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The Keys to Nintendo’s Success Beyond Gaming



Nintendo, as a company, has had significant setbacks within their marketing strategy. They have seemingly abandoned the analytics behind console sales to conform to what they perceive to be the optimal way to effectively market their products and are a palpably stubborn company that refuses to modernize their approach to marketing. As a result, Nintendo has neutered its own ability to ensure saturation of its ideas in the market-place and has stunted its own financial growth. For them to competitively saturate the marketplace with their IPs, they must adapt or lose the attention of the modern consumer. Whereas other video game franchise have successfully married their brand with a properly leveraged marketing strategy and have achieved mass-market appeal (the Minecraft franchise has been grafted onto every piece of merchandise imaginable) Nintendo has avoided some of the most successful means of brand-building. Despite the fact that no company, perhaps other than Disney and Warner Bros., has as veritable a treasure trove of creativity in the entertainment industry as Nintendo, they have inefficiently utilized the market to spread their IPs.  

With proper marketing and merchandising, Nintendo can vastly extend the reach that their IPs have, enabling them to create a stable source of income independent from the sales of their consoles. To accomplish this task, Nintendo needs to focus on three major long-term merchandising projects: the acceptance and solidification of the e-sports community around Super Smash Bros 4, the production of original television or streaming-only shows based on popular IPs, and a renewed emphasis on physical merchandise.  


E-sports are a growing market; they may well qualify to be an Olympic Sport by 2020 and they have left a sizable impression on the modern Internet user. It is estimated that over 13% of live-stream viewers are watching e-sports, with most of those viewers watching through E-sports are part of a larger social trend towards competitive gaming and Nintendo would be smart to ride the wave, and they certainly have the product to do so, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Given that Smash-as-a-platform may already be on its way, especially if Smash 4 is ported to the NX, there is little incentive, in today’s digitally-focused marketplace, for Nintendo to consider a complete overhaul with Smash 5, barring unforeseen technical complications. With that consideration in mind, and a change in the online infrastructure with the NX, Nintendo could well poise Smash as the bedrock of their venture into e-sports, and, with proper sponsorship of tournaments, the steward of a renaissance of Smash play not seen since the glory days of Super Smash Bros. Melee at MLG in 2006. Smash could serve as a constant reminder of Nintendo’s creativity, attention to detail, and versatility in the world of tightly balanced and often mature-oriented e-sports; a testament to Nintendo’s ability to draw from dramatically different demographics. 

With Smash revitalized, Nintendo could then market Smash 4 as a fun, party-style game for casual gamers, as a true e-sport for the competitive, and as great entertainment for fans of e-sports. They could update Smash continually, even between consoles, providing a product which never grew stale, a perpetual cash-generating behemoth capable of lifting Nintendo through occasional languidity. Such an energetic approach to Smash could drive NX sales as well, given enough popularity, and could become yet another incentive for Nintendo to be active in establishing Smash as a legitimate e-sport.


As for Melee, often a dark horse in conversations regarding the state of their approach to competitive Smash, Nintendo has two options: fuse it into their core e-sports lineup with a port of the game for modern consoles or freeze it out and attempt to promote Smash 4 by giving larger payouts, more elaborate tournaments, etc. to Smash 4 competitors. One might please Melee fans and the other could cause significant backlash. However, unless given substantial financial incentive, Nintendo should try to consolidate the Smash fanbase around Smash 4 for official, Nintendo-sanctioned tournaments and attempt to stymie the evaporation of their image by allowing the smaller-scale Melee tournaments to continue around the country. The more amateurs see the greats of the Smash scene involved in Smash 4, the more gamers will play Smash 4 competitively, the larger pool Smash 4 will be able to pull from and the greater the product will become.

As it stands, e-sports are an untapped market for Nintendo. They are maturing rapidly and steadily becoming yet another example of gaming’s palpable influence on modern society. Nintendo would be severely hampering the potential of their IPs by avoiding e-sports. They could be quite successful for Nintendo, both in terms of their reputation and their pocketbook.

Television Shows

Given the influence and  appeal of their IPs, it is a mystery as to why Nintendo has not expanded into the production of television or even streaming-only series. While previous attempts have not stood the test of time, it remains evident that Nintendo has the talent to create truly unique and appealing content outside of their games. Unlike other companies, Nintendo’s diverse IPs allow it to appeal to an enormous market of consumers and the possibilities are near limitless.

