As one of the longest standing video-game company, Nintendo is no stranger to competitive gaming. With the first Nintendo World Championships in 1990 to the upcoming one this weekend. However, despite long hiatus in the eSports realm, the resurgent Nintendo is confident that they can bring something unique to the table.
In an interview with ESPN, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, said Nintendo is out there to create surprises for everyone during the Nintendo World Championships, whether or not you are the one playing or the one watching.
It creates surprise for the player, it creates surprise for the viewer and we think that creates magic,” Fils-Aimé said. “You don’t know what you’re going to play next, you don’t know how the challenges are going to play out, and for us, that means you really have to be an all-star in a range of Nintendo properties.
And that has always been Nintendo’s philosophy, to do something unique and surprise everyone. Reggie even commented about Nintendo’s shifting vision.
“You can see a little bit of a shift within us; I know that it feels that way, that we are thinking about the competitive scene a little bit more,” he said. “Having a hardware system and game that really accentuates playing together with other people as well as going into this space at the same time, I think it can be a really powerful combination.”
The Switch, with “Splatoon 2,” “ARMS,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” and “Pokken Tournament DX,” has several esports-friendly games to play with. That said, the company isn’t interested in leagues or big prize purses, Fils-Aimé said, and it doesn’t want to tread on the already-flourishing Smash Bros. community that’s formed around Melee and Smash 4.
“Nintendo is going to continue experimenting in this space. We believe we have a platform in Nintendo Switch which works well in the space. We have games that we believe work well in the space. And you’ll see us continuing to push forward,” Fils-Aimé said. “We’re going to do it differently than leagues and big-money purses and all these things that you see typically today. We’re going to approach this space in a variety of different ways because we think, for the mass consumer, the opportunity to participate, the opportunity to see themselves winning a tournament, we think that is something that is a uniquely Nintendo type of proposition and something that we’re trying to foster.”
However, that does not mean that Nintendo wishes to butt into what the community has built through the years and force upon their rules on them. According to Bill Trinen,
“What we don’t really want to do is step in and make the community feel like we’re forcing our way into something that they’ve built, and that’s part of the reason why we’ve been a bit more behind the scenes in our support,” Bill Trinen of Nintendo Treehouse said. “But we’re continuing to look at the scene and continue to support it and ensure that both of those communities continue to grow.”
You can read the full report by ESPN here.