Top Ten: Nintendo Blunders

Nintendo is king here at the Dojo, but it’s not all chuckola cola and mushroom pops at the house of N.

By Kyle England. Posted 01/30/2013 14:00 11 Comments     ShareThis

4. Letting Rareware Get Away

Rareware was a darling of video gaming in the 1990s. The innovative British company pumped out hit after hit, giving us masterpieces like Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie. So what happened? Look at them now, making games like Kinect Sports while most of the original staff have long since left for greener pastures. When Rareware was bought out by Microsoft in 2002, the company we once knew was sadly never seen again. Sure, it made a couple of good games like Viva Piñata and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, but Rare was never the same.

While there’s no way of knowing for sure what would have happened to Rareware either way, Nintendo had the chance to save them. When Rareware was looking for a buyer back in the early 2000s, Nintendo was one of the top contenders. In fact, Rare even gave Nintendo first pick and a reduced price! So why on earth did Nintendo pass up on such a proven developer? Nintendo already essentially owned the company as a majority stockholder, so why not take the plunge?

Imagine getting a real Banjo-Threeie for Nintendo GameCube or Wii. Imagine a true Goldeneye follow-up. Imagine all of the quality games Rare could have made. Rareware might have gone bad either way, but Nintendo did not even give them a chance, and that’s a damn shame.

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11 Responses to “Top Ten: Nintendo Blunders”

  • 132 points
    gekslupis says...

    The funny thing is that most people I know who support nintendo also own a Playstation 3. Even though they betrayed nintendo, people who love nintendo still enjoy the playstation. I can only imagine what could have been if nintendo kept their deal.

    Thumb up 1
    • 282 points
      Kyle England says...

      I’m a big PlayStation fan myself. If they had stuck together, we might have gotten some sort of awesome mega super console! Although, much of the PlayStation character did come from the fact that it was a brand new system from a company not established in games. Who knows what would have happened?

      Thumb up 1
  • 679 points
    OG75 says...

    This list is one of the first “top 10” lists on this (or any gaming) site that I totally agree with. Not that that validates anything (I know lists are just opinions anyway.) Just wanted to say: great job on this well-rounded list. Not only does it cover many generations, but also strikes a balance with the kind of hardware (consoles, handhelds, and virtual boy) as well as software… and even the Super Mario Movie. It even made me think about Rareware. I had been of the opinion of “good riddance, who needs ‘grabbed by the ghoulies?'”, but you got me thinking about what could have been… Oh how I yearn for a Jet Force Gemini sequel. Love the site. Keep the great features coming!

    PS. I was worried from the picture on this feature that you were going to mention allowing Team Ninja to handle Metroid: Another M. While it’s not my favorite Metroid (I’ve beat them all the week they’ve come out. Yes, even the original.) I did enjoy “Another M.”

    Thumb up 2
  • 1245 points
    lukas85 says...

    i love the n64 era and i know that cartriges have their limitations, but i cannot imagine playing ocarina of time with a loading screen.

    Thumb up 1
    • 282 points
      Kyle England says...

      I agree, and I love those cartridges. But Squaresoft and Nintendo were such good buddies before N64. If Square had stayed Nintendo exclusive, Final Fantasy VII would have been on N64, and we might have even gotten some FF characters on Smash. Now that would have been pretty cool.

      Thumb up 1
  • 1370 points
    xeacons says...

    History is tough to research, and many books tend to contradict each other. I wouldn’t blame a lot of this on Nintendo. According to my research, many were seemingly logical decisions that turned out badly because Nintendo dealt with the wrong people.

    Thumb up 1
    • 282 points
      Kyle England says...

      Yeah, hindsight is 20/20. No business intentionally tries to make bad decisions, but some just turn out bad. Nintendo made the Virtual Boy because they thought it would sell, but it didn’t. I’m glad Nintendo takes risks like that, because then we would never have had systems like The Nintendo DS and Wii. I do think Nintendo has made better decisions than some other companies too.

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  • 1370 points
    xeacons says...

    At any rate I totally understand when defending a cause looks pointless. I’m a member of a variety of groups (Nintendo fans, not least of all) that take a lot of bashing, and just when it seems we’re making progress, someone stands up and does something incredibly stupid in our name. Sometimes, I just want to believe it’s our opposition trying to make us look bad.

    Thumb up 1
  • 60 points
    Dustin Grissom says...

    So relieved to see that you didn’t put Other: M on here! That game gets such a terrible rap for what is a fairly good, if not great, game! Good list!

    Thumb up 1
  • 33 points
    mailorderninja says...

    Three words: Wii Vitality Sensor. I literally shuddered when I saw this. Luckily it never saw the light of day.

    Thumb up 1

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