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Nintendo Needs to Plan their Releases Better

Captain Toad

Nintendo has come a long way since the release of the Wii U, and they deserve all the credit in the world for beginning what seemed like an impossible turn around. Sure, it is not the ideal situation they would like to be in, but things are rolling on with each new release and that’s definitely a positive. I only have one issue with what Nintendo continues to do: launching games on different dates in different regions, and releasing games that will inventively get swamped by better, bigger budge titles.

Launching games universally is probably the best way to avoid swamping a smaller title with a larger title. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is an excellent example. Captain Toad came out this week in Japan, giving it a nice 2 week period before Super Smash Bros hits retail. At the suggested price point of 39.99 USD, this is definitely not one of Nintendo’s bigger products; the price point is probably indicative of the amount of gameplay here. Japanese Wii U owners will more than likely be able to play, enjoy and complete Captain Toad in time for the next big release.

The same cannot be said for the west. Smash Bros comes out in North America on November 21st. Let be frank: this isn’t a game you ‘finish’ in a week or two. In fact, if previous Smash Bros games have been any indication, there will be a steady following until the next Smash Bros release. But even if you don’t play this for years, pouring hours into it month after month is probably not unreasonable.

Some people have gaming budgets in mind. ┬áSo, perhaps regardless of when Captain Toad gets released, people will have the funds for one game, and that game will inevitably be Smash Bros Wii U. So where does that leave Captain Toad, which is slated for an early December release in North America? Well, it’s probably not going to do well at retail. It’s a sad, unfortunate truth. And that is not a knock on Captain Toad. It is a fantastic title. You would hope, however, that Nintendo would be a bit wiser when it comes to release dates, especially for a new franchise. Toad might be an old Mario Kingdom character, but this title is fresh and new for Nintendo. Poor sales in the west could affect the future of this incredibly promising game.

I do understand the issues facing Nintendo. When is a great time to release Captain Toad? Mario Kart came out in May, Hyrule Warriors in September, Bayonetta 2 in October, Super Smash Bros in November, Kirby slated for February, and (hopefully) a new Zelda isn’t too far after that. With so many great titles, it’s hard to place a new franchise like Captain Toad. I personally believe that releasing near Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 in October, or near Kirby in March would be better, although still unattractive, options for Nintendo, especially when it comes to retail sales.

Will you be getting Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker this holiday season, or will you wait? We will have a review of the game up on the site. Until then, read my preview from E3 and follow me on twitter (@adamroffel) for updates on this, and other soon-to-be-released titles.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

Follow Adam on:
Twitter: @AdamRoffel