We all love to point and laugh at marketing folks who are a bit out of touch with the current market, so today's example of overhedged bets and surprising hubris comes to us from Nintendo of Canada's Matt Ryan. In an interview with Polygon about the new Wii Mini console, the company's communications director had this to say about expanding Wii sales to new markets:
"There's a consumer out there, there are gamers who have not bought a Wii yet, and there are gamers who have a Wii and want a second one for the cottage, or the chalet, or whatever, who actually don't need the online functionality. So we basically stripped all the online functionality out, and the end result is cost savings for the person buying Wii Mini at $99."
That's certainly presumptuous. I'm reminded of another video game company that, at the height of its popularity just before it all came crashing down, made a similar comment. Back when Atari had the rights to publish an Atari 2600 version of the popular Pac-Man, Atari management not only shipped a badly ported and rushed product, but produced more Pac-Man cartridges than there were Atari 2600s on the market. The reason was that they believed that people would want to buy extra copies of the game for their ski houses. Let this be a lesson to marketing professionals out there: never invoke buying extra units for a chalet, ski house, or cottage when giving interviews. It never ends well.