Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Open Letter to Nintendo

Dear Nintendo,

Today I bought the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii, and you aren't going to see a dime of that money. It's too bad, because it wasn't cheap. In fact, the going rate for this game on Amazon is about $70 used, if you're lucky. That's a lot of money you chose to leave on the table, money that is going straight into the resale market's hands. Thing is, you might try to blame places like Amazon or Gamestop, and that might be the case for Sony or Microsoft. Not you, though. This is all your fault.

Why is it your fault? Because you didn't release very many copies. Why? The Metroid Prime games were huge on both the Gamecube and the Wii. In fact, this compilation gives us the chance to play the first two Metroid Prime games with 16:9 aspect ratio and the Wii controls, which are so much better than the Gamecube controller. What a fantastic concept, you should be commended for this. Instead, I condemn you.

When this came out, I didn't have a Wii. Yes, I know a lot of people did, I didn't. Call be a late adopter. However, I still paid attention to what was coming out for the Wii because I knew I'd eventually get one and I had a list of games I planned to get for it. So finally, a few years after the Wii's debut, with a huge library of games released, I finally got it. And that's when I realized something.

The Metroid Prime Trilogy was nowhere to be found. Rather than give us a full release, you decided to limit the amount of copies. Then you refused to release more, despite the fact that demand was high. The Trilogy was lauded as some of the best gaming you could find on the Wii, used copies began to fetch king's ransoms online, and still, you didn't give the people what they wanted.

I would have loved to buy it legitimately. I would have loved to put that money in your pocket because I'm a lifelong Nintendo supporter. But I couldn't. You wouldn't let me. We were in a "shut up and take my money" kind of situation and you wanted nothing to do with my cold, hard, cash. This is on you, my friend. You left me no choice.

So instead, Gamestop got my money. All of it, and they don't have to share a cent with you. It didn't have to be this way, you could have released it as a "Greatest Hit" and made it available to us. Of course, the same could be said about most of your first-party games. Even though they've been out for years, you still charged full price for them, making the used option so much more attractive to those of us on a budget. (Yes, you did eventually have a Greatest Hits of sorts, but it was too little, too late.)

You chose an all-or-nothing stance, and that's why you got nothing. One day I might want to sell this game myself, and chances are I'll more than get my money back. I might even turn a profit. And again, you won't see a dime from that sale. I might even buy more used Wii and DS games on principle.

I'm saying this as a fan, as someone who is still rooting for you and excited about your latest innovations. You still provide some of the best gameplay experiences around, and I want to support you. I want to give you my money. You just making it very difficult at times.

Still playing with power,

Charles B. French

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