Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Gaming’s 2024 resolution should be simple: ‘Be more like Nintendo’

OPINION: Nintendo continues to set an example for excellence and longevity in the gaming world. The likes of EA Sports and Activision could learn a lot from the house Mario and Link built.

There’s are a slew of reasons Nintendo has enjoyed such longevity in the gaming world. But patience and persistence, is at the forefront of everything the company does.

While original gaming giants like Sega, Atari, and Commodore have waned, Nintendo has stood the test of time and continues to thrive – arguably as gaming’s crown jewel.

Huge 52% discount on the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2022)

Huge 52% discount on the Samsung Odyssey Ark (2022)

Samsung’s Odyssey Ark 55-inch 4K HDR curved gaming monitor is an absolute cracker. It was expensive, not it’s certainly not. You can get it for less than half price right now.

  • Amazon
  • Save 51%
  • £1249
View Deal

Nintendo is never in a rush. It’s never desperate to progress to the next thing. It has the ultimate faith in both its hardware, software, its loyal fan base, and that intangible magic that continues to enamour new generations.

There are no knee-jerk reactions when things don’t go as well because the company’s largely unmatched armoury of intellectual property never disappoints. 2023 was another year where this approach paid off in spades.

While Microsoft was busy wrangling over the $79 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard and consolidating ownership of a key developer, and Sony was busy fighting against it, Nintendo quietly went about its business.

There was no Switch 2 or Switch Pro, as many expected during 2023. That’s despite the Switch approaching seven years old and looking decidedly second rate in terms of the technology underpinning the platform.

For Nintendo, it’s never been about having the fastest or the best looking, it’s been about providing the most engaging and enjoyable experiences its gameplay innovations have enabled.

In 2023 Nintendo fell back on two old campaigners, the venerable Mario and Link. Tears of the Kingdom delivered on the sequel to one of the most loved Legend of Zelda games ever. Super Mario Wonder gave the people what they want – an updated version of the game the original console gamers fell in love with 35 years ago. And that was enough.

There’s are a few contemporaries who could learn a thing or two from that. Namely, the likes of EA Sports and Activision Blizzard, who insist on releasing new versions of the same tired franchises every year with diminishing returns.

Couldn’t EA Sports have waited a year before releasing the first EA Sports FC game? Wouldn’t the break in the relationship with FIFA have represented a natural opportunity to take stock? To actually come up with some meaningful innovations to a game that really hasn’t changed all that much in recent memory?

The less said about Madden NFL 24, and its 1.3 average gamer score from Metacritic users, the better.

Would it really hurt for Activision to have a year off with Call of Duty, as was rumoured a little while back, instead of yet another underwhelming Modern Warfare release?

The annual release grind

I know the strains of the business model for these developers and publishers demands the annual releases and that casual gamers continue to buy them in huge numbers.

But surely there’s a case for giving the development teams a year off the grind of annual releases when the franchises themselves are going backwards by way of stagnation? At this point, it’s still profitable. At this point the licensing rules all. But how long before before there’s a better alternative?

Would a year without an EA Sports football game really go amiss? EA has a great opportunity to make us excited about football games yet again, now it is free from the restrictions of the FIFA license.

I’m not talking about six years between mainline releases, as was the case with The Legend of Zelda, but would 2-3 years without a new FIFA game go amiss, in this day an age where a simple software update can update squads and kits?

Maybe if that was the case, we wouldn’t see the annual game on sale for twenty quid two months after release? Maybe then the games could hold a little value like Nintendo’s do? Maybe there would be some true anticipation? This about what these ultra talented talented people producing these games in a race against time could achieve if they were given a couple of years

The games that continue to make waves operate on the premise that less is more. In 2023, the likes of Baidur’s Gate 3, Diablo 4, Street Fighter 6, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 took the plaudits.These might be sequels, but they’re crafted with meticulous care over half a decade at least. In some cases, they’ve been reimagined to make us fall in love all over again.

The likes of EA Sports and Activision Blizzard would do well to take a few notes from Nintendo’s book in 2024.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words