Nintendo Shipped 10.5M Amiibo Figures, Still Not Enough
Nintendo has shipped nearly 11 million amiibo figures according to Polygon, and yet this tide of plastic video game peoples hasn't been enough to slake the cravings of a thirsty fanbase. Nintendo's doing everything they can to meet the demand for the mighty amiibo line, but they know it's still not enough.
During a financial results briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the surprising popularity of the amiibo line, and how Nintendo is both pleased with their success, but dismayed that so many fans are still unable to get the characters they're looking for.
Here's what Iwata said about the high demand and low supply of amiibo figurines:
Our consumers have been inconvenienced by stock shortages on some of the figures in our amiibo lineup. We have increased production for amiibo figures that have sold out very quickly after launch, that are indispensable to play a certain game and for which we have received strong demand from retailers and consumers.
However, we are very sorry that we can't promise at what point we will likely be able to resolve the current situation because figures such as these require a considerable amount of time to produce, store shelf space is limited and it is difficult to precisely predict the exact amount of overall demand.
While the amiibo line is a neat idea, its scarcity represents a bit of a problem from a game-design standpoint. It's one thing for a game to lock out certain content as DLC; as DLC content is usually created with a budget separate from the main game and designed to help maximize publisher profits and increase longevity for the fans. If you want a piece of digital DLC, all you have to do is hop online and buy it (for the most part). If there's something you want and it's tied to a specific amiibo, you may be out of luck. Thus far, all amiibo-compatible games have offered exclusive content that's more of a bonus than a necessity, like Mario Kart 8's Mii driver costumes or Super Smash Bros.' trainable characters. Even if you're missing a particular amiibo, it's not going to drastically affect your playing experience. Then again, if Nintendo continues to expand amiibo integration while still not meeting the expanding demands of its fan base, we may be looking at a lot of angry players and a ton of locked content no one but those evil scalpers will ever get to play.