Charlie Scibetta, senior director of corporate communications at Nintendo of America, was recently interviewed by GamesBeat regarding E3 2018 and the company’s plans for the future. Read on below for a few excerpts from the interview:
GamesBeat: What’s your approach to E3 this year?
Charlie Scibetta: Our approach for this show is great games that are going to keep the momentum going for Nintendo Switch. When we first introduced the system, it was all about a home console you could take anywhere, anytime, and a whole new way to play. We had great momentum in the first year. We’re the fastest-selling console out of the gate in the U.S. in that first 12 months, per NPD.
The way to keep momentum going for the system is with great games. We had great games year one, with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, Splatoon 2, and great third-party offerings. This year at E3 we’re showing games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu, Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee. Indie games like Overcooked 2. We’re confident we’re going to keep the momentum going because they’re the kind of games you’ll enjoy at home, but you’ll also love taking them on the go like you do with a lot of other games on Nintendo Switch.
GamesBeat: Would you say the eyeballs have been growing for the Nintendo presence at E3 in the last few years? Is there more Switch momentum making that happen?
Scibetta: I do think there’s more eyeballs. If you have a system that has momentum, people tend to gravitate toward it more. The first year of Nintendo Switch, we sold more than 17 million units worldwide, more than 68 million pieces of software. The fiscal year we’re in right now, coming up, we project 20 million hardware units and more than 100 million software units. There has been more interest in us this year because we have momentum.
People want to know if we can sustain that momentum. We’re optimistic we can with games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon, along with the Pokéball Plus accessory. It’s really going to be a cool way to experience Pokémon, the interactivity with Pokémon Go.
When it came to two years ago, with Legend of Zelda, I think people just love that franchise. We hadn’t even launched the Nintendo Switch then. The IP alone at that point pulled people into that booth. Last year, Super Mario Odyssey being the primary focus, and then this year, people are interested in what software is going to power the system. It’s a combination of software and hardware this year, whereas two years ago, it was primarily Zelda that brought them in.
GamesBeat: Is there a reason you’re continuing the Directs online as opposed to in person?
Scibetta: We decide each year what to show in the booth based on the content we have. We also do the same when it comes to what we want to do in Nintendo Direct or a presentation. In the past, we’ve done presentations where we brought thousands of people together and demoed live on stage. With the last four or five years, we’ve done more of the video approach. It’s really whatever we think is the best way to bring those games to life.
We think that Nintendo Direct recently has been a nice way to do it because we’re able to package interviews and gameplay and fine-tune it, so it’s a nice tight presentation. It’s an efficient use of time. It’s a good way to bring these games to life in a video format. In the future, we might go back to a presentation. We might stick with video. We might do something completely different. But it’ll all be based on what we have to show that year.