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When Nintendo Struggles To Manage Expectations

Illustration for article titled When Nintendo Struggles To Manage Expectations
Image: Nintendo

Earlier this evening, while promoting an upcoming gameplay session for the new Paper Mario on Treehouse Live, Nintendo dropped a teaser for “a first reveal and gameplay for a title in a franchise new to developer WayForward”. And people lost their God damn minds.


WayForward have a loooong history of making platformers across all kinds of platforms, so people’s imaginations started running wild! Why, if Nintendo was hyping this on a completely unrelated gameplay stream, surely it was big news!


Maybe, many figured, it was Metroid! know, something else cool and interesting, since there are loads of other Nintendo franchises that have lain dormant for too long. Like Wario Ware? Kid Icarus? Balloon Fight?

Nah. Realising that things were getting quickly out of hand—remember, this is just a Treehouse Live video, not a full-blown Nintendo Direct, and these are Nintendo fans we’re talking about—the company had to send out a follow-up to pump everyone’s brakes.

Wild how they sold F-Zero to Microsoft.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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Nintendo fanbois are notorious for not having managed expectations. This is probably the real reason why directs are paused and not because of COVID (seriously, they’re a super wealthy’s not that hard to edit together a 20 minute feature remotely).

Every time there’s a direct people think it’s going to be a new Mario game or more virtual console games available or an open world Pokemon Game or the next F-Zero or Earthbound 3 translated + a new game or ZELDA VR or REAL LIFE MARIO KARTS MADE BY TOYOTA or YOSHI DINOSAURS HAVE NOW BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY DESIGNED TO BE PETS IN YOUR OWN HOMES! Meanwhile the company barely can figure out how online functionality works while there are already models that have existed for decades for them to emulate.

Nintendo does a lot right, but they do a lot wrong too.