The Nintendo that I knew and loved has changed


   Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love Nintendo. I will buy anything that they put out, and I love using their game consoles and playing their games. However, lately, their business practices have made me question whether or not the company is the same company that I fell in love with years ago.

   My support for the company came into question on November 20, 2020 when a major Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament was cancelled by Nintendo. The tournament was originally going to be an in-person tournament, but because of the pandemic, the tournament was going to be online. The only problem is that Super Smash Bros. Melee was originally released on the GameCube back in 2001 when there was no way for online play. The players emulated the game through their computers and used a program called Slippi which allowed them to play online. Nintendo shut down the competition because the players were emulating copies of Super Smash Bros. Melee.

   “Unfortunately, the upcoming Big House tournament announced plans to host an online tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee that requires use of illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called ‘Slippi’ during their online event,” a spokesperson for Nintendo said (The Verge). “Nintendo therefore contacted the tournament organizers to ask them to stop. They refused, leaving Nintendo no choice but to step in to protect its intellectual property and brands. Nintendo cannot condone or allow piracy of its intellectual property.”

   This response makes no sense to me because Nintendo is not even making money on Super Smash Bros. Melee anyway. The game is twenty years old and Nintendo does not offer the game for purchase through their newer consoles, which is sometimes what they do for older games. Even if gamers could track down a legitimate copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee from a website like eBay, the money would not be going into the pockets of Nintendo because the game is not even being made anymore. The game itself goes for upwards of two-hundred dollars on eBay. Look, the argument of whether or not emulators are legally or morally right can be had all day. However, at the end of the day, people are playing a twenty-year-old game. Nintendo should not care at all because they will never see profits from copies of Super Smash Bros. Melee anyway. If people were not paying for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the newest entry in the series, that would be a bigger deal. Nintendo shutting this down proves that the company does not care about players having fun.

   Nintendo’s bigger, more recent controversy is the removal of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Super Mario 3D All-Stars was released on September 18, 2020 to celebrate the thirty-five year anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The game was a collection of Mario’s three most popular 3D games being Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. The compilation of all three games is a big deal. This was the first time that Super Mario Sunshine has been ported to any recent Nintendo home console since its original release in 2002. This is also Super Mario Galaxy’s first time being ported without the use of the Wii sensor bar. Included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the soundtrack to all three games. The one downside is that the game would be sold only until March 31, 2021. This means that now, the game is no longer purchasable through retailers, or digitally through the Nintendo Switch eShop. This move absolutely infuriates me because Nintendo is using a scummy business tactic called “Fear of Missing Out,” or FOMO, to drive up sales. It obviously works because Nintendo has sold over eight-million copies worldwide, with sales going up 276% in the last week of the game’s life. What really irritates me about this is that people claim Nintendo is truly preserving their legacy games by putting these on the newer hardware. If this were the case, Nintendo would not make you buy these games within a limited time frame. The games themselves are very poor ports as well. Super Mario 64 runs at 720p with thirty frames per second, and it is in a 4:3 aspect ratio. With the recent PC port of Super Mario 64 that gets the game running at 1080p sixty frames per second with a 16:9 aspect ratio, it was done by individuals who do not work for Nintendo. If individuals who care about making the older games better and care about preserving the game make a great PC port, then why can’t Nintendo do the same? Super Mario Sunshine runs at 1080p thirty frames per second and Super Mario Galaxy runs at 1080p sixty frames per second. If those games can run well on the newer hardware, then why can’t Super Mario 64 run better than ever before on Nintendo’s own official hardware? Super Mario 64 direly needs an upgrade because it is showing its age, but Nintendo just glances over it. 

   The sad part is that the use of FOMO works. Nintendo released a project with little to no love, and everyone bought it. The fact that people are becoming okay with buying something out of fear of it going away forever scares me. When Nintendo cares more about people emulating a game that was put out twenty years ago than players having fun, that frightens me. These moves make me have so many questions: Does Nintendo want people playing their older, legacy games? Does Nintendo still care about the players? Has Nintendo gotten greedy? Is this the same Nintendo that I and many other people fell in love with? Everyone claims Nintendo has been the best in terms of content and ethics in the video game industry, but the more that time goes on, the more I realize that this is slowly becoming false. Nintendo claims to be for the gamer, but their business practices are becoming more anti-gamer by the day.