For Nintendo fans, the interval between franchise installments can turn into a tedious waiting game. Take the Legend of Zelda franchise, for example. It’s already been 4 years since the release of Skyward Sword and, last we’ve heard, there’s still another year to go until the next game’s release. Well, in a recent interview with, Nintendo of America’s Executive VP of Sales, Scott Moffit, revealed the reasons why new iterations of your favorite video games are not released every year.

Here’s what he said about games like
Mario Kart not being annualized:

“We tend not to annualize our franchises, there’s not a new Mario Kart every year. What we’ve tried to do with the Wii U is first, create a fully featured really enjoyable game that has something for everybody, has surprises that you’ll discover as you play through levels and it gives you a good amount of quality entertainment.”

Instead of annualizing their biggest franchises, Nintendo instead puts the focus on adding new content in the form of content updates or other DLC. This kind of new content then gives gamers a reason to continue playing the same game for an extended amount of time.

For fans who love [Mario Kart], we’ve released extra content over time so that it keeps the game fresh and allows them to experience more than they could when they originally bought the game. That’s the approach we take, rather than annualizing the franchise, we are periodically releasing new courses, levels and features that keep people playing. We see a huge surge in gameplay hours on Mario Kart when we [release new content].”

Although this method works for some games, it’s not the best method for all games. Here’s what Moffit said about the
Pokémon games as compared to Mario Kart and Smash.

“We take different approaches with different franchises. If you look at the Pokémon franchise, we have released multiple core games for 3DS. We like to give Pokémon fans something every year, but something like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. there may only be one version of that franchise in the whole console cycle.”

Regarding the potential of other games getting annualized in the future, Moffit says it depend on the franchise, the developer, and what new ideas can be added.

“It all depends on the franchise, the developer and what new ideas they can bring to the franchise to move the gameplay forward and keep the franchise fresh. I think we always need to innovate and we need to always bring new ideas and new thoughts, but they have to be sufficient enough to justify the next release. Small, incremental changes may not be worth a whole new release.”

What do you all think of this? Do you like the way Nintendo handles their franchises, or do you want to see more annualization? Feel free to sound off in the comment section below!


Our Verdict

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