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Whatever Happened to the Gaming Mascot? 130

Ground Glass writes "Back in the days when consoles were measured in bits, they were also measured by their mascots - interestingly-designed characters that easily encapsulated everything the machine and its parent company stood for in gaming. Today they are no more than hangers-on, surviving either by cynically marketing to the very young or by remaining vestigial elements in games that would have been great with or without them. The next generation is coming, but mascots are nowhere to be found - so where did they go?"
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Whatever Happened to the Gaming Mascot?

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  • by akissner ( 988683 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @06:52PM (#15715563)
    Samuel L. Jackson mistook them for snakes.
  • by xymog ( 59935 )
    Singing:

    Crash Bandicoot was a spunky one

    Now he is no more

    What he thought was H20

    Was H2SO4.

  • By E3 Booth Babes!
  • Akuma (Score:4, Funny)

    by MassEnergySpaceTime ( 957330 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @06:57PM (#15715592)
    Akuma killed them all.
    • Was Sheng Long ever a mascot?

      LK
      • Was Sheng Long ever a mascot?

        "Sheng Long" doesn't refer to a character. In the old Ryu victory screen where he says "You must defeat sheng long to stand a chance", he was talking about one of his signature moves. The gaming magazines misinterpreted it as referring to a hidden character in that infamous hoax. Akuma is Akuma, and goes by no other name.

        • Wrong. Akuma is known as "Gouki" in Japanese Street Fighter games. His is but one of several names that were either re-arranged or changed to suit American audiences (I suspect that Gouki was too close to "gook" so it was changed).

          There was also a joke/rumor that Gouki was Dan Hibiki's father (known only as Gou), but given the fact that Dan is a parody of the Art of Fighting characters (Ryo and Robert) it's unlikely that the rumor was meant as anything other than a parody of the end boss of Art of Fightin
        • Re:Akuma (Score:3, Informative)

          "Sheng Long" doesn't refer to a character. In the old Ryu victory screen where he says "You must defeat sheng long to stand a chance", he was talking about one of his signature moves.

          Right. It's the chinese translation of the dragon punch. In Japanese it's the rising dragon (shoryuken), in Chinese it's the spirit dragon (sheng long), in English it's the dragon punch.

          Akuma is Akuma, and goes by no other name.

          Nope. Gouki is his true name. Akuma is Japanese for demon. Gouki's brother is Gouken (the master of R

        • Yes, that was the joke. Thank you.

          LK
  • Hah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linvir ( 970218 ) * on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:00PM (#15715608)

    They died of old age. I can remember loving the first issues of Sonic the Comic back when I was about 7 years old. I was part of the generation that Sonic and co were designed to appeal to. Time passed, and we all grew up.

    Now most gamers are 20+. Mascots don't carry the marketing power that they used to.

    • I remember my mother throwing out all my issues of Sonic the Comic. A mere three weeks before I mentioned them to her because I had found issue 1 on Ebay that I wanted to complete my collection. This was 5 years after I moved out of my parents' home. I was not amused. I learnt to draw copying those comics damnit!

      I still love playing all the 2D Sonic games though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:00PM (#15715609)
    1. The companies that relied heavily on mascots-- like Nintendo and Sega-- declined in importance, while the companies that had no history or fondness for mascots-- like EA-- got really really big.

    2. A vast increase in the number of games where the main character is "you". First person shooters, MMORPGs, and even to an extent with something like GTA's "everyman" sort of main characters, you spend more time trying to look through the eyes of your avatar than actually looking at them. This is not an environment where mascots thrive.

    3. Gaming stopped being so cartoony. When your game is based around someone really really realistic, like a random urban italian gangster, or Master Chief, it's a lot harder to make them distinctive than it is say a huge blue hedgehog. Master Chief or that guy from GTA3 may be really deeply written characters.. uh, I guess.. but they're not really visually distinctive and it would be very hard for them to be. When it comes down to it, Master Chief has to be just a guy in a military mech suit. There's only so many ways you can present that. And if you can't make someone visually distinctive, they can't be a mascot-- that's practically what a mascot is.
    • 3. Gaming stopped being so cartoony. When your game is based around someone really really realistic, like a random urban italian gangster, or Master Chief, it's a lot harder to make them distinctive than it is say a huge blue hedgehog. Master Chief or that guy from GTA3 may be really deeply written characters.. uh, I guess.. but they're not really visually distinctive and it would be very hard for them to be. When it comes down to it, Master Chief has to be just a guy in a military mech suit. There's only

    • You're right. I think it's really evolved to "buzz" and "killer apps", making games a signature as opposed to characters. I know I've heard one or two people who say that they want an XBox for the sole purpose of Halo, for instance.
    • by damsa ( 840364 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @10:48PM (#15716671)
      I disagree, EA has John Madden as a mascot, Microsoft had Bill Gates, and Sony had the Walkman.
    • companies that had no history or fondness for mascots-- like EA-- got really really big.

