Nintendo is well known for taking risks over the course of it’s history in the video game industry. The release of consoles such as the Virtual Boy (1995-96) and the Wii U(2012-Present), as well as games such as Zelda II (NES, 1987) and Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES, 1988) (the latter I enjoyed personally, but anyways) show that Nintendo understands that in order to make a good product, you need to diverge from what the target audience wants in order to develop a better product in the future.
Last year, at E3 2015, a new game in the Metroid franchise was released, known as Metroid Prime: Federation Force. The fans of the series were outraged by the art style and the lack of certain staples in the franchise, such as Samus Aran herself.
To be fair, the fans have been waiting for a game they’d enjoy for about 5 years when the trailer was released, 8 if they didn’t consider Metroid: Other M (Wii, 2010) appealing. However, it’s times like this when Nintendo fans seem to forget that Nintendo has a history of taking risks in the hopes of delivering a better product, either with the product itself or learning their mistakes in the future. For instance, The horribly designed Virtual Boy was an attempt to push into basic VR and 3D graphics. Honestly, could you picture yourself comfortable wearing this while trying to enjoy a video game?
I can’t. Also, The game selection is almost nonexistent, what games you did have only displayed using black and shades of red and it was best played with the included tripod. However, in 2011 Nintendo would revisit the concept of 3D games with the Nintendo 3DS, which continues to be extremely successful. Thanks to a larger variety, more portability, as well as many other features that come with tech advancements, it’s clear that Nintendo learns from their failures instead of lingering on them.
Recently, Metroid Federation was finally released to average reviews, when the fan base clearly expected their low expectations to be validated. This is partially due to the fan base’s anger towards receiving a product that they didn’t want. What does this mean for Metroid fans? It could mean that a more enjoyable game with features from Federation Force could be developed in the future. Video games are widely accepted as a form of art in 2016, and similar to other art forms, a successful artist needs to diverge from their usual style and attempt something different in order to avoid growing stagnant and boring the potential customers.
Nintendo’s products will eventually become stale if they constantly adhered to their fans’ wishes and continually released similar products repeatedly over the years. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving them a game or system that gives them what they want. It’s simply Nintendo’s desire to give their fan base a more enticing experience.