Last month, for the second year running, Nintendo abstained from the three-way press conference battle royale at E3. Instead, it focused on a pre-recorded ‘Digital Event‘ presentation that was streamed online, as well as a Super Smash Bros. tournament and numerous demos livestreamed by its renowned Treehouse team throughout the week.
Was it the right move? Perhaps. At Nintendo’s latest annual shareholder meeting, the company said its Digital Event livestream hit 4 to 5 million views, while its Treehouse coverage “numbered in the tens of millions.”
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Shigeru Miyamoto, the video game designer behind Nintendo classics such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox and Pikmin said:
“The Nintendo Digital Event which we broadcast on the morning of the first day of E3, was viewed 4 to 5 million times, and the total views of our E3-related videos numbered in the tens of millions.
This means that our messages reached a large number of people all over the world through the Internet, not only the people who attended E3 events.”
In the past, Nintendo relied on the media to attend E3 and communicate its new games and announcements to everyone sitting at home. The proliferation of streaming, however, has allowed the Japanese firm to bypass the press and talk directly to its fans. A large E3 press conference certainly adds to the spectacle, but it’s clear Nintendo think it’s more effective with a different format.
As it happens, Nintendo had a strong showing at E3 this year and the livestreams spearheaded by Treehouse helped the company to maintain and grow its mind share throughout the show. Will it transform Wii U sales figures? Probably not. But it’s a sign that Nintendo is getting back on track.
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