Since the beginning of the gaming industry, fan communities have always been there either to support their favorite companies or franchises. At first glance, it seems nice that many people know each other and even become friends because of their favorite games.
But some communities take it to another level of fanaticism, being capable of the worst behaviors towards other gamers and even the companies they love.
Nintendo fans have always been the most pointed out for this behavior, because the negative part of them tend to be very overprotective with both classic games and new releases, hate the proposals of other publishers, and generally cause a lousy atmosphere wherever they are.
Of course, there are civilized people in that community, and surely they are the majority of the fans, but unfortunately, the toxic ones are the ones that make the most noise.
Although it should be noted that Nintendo isn’t the best company when it comes to treating their fans either, many even believe that Nintendo hates their fans… That’s why we’ll explain below the main reasons
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Why Are Nintendo Fans Often Seen As Toxic?
Nintendo fans are toxic because to most, Nintendo was the console of their childhood, and people hate change. This is true of all fandoms but Nintendo fanboys tend to be more brash, and vocal about their opinions.
Their games and consoles are more exclusive, with far fewer collaborations with third-party developers compared to the competition leading to a “tighter” fan base that doesn’t always see eye to eye.
Nintendo is the one with the most distinctive brand within the gaming world, with an almost magical aura that makes them look as if they produce video games for the benefit of all. But come on, their real goal is money, like every company.
That “purity” of Nintendo and its dedicated titles for your inner child touches its most diehard fans, who see it as the best videogame distributor and ignore the stumbles and dirty moves they have made in recent years.
Let’s break down some of the history of Nintendo, their franchise, and why some of their biggest fans can be seen as toxic.
The term fanboy is used to refer to a person who loves a certain product too much, to the point of obsession and defending it to the hilt as if their life depended on it.
In the case of the toxic Nintendo fanbase, they tend to label gamers who criticize any negative aspect of a game of their favorite company as haters.
If one day you express on social networks that you don’t like a Nintendo title, a bunch of fanboys will come to tell you why your opinion is wrong and why the game in question is excellent.
That famous “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”
As you well know, Nintendo is one of the companies with a very strict and inflexible business model, so their games are usually a bit more expensive than average. Also, the new installments of popular Switch and DS games like Pokemon don’t add many innovative elements, but still, Nintendo fanboys don’t see beyond this and are happy with the product.
Of course, it’s not bad that they like it, but the problem arises when they insult users who criticize Nintendo’s lack of innovation, almost as if they were Nintendo employees.
Despite Nintendo’s excellent track record in the industry, it has committed certain lapses, and it’s not wrong to comment on or discuss them. They are not trying to tarnish the company as their fanboys believe, only to push them to improve so that we can all enjoy great quality games.
Overprotection Of Pokemon (for example)
Expanding on the Pokemon theme, the franchise is the most valuable in the world today, so there’s no explaining why GameFreak has been so lax when it comes to producing new installments.
With each release, while the game is not bad, most gamers agree that it could have been more and its potential was wasted.
This is when the Nintendo fanboys come out to defend their games, and in part, it makes a lot of sense, as many people’s first contact with the company was probably Pokemon.
As the game of their childhood, it is obvious that they feel very attached to it and can allow certain failures on the part of its Publisher, but when they hear the slightest criticism, they take it as a personal attack.
Overestimation Of Nintendo Merchandising
As a giant in the entertainment industry, Nintendo has known how to make the most of all its IPs in the form of toys, clothing, decoration, and countless other products.
Although the prices of these items are usually somewhat inflated to take advantage of their enormous popularity and thus get more money from Nintendo fanboys, who do not hesitate to spend more than they should on something related to their company.
And resellers have certainly taken advantage of this phenomenon, like the time a Pokemon toy campaign was launched at McDonald’s. Right away, clever resellers bought up all the happy meals and started selling them on the Internet for exorbitant prices, and guess what, they sold out.
The same thing happened with the Amibos, the mini classic consoles, and countless other products.
A Passion For Retro Gaming
The overvaluation of fanboys reaches its peak when it comes to retro games. If Nintendo continues to market its old titles today in certain parts of the world, it is thanks to its fanboys, who are responsible for keeping the prices of games and consoles very high.
But Nintendo is also somewhat to blame for this, as in the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars for the Nintendo Switch, which could only be purchased for a very limited time. This caused resellers to offer the game in online stores at sky-high prices.
Nintendo fanboys fell for it again when the NES and SNES mini-editions were released. The production was very limited and gave rise to another wave of expensive resales.
Sure, it’s not a bad thing to release a retro console for the new generations, but Nintendo sells them in such a way that they can exploit their hardcore fans to the fullest.
When Toxicity Gets To Another Level
However, Nintendo fanboys have sometimes expressed their dissatisfaction with certain Nintendo products, but their way of doing so is simply inhuman.
