Stop asking Nintendo to go third party!

Ian Livingstone, from Eidos, made a a really odd statement regarding Nintendo consoles recently. I just don’t understand why anyone honestly believes that Nintendo should go third party. I think all of these people forgot how to count money. This isn’t just about Livingstone’s comments, but reflects something a lot of people in the industry seem to say every few years.

Livingstone says:

Nintendo should have their IP on every platform, Otherwise a whole generation of young people will miss out on their games

With 150 million DS systems sold, 30+ million 3DS units, 100 million Wii systems and 3.5 million Wii U’s sold I don’t agree with Livingstone in the slightest. You see, Nintendo (usually, with the exception of the Wii U right now) makes a massive profit on hardware. The money they receive from hardware alone keeps them afloat.


Look at how poorly the GameCube sold while Nintendo profits boomed. People were saying they would go third party then and look what happened. They made even more money that was then turned into development on Wii and DS.

Add into that the fact that just a handful of 3DS games, like Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, can sell 8 million copies each and generate nearly $500 million in revenue. Tell me how they would ever accomplish that on smartphones without a piece of the hardware profit pie and by selling their games at less than normal retail prices?

It’s sad to see someone so experienced in the industry, like Livingstone, make such a silly statement. You don’t see people (unless I’m mistaken) telling Disney that they’re “Missing out on a generation” by not closing the Disney Channel and putting their shows on Cartoon Network, Nick, Fox, etc. So many industry members demand that Nintendo go third party and it just isn’t a realistic option. As a seasoned Nintendo fan it honestly sounds like they’re trying to tell us that 1+1 doesn’t equal 2.


So please, industry members and gaming fans, stop asking about Nintendo going third party. It isn’t going to happen in the next decade or so. They’ve got plenty of money saved up and a business model that sustains them even when their consoles don’t sell great. It wouldn’t be good for the industry either.

Nintendo is one of the few gaming companies that sticks to their guns, whether right or wrong. In a time where everyone is trying to leap frog each other, promising better graphics and more TV related features, Nintendo stays true to their roots as a gaming company first and foremost. One of the biggest reasons Sega failed in the console space was because they focused on 1-upping Sony and Nintendo way too much. They didn’t focus on creating a unique vision for their consoles, always changing things at the last second to combat other consoles.


We all remember how they wanted the Sega Saturn to be an awesome 2D machine, then suddenly the Playstation was revealed to have superior 3D graphics. Sega then decided to complicate Saturn’s hardware in order to compete with the PS1’s 3D capabilities. Sega would continue to pay too much attention to their competitors for a few more years with bursts of creativity here and there. Had they just focused on making a profitable device that could at least sell on first party software alone and stopped up-ending tables every time Sony or Nintendo announced something they’d have been better off. While not playing DVD’s on the DC would have still hurt, and having a machine not capable of great 3D graphics would have hurt them, their constant changing of plans in order to compete is what hurt them the most. They didn’t stick to a vision often, and that’s exactly what Nintendo is good at. They stick to their roots and get things done, even if they don’t break sales records.

If you don’t like Nintendo games then just leave them alone. Everything isn’t about you. If you don’t want to buy a Nintendo console just to play Nintendo games chances are you just aren’t that into them and you’d have too much to play on your PC/Sony/Xbox systems anyway.

Get over it folks, Nintendo is here to stay. Even if their future devices (Wii U and 3DS included) never reach the lofty sales of the Wii and DS they will be fine. Even if they continue to get mediocre third party support they’ll do just great. They’ll still move at least 20+ million units each generation while developing stellar first party games and recording massive profits. They’ll still come out with a GOTY caliber title every odd year (Super Mario Galaxy games for example) and continue to operate normally.

  • LarryGobbles

    I completely agree. It is becoming common place to take sides in the video game wars. I will always own a Nintendo system, while owning one of the others as well. I can warrant purchasing a Nintendo system for their core first party games alone. They work hard to move their franchises forward and typically put together quality games. There is a reason why they havent panicked and rushed game development to satisfy the masses. If Wonderful 101, Pikmin, etc. need more time then Nintendo will delay release to come out with the best product. With these quality game releases they will make money. They may not look so great when shown side by side unit sales of the systems, but the money tells a different story.

  • well said

  • TwinTails

    I’ve been a Nintendo fan ever since I got my first GameCube, and since then that was the only company I bought consoles from. And I’ve always enjoyed their games on their consoles only, and that will never change. They said themselves that they would rather go bankrupt.

  • Paladinrja

    Rival publishers claiming Nintendo go 3rd party is like awakening fucking Godzilla. Are they reallybelieving thier own press?

    Just goes to show how little these corporate heads understand gamers, gaming and its industry.
    Nintendo are publishers as well that have been kind enough not to reinvest into 3rd party developement. I know that sounds strange but really, abstaining from ip and dev aquisition is whats keeping the industry healthy.

    Right now though, having visions of Reggie politely seeing EA heads out thier front door in less than two years does tickle my funny bone.

  • NickHanover

    What is the source is for that fiscal data? I can’t find a source anywhere in this article and it’d be great to see where those numbers came from and what they’re incorporating for Sony and Microsoft’s data, since both of those companies are far larger than Nintendo in terms of what else makes up their business.

    • Townsend

      I was wondering the same thing. It seems that the data exists no where but here, and I’ve been scouring for it for awhile now. I mean I don’t doubt Nintendo and their sales, but the data just seems off to me.

  • Andrew Mitchell

    These are good points here. Might, isn’t always right. And Sega Saturn’s machine is the system to prove it. Just because something like hardware is powerful than the others, doesn’t mean it’s good or Almighty. It’s all about the games “no matter how underpowered the hardware might be” that matter the most.