“A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.” - Shigeru Miyamoto
Nintendo Co., Ltd.
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel. Nintendo soon shifted into a video game company, becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan's third most valuable listed company, with a market value of over US$85 billion.
Besides video games, Nintendo is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington. According to Nintendo's Touch! Generations website, the name "Nintendo" translated from Japanese to English means "Leave luck to Heaven". As of October 2, 2008, Nintendo has sold over 470 million hardware units and 2.7 billion software units.
is an online presentation where information regarding the company's content or franchises is presented, such as information about games and consoles. The presentations began in Japan and North America with the first edition on October 21, 2011, before later expanding to Europe, Australia, and South Korea. Nintendo Directs are frequently broadcast and localised internationally to several regions simultaneously. Outside of the general Nintendo Direct presentations covering a range of titles, there are also Directs centred around specific titles or series. These are usually presented by the producer or director of the game or series, or employ a narrator.
Predatory Monetization / Pricing: In August 2021, Nintendo was one of 12 major game companies to receive a letter from the US Congress, concerned with the collection and "Manipulative Monetization" of children's data, and exposure to online predators. Although not legally required, the letter pressured the companies to adhere to the UK's "Age Appropriate Design Code" (AADC). The ESRB's ratings were specifically called out as 'insufficient', citing expert studies and the rising credit card debt accumulated by children who thought they were using "play Money", succumbed to peer pressure/manipulative design, or became addicted to LootBoxes.
In 2021 the Switch started a paid online service that greatly exceeded the cost of their competitors - $50.00 for a year (double what it used to be) and $80 for a family plan. In addition to the big price tag, the service used poorly emulated N64 games.
Shortages and Poor Quality: Nintendo keeps low stock, leading to regular shortages and price spikes on new items. Amiibos are the most effected. Non-software products have historically been of spotty quality; most notably hardware and the analogue sticks of controllers. In 2022 a UK group reported that 40% of Switch controllers experienced drift.
Illegal Censorship / Copyright Abuse: The company has a long history of illegally censoring consumer screenshots, videos, and gameplay unless part of a paid "creator club". Fair use videos reviewing or discussing Nintendo products are also frequently targeted. Fan projects, films, and competitions have been shut down. Many content creators, journalists, and gaming sites outright refuse to touch anything related to Nintendo because the DMCAs and lost revenue.
Employee Mistreatment: In 2022 a labor complaint was filed by Nintendo contract workers who were paid less (often below minimum wage) than full employees (called "red badges" at the company) despite doing the same work. Nintendo refuses to credit contract workers. They were also passed over for promotion, did not receive health insurance (which full employees get), reprimanded for doing volunteer work in the community (instead of working more at Nintendo), and were fired for discussing unionization or their working conditions. Contract workers who worked 20 years next to "red badges" were never once invited to the company cookouts. Contract workers are required to have a "red badge" escort when traveling around the campus and are forbidden from eating lunch in the Mario cafe or showing their parents around the Nintendo museum. At least one employee sustained a head injury at work, was denied Nintendo health insurance and forbidden from leaving to seek medical treatment. The Nintendo Director opted to work-at-home due to health reasons and reprimanded an immuno-compromised contract worker for requesting the same; the contract worker was then let-go mid-contract without even receiving 24 hours notice.
- In Vol. 77 of Nintendo Power magazine, published in October 1995, Nintendo offered one lucky winner a spot as an extra in the sequel to The Mask. Production on the movie was halted indefinitely after Jim Carrey declined to reprise his role, which also meant that whoever won the contest had their prize in jeopardy. The Nintendo Power editorial staff did eventually deliver a public apology... in the final issue. Nathan Ryan Runk from Arbutus, MD was the winner and when it was clear that the movie wasn't happening, product marketing manager John Ardell of THQ sent a letter on November 4, 1996 along with a crew jacket, box of games, and $5,000 as compensation.