      Wouldn't John Madden qualify as a mascot of sorts for EA? (He would qualify as "really really big", too.)

      When it comes down to it, Master Chief has to be just a guy in a military mech suit.

      So too was Samus Aran, and yet Nintendo was able to give her enough characterization to make her one of the hallmark characters of their brand, going strong even 20 years later. Will we still care about the adventures of Master Chef
      • If Metroid Prime was the first entry in the series, there's no way she would be as big as she is now, for the aforementioned reasons... looking through someone's eyes is cool and immersive, but you're more "you" than you are the character.
    • Yes to #1. Mascots are incidental to gameplay. They can be central to branding and marketing, but gameplay is what really makes or breaks a game. And too many companies (and their marketing droids) haven't actually figured out gameplay. I think some companies in the 90's wasted millions of dollars on branding and building up a character, only to find out that oops, the game sucks and nobody bought it. Or they created a great mascot, but then the second game in the series sucked and wiped out the company. So
    • A vast increase in the number of games where the main character is "you". First person shooters, MMORPGs, and even to an extent with something like GTA's "everyman" sort of main characters, you spend more time trying to look through the eyes of your avatar than actually looking at them. This is not an environment where mascots thrive.

      This may be true, but I don't think it follows that such games can't have mascots.

      I consider Duke Nukem a mascot. The fact that people still make Duke Nukem Forever joke

  • by bunions ( 970377 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:07PM (#15715643)
    Quake guy, Gordon Freeman, the 'zug zug' guys from warcraft, I could go on for hours.
  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:08PM (#15715645) Homepage Journal
    Sonic: Methanpheamine overdose
    Pac Man: Heart attack caused by overeating
    Bomberman: Joined Al'Queda, bombed while hiding in a cave in afghanistan
    Kirby: Ruptured a lung attempting to huff from a helium tank
    Lara Croft: Kidney Failure, breast Implants leaked toxic chemicals
    Mega Man: Went too close to an MRI machine
    Cloud Strife: Shot while attacking a policeman after being caught shoplifting hair gel
    Mario: Died from a turtle shaped bowel obstruction
  • God dammit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why do so many people go on about how all Sonic games are shit nowadays? Sure, the 3D ones are rubbish, but Sonic Rush and Sonic Advance are good!
    • Re:God dammit (Score:2, Informative)

      If i could mod you up i really would. I bought sonic rush for the DS and i was heavily amazed about how much fun it was, and the nostalgia came back from the genesis days.

      On the other hand, i haven`t really seen anyone mocking them either, so to his their own.
  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:11PM (#15715665)
    It's a Next Generation.com editorial that should be titled, "Why did Sega screw Sonic Over?". That's the only mascot mentioned in the article.

    Nintendo's entire lineup of 1st party games is built on mascots. It's not "Where have the mascots gone?" It's, "Why do certain companies lose their fanbase by screwing with their mascots in horrible ways?" Nintendo gets it. Sega would rather crap out things like every Sonic game since 1992 and hope people buy them on name recognition alone.

    • Indeed. Nintendo has Mario/etc., Kirby, Samus Aran, and many other mascots still featured in current games...

      However, I think the reason there aren't as many mascots today as there were before is because there are now so many games on the market, all with their "AMAZING" graphics to pull people in. After all, who needs a mascot when you can have reflective, shiny, rippling water? :P

    • re:"Sega would rather crap out things like every Sonic game since 1992 and hope people buy them on name recognition alone."

      As opposed to games like "Dr. Mario" which were legendary in the cannon of the saga of the famed plumber, utmost in it's importance on the game landscape, and one that would last the test of time and be idolized for all time. The tale of a plumber in Doctor drag dispensing a mountain of pills. Ironic, subtle, and a modern parable that we all can enjoy and learn from.

