Imagine Christmas day. Little Johnny comes rushing downstairs in his pajamas, excitedly ripping open his presents. “A NEW Nintendo!!!”, he shrieks, elated. His elation turns to confusion, and then boredom, as his parents try to set up his new system and are met time and time again with error messages from the Nintendo Network. Poor Johnny wanders off and starts playing with the empty boxes.
As thousands of new Wii U owners unwrapped their new consoles, tried to create a Nintendo profile and download necessary system updates, they were met with error messages. Even worse for consumers who had received a bundle with a download code for a game, they couldn’t download it since the eShop was down. The Nintendo network has been down from 2am Christmas eve until well into the 26th.
New console owners were frustrated enough with the experience of not being able to create a profile, or download their paid for content, but then the tone deaf PR company that manages the @NintendoAmerica twitter account released this:
As tweets came pouring in with the hashtag #Replacewith3DS, many shared pictures of socks from well meaning aunts, or Chia heads from less well meaning brothers. Many other users took the opportunity to voice their frustration with Nintendo, saying things like “Worst gift for Christmas=Eshop going down, waiting 16 hours for an update + Pokebank being pushed back.”, “Worst gift? Nintendo 3DS XL Zelda edition. No way to download the new Zelda game.”, “Worst game was from you, the e-shop going down. Now I can’t download my games gee thanks”
Nintendo assuredly didn’t expect this backlash, but after their extended service outage on a major holiday, this campaign should have been suspended. Launching a campaign that asked Nintendo users what their worst present was while the Nintendo online service was down was almost begging for criticism. This latest gaffe illustrates the desperate need Nintendo of America has for a more savvy PR team and a Community Manager that is responsive to fans. Hopefully Nintendo will do better, but this Christmas, they dropped the ball.