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The Reason Nintendo Said Goodbye to Friend Codes

Nintendo watched what its users did with Friend Codes, changed course.

Ugh. UUUUUUUGH.

Nintendo’s much-maligned Friend Codes are being abandoned with Wii U, and the company revealed some of the thinking behind that decision in the latest Iwata Asks. (You should be reading all of 'em!)

“Our approach was connecting acquaintances in the real world, so you might say that we favoured an ‘ultra’ real-life social graph,” said Miiverse producer Kiyoshi Mizuki. "That’s why we made it so you exchange Friend Codes with your real friends. But then some people put their Friend Codes on other networks and bulletin boards and exchanged them with strangers anyway.”

Anyone who’s used Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or any modern connected device could have told Nintendo that’s what would have happened years ago, but alas. Nintendo’s decision came from the right place, though--the company wanted to protect young kids. Nonetheless, it stuck with Friend Codes even through the 3DS, though seemingly because Nintendo Network wasn’t ready.

On Wii U, you’ll register a Nintendo Network account, and that’s it.

“Miiverse represents a great transformation for Nintendo’s online network policy,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

“We came to think that it might be better for Nintendo itself to provide a service that would be more fun to use,” said Mizuki. “With Miiverse, you don’t simply become friends with complete strangers without any prior knowledge. You become friends with someone with whom you sense a shared sensibility because you play the same game.”

There is a Wii U in the Giant Bomb office, we just can’t talk about it very much. Plus, the machine doesn’t have a crucial patch (hitting next week) that will turn on many of its Internet-reliant services.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
93 Comments
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Posted by patrickklepek
Ugh. UUUUUUUGH.

Nintendo’s much-maligned Friend Codes are being abandoned with Wii U, and the company revealed some of the thinking behind that decision in the latest Iwata Asks. (You should be reading all of 'em!)

“Our approach was connecting acquaintances in the real world, so you might say that we favoured an ‘ultra’ real-life social graph,” said Miiverse producer Kiyoshi Mizuki. "That’s why we made it so you exchange Friend Codes with your real friends. But then some people put their Friend Codes on other networks and bulletin boards and exchanged them with strangers anyway.”

Anyone who’s used Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or any modern connected device could have told Nintendo that’s what would have happened years ago, but alas. Nintendo’s decision came from the right place, though--the company wanted to protect young kids. Nonetheless, it stuck with Friend Codes even through the 3DS, though seemingly because Nintendo Network wasn’t ready.

On Wii U, you’ll register a Nintendo Network account, and that’s it.

“Miiverse represents a great transformation for Nintendo’s online network policy,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.

“We came to think that it might be better for Nintendo itself to provide a service that would be more fun to use,” said Mizuki. “With Miiverse, you don’t simply become friends with complete strangers without any prior knowledge. You become friends with someone with whom you sense a shared sensibility because you play the same game.”

There is a Wii U in the Giant Bomb office, we just can’t talk about it very much. Plus, the machine doesn’t have a crucial patch (hitting next week) that will turn on many of its Internet-reliant services.

Staff
Edited by Yanngc33

Friend codes were such a turnoff that despite the fact that I had friends who had Wiis and would play online with them, we could never be bothered to exchange our codes

Posted by jeffrud

You're a real piece of work,

Posted by kermoosh

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

he managed to edit it pretty quick but was caught nonetheless

Posted by Ne0teric

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

Don't be a sore loser.

Posted by yoshisaur

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

Posted by Grissefar

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

said 2nd.

Just suck it up, man.

Posted by kermoosh

@ck1nd said:

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

but he could at least written a usual "looks cool", instead he just wrote "l" at least have some class for the quest.

anyway let's start discussing the actual article...

Posted by DeF

While it's nice to finally hear this 100% crystal clear confirmed, there was a lot more info being presented today about accounts and how stuff works. Would've been nice to see a run down. Though I guess it can wait lol

Goodbye, Friend Codes, nobody will miss you.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

Huh, I though it would've been because the Friend Codes were completely retarded, but what the hell do I know.

