Games companies that managed to recover from failed consoles

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RodimusPrime
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Games companies that managed to recover from failed consoles

Post by RodimusPrime » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:12 pm

Sega, NEC, Atari, etc hit a bad spot and struggled to regain any sort of stability. The only one I can think of is Nintendo, the N64 and gamecube never did brilliantly but they recovered massively with the Wii. Now the Wii u is struggling, will they manage to recover again. Of course what helps them is the handheld division balancing the problems with home consoles.

then likes of commodore, Amstrad , and 3DO's attempts to enter the home console market killed them.

has any other company managed to turn it around. Its just a shame as it seems one bad system can bury a company.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by psj3809 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:15 pm

Cant think of any others apart from Nintendo like you say. Interesting to see if they can turn it around again.

Atari sadly royally screwed up. Would love it if those old classic companies like Atari/Sega could make a huge comeback but cant see it.

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by RodimusPrime » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:17 pm

psj3809 wrote:Cant think of any others apart from Nintendo like you say. Interesting to see if they can turn it around again.

Atari sadly royally screwed up. Would love it if those old classic companies like Atari/Sega could make a huge comeback but cant see it.
I was going to mention Microsoft, as the original Xbox did not really do that well, but they pulled it around with the 360. Really though, The original Xbox did not really do that bad.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by Matt_B » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:06 pm

Nintendo's only real failure was the Virtual Boy. The N64 and Cube still sold in numbers that Sega would have been ecstatic over for the Saturn and Dreamcast, respectively, and were only flops in comparison to Sony's machines pitched to a vastly expanded market.

I think Atari managed a partial recovery from the 5200, as the 2600jr and 7800 both sold in much better numbers, albeit not enough to make a serious challenge to the NES. The ST was also a fairly successful machine for them, albeit not entirely one pitched at the games market.

Also, I suppose you could see the iPad as a belated comeback into gaming territory for Apple, after the long-forgotten Pippin, but that's probably pushing it a bit.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by tux » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:14 pm

Matt_B wrote:Nintendo's only real failure was the Virtual Boy. The N64 and Cube still sold in numbers that Sega would have been ecstatic over for the Saturn and Dreamcast, respectively, and were only flops in comparison to Sony's machines pitched to a vastly expanded market.
.

That would still make them retail flops though. Beating two machines ,in sales, that sold in really low numbers and being overshadowed vastly by a relative newbie to the main stream console market would still be regarded a flop by most.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by Matt_B » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:35 pm

tux wrote:
Matt_B wrote:Nintendo's only real failure was the Virtual Boy. The N64 and Cube still sold in numbers that Sega would have been ecstatic over for the Saturn and Dreamcast, respectively, and were only flops in comparison to Sony's machines pitched to a vastly expanded market.
.

That would still make them retail flops though. Beating two machines ,in sales, that sold in really low numbers and being overshadowed vastly by a relative newbie to the main stream console market would still be regarded a flop by most.
Perhaps, but they still sold well enough to turn Nintendo a profit and keep them in business. I think Sega might just have broken even with the Saturn, but they were losing money hand over fist with the Dreamcast.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by Negative Creep » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:27 pm

N64 is the 14th biggest selling console of all time and Gamecube the 17th (including handlhelds) with over 50 million units combined, so whilst they may not have dominated the market they certainly weren't flops. They also recovered to sell 100million Wii's (5th highest) and 154 million DS's, second only to the PS2.

In fact by that measure you may as well include Microsoft since the original Xbox sold "only" 24 million
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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by outdated_gamer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:36 pm

Well, after the commercial failure of Saturn in the "Western" world (it certainly didn't deserve to do so poorly) and the heavy losses of Dreamcast and Arcade business losses, I think Sega were quite lucky that they even stayed in the video gaming business and not went bankrupt.

Atari is a strange company, or even "movement", that went bankrupt several times but still managed to resurface in one form or another. It may defy common sense but it seems like it's like that. I think what is being sold as "Atari" these days is merely a brand name. But I think Atari were never that good with consoles, outside of the Atari 2600. I find they were better in the home computer business but as DOS/Windows PC kinda monopolized that area and they dropped out of it.

Commodore is an example of a once respected and successful company that couldn't adapt to a changing market. Their attempts to enter the console business were all weak and they became unable to compete with more advanced computers (read: early-mid 90s DOS/Windows PC). Poor internal business decisions probably also added to the final outcome.

3DO were both, a game publisher as well as hardware company. Their 3DO was ahead of the time in many ways, but the high price tag and lacking support, as well as lesser-known/less advertising turned people off. The concept certainly wasn't bad - a "all-in-one" entertainment device. But the concept was never really successfuly realized and we can see even a company like MS can't convice a greater amount of people that this concept is good for a games' console.

Visionaries don't always prospect and the same goes for NEC, whose PC Engine aka TurboGrafx-16 was also ahead of time in many ways. NEC was quite serious about bringing the "Arcade experience" home with this system and also supported many novel, emerging technologies like CD drives and so on. But heavy competition from the established names of Nintendo and Sega as well as the lack of advertising and world-wide distribution ment that the system never could rightfully compete with it's more known and successful rivals. NEC's last attempt was the PC-FX but they pretty much backed off the console biz at that point. It can also be added that SNK had a very similar approach with the Neo-Geo, but the high pricing and limitied game selection ment that the system was pretty much a niche accessible to a few. Such a niche probably couldn't exist on today's market, with "AAA" game production and advertising budgets being sky-high.