Nintendo’s greatness in the gaming community lies in ability to bring together gamers, non-gamers, family and friends. Similarly, its strengths in television could play off of the same image. There could be a show for every member of the family. Smaller, more nascent series like Animal Crossing and Splatoon, with their host of bright colors and eccentric locales, could be used to appeal to young children. Star Fox, Super Mario,  F-Zero, and Donkey Kong could easily be adapted with children 8-13 in mind. For older fans,  adaptations of The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and perhaps even Xenoblade Chronicles,  targeted towards ages 13+, could complete the sweep of all major age demographics. 


Let’s hope this isn’t how a modern, Nintendo-produced television show would turn out.

Even beyond the scope of a traditional television show, Netflix could serve as a viable alternative. With subscriptions steadily approaching cable-like levels, Nintendo could make their shows Netflix-only without  a significant decrease in their market presence. With the expense of producing a television series, no matter the platform, Nintendo would most likely have to partner with Netflix in order to fund such an ambitious task. Given how closely Nintendo safeguards its IPs, this would be unlikely to happen. However, such a bold move would serve as a great marketing tool, one that could keep Nintendo in the minds of consumers constantly and possibly buoy sales of series (like Star Fox and F-Zero) which have been flailing in recent years. Television is a powerful force, even within the modern, Internet-driven society of today and Nintendo should utilize the diversity of their IPs to appeal to all major television demographics, keeping their products in the mind of the consumer consistently.

Physical Merchandise

Although amiibo have been an enormous success for Nintendo,  netting over 9.9 million units shipped in Q3 of the previous fiscal year, it is long past time that they renew their focus on physical merchandise. Action figures, LEGO play-sets, whatever it may be, there needs to be an expansion of their presence in the toy aisle of major retailers such as Wal-mart and Toys-R-Us. Whereas amiibo can only reach the relatively small market of consumers which own either a Wii U or amiibo-compatible 3DS system, physical toys beyond the amiibo brand would vastly diversify the number of customers purchasing Nintendo merchandise and would ensure that Nintendo’s brand would be visible, even in the over-saturated market of children’s toys. 23l


However, given that Nintendo’s strength comes from the diversity of its IPs, there could be no limit as to how many demographics could be targeted with a major entry into the non-amiibo toy market. There could well be Kirby or Mario plush toys for ages 2-7, LEGO sets of Star Fox or F-Zero for ages 6-12, and die-cast collector’s items of more mature series such as Xenoblade and Fire Emblem for ages 14+. With potential movies currently in the works, the amount of money to be made from the proper marketing of merchandise is evident, especially given Disney’s success with this past year’s Force Friday, which netted over a billion dollars for retailers in the early September ramp-up to the The Force Awakens.


Nintendo doesn’t need to increase production to Disney-like levels, but, as creator of some of the most puissant digital IPs ever, they can certainly outpace the bevy of generic merchandise which accompanies temporarily popular television shows. Given the iconic nature of their characters and the money that is to be made in what is, frankly, an underdeveloped market for them, it is surprising that they haven’t made their move sooner. Physical merchandise, as evidenced by amiibo, is one area which Nintendo can input minimal effort and significantly raise income in return. If they were to expand their reach beyond amiibo, there is reason to believe that it could prove popular and financially successful.


With the saturation of its IPs at quite possibly their weakest levels in at least a decade, Nintendo needs to expand its media footprint and provide other avenues for revenue if they are to stay afloat through a year which looks, at best, to be unfriendly towards sales, and if they are to succeed in sculpting an all-encompassing marketing strategy around the NX. The nascent nature of e-sports, the potential of television, and the untapped goldmine of physical merchandise are all reasons why Nintendo should seek to involve themselves in and properly utilize each market. These ventures could easily prove a balm for a Nintendo burned by critics and fans alike, greatly increasing the reach of their product while keeping their IPs always in the mind of their consumers and, therefore, producing new markets for their struggling console business. Effective utilization of their IPs beyond simply games and amiibo makes sense for Nintendo. 


Although a gamer since before I can remember, there is not a better definition of me than these three words: Christian, moderate, and learner. I am steadfast in my Faith, my Beliefs, and in my Opinions, but I am always willing to hear the other side of the discussion. I love Nintendo, History, and the NBA. Currently a PhD Student at Liberty University.


