It’s probably no exaggeration to say that Nintendo has one of the strongest library of properties in media in general. There was a time that Mario was more recognizable than Mickey Mouse, which could very well still be true except no one is polling on that anymore. In the last decade or two, however, the platform holder has had a difficult time making new properties stick, with only a few new IPs really standing toe-to-toe with their heavy hitters. According to Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa, that’s something they’re looking to change.
In an interview with Japanese publication Nikkei and translated by VGC, Furukawa outlines how video games have to compete for time with every other thing in life and that creating new original worlds is key to that.
“Games are not a necessity of life. In order for customers to choose games in their finite time, they have to be interesting,” Furukawa told Nikkei. “Competition is tough, and I am not optimistic. I myself am looking at and studying various forms of entertainment. In the future, we will focus on creating new game series as well as long-sellers such as Mario and Zelda.”
Games like Splatoon, which got an announcement for a third game in six years recently, have been big sellers for Nintendo, but not every IP manages to sell quite as well. The opportunity cost for making an original series versus, say, just making another Mario game is probably one that Nintendo stops to consider with each new title. Ideally they find the right balance between the two, but that’s easier said than done.