Reggie Fils-Aime Talks E3 Lineup, Future Game Announcements, And More
Nintendo has had a very interesting 2018 so far. 2017 was one of their biggest years ever for their products. They launched the Nintendo Switch to great acclaim and filled the rest of the year with big game arrivals like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and more. However, in 2018, things have slowed down a bit. Gamers had to wait until March for their first big 1st party release for the Switch via Kirby: Star Allies. May was filled with Wii U ports, and June had the release of Mario Tennis Aces, as well as two big DLC expansions. Add that to a rather tame E3 showcase, and many are wondering what Nintendo is up to this year.
Game Informer got to sit down with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and asked many of the questions that gamers have about the company and their games. Here are a few of the highlights from their conversation.
First and foremost, their E3 2018 showing, for while Super Smash Bros Ultimate was one of the biggest games at the convention, it wasn't enough to impress stockholders, as Nintendo's stock dropped a bit right after their digital showing. According to Reggie though, the plan was always to do the show like they did it. For them, it was important to emphasize the games that were going to be coming out with the next 6-9 months. Reggie noted that there were many big titles coming out in that period, and they wanted to give gamers something to be excited about in this near future versus what's coming farther down the line.
1st party wise, Nintendo is bringing Super Mario Party, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate before the end of the calendar year. 3rd Party wise though, Nintendo is getting Octopath Traveler and The World Ends With You: Final Remix from Square Enix, Dragon Ball FighterZ from Bandai Namco, Dark Souls from From Software, and more. So while it may not be the "big" year that they had last year, it's hard to deny the titles they did announce. However, that did raise other questions.
Mainly, where were some of the games announced at the last E3? During the 2017 show, Metroid Prime 4 was revealed via a logo video, yet it didn't make any presence at E3 2018. Why? Well, Reggie notes that last year was very important for the Switch, they wanted to give gamers a further glimpse into the future, and prove that they weren't just bringing Mario and Legend of Zelda to the table, but also, fan requests. Not to mention, it helped plug the 3DS title Metroid: Samus Returns, which came out last year to some success. Reggie assures gamers though that while the game wasn't present, its development is going strongly:
"Rest assured, Metroid Prime 4 is still in development and proceeding well."
Another big question that many have been asking since E3 2018 was when will Nintendo be making more announcements, not just for the Switch, but also, for the 3DS, which was also absent at E3 2018, and their mobile initiative, again, absent at E3.
He notes that the future will hold more announcements, not just via Nintendo Directs, but also at places like San Diego Comic Con, Gamescon, and more. When they make certain announcements is very important to them, and they want to make sure they do it right. Plus, Reggie notes that their strong Holiday season lineup is going to lead to some interesting things.
Which, of course, brings us to the question of hardware. Though not the best-selling console of 2018 just yet, that goes to the PS4 currently, the Switch has been doing very well in 2018. And Nintendo has made it clear that they want to sell 20 million units during the year, not total Switch sales, they want to sell 20 million Switches in 2018. A tall order, even with Super Smash Bros and a Pokemon game on the docket. Reggie is not only confident though that they'll do this, he notes that Nintendo is working hard to make sure all stores are stocked with Switches.
"Our biggest failure is when the consumer goes to the shelf and it isn’t there. We’re focused on making sure the supply chain is going to be robust."
Finally, the question of the online future of the Switch was brought up. Nintendo's dedicated online service arrives in September, and Reggie teased some of the things that will arrive with it. He feels confident that Nintendo's service will not only make gamers happy, but it'll bring fun content that he dubs "legacy" content to the mix to make even more fun.
Either way you look at it, the rest of Nintendo's 2018 is going to be interesting to see unfold.