Here’s a nice, juicy End of Day thought for you to bite into. Being able to present you guys with this is an absolute pleasure. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed conducting it!
I’m off to bed for now gang, see you in a few hours. Hope your Saturday morning is fantastic!
No matter what event I go to, I am always looking forward to seeing one person. There’s someone at Nintendo that I know I’ll always have a great interview with. No doubt, Nintendo’s Denise Kaigler, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Nintendo of America, always manages to provide me with the best answers and biggest smiles. When I met up with her at this E3, my experience was no different.
I really felt bad for Kaigler going into this interview. I know that not too long ago, she caught a bit of flak for an interview she did with another outlet. The problem was, the way the interview was presented made Denise seem a bit harsh. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you take an interview and put it into text. The flow of the conversation is lost, and sometimes that can mean a world of difference when it comes to the tone of an interview.
When I read that interview, I knew exactly how Kaigler meant it. She has an extremely vibrant, passionate attitude. When you see her in person, that truly comes across. When you see it in the form of text…word for word…things come off a bit differently. Seeing much of the internet read that interview and then take Kaigler through virtual hell and back really put me in a foul mood. Thankfully, you guys seemed to really get the vibe that Kaigler really gives off, and I’m proud of you for that.
Why talk about that previous interview? Well, when I went in for my session, I wanted to make sure that I presented Denise Kaigler as she really is. I cannot stress how great of a time I have talking with her. She’s extremely passionate, she knows her Nintendo, and she wants nothing more than to bring every Nintendo fan exactly what they want.
I’ve taken my 40 minute interview and transcribed most of it below. Trust me, I’ve left her content 100% intact, and I think I’ve done a good job with showing how Kaigler really is. I think you’ll really be interested with some of the things she had to say. I’ve provided my thought process for each question, instead of my straight-out question.
I asked Denise about the path Nintendo takes when picking what games will be localized. At this time, I was pretty annoyed with the lack of Trace Memory at E3. You know, the same way I feel now!
There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding what titles to localize. As with Golden Sun DS, there are games that remain out there for a long, long time…10 to 15 years. You never know, so don’t give up yet.
I was surprised to see no WiiWare titles shown during Nintendo’s E3 press conference. WiiWare wasn’t even mentioned. What’s up with that?
We are pleased that there’s been so much buzz about some of the games. …We only have an hour…there’s so much information to put on that state. There’s only so much that we can… You guys see every Monday that we have the Nintendo Download.
Sticking with WiiWare, I really stressed how important I believe advertising is. Print ads, and even commercials that showcase 15 games in a 30 second spot…I think all of these things could be great. Will we see anymore bigtime advertising for WiiWare, and DSiWare?
There are opportunities to do all of that. We never say never. We understand that WiiWare is a really big opportunity. We understand that there’s a pent-up demand and longing for that (type of advertising).
Nintendo seems to be taking what works on DS, and moving it over to Wii. New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing: Wild World. All of these received/are receiving Wii versions. Is it Nintendo’s intention to bring what works on DS over to Wii, while keeping the approach of the DS titles nearly the same?
What we do is look at games that make sense to apply to Wii. Same thing can be said of Virtual Console games. We’re always looking at ways to make the experience more fun and more compelling for gamers. If we look at a DS game and see that a Wii version…experience can be enhanced, then that’s what we do. We don’t just do it for the sake of doing it. If we can make that experience more fun, more compelling, more immersive…that’s what drives that decision.
Nintendo loves letting loose big secrets at E3, yet they hardly have any leaks. How do they do it?
When you come to a show like this, surprises are what’s going to be key. We were so anal about keeping that a secret. We were so worried, especially when we had a leak just the night before…someone going to the booth that’s covered and have that happen. Man, that was so disappointing! It’s almost like when you know the ending of a good movie. You’re not supposed to tell anyone about it, because you’re spoiling it for them! We take great care in protecting our announcements because we know that the surprise factor is what you guys love. Who doesn’t love a surprise, and it’s certainly what fanboys love. You have no idea how seriously we take it. We really do go through incredible measures to make sure we keep things secret.
How is it for Denise to be in this industry now?
The passion is undeniable. It’s certainly unlike any other industry that I’ve worked in. I think that says a lot about the industry…the fun and the emotional connection that consumers and gamers have to the product. There is no other industry like it. It’s a privilege to be part of an industry where the people you are serving/working with are so emotionally invested in what you do. That, to me, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Nintendo really seemed to bring some love to the longtime Nintendo fan this year. That’s not to say that they didn’t have titles that would appeal to the expanded audience. How does Nintendo feel about these two audiences converging?
Now everyone can understand and be a part of all the fun. It’s an awesome responsibility to make sure we’re always making a broad base of consumers happy. We take that responsibility very, very, very seriously.
Will Nintendo be working with any other bigtime third parties when it comes to updating classic franchises?
That absolutely could be a possibility. That might be something that we’d absolutely look into. Based on that reaction, we have high hopes.
The big surprise this year was Metroid: Other M. Denise describes her reaction to the announcement
Working to get ready for the media briefing, we saw that trailer several times. Everytime I saw it, it gave me chills down my arm.
We get into a discussion of third party support for Wii. Things are getting better, and now the MotionPlus is out there with only support from third party games. Denise comments on EA and SEGA, and then moves into a quick bit about Red Steel 2
What an awesome demonstration of support from a licensee. We love that!
It’s hard to come so big to E3 one year, and then the next year let people down. Obviously that is never Nintendo’s goal. Denise discusses the difficulties of putting together E3 press events
Managing the expectations…there’s such high, enormously high expectations! It’s fun to try to meet the expectations of the gaming community. It definitely keeps us on our toes.
A lot of people don’t believe that Nintendo pays attention to its fans. At this E3 more than any other, I realized just how closely the Big N is listening/watching. Denise furthers that sentiment
We all read them, of course we cant respond to them. I try to respond when I can…I talk to you, I talk to IGN and some of the other ones. There’s just so much! We want to know what you guys think of us, it’s important! Very opinionated group!
To be blunt, Denise Kaigler didn’t have the best introduction to the game industry. The first big thing she did was E3 2008, which many view as Nintendo’s worst E3 presentation. Now that E3 2009 is in the bag, does she feel a bit better?
This feels so much better (than last E3). You guys were pleased with the amount of games that spoke to you. Many more than last year. The amount of positive feedback that everyone’s been sharing with us is great. Everyone’s been so open with us, saying that we did it this year…this is great. I think there’s a lot of love out there for Nintendo! We like being loved more than hated! It’s important…we recognize the importance of having your support.
Those 40 minutes with Denise Kaigler were the highlight of my entire E3. I can’t wait for the next event that pops up, because I’m hunting down Denise for another chat. You really have to meet her to truly see how intense she is when it comes to love for Nintendo and its fans. Nintendo needs to put her out infront of the crowd a bit more, and just let her be herself. Trust me, I am not being a kiss-ass…talking with Denise really is that fun.
A huge thank you to all those at Nintendo that set up this interview, as well as Denise Kaigler for taking time out of her busy schedule. I really look forward to our next chat, and can’t wait to pick her brain more!