I wouldn't say Nintendo was ever in "grave danger" because they always had the handheld business to carry them whenever their home console business was struggling (e.g. late N64 era, pretty much all of NGC era) and this holds true for them to this day. However, I do think they could have trouble in the future considering the changes going on in gaming these days. This might already be happening as we can see with the low (comparative to Wii) Wii U sales. But I think they themselves are aware of that and are trying to expand in other areas, even non-gaming ones. But they are also a "survivor" company that accomodated a lot of profit in their operating time and have some of the most recognizable mascots and franchises in gaming so I'm presonally not concerned about them. Making games for rival/other systems might be a "last resort" kinda card but as we have seen this company always had their ups and downs.

And then you have companies that were either "small fishes" (e.g. Amstrad) or didn't approach the console biz that well (e.g. Philips, Apple-Bandai, ect.) or both. From the "newcommers" only Sony and MS managed to really establish themselves in video gaming (thanks to both, heavy advertising and solid, affordable hardware and developer support). But even they were not immune to heavy losses that can be encountered in this business. I'd say being a software company is less risky than being a hardware one, but I'm not an expert on the matter.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by tux » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:36 am

Negative Creep wrote:N64 is the 14th biggest selling console of all time and Gamecube the 17th (including handlhelds) with over 50 million units combined, so whilst they may not have dominated the market they certainly weren't flops. They also recovered to sell 100million Wii's (5th highest) and 154 million DS's, second only to the PS2.

In fact by that measure you may as well include Microsoft since the original Xbox sold "only" 24 million

I suppose it alls comes down to your own personal definition of "flop" and degrees of "flop-edge"( :lol: ). Is 17th best selling console off all time all the impressive when its direct competition churned out the best selling console off all time? I guess if it made Nintendo money, then no. In terms of reputation though, imo , a company as synonyms with gaming as Nintendo would have been looking to be top dog- not just be able to wipe its face with decent-ish sales.

At the time they were released and completely anecdotally from my own social circle(school and college at the time), the N64 and Gamecube were definitely treated as amusing toys rather the serious gaming tools that other companies were putting up for sale.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by SpockIOM » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:16 am

One flop I remember was Nokia's venture into the video game market with the N-gage. It looked the part and was convenient as it still functioned as a mobile phone. The problems were the price (twice as much as the GBA plus phone contract/credit) meaning relatively poor sales, and the limited selection of games - I guess that mobile phone technology was moving too fast (and to an extent was still inadequate) at the time for it to be a viable prospect.
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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by davyK » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:10 pm

tux wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
At the time they were released and completely anecdotally from my own social circle(school and college at the time), the N64 and Gamecube were definitely treated as amusing toys rather the serious gaming tools that other companies were putting up for sale.
So what console isn't a toy then?
The biggest piece of fakery in gaming is the concept of "adult" or serious gaming - games that typically equate to driving fast cars you can't afford or playing at soldiers - seems pretty child=like to me. Manchildery at best.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by Matt_B » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:31 pm

davyK wrote:
tux wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
At the time they were released and completely anecdotally from my own social circle(school and college at the time), the N64 and Gamecube were definitely treated as amusing toys rather the serious gaming tools that other companies were putting up for sale.
So what console isn't a toy then?
The biggest piece of fakery in gaming is the concept of "adult" or serious gaming - games that typically equate to driving fast cars you can't afford or playing at soldiers - seems pretty child=like to me. Manchildery at best.
Yes, I think Sony pulled off something remarkable by convincing the world that games consoles weren't toys. Especially so, when Nintendo still haven't managed to do that even now.

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by tux » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:53 pm

davyK wrote:
tux wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
At the time they were released and completely anecdotally from my own social circle(school and college at the time), the N64 and Gamecube were definitely treated as amusing toys rather the serious gaming tools that other companies were putting up for sale.
So what console isn't a toy then?
The biggest piece of fakery in gaming is the concept of "adult" or serious gaming - games that typically equate to driving fast cars you can't afford or playing at soldiers - seems pretty child=like to me. Manchildery at best.

You could argue that being able to play Films on dvd on a games system hauled them out of toy market. Or blurred the lines at least. When was the last time a dvd player was considered a toy? Anyhows, im not really fussed either way :lol: . In my simple opinion, based on nothing but my tiny mind, the Nintendo machines at the time were considered child like and the market seemed to have moved on a lot by then. Either by fact ,or by clever marketing bods fooling everybody(including myself and my clan at the time!).

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:46 pm

davyK wrote:
tux wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
At the time they were released and completely anecdotally from my own social circle(school and college at the time), the N64 and Gamecube were definitely treated as amusing toys rather the serious gaming tools that other companies were putting up for sale.
So what console isn't a toy then?
The biggest piece of fakery in gaming is the concept of "adult" or serious gaming - games that typically equate to driving fast cars you can't afford or playing at soldiers - seems pretty child=like to me. Manchildery at best.
I'd say "serious gaming" is home on the PC only - in-depth strategy games, military simulators, racing simulators (GT and Forza are "simcades"), (combat) flight simulators, spaceship simulators, tycoon, building and manager games, ect.

Those kind of games typically appeal to an older audience whereas console games are more aimed at a younger audience who wants "straigtforward" action and stuff like that.

I guess some console games are more adult-oriented with their mature and serious stories but those are more "movie games" than anything.

My opinion on the matter. :wink:

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Re: Games companies that managed to recover from failed cons

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:23 am

Sims and strategy games are a genre I heavily invested in while in my teens. I have neither the time or patience for them these days apart from the very occasional short foray that barely scratches their surface.
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