Nintendo is riding high right now and with good reason. They shipped one of the hottest toys of the holiday season last November with the NES Classic and couldn’t keep the thing on store shelves (the jury’s still out on whether this was due to higher than expected demand or Nintendo simply not having enough supply), and now their home console fortunes seem to have changed for the better thanks to the early success of the Nintendo Switch. This return to form couldn’t have come at a better time for Nintendo, as the company has struggled in recent years to remain relevant in an industry that, in some ways, had started to leave them behind.
Of course, Nintendo has always marched to the beat of its own drum, for better and worse, and while the company has had many incredible success stories over the years, it’s also had its fair share of blunders. Nintendo is a company that I and many others who grew up with one of the company’s gaming machines in our living rooms want to see succeed, but at times it feels like Nintendo is its own worst enemy. At a future date, I’d like to highlight some of Nintendo’s best decisions but for today, it’s all about the bizarre and downright terrible choices the company has made.
12. Discontinuing The NES Classic
Might as well start off with the most recent blunder! The NES Classic Edition had been a hot seller ever since its initial release, but only five or so months later, Nintendo shockingly announced that they were halting production and wouldn’t be selling it anymore. In their defense, Nintendo cited the Switch as being the deciding factor, with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime claiming that with the Switch being such a priority for the company, they couldn’t spare the resources to continue to pump out NES Classic systems. While this is a fair point, it doesn’t change the fact that Nintendo knowingly killed off an enormously successful product; a product, I might add, that many people were still trying to get their hands on months after its original release.
Although the system’s asking price was relatively low, Nintendo was clearly making a profit off of every single one sold, so why would they want to just shut off that revenue stream while it was still flowing? Yes, okay, they need to divert more resources to Switch production but come on, the NES Classic couldn’t have been too difficult to manufacture and it’s hard to believe that a company as big as Nintendo doesn’t have the manufacturing logistics at their disposal to keep pumping out NES Classics, while also making sure they’re putting out enough Switches. I’m not saying that Nintendo hates money but when they make decisions like this, you kinda have to wonder if maybe they do … just a little bit.