      I got shivers from t
      • A company can have a mis-step and recover. Yes, there have been bad Mario and Link games (Zelda on the CD-I anyone?). Sega, though, is like a stumbling drunk, with each misplaced footfall resulting in yet another Not-Really-A-Sonic-Game.
      • Atually, you're simply reinforcing the grandparent post's point. Dr. Mario is an excellent game. One of the greatest Tetris-style games of all time. I'd say only the origional Tetris, and Tetris Attacks come close. Nintendo did well in that Mario has rarely been in bad games. *That's* where Sega missteps. They churn out rubbish, and hope that it will sell because it's got the recognition of Sonic.

        Does Nintendo include Mario in the hopes that it will sell more games? Of course, but they also don't ma
    • While the article was interesting, you are absolutely right. I was wondering why the author didn't mention Nintendo at all. They have a great collection of not just icons, but mascots. Mario is perhaps the mascot of all time. He has moved into so many genres Close to him is Link an the Legend of Zelda series. It will be (one of) the flagship titles for the Wii this fall. It has a huge following and is more than just a recognizable face. This mascot is the reason many fanboys remain loyal to Nintendo. There
    • "Why did Sega screw Sonic Over?"
      I thought a hedgehog could never be buggered.
  • I Disagree. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Living Fractal ( 162153 ) <banantarrNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:20PM (#15715715) Homepage
    "Back in the days when consoles were measured in bits, they were also measured by their mascots - interestingly-designed characters that easily encapsulated everything the machine and its parent company stood for in gaming."

    What, like Pac Man? How interesting is a circle with a triangular cut-out? It was more the game itself, the challenge of moving through the maze with furious speed while trying to get away from the baddies.

    But let's go even further back, if we want to 'measure in bits' we should start with pong. Sure was a great mascot in that game, eh? Sarcasm aside, pong was, again, all about the game play.

    Step forward a little to games like Joust on the Atari. A fun game, again, not really depending on a mascot to do well.

    I tend to think that often, when a game really had no replay value, the focus was on the mascot to try to make you think there was something special about the game because of the main character, when in fact the gameplay was horrible and not fun to play again and again, I.E. Mario Brothers. These were the days when you 'mastered' a game and then never played it again: you had played it out.

    Today games are so complex that a good one has immense replayability. Some games aren't enjoyable at all at first, but after suffering through the first bit you begin to get the controls down and all of the sudden you are addicted. Games like 1080 Snowboarding on the N64, which required precise 360 degree rotations on the thumbstick while also pressing a combination of buttons to pull off the truly awesome jumps.

    "Today they are no more than hangers-on, surviving either by cynically marketing to the very young or by remaining vestigial elements in games that would have been great with or without them. The next generation is coming, but mascots are nowhere to be found - so where did they go?"

    I think the opposite is true. Yesterday, not today, the mascots were no more than hanger's on. They were the truly vestigial elements in games, and the games really were great with or without them.

    As far as the next generation... There are plenty of interesting main characters in today's games. But the truth is that the games of today don't focus on entirely one character. Look at World of Warcraft. There is no mascot, there is rather an entire history of lore so deep you could lose yourself in it for months just reading the entire BOOKS which have been written on it. And then there you are, right in the middle when you play the game.

    I think the submitter was perhaps psychologically transferring some other emotion through their memories of playing these earlier games, perhaps life was better for them then, and so because of that, the games seemed better. Or maybe life wasn't as good, so this person was able to lose themselves in the games, simple as they were, and really imprinted a memory of the main characters.

    Either way, or however it works, I don't agree with the general sentiment.

    TLF

    • <sarcasm>But let's go even further back, if we want to 'measure in bits' we should start with pong. Sure was a great mascot in that game, eh?</sarcasm>
      Some of us have pong paddle swimsuit calendars, you insensitive clod!
    • I tend to think that often, when a game really had no replay value, the focus was on the mascot to try to make you think there was something special about the game because of the main character, when in fact the gameplay was horrible and not fun to play again and again, I.E. Mario Brothers. These were the days when you 'mastered' a game and then never played it again: you had played it out. Today games are so complex that a good one has immense replayability.

      I have no idea what planet you are living on,

      • To each their own.

        In your case, less is more.

        But I somehow have to think that majority isn't with you on this one.

        TLF
        • There is a reason Super Mario Bros. 3 is still, to this day, the number #1 game in units sold.

          But I somehow have to think that majority isn't with you on this one.