One of their “traditions” is to flood the comment section of every Nintendo Direct with questions about sequels to star franchises like The Legend of Zelda or Metroid Prime, ignoring proposals from new games and smaller developers.
Something much worse happens when Nintendo releases new characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the most part, they are usually liked by the public, but when a character makes it into the game over the toxic fanboys’ favorite, the fanboys don’t hesitate to send death THREATS to Masahiro Sakurai, the game’s director and one of Nintendo’s most important workers.
Unfortunately, this situation has been repeated on other occasions, such as the announcement that Pokemon Shield & Sword would not include all Pokemon from previous generations, for which GameFreak received hundreds of death threats.
Another example is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a spin-off of Breath of the Wild that Nintendo fanboys didn’t like. Their reaction? Well, they sent threats to actress Jessica Angeles, who voiced Princess Zelda in Spanish.
We all have the right to express our opinion, that’s never denied, but going to such extremes is no longer an opinion, it’s hate. And in the end, we are only talking about games, they are very important of course, but we don’t depend 100% on them either. Well, that’s a concept that the worst Nintendo fans don’t understand very well.
Now that we know some of the habits of the toxic Nintendo fanbase, let’s go to the source of the problem.
Let’s Be Honest, Nintendo Does Deserve Some Criticism
When talking about this topic, it’s impossible not to get to this question. As mentioned before, the Japanese company has been able to capitalize on the blind love they have for their fans in economic terms, but they have also punished them severely when they have a more noble purpose.
The most popular case is Nintendo’s continuous lawsuits against every non-profit fan game based on some of its titles.
While it is true that there is some plagiarism in that, their creators publish them with the best intentions, as a demonstration of love for the company and the gaming world. But Nintendo has never tolerated this, mercilessly knocking down fan games that took their creators days of work to create.
Something similar happens with emulators, which directly affect all companies in the industry, but the only one that seems to take it personally is Nintendo, causing the closure of several pages that share ROMS such as Emuparadise and RomUniverse.
Again, they have reason to do that, but some see emulators as a way to preserve games that can no longer be obtained conventionally, so they don’t hurt publishers’ economics as much as Nintendo wants to make it seem.
But regular consumers have also noticed Nintendo’s morally dubious ways in their own games. Nor are we criticizing the company’s games, which are excellent and fun to play, but that’s where they slip up again.
Since their goal is to evoke memories of your childhood, many games fail to reach their true narrative potential in favor of being fun. And that’s something their fanboys defend to the death, claiming they prefer entertaining titles to ones that make you think.
Nintendo is not obliged to create these kinds of games either, since most of them are for all audiences, but in the past, they have already released gems that invite introspection like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask or even Pokemon, in its Black & White Version.
The point is that they can give more, they have already proven it, but their conformist fanboys are happy with a merely entertaining product bearing the company’s name.
As has been made evident, Nintendo’s strategy is to play their cards jealously, giving a taste of their products, but holding back the best, unless you’re willing to pay the price. As an example, we have the Super Mario 3D All-Stars trilogy which is basically 3 ROMS for the Switch, and it was sold at the price of a new game.
If only they would do something like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, 3 completely remastered games that can almost be considered remakes made for the new generations, and yet their release price was below average.
It’s a Love/Hate Relationship
In recent years, not all Nintendo fans have been happy with Nintendo’s performance, preferring the company’s past. But by being fanboys of that, they end up generating the same toxicity as the current fanboys.
For these new haters, everything Nintendo does now is wrong, and they defend their argument with the mythical phrase “This didn’t happen with Iwata” or “The Nintendo of yesteryear didn’t do that”.
For those who don’t know, Satoru Iwata was the fourth CEO in the history of Nintendo, standing out as one of those who brought more innovations to the company and won the hearts of millions of gamers. Unfortunately, we could not continue to enjoy his charisma, as he died in 2015.
And in one part they are right, Iwata was great, being considered one of the most influential names in the industry. But it wasn’t all roses as those fans believe. At the time, Nintendo was somewhat hated for the Wii-U and 3DS, a pair of consoles that disappointed many gamers, who eventually came back thanks to the launch of the Switch.
The 3DS was criticized for its high launch price, while the Wii-U was criticized for its lack of third-party games, and the few that did come out offered lower quality than the versions on other consoles.
In addition, at the time, Nintendo wanted to charge all content creators to publish gameplays or soundtracks for their titles.
And if we go back even further, to the retro Nintendo, we don’t find very positive things either, as programmers had abusive working hours to release games quickly.
Anyway, with this we want to make it clear that Nintendo fanboys don’t have many arguments in their favor beyond some brilliant game releases.
Of course, like any other company, Nintendo has had both good and bad moments, and most of its decisions have been for the better. The point is that the Nintendo of yesteryear wasn’t perfect, and the Nintendo of today isn’t either, but that doesn’t mean they should throw an insane amount of hate at it.