Fantastic Fest 2019: Second Wave Adds ‘Knives Out’, ‘Parasite’ and More




This year’s Fantastic Fest is shaping up with one of the strongest lineups in recent years and if the first wave announcement didn’t impress you, the second wave of films announced today will have you running to buy tickets.

Wave two brings a ton of exciting new titles including Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out, Bong Joon-ho‘s Palme d’Or winner Parasite, as well as Richard Stanley‘s The Color Out of Space and the latest from filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, Synchronic.

This year, Fantastic Fest will also be spotlighting Mexican genre films such as The Black Pit of Dr. M and The Ship of Monsters—and, the festival will also include a sidebar dedicated to LGBTQ+ representation in genre cinema.

Check out the full second wave film lineup below. Fantastic Fest runs September 19-26. Be sure to check back as we will be covering the event once again this year.

Abou Leila
Algeria, France, Qatar, 2019
North American Premiere, 139 min
Director – Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
In the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.

The Antenna
Turkey, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Orçun Behram
Somewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.

The Black Pit Of Dr. M
Mexico, 1959
Repertory Screening, 82 min
Director – Fernando Méndez
Two doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.

USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director – Joe Begos
While trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.

Blood Machines
France, USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 50 min
Director – Seth Ickerman
The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, Turbo Killer, shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.

Butt Boy
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Tyler Cornack
Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack’s Butt Boy introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.

Climate Of The Hunter
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Mickey Reece
The “Soderbergh of the Sticks,” Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.

Color Out Of Space
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – Richard Stanley
Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley’s entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.

Iron Fists And Kung Fu Kicks
Australia, 2019
North American Premiere, 107 min
Director – Serge Ou
From the Shaw Brothers to The Matrix, this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.

Knives Out
USA, 2019
Special Presentation, 130 min
Director – Rian Johnson
In attendance – Director Rian Johnson
From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes Knives Out, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

The Lodge
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Directors – Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
Five years after Goodnight Mommy stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.

The Long Walk
Laos, Spain, Singapore, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Mattie Do
In attendance – Director Mattie Do
An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother’s painful death..

2014, USA
Repertory Screening, 65 min
Director – Stewart Thorndike
In attendance – Director Stewart Thorndike
After the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
USA, 1985
Repertory Screening, 87 min
Director – Jack Sholder
In attendance – Actors Mark Patton and Kim Myers
Jesse (Mark Patton) is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.

Austria, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Karl Markovics
In a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics’ remarkable and poignant third feature.

South Korea, 2019
Texas Premiere, 131 min
Director – Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.

Belgium, 2019
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Tim Mielants
Patrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick’s search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn’t even know existed.

Phil Tippett – Mad Dreams And Monsters
France, 2019
International Premiere, 80 min
Directors – Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet
After their documentary Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex, French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.

The Platform
Spain, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
In attendance – Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Somewhere in the future exists The Platform, a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner’s luck hold? One man is about to find out.

1977, United Kingdom
Repertory Screening, 78 min
Director – Norman J. Warren
Jessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they’re chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 100 min
Directors – Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen
In attendance – Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen
More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton (star of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.

The Ship Of Monsters
Mexico, 1960
Repertory Screening, 81 min
Director – Rogelio A. González
Two Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!

USA, 2019
US Premiere, 96 min
Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
In attendance – Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.

Trampa Infernal
Mexico, 1989
Repertory Screening, 77 min
Director – Pedro Galindo III
In Mexico’s most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!!

The True Adventures Of Wolfboy
USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 88 min
Director – Martin Krej?í
Suffering from hypertrichosis — which covers him with animal-like fur — Paul knows he’s not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.

The Vast Of Night
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Andrew Patterson
A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.

USA, 2019
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Joe Begos
In attendance – Director Joe Begos
In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

USA, 2019
World Premiere, 71 min
Director – Jack Henry Robbins
In attendance – Director Jack Henry Robbins
This bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape.

Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019
US Premiere, 98 min
Director – Lorcan Finnegan
When young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

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Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Antlers’ Gets a Mysterious Trailer




Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer and poster for Antlers, a rural horror film about a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret that places the entire town in danger.

