Nintendo “digging its own grave”, says FFVII writer

Tuesday, 1st June 2010 08:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen


See that? That’s a grave? And Nintendo’s digging it, according to Final Fantasy VII writer Masato Kato.

According to Kato, who also wrote Xenogears and Chrono Trigger, the company’s domination of the handheld space is coming to an end thanks to Apple’s iPad, adding that both DS and Wii are the reasons why Ninty digging the aforementioned grave.

Nintendo’s already has its eyes set on Apple, calling the firm the “enemy of the future”.

“With the iPad going on sale, the epoch of Nintendo is finished,” tweeted Kato. “But with the DS and the Wii, it’s been digging its own grave.”

It comes as two weeks today, Nintendo is set to show off its new 3DS platform for the first time at its E3 press conference. The new handheld will let you experience 3D gaming without the need of the silly glasses.

As for Kato, he’s gone on to become a freelance writer, penning titles like Shiren 4 and the Mana series, which appeared on DS. Yes, there might be a slight irony.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. Erthazus

    I believe that. Once success on casual market will be over, Nintendo is done. Sony, Microsoft and Apple already chasing that market. I mean, they started.
    Still, they have pokemon, Mario and Zelda, but they can’t have success with these games.
    They have a lot of opportunity this generation to create new icon characters, but they don’t care and milking old ones.

    If i remember Nintendo 64 and Gamecube era even with these titles they were dead.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Mike

    This was the perfect story to use the word “moribund” in. Wasted opportunity! :)

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Bulk Slash

    The iPad is a load of crap, especially for gaming. There currently are no credible threats in the handheld market aside from the PSP and its not really making a dent in the DS except in Japan (probably why the 3DS is on the way).

    Sony and Microsoft might be targeting the casual market now, but it’s Nintendo that have mastered attracting that market. Ripping off motion controls 3 years after Nintendo did them isn’t exactly a sign of innovative thinking at those companies. How long will it take them to copy Nintendo’s next control system?

    As a hardcore gamer I’ve got virtually no love for the Wii, but I don’t see Nintendo dying out after this generation.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. polygem

    i think he´s right. but i actually can´t understand why people play appstore mini games. 90% of them are absolutely terrible -maybe even more. only a few work well and these are no direct competition to hc handheld games like resistance retribution or super mario world…people seem to enjoy these crappy iphone / ipad games anyway…strange . must be part of the apple enslavement…nintendo hardware is too toylike. they failed to deliver something that looks and feels valuable and slick designed. the 360 also kind of lacks that (i love it for that – but this won´t atract the casual gamer), but it has a very polished interface now and when you switch it on it´s like…wow….overall nintendo is on top right now but it´s easy to see they wont be for much longer.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Raining_Upwards

    @3- Agreed. The biggest hurdle that Apple has overcome to be branded as a serious competitor in the gaming market is themselves.

    The primary bulk of iPad/iPhone gamers are used to offerings that cost anything from 59p up to £7.99. So for big publishers and developers, who want to recoup as much of their development budget as possible, they will need to charge more than the paltry amounts that games are currently selling for on the Appstore.

    This is catch 22 however, since Apple’s current gaming audience has been shown that 59p -£7.99 is what you *should* pay for handheld gaming, so why should they pay anymore?

    Apple therefore is seemingly the victim of their own success here.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. unacomn

    Wait, now Nintendo is going to die? I thought PC gaming was going to die.
    Just like zombies, they always turn on each other.

    (Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island reference)

    #6 5 years ago
  7. DaMan

    “also wrote” lol. who’s the brilliant journalist that was the original source of this story?

    Masato Kato only wrote parts of FF7, he was the scenario/script writer of Chrono Trigger and Xg.. and even that was partial. he was the writer and director of Chrono Cross.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. frostquake

    Being a Serious Gamer for over 30 Years now, I can see potential in the Apple iPad, but it is far from where it needs to be, just as a Gaming Pad. I sat down and added up every thing I need to buy the iPad, along with the monthly phone fee’s and my first up front cost was well over $1600.00. NO WAY would anyone, but the elite pay that much for a Gaming Console, so NO WAY was I going to sink myself further into Debt, getting this thing.

    I really like the way it looks, but it is way under powered, memory and such. I also wanted a Huge Hard Drive, around 800 gigs or higher! Heck HD movies run around 5-8 gigs and that would eat the iPad’s memory up in no time.

    So as of right now, I see the potential in the iPad, and with Microsoft and Apple coming to turns to allow Microsoft apps to run on Apple, I see the beginning. But as of right now the iPad looks more like a Tech Demo Unit showing you what it can do.

