There's no doubt that Nintendo is one of the most family-friendly companies in the game industry. They create titles that anyone from young kids to adults can enjoy. Unfortunately, that approach to content creation earned Nintendo a bit of negativity from small-minded people. While some still view Nintendo as 'kiddie' nowadays, that sentiment was much stronger back around the GameCube days, and was almost weaponized by gamers.
In an interview with the Present Value Podcast, Reggie recalls what Nintendo was trying to do to combat some of that negativity. The company was playing with their classic logo in a way that tried to show Nintendo as a more adult-friendly, edgy company, and Reggie saw that as a step in the wrong direction. Check out Reggie's comments on that movement below.
From a branding standpoint, we had to be clear in what Nintendo as a brand stood for, as well as what the individual franchises stood for. I’ll give you an example.
When I joined Nintendo, there was a sense of almost shame that Nintendo appealed to young consumers, and the marketing team at Nintendo of America started doing things with the logo – that classic Nintendo logo in an oval – they would put it into graffiti style, or they’d do different things to try and age up the logo, and I put a stop to that because that is not our brand. And what we needed to do was yes, appeal to a broad swatch of consumers, but we needed to do it based on what the brand stood for, and not doing it in some false way.
Systemically, we went through and cleaned up the presentation of the brand, but we also created messaging coupled with content that really broadened the reach, broadened the appeal, and set the stage for all of the great products we would launch like Wii, like Wii Fit, and eventually the Nintendo Switch.