[Nintendad Coffeehouse] The Hype Cycle

Written by Derek Wright

Hype Delivered “Directly” To You

Whenever a Nintendo Direct is announced, hinted at, or even rumored to be happening, there is a certain fire that spreads over the internet. Fans come out of the woodwork to speculate, dream, or make fake leak lists. It truly is a spectacle when this happens. This hype usually reaches a fever pitch right before it airs and then the inevitable happens; all our hopes and dreams are crushed because Metroid Prime 4 didn’t get shadow dropped.

Maybe it wasn’t Metroid Prime 4 that you had your hopes set on, but the point is still there, we all come in expecting the world and sometimes leave disappointed when we are given Shin Megami Tensei. This isn’t a dig at the past Direct or Directs in general. This is about how we, the audience, need a wake up call. At least, the ones that have been stuck in what I call, the Hype Cycle.

The Hype is Endless

We’ve all been there, hopes to the sky for Nintendo to announce something, anything that will unleash endorphins and make us feel like kids again. That’s what Nintendo does right? They hold the keys to so many of our hearts and minds because of their history, but also with their ability to bring us quality time and time again. With this track record, why do we get discouraged or even furious when a Direct or lack thereof doesn’t fit our expectations?

I believe that it is due to the world we live in. Almost everything we want is available at our fingertips. Companies are striving to get our attention so we will be glued to their screen, be it movies, music, podcasts or games. This constant barrage of media has the potential to make us complacent. “Why can’t Nintendo do this, Studio A and B are doing this.” While this argument can have merit, I tend to think many people on the internet are just too harsh.

The Truth Hurts

Also, let this be known, I welcome criticism towards Nintendo and their strategy towards marketing. The past few months, they have dropped the ball on letting their audience know what to look forward to in the upcoming months. Frankly, Nintendo has had a pretty decent year with its first party releases: Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics and Paper Mario: The Origami King. It wasn’t the strongest year, but it was by no means a weak year.

This wasn’t Nintendo’s string of AAA games, but again all of these games are marketed towards a different sector of Nintendo fans. Animal Crossing may end up being one of the best-selling titles on the Switch and Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Xenoblade are more niche RPGs, but still huge games. These titles have been overshadowed sadly by the lack of future statements by Nintendo. Also, if someone genuinely does not like these games, that is okay. Not every game is meant for every player.

The Solution

This has been a long journey getting to my point in the Hype Cycle. We are so fixated on what’s coming next that we can often lose sight of what we already have. I have a massive backlog that is spread between multiple consoles and right now, I don’t need to worry too much on what is coming next because I need to finally focus on what I have. I haven’t beaten Mario + Rabbids, Octopath Traveler, Breath of the Wild’s DLC, Xenoblade 2’s Expansion, and more. Even if Nintendo didn’t release anything else this year, I would be fine. Would I be disappointed, most definitely. Will I try to tell everyone that Nintendo is still the perfect golden child? Absolutely not. I will however, try to spread the joys of playing the games we already have.

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