    As for Nintendo digging its own grave, I agree with the “milking of old titles” over and over and over again. I think we are seeing the end of this as ppl really are growing tired of the milking and looking for new IP’s. Nintendo can do it though..they can create the next Mario or Zelda like Property, they just have to get off their very very fat assess and work at it, the question is will they??? My answer, with the iPad…Maybe!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    What Frostquake said…mostly.

    As for Nintendo milking old franchises, its true. But that is a strength, not a weakness. You see Nintendo isn’t trying to sell games to the 40 or 50 yr old crowed. They are targeting the kids first and families second. 30 yr old parents and again their kids.

    To the kids, those franchises are brand new. They are carefully crafted and rely on their proven formulas to deliver a steller game experience. And, if you haven’t already played every single Metriod game, The Other M, Metriod game looks very apealing. Truth be said, even if you have played all of the others … its still Metriod. I myself will at the very least give it a rental. Same goes for Mario Kart, Poke-mon and almost everything else Nintendo does.

    Every year millions of kids world wide turn ten years old for the first time. To them it is all brand new.

    One of the problems with Nintendo is they draw anger from the so called Core gaming demo graphic. Truth be said their straegy isn’t aimed at them. And I think that bother them. To many(on this site and others like it) gaming is about them. About what THEY want to play. From Red Dead to CoD to Halo to God of War and more.

    In plan truth Nintendo just doesn’t care about that demographic.

    Nintendo isn’t going anywhere, and the only threat to Nintendo is Nintendo themself. Apple won’t touch Nintendo with anything Apple currently has on the market. Move and Wave are of little threat to Nintendo either. Move and Wave are for Core Gamers(or their wives) whom sometimes want to dabble in something different/casual.

    They are like Rock Radio stations that sometimes play a pop song. Nintendo is a pure pop station.

    Like what you like. But Nintendo is going to be fine.

    Oh and I find it rich that a SQE guy(even an ex SQE guy) is talking about someone else digging their own graves.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. DaMan

    this isn’t a SQE guy, he left them like 7 years ago.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Same diff in my book.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. DaMan

    well, I don’t see that. he worked on some of their best games, in the golden era of jrpgs (mid to late 90s). he left the company when they actually started going downhill.

    I don’t see how a Chrono games writer took any part in ‘digging SQE grave’. I mean, if anything, atm they should go back to what they did with games like CT or VS.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. OlderGamer

    I could argue DaMan, that the very thing that hurt JRPGs is because they went back. Or rather they haven’t moved on. And story telling has never been a strong point of their games. Ever.

    On the Nes and SNES the JRPGs were very simple and straight forward. Tales of youthful/coming of age kids setting out on (mis)adventures and end up saving the world from evil. Toss in a few different variation like looking for a father, being orphaned, finding love, ancient once dormate evil, foiling a kingdom take over, blagh blagh. It worked in those days. The games were simple, charming, and enjoyable. The same type of way Mario Bros was.

    Fast forward to today, and simple doesn’t really cut it.

    And to tell the truth most JRPGs find their home in the handheld market. There they stick very close to their roots. And in many cases go for a remake of an old classic.

    I could argue, DaMan, that in the face of Tourchlight, World of Warcraft, Bourderlands, Diablo III, Fallout3, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls the traditional JRPG pales. But I won’t.

    Your are very much entitled to your own opinion. And I can respect that.

    It is just that in opinion I feel that going back and redoing CT or VS, is the wrong idea. I think the JP game devs should take a strong look at some of the top western RPGs and try and figure out what makes them work so well. And then do their own take on them. Don’t give me a JP stylizied Oblivion, but give us fresh ideas to revitalize the RPGS coming out of JP.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. DaMan

    er, my point was that the games this particular dev worked on were in fact the ones that pushed genre forwards and did exactly those things you’re talking about – ie Chrono Trigger altogether (for it’s time they did everything right), or Xenogears with it’s battle system. Vagrant Story is another good example – it was full of fresh ideas, revitalizing the genre. VS was perhaps the most western oriented Square game ever made, with the exception of FF12.. it would seem you’re a bit uninformed about those titles or something, Older.

    hence, like I said I don’t see any irony in his comments. he wasn’t the one who made FF13 or even FF8.

    I was saying that Squenix should go back and, reboot their series. like they did it in 1995 with CT, and like they kind of tried in 2006 with FF12. besides those games actually still have some things they could use today.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    I just don’t think that even if they did a reboot/remake those games could hold up today. Plus they would most likly only come out on handhelds.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. DaMan

    you might want to take a look at EG’s review of CT remake for DS btw.

    well, like I said reboot them with new ideas, probably still borrowing from their previous titles, because say, FF12 did plenty of things right. I don’t mean make a copy of CT with today’s graphics, well unless you do a remake for the fanbase.

    #16 5 years ago

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