part because their employees don’t have the expertise in this market.

The bits that are like this were added as emphasis by me. Now, I’m no economics major, but let me see if I can dissect those bits into laymen terms.

1. We don’t believe games are in the best interest of the consumer.

What Reggie really means to say here is that used games aren’t in the best interest of Nintendo. If you’re buying Zelda used for $34.99 instead of new for $49.99, that’s money out of their pocket. Reggie does try a nice guilt tactic, that sadly seems to work on fanboys of any system, which implies that selling your games back to buy other games or pay rent somehow makes you less of a gamer. Nice try, Fils-Aime but I see what you did there.

2. You don’t see business’s selling used music CD’s or DVD’s.

O rly? Maybe not from your posh Nintendo of America address. Or if you don’t have internet access in your spiffy corner office to shop on Ebay. Or Amazon.com. Hell, I live in a puny, middle of nowhere dot and I can think of three stores off the top of my head that sell used DVD’s and CD’s. And there’s no Jedi mind trick implied here; just plain ol’ denial.

3. That would make it more palatable.(Imagine him saying this in Emperor Palpatine’s voice)

Reggie, Reggie, Reggie. You had them in the palm of your hand and you ruined it with this simple sentence. By admitting that “certain retailers” *cough*GameStop*cough* cutting you a slice of the profit margins would make used games in the best interest of the consumer, you only prove that my interpretation of your first point is correct. When did executives become so transparent in their attempt to become Scrooge McDuck?

Interview FAIL.

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