Nintendo is regularly about a decade behind the rest of the gaming industry. It made Splatoon, one of the best multiplayer shooters, long after the multiplayer shooter trend first hit, and only recently perfected the modern open-world game with Breath of the Wild. It didn’t fuss with 1080p resolution until the release of the Wii U in 2012, seven full years after the rest of the console market.
That doesn’t mean Nintendo is trailing behind the competition — more like it’s standing behind a meat shield. Nintendo lets other companies test new ideas and take the critical and financial blows that come with innovation. Then it autopsies the results to achieve the same product, but better and cheaper. After all, being on the cutting edge is a great way to bleed.
Based on this theory, we can try to predict what Nintendo’s next decade will look like by looking back on the biggest trends of the past decade.
For example, the dadification of the video game industry began in the early 2010s and was fully completed in 2018, when Kratos ascended to fatherhood. That means it’s finally the perfect time for Nintendo to get on the trend.
With Mario becoming a dad!
Based on how dadified games treat motherhood, we’ll probably never know who gave birth to Mario’s children, because why would that person matter. Based on how the internet is, the mother is probably Mario in Super Crown mode.
Either way, this will usher in a new generation of beloved characters, and mark a shift in Mario’s design: grittier, wiser, a little gray at the temple, and a little less likely to make that jump.
Mario Jr. — and presumably his cousin Luigi Jr. — will probably debut in a new Yoshi’s Island game, usurping Baby Mario’s place on Yoshi’s back, and in our hearts.
How will Nintendo tackle soulslikes? When will we see a true VR peripheral for the Switch? Watch the video above to learn more about what Nintendo might do in the coming decade.