Nintendo Should Start Making Adult Rated Video Games

Eternal Darkness: what would a horror game created by Nintendo be like? (photo: Nintendo)

A reader wonders what would happen if Nintendo started making games for adults, like first-person shooters and survival horror.

I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that Nintendo is the most respected video game developer in the world and has been for at least the last 40 years. Other studios come and go and most modern ones only release a new game every five years or so, so good luck waiting for The Last Of Us Part 3, considering Naughty Dog has two new games to make before then.

There are many things that set Nintendo apart from other developers, but one of the least appreciated is how they approach each and every genre. Instead of just creating platformers, they’ve made everything from sports sims to fighters to strategy games to RPGs. However, there is one thing that connects them all: they are all family friendly.

I’m not saying this as a criticism, but it does put a limit on what they can do and means that good old Nintendo magic has never been worked into survival horrors, first-person shooters, or anything with a serious story. The reasons why are obvious, but my hope is that one day they will change their minds.

Before you accuse me of being dumb, it’s worth noting that Nintendo has dabbled in these kinds of ideas before. He published the survival horror Eternal Darkness as a Nintendo game and is solely responsible for Bayonetta continuing to exist, and they both made it into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They also put together a remake of Metal Gear Solid, as well as relatively serious action games like Geist and Disaster: Day Of Crisis.

The thing about all of those games, though, is that while Nintendo did publish them, they didn’t make them, and with the exception of Bayonetta, it’s obvious that they all would have been so much better if they had. But Nintendo doesn’t make those kinds of games and I think that’s a real shame.

My suggestion then is simple: set up a Only for adults etiquette for games that are rated for adults and clearly made for kids and then lets the developers at Nintendo run amok. They would have to be brand new franchises, no one wants to see GTA: Mushroom Kingdom, but that’s even better as far as I’m concerned.

Maybe they could make a sequel to Eternal Darkness, I think it could be interesting, but what about a realistic first person shooter that plays as well as Splatoon? Or a more serious fighting game from the same team behind Smash Bros., which featured no mascot characters (although the Fire Emblem cast could work).

Or a Zelda-style game but with a more realistic setting, although it’s still fantastic, with its own complex story. What would a Nintendo version of a third-person action-adventure made by Sony look like? Hopefully no sad parents, but imagine a serious post-apocalyptic game made to the same quality as Zelda or Metroid.

I guess the most serious an in-house Nintendo developer gets is Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade games, though they’re still pretty cartoony even by RPG standards. But what if they did something that was a bit more realistic, perhaps taking inspiration from Fallout or Mass Effect?

The possibilities are endless and while I don’t have any real hope of it happening, I do hope that one day I will be proven wrong. As the games attract more and more people, Nintendo may realize that they are actually missing out on a large audience, and as long as they think they can keep the games out of the reach of children, I think their developers would jump at the chance.

It could be like when Disney created Touchstone Pictures to publish less familiar movies, so it’s not like companies haven’t done this kind of thing before. It’s just a dream of mine, but I thought I’d share it.

By Reader Goodspeed

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