Miiverse has changed the gaming industry
Miiverse has changed the gaming industry. Don’t believe me? Look at the localization of Earthbound on the North American Wii U Virtual Console. Nintendo has admitted themselves that feedback from angry western gamers who wanted the game prompted them to localize it for non-Japanese markets.
Even though fans were clamoring for Earthbound to come back to North America for years now, all across the web, it was on Miiverse where the movement got Nintendo’s attention. Nintendo can ignore countless fan petitions and blogs online if they want to. What they can’t ignore is Miiverse.
They have paid staff monitoring the site constantly, developers are looking through comments to see what fans like and don’t like about their games. So when Nintendo developers checked out the Balloon Fight VC Miiverse community they were probably surprised to see so many posts about how fans wanted Earthbound in the west.
Nintendo’s Marc Franklin recently stated in an interview that Nintendo took notice of fan feedback on Mother 2, saying:
We did the Nintendo Direct in January, and Mr. Iwata announced to the Japan market that (Mother 2 was releasing on Wii U Virtual Console). People saw the reaction to that announcement in the United States and the reaction was very, very…well, they wanted to see the game. It brought up a lot of desire to see the game. So we finally found that it was the right time to bring it out. There’s a lot that goes into the decision of when to bring a game to market, it’s not as easy as saying “OK, well, let’s bring a game to market,” push a button and there it is. The time was right, and what’s most important is that we’re all excited about it. There’s a lot of fans within Nintendo just as there are outside who are just as eager to play the game. We’re just happy that it’s coming and we’re happy that the fans are excited.
Not only that but you have the Rayman Legends delay fiasco. Just weeks before the game was set to release as an exclusive Wii U title Ubisoft delayed the game until September. They gave little reason for this delay other than to be able to launch the Wii U version alongside 360/PS3 ports.
Fans flooded Miiverse to voice their anger with Ubisoft’s sudden decision to delay the game. Many claimed they would not purchase the game anymore because of the delay. Check out this video of just a few of the Miiverse reactions to this:
Ubisoft officially commented on the fan reaction by saying this:
“We just wanted to reach out and let you know how truly humbled we were by the outpouring of support from the community, it definitely hurt us to see you so upset about the delay.”
We’re just now seeing the results of Miiverse feedback. The Rayman Legends Challenge App will be available on the Wii U for free this week. Its meant to be a sort of apology from Ubisoft over the delay, giving gamers a reason to give Rayman Legends another chance when it releases in September.
Miiverse has changed Nintendo for the better. Not only that, its changed the industry. Fans now have a forum where they can voice their opinions and get heard. Nintendo can’t ignore them if they complain in droves. We owe the localization of Earthbound and this Rayman Legends Challenge App to the widespread fan feedback seen on Miiverse.\
Even if you aren’t a fan of Nintendo consoles you should be paying attention. You should be hoping the social features on the next consoles from Sony/Microsoft are just as successful as Miiverse in terms of getting attention on the issues fans feel passionately about.