Talking to Gamasutra as part of an in-depth interview
, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has been discussing Nintendo's consoles, noting the Gamecube was successful financially for the company, and commenting "It's only by taking a risk [with Wii] that they were able to have a chance to succeed."
Pitchford, whose company is creating or co-creating Samba De Amigo
and Brothers In Arms
titles for the Wii, discussed a question about how Nintendo created the Wii, following the Gamecube's arguable success, by noting:
"I don't agree that [Nintendo] were on a downward trend, but I do agree that they wanted to reach more customers than they were reaching.
Depending on how you look at it, Nintendo arguably won last generation in terms of return on investment, if you think about how much they spend, versus how much they made.
Microsoft was in second place in installed units... They were like a billion and change in the hole with Xbox 1.
Sony was profitable late in the PlayStation 2's existence. They were very profitable, though, because they had such an install base and so much software, and they were selling the software so well."
Continuing on his ruminations about Nintendo's place in the market transitioning from the Gamecube to the Wii, Pitchford noted:
"Nintendo, though, in terms of return on investment, might have been in the best spot.
The Gamecube itself, they're making money on their games, they're making money on the hardware, they're making money in every single place. Meanwhile, everyone else is losing money.
Sony and Microsoft both initially lost money on hardware and had to spend the marketing on top just to get it installed. Then they had to make it up over time with software. Microsoft is still trying to make it up...
...but [Microsoft is] having positive quarterly balance sheets now. We've seen a couple of those. By the way, I love the Xbox 360 platform. I'm a big fan of it."
Finally, Pitchford addresses the Wii's success in the market, explaining:
"Nintendo had some goals there, so they took a risk, and it's nice that they took a risk instead of doing the same thing.
It's only by taking a risk that they were able to have a chance to succeed. If they had done the safe thing, they probably wouldn't have succeeded."
The full Gamasutra interview with Pitchford
is now available, covering a plethora of other topics, from the fact that Brothers In Arms
is owned IP to discussions on being a large independent developer in the game business in 2008.