Top 10 Times Nintendo Angered Their Fans



Top 10 Times Nintendo Angered Their Fans

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
For a company with so many beloved games, Nintendo sure does know how to piss of its fans. For this list, we'll be looking at instances where Nintendo's releases or business decisions were met with severe backlash from fans. Our countdown includes the Switch's N64 Expansion, Nintendo's response to Joy-Con Drift, "Metroid Prime: Federation Force" (2016), Wind Waker's art style, and more!
Script written by Johnny Reynolds

For a company with so many beloved games, Nintendo sure does know how to piss of its fans. For this list, we’ll be looking at instances where Nintendo’s releases or business decisions were met with severe backlash from fans. Our countdown includes the Switch's N64 Expansion, Nintendo's response to Joy-Con Drift, "Metroid Prime: Federation Force" (2016), Wind Waker's art style, and more! Which of these moments annoyed you the most? Head to the comments and let us know.

#10: “Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival” (2015)

“Animal Crossing” is one of Nintendo’s most cherished franchises. Even with the financial turmoil behind the Wii U, releasing an entry there would have been a homerun. But Nintendo chose a different approach much to the ire of fans. The spin-off “Amiibo Festival” was somewhat similar to “Mario Party,” just without the fun. If you wanted to get the full experience, you’d have to purchase Amiibo; director Aya Kyogoku even said the game was created in order to get more “Animal Crossing” Amiibo made. It was seen as a blatant cash grab immediately and its tedious gameplay was ripped to shreds by critics and players alike, making it a rare financial bomb for the franchise.

#9: Zelda Amiibo

Amiibo can be great. They’re affordable collectibles and can offer neat bonuses in-game. But as you can see, Nintendo has taken some missteps along the way. When “Skyward Sword HD” was announced in 2021, a wonderfully designed Zelda Amiibo was as well. However, its use within the game is what upset fans. It allows you to fast travel between the sky overworld and the surface, a welcome quality of life change not found in the Wii original. Locking this behind a $25 figurine definitely ticked some players off as the remaster already cost full-price. Many justifiably felt it should have been included in the base game and saw it as another way for Nintendo to squeeze some extra money from its fans.

#8: “Metroid Prime: Federation Force” (2016)

“Metroid” fans know exactly what they want, but that doesn’t mean Nintendo has always understood that. At E3 2015, Nintendo announced “Metroid Prime: Federation Force,” a multiplayer spin-off that focused heavily on action. Everything from its non-playable Samus Aran to its art style to its non-traditional gameplay was lambasted by fans. In fact, a petition was started on to get the game canceled and reached over 20,000 signatures. Players may have been more open to this spin-off if the lukewarm “Metroid: Other M” hadn’t been the only other release in close to a decade. But even after launch, players found that “Federation Force” was a repetitive, shallow experience.

#7: Wind Waker’s Art Style

Not every instance of fan backlash is warranted. Leading up to the GameCube’s release, Nintendo showed off a “Zelda” tech demo during the Space World 2000 conference. Many assumed this represented what the next entry would look like. However, franchise producer and “Wind Waker’s” director Eiji Aonuma felt it was derivative and sought a different route. The following year, “The Wind Waker” was revealed in all of its cel-shaded, cartoony glory. While not everyone hated it, a very vocal portion did and began dubbing it “Celda.” Today, “Wind Waker” is one of the most visually unique, and frankly gorgeous, entries in the series. But upon its reveal, some fans were definitely irritated by the change.

#6: “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” (2020)

Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by a plethora of incredible remakes, but “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” left a bit to be desired. While the three games were as fun to play as they always had been, there were a number of issues surrounding its release. For one, the games were only slightly improved in graphics and gameplay. Yet Nintendo still charged full price despite the newest release being 2007’s “Galaxy.” Fans also took issue with the exclusion of “Galaxy 2” and the lack of additional content outside of soundtracks. The whole collection was too bare bones for Mario’s 35th Anniversary. Additionally, the fact that Nintendo only made it available through March 31st, 2021, delisting it afterwards, was an obvious ploy to get consumers to panic buy.

#5: Not Buying Rare

Nintendo has made some bad business decisions over the years. But one that still upsets fans to this day is not buying Rare when it had the chance. Rare and Nintendo’s partnership led to some of the best games either company has put out, including the “Donkey Kong Country” series and “GoldenEye 007.” However, as game development grew more expensive, Rare needed more funding from Nintendo, which had purchased a significant percentage of stakes in the company. When Nintendo refused, Rare went looking elsewhere and found Microsoft, which purchased the developer in 2002 for $375 million. Co-founder Tim Stamper has said he’s unsure why Nintendo didn’t buy Rare outright, and we’re just as confused as he is.

#4: Switch’s N64 Expansion

Nintendo Switch Online has had a lot of problems since its inception, including its terrible voice chat option. However, fans came out in full force against the service’s expansion pack. Announced in 2021, the Expansion brought a collection of N64 and Sega Genesis games as well as access to “Animal Crossing” DLC. That would have been great news if not for the extra yearly $30 it cost over the base online subscription. Many fans felt this was way too high for decades-old games. Those who did pony up found a multitude of performance issues like framerate drops and input lag. Its announcement video became Nintendo’s most disliked video on YouTube before the feature was removed from the site.

#3: Smash Bros. Competitive Scene

“Super Smash Bros.” is a unique fighting game that’s celebrated by many and has a thriving competitive community. Unfortunately, Nintendo seemingly doesn’t want “Smash” to be as celebrated as it is. Since the release of “Melee,” players have been gathering to duke it out with beloved Nintendo characters. While Nintendo could embrace the scene and show support to its fans, it has instead issued cease and desists and threatened other legal action to various tournaments. Sometimes it’s over streaming rights or the use of mods. Regardless, it has led to the competitive scene being mostly only supported by the community. Tournaments can lead to a game staying in the limelight far longer, so it's a genuine shame Nintendo has actively fought its fans on this.

#2: Response to Joy-Con Drift

The evidence and annoyance of Joy-Con drift has been well-documented by both critics and players. While there are ways of fixing the issue, whether it be through Nintendo or on your own, Nintendo’s reaction to it has been more than problematic. The issue has been found in Joy-Cons since the Switch’s release with Nintendo not doing much to fix the problem outside of repairs. This has been the focus of several class action lawsuits, where Nintendo’s defense has basically argued that it isn’t a widespread problem for players. Considering it’s one of the console’s most discussed flaws, we’d say it’s pretty widespread. Drift can even happen in newer models, the Switch Lite and Switch OLED, so it seems this problem is here to stay.

#1: Copyright Claims

If you’re a fan of Nintendo, it has become increasingly more difficult to express that. Nintendo has shown a proclivity towards issuing copyright claims against a wide variety of creators. An abundance of fan-made games have been taken down over the years; even Mario levels within PS4’s “Dreams” weren’t safe. Nintendo has also fought vehemently against players giving them free publicity by showing footage from their games, whether it be on YouTube or Twitch. Most recently as of writing, YouTube channel GilvaSunner was hit with more than 1,300 copyright claims for uploading soundtracks from Nintendo games. But it isn’t as if Nintendo has made these easily available on music platforms. These instances are by far the most frustrating practices Nintendo holds dear.