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Reggie Fils-Aimé continues to make the rounds as he promotes his book Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, this time appearing on the GeekWire podcast (no affiliation to us) to discuss everything ranging from advice to business anecdotes to more. In one section of the 50 minute podcast, Reggie is asked about Nintendo’s approach to online gaming during his tenure — something the company lagged behind Microsoft and Sony in — and Reggie gave a thorough response.e

Reggie notes that Nintendo excelled at making couch co-op games, playing more to its own strengths than the strengths of others. They didn’t want to just put a game online willy nilly with no thought. “In order to do online multiplayer, the company really needed to think about what’s the new type of game, what are the different types of experiences that we’re gonna need to create in order to now excel in that form of play,” in Reggie’s own words. He believes Smash Bros. was the first game to do this properly (though it’s unclear which specific entry he’s referring to) and that paved the way for Nintendo to make a properly online-focused game in Splatoon.



He also states that part of the issue was cultural. NCL (the Japanese core of Nintendo) apparently didn’t see the value in online play, and in Reggie’s claim required much education on the matter by NOA and NOE before the company as a whole began moving into the space. He’s fairly candid about Microsoft’s superiority in the online sphere: “it became their competitive advantage – it still is today I would argue in terms of their connected gameplay.” Reggie stops shy of calling Nintendo’s online poor, instead redirecting the conversation using his typical verbal business jiu jitsu, but nor does he try to claim the company was top of the line either.

You can heard the full account — and many more stories — in the full GeekWire podcast.



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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.