The Game Theory That’s Destroying the Video Game Industry

The video game industry is a highly competitive field where the few giant firms do battle and the little companies try to break into the arena once in a while. A failure of one video game behemoth is the Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo’s newest console, which has become the shining example of the recent failure of the video gaming world. More specifically, it has become an example where mostly all players largely shun the product. Considering the record breaking sales previous console the Wii had, could Nintendo have predicted this happening? According to The Game Theorists YouTube channel, Nintendo was trying to restless gaming fans that pined over new and innovated games, but ended up going against the grain, so to speak; modern gamers actually do not want new games, contrary to what gamers themselves say.

Nintendo, when developing its Wii U console, considered the amazing amount of criticism from the gaming community that begged for new games and new gaming methods; sick of the same re-hashed titles and sequels, gamers wanted innovation. Many of gaming articles, even today, exclaim this desire from gamers and praise the few gems that find their way into the public’s eye (Minecraft, Stanley’s Parable, etc.) But when one looks at the sales records of these new games, they fail to compare to the records that recycled and updated games hold. Games like Call of Duty and Assassins Creed are just a couple of the mega-franchise games that are released almost yearly and consistently outsell their predecessors. These games sell units in the millions while the Wii U and more innovative games can barely get off the shelves. Because of this, The Game Theorists claim that gamers are all “liars, pretty little liars…. “, furthering that “(gamers) dont know what they want… they take to Twitter and social media to gripe about the same games being made over and over but continue to buy those very same games!” It’s this disconnect that is what many think is killing Nintendo. While they have always been about the true fun of games, Nintendo is sorely misunderstanding the game that is being played in the multi-billion dollar industry they used to hold a lions share of. While Nintendo is trying to understand their own fan base and reach out to casual and alternative gamers, they aren’t playing the best strategy in todays sort of market. Nintendo infamously rejects many franchise brands that are not Nintendo originals, rather to focus on their in house products. This choice has left consumers to purchase other consoles from different gaming firms that offer the franchise games they are used to playing and purchasing every year. While gamers might not understand how to maximize their utility, Nintendo is most definitely not understanding the current industry they are slowly losing out on.

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2 thoughts on “The Game Theory That’s Destroying the Video Game Industry”

  1. Very interesting post. I think the problem we’re seeing here is that while gamers may desire something new, that new thing comes with a certain amount of risk. If i buy a game from a franchise that I enjoy, I know what payoff I’m going to get from that game. However, if I buy a new, more innovative game, I don’t know what my payoff is going to be; it could be greater or fall short. I, like most people, don’t have unlimited money, so I have to make sure I’m getting the most I can with my dollar. I guess people would rather buy something that they know they’d like rather than take a risk on something that they might not enjoy. Also, the two examples that you mentioned, Minecraft and Stanley Parable (both of which I enjoy), are not full priced $60 games and they don’t require anything more than a standard computer in terms of hardware, so there is less to lose if it turns out that you didn’t like them.

  2. This is an interesting way to look at this, but would it really benefit Nintendo to imitate the actions of its competitors? Nintendo may be losing out on sales on the popular, multi-platform, games, but it is making money because it offers differentiated games that can’t be found on other consoles. If Nintendo was to change its strategy, and conform to the norm, it would lose the edge it currently has, no matter how small it may be. Like you said, Nintendo has the Wii U, which offers a completely different gaming experience than its competitors. I think that if Nintendo sticks to its guns, it will end up succeeding in the long run, when this generic gaming fad comes to an end. (My love for games like The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Brothers, and Mario Kart may make my opinion biased though)

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