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Is the Nintendo fanbase mostly older people (20s-30s+)?

That is actually ironic for me as I grew up on SEGA's Mega Drive first, then moved onto Playstation.... (we did own an SNES at one point, but Mario never really "clicked" with me as Sonic did).

BUT.....Pokémon was my first foray into a Nintendo franchise I absolutely loved, and I was obsessed in the 5 years after that (10/11 to 15) of the games being amazing experiences (Gens 1 to 3 will forever be the best trilogy for me).

For the majority of my age group in the UK, no matter what Home Console you owned, everyone practically wanted or owned a Game Boy...just for Pokemon. I played a Game Boy way back in 1996 from a School Buddy when he broke his leg (Mario again...), but I only really wanted one a little later on and before Pokémon was a thing. Right place, right time for me.

I got into Nintendo more during the Gamecube/Wii eras really, as the Playstation hype was always around the more AAA offerings of the time which didn't interest me. I came to appreciate Wind Waker (I honestly didn't know that people hated that one, but the graphics for me looked better and brighter than the PS2), Pikmin and even Warioware on the system, as well as the GBA games we got.

I think the fanbase in the US have a more stronger attachment to Nintendo Franchises than kids these days do (who grew up on Final Fantasy on Playstation, then Halo came and then stuff like GTA/Minecraft), but I think Pokémon is more the exception than the norm, as I feel that almost everyone my age and lightly younger all got hyped for Pokémon and for most, that has stuck with them.

Now...I honestly didn't like the DS/3DS era of games....Diamond/Pearl was a massive let down for me despite the Dual Screen being a great idea for the series (which will now disappear for Sword/Shield), as I felt that Game Freak tried to omit QoL features from the past 3 games and tried to shoehorn in ideas that weren't as good (Vs Seeker is an amazing Item). The GTS and stuff is a good idea of course, but for me....it loses its charm of collecting with friends and family and loses that "Social" aspect...as well as the Meta Game of Competing (although I can sympathise for those who love that stuff).

Pokémon is kind of like Sonic at the moment, where the creators don't know what to do with the series. The Gyms have always been a staple, but they have not really innovated in that aspect, save for puzzles in the Gyms to get to the leaders (These gripe me beyond belief).

Every Generation feels like something Game Freak "has" to innovate on, and in doing so, they have lost the basic skills of improving on the Coding aspect. The problem is more to do with refusing to expand your team when you have a multi million franchise where Pokémon means different things to different people

  • Catching them all
  • Competing on a High Level
  • Personalising your Pokémon you like the look of
  • Story and Lore of the games
  • Characters you interact with who talk to you about the different aspects of Pokémon

What Game Freak have done, and is totally understandable why people are hating on them now for, is that they have:

  1. Taken out Moves that will seriously affect the Competitive Nature of the games
  2. Shortened the Story, making the game have less lore in them
  3. Changed how you Catch Pokémon so that you can never find anything stronger or your personal preferences
  4. Omitted Favourites Entirely, as well as reduce the Pokédex
  5. Likely have changed how you battle in Gyms, making them innovative but at the same time, losing some of the traditions of the original games.
  6. The mantra of "Catch them all" has gone, which was at the time, the main selling point of the series. How will they market their games in the future?

Because they have changed too much, with using the limited skills they have not improved upon, as well as likely ignored Focus Groups/Marketing Data, they have infuriated a lot of the fans who grew up with the past games that have implemented and changed systems over the past 20 years to make it too different and too alien for the fanbase.


All of these factors is why the Pokémon fanbase is likely unique in the scenario that so many have different ideas of what Pokémon is to them, because Game Freak have offered all of these options in past games, but now have changed or taken away a lot of that stuff, alienating almost the entire fanbase.

If you like the lore, then that is pretty much gone backwards.

If you liked the Competitive nature, then be prepared to grind for better Mons or use alternative moves you don't like.

If you liked the Mega Evos/Z moves, then the Dynamax isn't going to excite you.

If you liked the different Pokémon you can get but also preferred your old favourites, then you are limited in choice.


The Nintendo fanbase does skew more to adults, but many of those franchises tend to have a high audience for children as most of those Adults are parents, showing them an easy to access franchise first. Mario, DK, Kirby etc are very much a good entry point (hell, even Sonic is!!!).

Pokémon originally had this concept in mind, but sadly it has become so complex in nature, and so vast in features that I personally feel that children are alienated from the more simple aspects of the game these days (and the main reason why I moved on from Pokémon). I think Game Freak are trying to get that audience back, but the audience that makes them the majority of that money are the Adult audience who pretty much understand most of those features and taking them away leaves them in a dilemma.

