Saturday, 30 May 2015

Rant No. 6 amiibo Shortages

Right then, I think it's my turn to rant, don't you? And I think I'll start it with something that's rather close to my heart... and my wallet. As many of you are probably aware, Nintendo's new IP, Splatoon, came out on Friday. I, like many others in the UK (and around the world), preordered the game in order to get the limited edition Squid Inkling amiibo (and the Boy and Girl Inkling amiibo, thanks to GAME's bundle). I was then rather disheartened to find that my Squid Inkling amiibo had been... misplaced... along with the lorry that was carrying it.

 We received this email (Below) from GAME, stating that they were very sorry about the loss of our purchase and that, unfortunately, due to the extraordinary circumstances involved (just how is an entire lorry stolen?) we will not be getting our Squid Inkling amiibo but will, instead be receiving a £10 discount and first class delivery. Now, thanks to this apology, I'm not saying that I'm annoyed at GAME (they've done all they can, and rather well, as well). No, I'm getting annoyed at Nintendo.

Our apology email from GAME
The reason? They have hit the goldmine in terms of amiibo (just look at their sales) and yet still insist on making limited edition figures, store exclusives, region exclusives (I'm looking at you Gold and Silver Mario amiibo) as well as simply not making enough of them. For instance, the Marth amiibo sold out very quickly when they were first released but did Nintendo make more of them to keep up with demand? Only after half a year! And then they sold out again in four hours (may have been less but it was definitely within this time)! Does this not tell them that they need to ramp up production? I'd say that the 5.7 million sales (as of 8th May 2015) would definitely warrant it. Now, I know that they are (at least saying) that they are trying to fix the issue but I just haven't seen it yet.

Now, they have attempted to help loyal fans buy their amiibo at the (relatively reasonable) RRP as well as to stop people from buying 20 amiibo and then selling them off at a higher price (something that I suspect we'll see with these stolen Squid Inkling amiibo) by limiting people to one of each amiibo per Nintendo Store account (now, I know that people can make more accounts but I like to believe in the inherent laziness of a lot of us). This has helped, but they're still selling out fast.

This might not be such a problem if certain amiibo were not becoming something of the past as Nintendo have already said that they will be replacing the lower selling amiibo figures with cards at some point (so as to keep their in-game functionality but also decrease production costs). Now, while I have no doubt that the cards will be of the highest quality and collectability, part of the attraction of amiibo is to be able to hold a figure of your favourite characters in your hands. All this means that, if I want to have some of my favourite characters as figures I'll have to hurry up, but I can't as they've already sold out (are you beginning to see the problem here?).

And, now, they've released (on preorder) Yarn Yoshi amiibo, actually made of wool. While this is amazing and really impressive, I can't help but dread the onslaught of 'sold out' signs. Therefore, I've had to preorder one of them even before I've decided to get the game just because I want the figure. I know that this is partly what Nintendo want (another reason why the amiibo are so rare) and that it makes sense from a business perspective but I just don't think that it's fair.

Well that's all from me on the amiibo shortages, hopefully Nintendo will fix the shortages soon enough. And I hope my Yarn Yoshi amiibo isn't stolen as well!

Goodbye for now, Harry 

P.S. Does anyone actually know what happened to that truck? Was the driver okay?

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