Reggie Fils-Aime has been getting a lot of praise for his tell-all book “Disrupting The Game”, in which he tells about his time at Nintendo, in the game industry as a whole, and more. But one key story he tells about is the Wii and Wii Sports.
Many note that the success of both is tied to how they were bundled together. Something that in the book, Reggie Fils-Aime noted he had to seriously fight for.
“I advocated packing Wii Sports with Wii so that every consumer would get access to this great content. After I made this suggestion, Mr. Iwata paused long enough for me to notice the faint buzz of the incandescent lighting in his office, and get uncomfortable. ‘Reggie,’ Mr. Iwata said. ‘Nintendo does not give away precious content for free. We work hard to create special experiences. It is unique software that motivates consumers to buy our hardware, and we expect to sell these games over extended periods of time. No, we should not pack in Wii Sports.’
‘Mr. Iwata, I understand the value of our software. I know unique software has always differentiated Nintendo. But we know that Wii is a very different concept in the history of video games. Wii focuses on unique gameplay. The goal of Wii is to expand gaming from its current niche to a mass market medium. Wii Sports has the power to do this. Wii Sports can be a unifying element for all players of the system, and be a key motivation for people to buy the system and have fun immediately. Plus Mr. Iwata, I know Nintendo has history using packed-in software to drive a system.’ I knew this from personal experience as I had bought my Super Nintendo Entertainment System with a bundle that included Super Mario World.”
While that sounds like a great argument, Nintendo wasn’t fully convinced. So a compromise was made in that in Japan, they would sell the game separately, while in the West, they’d just bundle it. The overall move helped the Wii sell over 100 units, and Wii Sports helped bring more and more people in to make that number possible…because it was bundled.
Source: Nintendo Everything