Do they start from scratch, limiting Pokemon/Moves/Gyms to let kids play them as per the original vision? Or should they add everything in, and keeping the main audience happy whilst not investing in new blood to get all these features in?
 
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Yumi

Member
My 9 year old step daughter goes to a pretty diverse school and no one talk about Pokemon. They are way more interested in Nintendo characters like Mario and Link.
Outside of Nintendo all the talk is about Minecraft, and the rare indie game.

Recently her and some classmates were really into Hello Neighbor, which seems random at first, but the game was heavily featured in a popular kids youtube channel.

I think Pokemon needs to push their IP heavily into other mediums again, targeted at children. Like a new movie, or television series. Also, if you go to the toy section in a department store, theres tons of Nintendo products compared to pokemon products.
 
Their fanbase is dominated by: families, like our house, where both kids and even the wife can join in and have a good time. So that encompasses the middle-aged like myself, the children, and my wife who will actually play things like Mario Kart.
 

Holammer

Member
I get the overall impression that many of the Nintendo [and Pokemon] super fan we have today grew up with the N64 while the brand still had a domineering presence and that they're in the 25-33 range. With a slew of failed consoles (yes, I count the Wii as a failure) and mobile gaming capturing their target audience, brand awareness fizzled out; to the point where my nine year old niece had no idea who Mario was when I asked what kids played these days.
 

JimiNutz

Banned
My 9 year old step daughter goes to a pretty diverse school and no one talk about Pokemon. They are way more interested in Nintendo characters like Mario and Link.
Outside of Nintendo all the talk is about Minecraft, and the rare indie game.

Recently her and some classmates were really into Hello Neighbor, which seems random at first, but the game was heavily featured in a popular kids youtube channel.

I think Pokemon needs to push their IP heavily into other mediums again, targeted at children. Like a new movie, or television series. Also, if you go to the toy section in a department store, theres tons of Nintendo products compared to pokemon products.

Didn't that Detective Pikachu movie just come out? Can't really push the IP anymore than that outside of the games...
 
Considering the wii and wiiu, not surprised kids dont care. Only grown ass adults that still have faith nintendo will make that one good game...
 
I used to be somewhat partisan towards Nintendo until they messed up with the Nintendo 64. That was the end of my undying trust in the brand. The manipulative marketing surrounding the whole Ultra 64 thing forced me to get a PlayStation instead, and it wasn't until the release of GoldenEye 007 that I became interested again in Nintendo's console. My PC, PlayStation, Mega Drive, NES, Game Boy, and Super NES were responsible for my fondest memories in 90s gaming. I don't think any of the three console brands are what they used to be either, and I don't consider myself a fan of them.

I mentioned elsewhere that the departure of Howard Lincoln only made things worse for long-time Nintendo fans, as he was responsible for the more mature and exiting Nintendo content (think of the Star Wars games, Killer Instinct, GoldenEye 007, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, etc.). I just cannot get that excited about Nintendo anymore, and I'm sad about that. The lack of genuinely innovative and truly revolutionary new IPs is one of the reasons. I've already played the greatest games Nintendo ever made, and they were created decades ago.

SEGA was ultimately the purest and most innovative brand I think, and I'm glad I wasn't buying into the Nintendo vs. SEGA nonsense because I would've missed some of the greatest games ever made.
 
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ULTROS!

People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.
From what I notice, they recognize Mario and a few first gen Pokemon (aka Pikachu) by face but not necessarily the game associated.
 
When I think about it, most kids into Nintendo probably have only had access to nintendo shit because of their parents, so yeah. This makes sense.

It's not like Nintendo is as prevalent amongst the kiddos anymore. I remember a time when kids talked about nes games like kids do now about fortnite but those times are far in the past.

That and it seems like the name of the game with kids anymore is access at a cheap price or even free. That AINT Nintendo.

Nintendo of America isn't pushing it like they did back then. No Nintendo power magazine, hotline, breakfast ceral, Saturday morning cartoons, movies, lunch boxes, and kids today have the internet and free games. Many don't have consoles.

My step son was into mostly minecraft, monster jam, Lego, pokemon, roblox, Gary's mod, and when he turned a teen (he's now 14) borderlands, dying light, gran turismo, nfs, mad max, destiny, kerbal space, fortnite, etc... When I got the switch last year he messed around with Zelda for a spell and then put it down.