          No, I think the majority of us still find the old side-scrollers (Mario especially) quite entertaining. The sidescrollers have only been ported to all the handhelds in existance (with the exception of the PSP, but even the wonderswan had them). And if you can't get a copy ported bn a first party, then you can certainly find an emulator for it.
        • Re:I Disagree. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Are you freaking kidding me? The majority thinks that the Super Mario games aren't very good? That's ignorant even for Slashdot.
        • Uh, you might want to look at those sales of New Super Mario Bros. last month...
  • The next generation is coming, but mascots are nowhere to be found

    Who were/are the big mascots?

    • There's Sonic, who isn't so much the Genesys's or Dreamcast's mascot as it was Sega's, and if they released a new console tomorrow he'd probably show up there.
    • There's Mario, who has always been and will probably always be Nintendo's since the 8-bit days, and will probably put in a showing on the Wii as well.
    • Crash Bandicoot was the creation of then-independent developer Naughty Dog. He was adopted as Sony's
    • "Mario will probably put in a showing on the Wii"??? Do what?!!

      Super Mario Galaxy anyone? It's only one of the most hotly awaited titles for the console! It's not going to make launch, but it's scheduled for an early 2007 release. The demos shown at E3 this year generated a huge amount of buzz, since as shown it demostrated a return to Mario 64 style gameplay (at a silky smooth 60fps even in alpha/beta).

      Sonic to some degree has migrated to Nintendo's camp as well, since all the Sonic titles will be

      • The PS2 has Jak, though it's not as promoted as say Mario
        Microsoft initially Intended for Blinx to be it's mascot but that didn't work out and the MasterChief ended up being more of a mascot then Blinx was, even still he's not really much of a mascot as an Icon as others and TFA pointed out.
    • by assassinator42 ( 844848 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:36PM (#15716068)
      I might call Master Chief the mascot for the Xboxes. I'm not sure about PS2.
      • The PS2 has FinalFantasy and GT, not exactly classical mascots, but whenever Nintendo has Mario running around in a techdemo, Sony has some FinalFantasy or GT based stuff ready to show of new tech and there is of course also the famous yellow rubberduck. But in the end none of this qualifies as a mascot, they simply happen to be used in a few places where you would normally use your mascot.
    • Hmmm. You're not much of a gamer.

      If you said Sonic wasn't a mascot for the sega master system I would have agreed with that.

      Why wouldn't Mario ever be Nintendo's? Dude what's this "probably" crap? There is no probably about it, shit they showed Mario Galaxy at E3 on the Wii (and it looks fun as hell). Have you seen the sales figures for The New Super Mario Bros. that just came out for the Nintendo DS? You can't even say Nintendo with out thinking Mario. He's bread and butter AND money in the bank. Even if t
    • It looks like there was only one console that had a mascot, and that was a fluke.

      Why don't you count Bonk (and later, his alter ego Air Zonk) as a mascot for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 console?

      It's because Keith Courage and Johnny Turbo have bought your silence, haven't they. DAMN YOU GUYS!!!
  • mario? don't yell at me! I didn't rtfa. I don't have eyes. owww the blindness
  • They retired (Score:3, Interesting)

    by leonbrooks ( 8043 ) <SentByMSBlast-No ... .brooks.fdns.net> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:52PM (#15715878) Homepage
    Goodness me, I remember Sonic from when I was a teenager (all of those years ago!) -- we're tending towards 40-year careers here, and counting. Few humans would be doing so well after all of those decades, so why should a mascot?
  • Whatever happened to the videogame mascot?

    Sega horribly overmilked Sonic and drove it into the ground. Nintendo took their flagship (Mario) and stopped using it to ram games down people's throats (with the exception of cameos and smaller appearances, we haven't seen any serious/obvious Mario milking attempts since the SNES days. Remember Mario Paint and Mario is Missing?) Sony never fully developed a mascot, yes there was Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Jax, Dexter, Ratchet and Clank but they were never fully sup

    • we haven't seen any serious/obvious Mario milking attempts since the SNES days.


      Um...

      Mario Kart
      Mario Golf
      Mario Power Tennis
      Mario Super Strikers
      Mario Superstar Baseball
      Mario Party 1
      Mario Party 2
      Mario Party 3
      Mario Party 4
      Mario Party 5
      Mario Party 6
      Mario Party 7
    • Spyro isn't Sony, is it? Spyro's last game had an Xbox port, and it wouldn't be like Sony to port anything to Xbox... that said, I don't remember which company made it.