Director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro have teamed to adapt a short story from Nick Antosca, the creator of the criminally underrated horror anthology series Channel Zero. Not much is yet known about Antlers other than Fox Searchlight, now owned by Disney, has scheduled the film for a 2020 release. Rounding up the main cast is Graham Green, Amy Madigan, Scott Haze and Rory Cochrane. Watch the trailer below.

Antlers Movie
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Be Excellent to Each Other with these Awesome ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Figures

“History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell.”




Since its release in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure inspired a sequel (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), a Saturday morning cartoon, a comic book series, and launched actor Keanu Reeves into movie stardom. And now, three-plus decades later, Bill and Ted are getting their own scale collectible set courtesy Sideshow and Blitzway.

This is your chance to own the friendly duo in one go! The work put into creating these high-end figures is truly astounding as the figures capture the look of a young Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves just as we remember them. If you have $399 to spend, they can be all yours.

Check out the photos below along with the official press release.

Bill and Ted are two high school buddies who dream of becoming international rock stars. Their hilarious time travel adventure is depicted in the amazingly audacious comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

It’s like having them pop up right in front of you, with their iconic fashion and elaborate accessories. Besides, the iconic props are designed to let you reproduce a variety of wonderful scenes from the movie.

Be excellent to each other and travel to the past through the exciting story of Bill and Ted!

The Bill & Ted Sixth Scale Collectible Set specially features:

Highly detailed likeness of Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq.
Highly detailed likeness of Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan
Newly designed and developed male body with over 30 points of articulations and flexible soft arms
Two (2) Newly designed and developed figure stands
Twelve (12) interchangeable hands (total for both) including:
Two (2) pairs of guitar hands
Two (2) right blow fist hands
Two (2) pairs of open hands
Two (2) right good fortune hands

Costume for Bill:

One (1) purple pattern shirt
One (1) graphic t-shirts
One (1) pair of blue jeans
One (1) pair of pattern underpants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

Costume for Ted:

One (1) blue jacket
One (1) black vest
One (1) graphic t-shirt
One (1) pair of graphic shorts
One (1) pair of inner training pants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

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Watch the Creepy Trailer for ‘Little Nightmares 2’: Six is Back and She has Help.




One of the biggest surprises to come out of Gamescom 2019 so far is the announcement of Little Nightmares 2, the sequel to the puzzle-platformer hit horror game developed by Tarsier Studios.

While the first Little Nightmares has you take control a character named Six while avoiding instant death as she traverses alone amongst the depths of a dungeon, the sequel will give her a companion named Mono, who must accompany Six throughout her terrifying new journey.  

Little Nightmares was one of our favorite games of 2017 and so we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel. In our review, James Baker wrote, “Tarsier Studios have created a wholly original concept to a horror genre that has leaned more towards thriller before anything else, bringing its roots back without relying on jump-scares and needlessly-gory shocks. Just like hide-and-seek, Little Nightmares captures the fear of being caught, albeit in a creepy, macabre style.”

Little Nightmares 2 will be released sometime in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Watch the trailer below and if you are a fan of the first game, we recommend reading this article that dives deep into the meaning behind Little Nightmares.

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NBA 2K20’s Story Mode Gets a Stunning Trailer




NBA 2K19 features to date, its strongest MyCareer mode with the aptly titled, “The Way Back”, a fascinating look at the culture behind college basketball recruiting. The story mode was well received by critics and fans everywhere and in our review, we called it, “an incredible achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length”.

NBA 2K20 which will be released in less than a month, promises to include an even better story mode, and while we haven’t played the game yet, we have plenty of reasons to think it might be. Not only does it feature an all-star cast with top-tier talents such as Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson, but the story mode – entitled “When the Lights Are Brightest” – is being produced by LeBron James’ Springhill Productions, the same company behind the upcoming Space Jam 2.

NBA 2K20’s latest trailer, which debuted Monday during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox show live from Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, give us a good idea of what to expect. We get a glimpse at Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson in action as well as the rest of the supporting cast which includes Thomas Middleditch, Mark Cuban, Ernie Hudson, Lamorne Morris, Scottie Pippen, and Jaleel White!

The NBA 2K20 demo will go live on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and will allow players to create a character and get a head start on MyCareer. Any progress made will carry over to the full game, which will be released Sept. 6 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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