During E3 2018, Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime sounded off on a host of topics surrounding the company and the video game industry at large. These included loot boxes — a recently reviled form of micro-transactions in which players are unaware of what they’re getting, Netflix and YouTube coming to the Nintendo Switch, and Fortnite. In a move that may make long-time Nintendo fans uncomfortable, Fils-Aime voiced his support for loot boxes.
“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap. The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards. What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
We won’t be surprised to see Nintendo’s own Switch games have loot boxes in some capacity. What form they take will be of interest in a post-Star Wars Battlefront 2 world.
Furthermore, he shed light on the revenue split Nintendo employs for digital games. Unlike other store fronts that follow the usual 70 percent to 30 percent split in favour of game developers, Fil-Aime stated Nintendo doesn’t follow the same approach.
“We don’t talk publicly about the revenue split. But what I can tell you is that for each of these different partners with digital content, the revenue split is a little bit different,” he said.
As for Fortnite, he reiterated that the game was downloaded two million times in the first 24 hours, going on to say that the combination of Fortnite and the Nintendo Switch is good to have.
“Right now, Fortnite arguably is the most popular game in the world. You’ve got Nintendo Switch right now as the most popular piece of hardware in the world. So from our perspective, that combination is magical. We’ve seen that with just the huge amount of downloads in such a short period of time,” he said.
Finally, as for the Nintendo Switch receiving services like Netflix and YouTube, he stated that they could show up “in due time.”
“When we launched the Switch, we were very clear we wanted to position the device as a game-playing device. We’ve done that, and so you’ve seen Hulu for example come on to the platform. In terms of other services, the conversations are on-going. We’ve got nothing to announce right now. But certainly those opportunities will come in due time,” he said.
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