Edited by Ghostiet

@kermoosh said:

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

he managed to edit it pretty quick but was caught nonetheless

OH SHIT

I hope you guys made screencaps, because the Internet Police won't be able to get a conviction on this guy otherwise! Good job!

Posted by MildMolasses

I get their reasoning for the friend code, but that seems like its trying to dictate the behaviour of the user base. Is it not up to the end user to determine what constitutes a "friend"? I personally don't have any Facebook friends that I don't know in real life, or haven't spoken too since high school, but their are plenty of people I know who make friends with people far away just because they're cute. Nintendo shouldn't have tried to force that. Nonetheless, I'm glad they've modernized their system

Posted by mrsmiley

@ck1nd said:

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

THIS. when GB offers a quest that can only be completed by being first comment, how can we get mad at people for going for it? i just finished this quest last week and i'm quite happy lol.

Posted by Haziqonfire

Great news.

Posted by sixpin

It is almost as if Nintendo has stepped out of 2005. I bet they will be blown away by MySpace.

Edited by Seppli

@ck1nd said:

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

No offense intended, but I believe it's meant to be spilt milk. I just had to point that out. Also - while not entirely on point - Learn 2 Spell!

Edited by I_smell

The wII U Chat video call in this youtube video is FAAAAAAANTASTIC!!!!!!

Posted by WMoyer83

Instead of my phone number, I slip single girls my friend code. I would highly advise against this though, it has not helped me get a girlfriend.

Posted by lordofultima

@Seppli said:

@ck1nd said:

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

No offense intended, but I believe it's meant to be spilt milk. I just had to point that out. Also - while not entirely on point - Learn 2 Spell!

American English uses Spilled, Spelled, etc. Spilt/Spelt is considered strange English here. Even though I use spelt all the time.

Posted by Dezztroy

Nice to see Nintendo stepping into the 21st century.

Posted by ripelivejam

only traded friend codes once online on a mb i frequent.

i woke up 3 days later in a dirty gutter with all my clothes on backwards rocking back and forth and muttering silently :/

Posted by Szlifier

@I_smell said:

The wII U Chat video call in this youtube video is FAAAAAAANTASTIC!!!!!!

Thanks for letting us know. I wouldn't have seen this awsomeness otherwise.

Posted by Vigil80

Make a system that is fun and user friendly, and let parents worry about their own young kids.

Posted by Yanngc33

@Ghostiet said:

@kermoosh said:

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

he managed to edit it pretty quick but was caught nonetheless

OH SHIT

I hope you guys made screencaps, because the Internet Police won't be able to get a conviction on this guy otherwise! Good job!

You'll never catch me, my internet is faster than yours

Posted by TadThuggish

For every system, I anticipate how Nintendo is going to fuck up the online.

Posted by Ghostiet

@Yanngc33 said:

@Ghostiet said:

@kermoosh said:

@jeffrud said:

You're a real piece of work,

he managed to edit it pretty quick but was caught nonetheless

OH SHIT

I hope you guys made screencaps, because the Internet Police won't be able to get a conviction on this guy otherwise! Good job!

You'll never catch me, my internet is faster than yours

Don't force their hands. You don't want them to go all Vic Mackey on yo ass.

Posted by Revan_NL

I just figured they got rid of em because it was a very dumb idea to begin with?

Posted by jozzy

@Vigil80 said:

Make a system that is fun and user friendly, and let parents worry about their own young kids.

That's a lot of wisdom to cram into an 18 word sentence.

Posted by fox01313

Yes :). Though I figured that after the 360 launched & Nintendo had enough time to see how that & later the PS3 did it's personal accounts/friend lists that it would have changed on the Wii. Glad I didn't bet on this.

Posted by Brodehouse

Christ, Nintendo might as well be Your Dad when it comes to the Internet.

"Oh on that Xbox you're becoming friends with complete strangers without prior knowledge!"

Online
Posted by Phatmac

Why is Nintendo like my granddad when they talk about the internet.