The AAA games were all my influence, but pokemon, fortnite, roblox and countless freemium phone games were from classmates. I never play that crap, I'm 40 btw. My step daughter now 16, didn't play it either. They both got psps when they were younger (and step son a vita and 3ds) she played mainly the Sims, 2,3,4 that was it (even crapy Sims psp ver.)

Now I myself play Nintendo games like mainline Mario and Zelda, metroid, but prefer more intellectual games from them like advanced wars and fire emblem. I also dig all the dynasty warrior clones and any dragon quest game. In fact 85% of my switch library of over 60+ games is 3rd party.

From what I seen the kids growing up were all into free phone games. Hell most didn't even have a console. Its a vast difference too as I played games with them. I grew up in the 80s and 90s and my parents started and stopped at Atari/intellivison. NES was all me.

The other thing to remember is back in the 80s there wasn't as much media or distractions. Most things were new, not reboots. In grade school you talked about accidentally finding the 2nd quest in Zelda by using the name as your character (happened to me that way), or finding warp tunnels on world 1-2 of Mario. If you could jump over the flagpole. All the secrets in Simon's quest. This strange new game called dragon warrior and final fantasy which is reminecent of dungeons and dragons. Kids today talk about pawing noobs, and stupid teen memes, and vines or crap tumblr or Instagram. Not nitnedo, playstation or Xbox.
 
I get the overall impression that many of the Nintendo [and Pokemon] super fan we have today grew up with the N64 while the brand still had a domineering presence and that they're in the 25-33 range. With a slew of failed consoles (yes, I count the Wii as a failure) and mobile gaming capturing their target audience, brand awareness fizzled out; to the point where my nine year old niece had no idea who Mario was when I asked what kids played these days.
I'm 40, Nintendo fizzled out for me after snes. I stopped gaming in high school as girls hated gaming and it made you look nerdy
I was trying to get away from that and get laid. I turned to music, drugs and scoring some tail. It wasn't til playstation that got me back and that was because games seemed more focused on adults and at that point I was no longer in school so image be damned. I got back into gaming and D&D, and my girlfriend back then was into it too.

I thought N64 was crap. Besides ocarina of time and Mario 64 it had no rpgs and a small library. Pokémon never ever interested me and I thought it was for kids. I couldn't understand how the kids a few years younger than man were so obsessed with it (guess the difference between me being Gen x and them millennials, which falls into your age range example).

Nintendo of America is weak sauce today. Back in the 80s, NOA was trying to Make Video Games Great Again, lol, and doing a high energy job of it as we were coming out of the 1983 crash. They had hotline, breakfast cereal, Saturday morning cartoons, TV shows, movies, Nintendo power and were a force. Also everything was new including genres like platformers and rpgs. Hell side scrolling was new. Nintendo got cocky during the tail end of snes when they shunned kutatagi/Sony and were on a downward track in mind share ever since. The wii was a large blip. I hope the switch trend lasts and isn't fleeting, as I love having full console games (and some pc games like civ6) on a console. They actually have 3rd party support again (minus ea).
 

MaestroMike

Gold Member
31 years old checking in. grew up with Nintendo and every console has been bought beginning with NES. didn't get the handhelds, though, I'm a console guy. Bought the PS1 and PS2. Bought the first Xbox, the 360 and Xbox One. Don't care about Pokemon, really lol I get Nintendo consoles for Mario, Zelda and Mario Kart. Did beat Pokemon yellow like over 20 years ago tho lol seems like yesterday.
 

mickaus

Member
I’m 28 and I primarily play games on the switch while playing RTS games on the PC. I think one of the best things about Nintendo games is that there is a more fulfilling gaming experience. Just buying a game like Odyssey, BOTW or Three houses and playing it without MTX and loot boxes and all that crap is what appeals to me. I just like playing a game for a month or so, finishing it and then moving on to the next one. I hope that the game industry moves more toward finished single player games without MTX, GAAS in the future.
 

Durask

Member
Oh, another big game with kids - Wizard 101 and Pirate 101. Woooohooo. Those were huge back in 2010-2015.

Bottom line, there is so much stuff out there these days and to a lot of younger people Mario and Zelda are, eh, whatever.

(For the record, barely played any Mario games and never played a Zelda game ).
 
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lock2k

Banned
Both? I think the nostalgia group(mainly millennials who grew up with Ninty in the 80s and 90s) and kids. My daughter(7) and her friends all have Switches and pack them around everywhere and care mostly about mario and pokemon and stuff.
My 5 year old is a Pokemon freak since she was 3. And she also loves anything Mario.
 

manfestival

Member
I do not consider myself a part of the nintendo fanbase but I have a special place in my heart for pokemon. I believe I always will and I am 32
 
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