      I don't consider Master Chief the Xbox mascot. Halo *was* their "mascot game" if there is such a thing, but Xbox has pretty much always been marketed without one. And, frankly, so has the Playstation and PS2 and Dreamcast. (If you consider Master Chief the Xbox mascot, then wouldn't "That Oblivion Armored Guy" be the Xbox 360 mascot?)
  • by Jesterboy ( 106813 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @07:59PM (#15715912)
    The main point of the article seems to be that a mascot is iconic; it typifies the basic attributes of the company as well. For example, when seeing (Genesis era) Sonic, you supposedly see (Genesis era) Sega and the similar qualities; fast, cool, and somewhat rebelious. During the heyday of Sonic, the primary people playing video games were adolescent males, and they were marketed as such, and thus Sonic was successful. However, nowadays the console market has expanded considerably to the point that trying to identify several select characters with your system is counterproductive; you want to be everything to everyone.

    Now everyone plays video games: jocks, nerds, boys, girls, even seniors. As such, you cannot market a console successfully under one image. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft realize this and it's evident in their commercials; they focus on the on the game not the console, until at the very end the company's icon pops up. They want you to identify the type of game you like with the console, not the characters.
    • Very true. Gone are the days when you could depict everything a company is trying to be with a single character. Additionally, in the 8-bit era, the game developer scene was much different. Games were made by a few programmers and game designers, not by committees and shareholders.

      Mario was basically a happy accident. When Donkey Kong was such a success, I think it was more of an homage to that game's success than any desire to create a marketable mascot that led to taking "Jumpman" from that game, giv
    • by that standard, i think master chief makes for an excellent mascot for the xbox. he's heavy, and armored, doesn't really have any personality, and kicks a bit of ass.
  • surviving either by cynically marketing to the very young
    So Sonic wasn't always a cynical marketing campaign? Hmm...
  • Basically, they are still around. Mario never went anywhere, and the Master Cheif is about as close as it gets for Microsoft right now. I dont think Sony ever really had a mascot type game though.

    Despite being still around, they just arent as important. The 3rd party devs have gotten better, and they can put out a game just as strong as any 1st party game. Sega / Sonic actually became a 3rd party game. So now, the sort of game that can become an iconic fanchise is very likely to be a multi-platform tit
  • Well there is the main character from halo for the Xbox. Nintendo still has mario but he looks better and better though still keeping the cartoonish older generation fans.

    Playstation doesnt realy have one though. Personaly when I think Playstation I think GTA and metal gear but none are true mascots
  • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:16PM (#15716263)
    They go on and on about how console mascots are dead and they dont even mention Mario?

    Also, the article says that Sonic failed when Sega stopped being true to what Sonic the Hedgehog was a symbol of. I suppose if you want to extend the metaphore of the article, Mario is still around because Nintendo, for better or for worse, never stopped being true to its self. I will concede that Mario is not quite the icon he once was, and while he endures as a symbol, the thing he is a symbol has changed a bit. Mario now evokes just as much nostalgia as anything else. A callback to when Games were Games, and not wannabe movies or epics.

    And to quote William Shatner of all things, if Mario is a has been mascot, it also means he once was, and perhaps could be again.

    END COMMUNICATION
    • To quote no one in particular, never quote a guy who releases "spoken word" albums.

      And now for something completely different:

      Mein bratwurst has a first name, it's F-R-I-T-Z / Mein bratwurst has a second name, it's S-C-H-N-A-C-K-E-N-P-F-E-F-F-E-R-H-A-U-S-E-N. -- Reiner Wolfcastle

      We don't have mascots because most gamers are 20+, and they aren't impressed by mascots anymore. Most products don't have them for the same reason. What's the mascot for Ford, or Viagra?

  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @11:58PM (#15716923) Homepage Journal

    My theory is that Nintendo has been able to keep Mario popular, because he was NEVER built off of anything that was ever considered "cool". He's a slightly overweight, 40-something plumber from New York, wears blue-jeans, a bright red shirt, and 1930s style brimmed cap. On top of that, he has a high, squeaky male voice with an incredibly stylized italian-american "pizza boy" accent. His image is neither "cool", nor "totally uncool", it is timeless, as he could be from 1920, he could be from 1990. Nintendo just made him cool by building a little fascination around him, and games just zany enough to involve yourself in. They MADE that image cool, specifically because they seemed to be trying so little to be cool. He's not attached to any 1980s lingo, dress-wear, his image is as uncool now as it was in the 1980s.