Posted by Cybexx

Building your entire online strategy around pedophiles was always a flawed plan even if their heart was in the right place. The better strategy is to have proper parental controls around online features, that way child-less adults don't need to see any of it and parents can make the choice of what they think their kids can handle on a case-by-case basis. Of course many parents will blame a company before their own ignorance but that is true of anything ("I didn't know children huff paint. The government should ban paint cans!").

Posted by MikkaQ

I like how Nintendo is saying because I like the same game as someone I share similar sensibilities. That has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. 99.9% of Call of Duty's fanbase says hi.

Posted by kermoosh

@Seppli said:

@ck1nd said:

@jeffrud: @kermoosh: It's an actual quest here. Can't we all just get off our high-horses and stop caring about top commentors in the first place? So much bitching over spilled milk.

No offense intended, but I believe it's meant to be spilt milk. I just had to point that out. Also - while not entirely on point - Learn 2 Spell!

the irony of all this is that my xbox gamertag is Spiltmilk21. just thought i should put that in there

Posted by I_Stay_Puft

I always thought it was cause there were some who didn't have friends with Wiis and stranger codes sounded more sinister.

Posted by jaffaz

@WMoyer83 said:

Instead of my phone number, I slip single girls my friend code. I would highly advise against this though, it has not helped me get a girlfriend.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa, spat out my drink reading this. Good work, Sir!

Posted by Poki3

OK, Whoever names things at Nintendo needs to get fired RIGHT NOW. This has gone on long enough :/

Posted by Scribbly

@Poki3 said:

OK, Whoever names things at Nintendo needs to get fired RIGHT NOW. This has gone on long enough :/

I would assume the name Warawara Plaza comes from the Japanese word 笑う(warau) which means "to laugh" and the Japanese internet expression for it which is ww or 笑笑(warawara).

Although that kind of explains why they called it that...... It's still a dumbass name.

Posted by solidlife

well that was cringe

Posted by wardcleaver

“We came to think that it might be better for Nintendo itself to provide a service that would be more fun to use,” said Mizuki

Always a plus.

Posted by Paindamnation

I love the Internet. Bitch on people! Bitch on....

Posted by OldManLollipop

Guess I won't be known as 0000-0000-0069 anymore. :(

Posted by eccentrix

I was a moderator on a DS friend code sharing site. I still think playing online on a handheld is pretty neat.

Posted by Romination

@OldManLollipop said:

Guess I won't be known as 0000-0000-0069 anymore. :(

You will be to me...

Posted by KlUMZeE

Good to hear it

Posted by Dagbiker

@MikkaQ said:

I like how Nintendo is saying because I like the same game as someone I share similar sensibilities. That has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. 99.9% of Call of Duty's fanbase says hi.

This is kinda what the VIta dose. Except because there are like 10 games out for it, and I have played 4 of them, It thinks I like every game they put out.

Posted by Y2Ken

I don't think I've ever used friend codes. All my multiplayer Wii gaming (of which there's been a lot, thanks to SSBB in particular) was same-room offline. And it was pretty great a lot of the time.

Posted by tourgen

you should have to fax them a birth certificate and a blood & stool sample. Then you get age-gated and dropped into an age histogram bucket with no contact outside your bucket. Won't anyone please think of the children?

Posted by MikkaQ

@Dagbiker said:

@MikkaQ said:

I like how Nintendo is saying because I like the same game as someone I share similar sensibilities. That has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. 99.9% of Call of Duty's fanbase says hi.

This is kinda what the VIta dose. Except because there are like 10 games out for it, and I have played 4 of them, It thinks I like every game they put out.

Mine must be really weirded out because the only two games I've played on it are Little Big Planet and Assassin's Creed Liberation... that's a bit of a jump, so I'm sure I'll see ads for anything.

Posted by Stormdragonblue

The Nintendo feeling. It's like when you are in your 20's or 30's (and beyond) and your parents still say stuff or address you as if you are still a teen. You know they mean well and try hard to make sure it's all in your best interest. You put up with it because you love them so much. But it sounds a bit patronizing and outdated in the back of your mind.

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