The Seattle area is perfect for a retro gaming convention due to its out-of-time spirit and its odd position as intersection of the medium’s many directions. The city is young, famous as a coffee capitol and with a sweet tooth typically reserved for unsupervised middle schoolers. Apart from the Starbucks mermaid, its most iconic symbol is an anachronistic giant needle pointed at space.
“Retro” isn’t even an adequate descriptor: what’s old was never old to begin with. It just is, and continues to be. Perfect for old games.
Nintendo of America, representing the “old guard” of video gaming, is headquartered down the way from those of Microsoft’s Xbox division who are trying to drag the medium kicking and screaming into their vision of the future of interactive entertainment. In nearby Bellevue, Valve engineers Steam to be the ultimate digital games delivery service revered for its insane sales that border on compulsion to buy everything in sight. Across the street, the Pokemon Company has been distributing a similar drug for years. Down the street, 343 Industries architects the future of Halo. Whereabouts unknown is Ryan Payton, who chose to walk away from Master Chief’s focus-tested adventures to found Camouflaj and is toiling away on their first game, Republique, funded through Kickstarter.
So yeah, the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo. Perfect city for it. They even invited Ryan Payton to host a panel. The Retronauts poetically relaunched themselves in the shadow of the Space Needle. Some crafters sold Pokeball soap. Bins and bins of retro games to rummage through and buy, even if a lot of the games for sale were garbage. When aren’t they, though? You take the Secret of Mana with the Side Pocket.
Most dear to my heart, why I enjoy going to local conventions, is to see the free-play area in action. There’s a certain earnest energy in there, where parents introduce their young kids to the games of their own childhood and friends can revisit grudge matches of yesteryear, or create new ones over old games.
What’d we do? Played Demolition Man, side-by-side on SNES and 3DO. Wildly different games, both kinda crap and totally janky. Totally worth it.
"Hey guys, we’re gonna do a free-to-play game this fiscal year! It won’t be Mario or Pokemon because y’all have too close a relationship with those guys, but since you all fucking exploded with apathy about Steel Diver on 3DS we’re going to use that instead!"
What, exactly, is the point of a zero-effort port, one year later, stripped of a whole bunch of features, and priced like a full retail game? Is it just a cash grab? Is it a test to see if there’s an audience on the platform? Because it’s going to get terrible reviews and word of mouth. It’s set up for failure and seems like a waste of everyone’s time and money, both the developer’s and the public’s.
Let’s all have a good laugh when Rebellion and/or 505 stop supporting the platform because their game sold poorly.
Satoru Iwata is the fourth president and CEO of Nintendo Co., Ltd., and CEO of Nintendo of America.
Reginald “Reggie” Fils-Aime is President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America.
Shigeru Miyamoto is in a barrel.
Nintendo executives put some weird photos out there. Hence nintendoexecs.tumblr.com.