    Noone ever wants to BE Mario, they don't think he's "cool", but they find him funny and entertaining in a why that doesn't rely on patting themselves on the back for going along with the latest fad. He's sorta like Charlie Chaplan, except less jewish... and though Charlie Chaplan may not be the talk of the town, you can still get a good laugh out of watching his commedy.

    Meanwhile, Sonic talks 90s style smack (supposedly), all the cartoons have him acting like the typical "cool boy". If he had been made 2003, you can be sure he'd probably say, "What? Dr. Robuttnick is back again? GAYYYYY!" But he's not (thank god), so his 1990s "coolness" comes across as "so yesterday" to today's teenagers.

    Maskots that get old? Those are the ones that people go around dressing like, saying their catch phrases, and styling their hair like, because the moment the next big fad comes along, noone wants to be caught dead following "last years'" trend. You never see people dressing up like Mario, or quoting his latest phrase, the closest thing you'll see is 9-year-olds on Halloween, (I'll admit to doing this, back in '90, I dressed up as Luigi, complete with racoon tail, the year Mario 3 came out).

    • "Noone ever wants to BE Mario, they don't think he's "cool", but they find him funny and entertaining in a why that doesn't rely on patting themselves on the back for going along with the latest fad. He's sorta like Charlie Chaplan, except less jewish..."

      Or Mickey Mouse, but less plague-infested. ;-)

      On an anecdotal note, my son has recently gotten started with a Nintendo DS Lite, and in the space of a month, his big games are New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64, and Mario Kart DS. I wonder if he even rea
  • by NexFlamma ( 919608 ) on Friday July 14, 2006 @05:44AM (#15717648) Homepage
    Mascots existed for one primary reason, to give people a reason to empathize with the protaganist of the story being told.

    Since that time, the focus in videogames has shifted to trying to impress the lowest common denominator with "shiny things" and "reflective slime" and other graphical enhancements. Since the general public (the same people who were not gamers back during the mascot era, ie: the kids who watch MTV and go to the latest action flick directed by Michael Bay) is so easily swayed by shiny things, and shiny things are easier, and cheaper to provide than actual compelling characters, that's what you have in the majority of games nowadays.

    Of course, you still see Mario and Link and Samus over in Nintendo's camp, but Nintendo never appealed to (or tried to market to) the MTV kiddies, and they paid for it in slumping sales.

    It's not that the mascots turned useless, it's that the gamer demographic shifted from geeks who care more about story and characters (because they've seen all the shiny graphical advancements ahead of time, and on PC's) to the average fratboy who gets a hard-on from the rocket launcher in Halo being able to push dead bodies around.

    Maybe I sound elitist, and mod me down if you must, but that's the reality of the market nowadays.
    • If by "slumping sales" you mean "increasing sales and spectacular profit" than sure!
      • Yes, compared to Sony and Microsoft, they did have much greater profit percentage, but as far as overall numbers, Sony EASILY outsold the N64. Also Sony (and Microsoft, in the US) outsold the Gamecube as well.

        Not to mention the drop in mindshare that Nintendo experienced.

        By "slumping sales", I mean "the massive drop off in the popularity of Nintendo as a brand and as THE force in videogames since the NES/SNES era". I suppose I should have clarified for those who couldn't read between the lines.

        By the
  • Funny, Im pretty sure Nintendo still has a pretty good hold on the mascot business. Im just waiting for a Megaman for the Wii. -Red
  • I cant remember the last time nintendo used mario as its image. the mascot is truly dead.
  • I see so many mentions of Mario, but so little of Samus. I know its my own personal love of the Metroid games creeping in, but to me she's always been a more effective Mascot than the other Nintendo characters.

    No matter what upgrades happen to the graphics and no matter what doodads get added to the suit, her armor is always recognizable and brings up the memories of the hours spent crawling through maze like worlds hunting alien badies.
  • There is no way in hell Master Chief will every achieve 'mascot' status. I'm not hating on Master Chief, he's a great character but he can only be used in fighting. He just doesn't have the age independent appeal that Mario has. He's on the level of Link or Samus, which, honestly, is pretty damn good.

    He's just not versatile enough. He'd look out of place playing tennis, golf, or baseball. He's not going to be getting captured by ghosts so his brother can save him. He would've killed Bowser outright
  • interestingly-designed characters that easily encapsulated everything the machine and its parent company stood for

    Well, I don't know about modern game systems, but Japan has a few interesting ideas [wikipedia.org] regarding Operating Systems mascots...

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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