Nintendo Wii Crowdsourcing?


I fired up my email today and low and behold, I received an official Nintendo press release of their launch of their Wii Ware Shop.
While the famous (or infamous) Virtual Console allowed the relaunched of old classic Nintendo system games on the Wii, the Wii Ware shop is meant for digital distribution of original titles made especially for the Nintendo Wii.
Personally I am looking forward to Square Enix’s FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a King, but what was more interesting is this last paragraph in the press release.

WiiWare also empowers consumers to determine with their Wii Points which games have the ability to become the next big thing. Consumers will assist in the creative process as their choices will directly determine the success of current projects and direct the plans for future ones.

Sounds like Crowsourcing to me, or is it? Users buy Wii Points to download games, thereby naturally voting for their favorites. Apparently in “My Life as a King” you can buy special items and clothing in a buy as you use type situation. Probably the more popular clothing type could mean more variations in the future. Good way to make money don’t you think?
Wow two Crowdsourcing posts in a go, one right after another! If you have not already, do check out the interesting conversation in the previous post.

7 Comments
  • csven

    May 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm Reply

    I don’t consider this crowdsourcing. I consider it regular old marketing because it seems to me that all they’re doing is just collecting marketing data. Big deal. If this is crowdsourcing, then we may as well call Google Analytics a crowdsourcing tool, since it measures “votes” via the number of times people visit your site.
    What’s worse is that they make it sound like something more: “Consumers will assist in the creative process“. What exactly is creative about this? Is choosing which product you’ll buy now considered creativity? Is voting via surfing websites (or channel surfing on the teevee) creative? Sorry, my definition is a bit more strict.

  • TOPolk

    May 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm Reply

    I agree with Csven. This isn’t so much Crowdsourcing as it is normal marketing. I read the email more along the lines of “If you buy these, we’ll keep making more,” which isn’t any different than what the video game industry has been doing for years. There’s 27 Megaman games because people bought the first 26. It’ll be the same for these digitally distributed titles. LostWinds gets a sequel only if the original sells well.
    >> TOPolk last wrote: Learning 2.0: Print Is Dead

  • Chung Dha

    May 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm Reply

    It’s normal marketing, because normal stores do the same thing especially supermarkets. They all have a big database on what is sold more and they can see what should stay in the store or remove because nobody buys it anyways. And they can put special sales with those figures to attract costumers.

  • DT

    May 21, 2008 at 8:55 pm Reply

    Hi All,
    I think it does look like plain old market research eh?
    But, I think Nintendo, is giving up a lot of opportunity, to create games where the users can make their own stuff. As they now have a huge access to the casual gamer market, the potential is too good to waste.
    Unfortunately I think they have to rethink their creator/publisher game creation model. Right now it looks like there is no continuity.

  • csven

    May 22, 2008 at 12:04 am Reply

    Nintendo has less opportunity than either Sony or Microsoft. They have systems in place: Microsoft’s Marketplace and Sony’s Station Exchange. Nintendo has nothing currently in place, afaik, for this kind of thing.
    Yes, the opportunity has been there and I’ve blogged extensively on that very issue, but there are lots of problems with user-generated content. That’s why I follow Second Life so closely. Nothing comes close to it as far as providing a glimpse of the future potential for these technologies; both good and bad.

  • csven

    May 22, 2008 at 1:59 am Reply

    Blew a buffer. I should have said: “Nintendo has nothing currently in place, afaik, for user-generated content.” By that I mean, WiiWare is, as I understand it, geared towards downloadable indie “games” which are approved for development by Nintendo; not additional content for games created by average people. Marketplace and Exchange are able to accommodate content, based on what I’ve read and how I understand those services.
    Unfortunately, similar to Nintendo, both MS and Sony limit access to certified/approved developers … who rarely allow true UGC; and then, from what I’ve found, only during development of their game title (i.e. they’re desperate for development help). Instead, they become sub-gatekeepers by controlling additional content (“add-on packs”) and using their access status to help them sell it through the service.
    For some developers, this makes sense because it can help keep employed content creators working steadily (i.e. they still have art content to create while programmers code the next game engine). However, I’ve read that some developers just farm out the work, mark it up with a middleman “handling fee”, and then sell it through an MS or Sony service.
    >> csven last wrote: Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 15

  • robert

    September 13, 2008 at 9:21 am Reply

    No, it’s not Crowd sourcing as you claim it is. it’s just.. marketing. They are a big company with good products, which many people buy. And as part of their business growth, they must do market research to determine what people like the most, and then analyze the data and enhance their products and services.

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