Nintendo is heading down a very wrong path
Nintendo recently received a lot of criticism in effect of what seems to be a shift of priorities in the ranks of upper management. One can observe that the company is testing the waters of what they can get away with in terms of effort they put up without losing fans or missing out on sales.
Nintendo’s super Mario 35th anniversary collection consisting of ports of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy was the first red flag in this situation. Fans called the collection a lazy way of cashing in on nostalgia without really modernizing the games for their switch release.
The Legend of Zelda did not even get the treatment the Mario franchise received for its anniversary. Instead of a collection fans were anticipating, they received a remaster of Skyward Sword — A game a big part of the community didn’t quite enjoy the way they hoped for initially.
Aside from that, Nintendo is testing the waters in other ways. The Switch release of Super Mario 3D World was bundled with Bowser’s Fury, a fun litte DLC Nintendo could have made available as a stand alone title — But they needed a some reason for people to buy the WiiU title another time just to get access to this new content which only connection to the main game is the engine it runs on (and suffers from performance wise). Actually, The Pokémon Company with Nintendo as a major shareholder is in a similar situation right now.
While sunshine and Galaxy can be played at 4k resolution on Gamecube and Wii emulators on PC further enhanced with community made high density texture packs and 16:9 widescreen mode, Nintendo fans were also able to reverse engineer Super Mario 64.
This made things like compiling a native PC version of the game for modern machines and mod support possible. One of these mods is known as Render96. This Modification lets the player choose from various texture packs and alternative models for in game characters that stay true to the original promotional art of Mario 64 — all of this, for free.
There is a saying that piracy only exists because the original offer or service is not properly centered around the customer.
Back in the day, it was very popular for internet users to download pirated music, albums and songs from various sources — because there was no way of properly creating a digital music library for yourself. You could buy CD and digitalize them, but this was a complicated and time consuming process. Another option for this were early music platforms where you could buy a selection of songs. Seems like a good alternative, if it was not for the hefty prices you would have to pay for individual songs. Spotify managed to basically crush music piracy by offering a service that is so easy, downloading converted mp3 files off of YouTube became a pain in the butt.
Now, with this in mind, if Nintendo were to create a proper product that focusses on the needs of its fans, piracy would soon cease to exist.
However, the company does not seem to want to actually give its customers what they want or need, but what makes them a lot of money nonetheless, leaving gamers in front of the choice between a free and by far better product or an inferior product that they would have to pay at least 60$ for and alienating fans in the process.