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Nintendo Enthusiast: Shawn Long interview

By William G Chandler Jr, Slickster Magazine, July 1, 2016, at 8:28 pm.


In a corner of the internet, a group of individuals, since 2011, have made it a point to assure Nintendo’s content thrives, and excels, when it deserves to. Nintendo Enthusiast represents a need to highlight Nintendo’s excellence. Shawn Long is a major voice in this company. He has other great qualities and interest as well. See for yourself.

Nintendo Enthusiast: The Shawn Long Interview

Why invest your time in video games, specifically the Nintendo Wii U, and its games? Based on the Nintendo site, there have been 13 million Nintendo Wii U’s sold up to this point. This compared to Sony’s Playstation 4, which boasts 41 million units worldwide, and Microsoft Xbox One’s console sold 21 million units worldwide, as indicated at VGchartz. Nintendo 3DS has sold 59 million units. This is good for Nintendo compared to Sony’s Playstation Vita, which has only sold 14 million units worldwide.

Shawn Long SONY DSC
SONY DSC

Well video games are a huge passion of mine. I started writing for a site that was a multi-platform publication but I always had a love for Nintendo products. Our division of sites does include other platforms as well, so we do coverage on everything, but as far as me personally it’s always just been easier to write about Nintendo products as they tend to stick with me longer.

What was the most memorable negative review, or coverage, of a Nintendo specific game, or format that lead to the formation of Nintendo Enthusiast in 2011?

Well I didn’t join the site until late 2013. Originally, though Nintendo Enthusiast was a group on the IGN forums, and the leader of that group, Menashe, decided to create his own website from that. As time went on we got bigger and bigger, and then when I joined we just continued to grow into what we are now.

What can you tell the public about yourself outside of the videos of Nintendo Enthusiast, RetroGamingTube85, and other videos?

One thing about me is that what you see is what you get. A lot of people kind of have internet identities and then how they act in real life, but I’m me 24/7. I guess one thing a lot of people don’t know is my day job as a Pharmacy Tech.

Who do you imagine you are speaking to when you make your videos and who would you like to specifically target more?

Honestly, myself. I like to make videos that I would want to watch and talk about topics that I would like to hear about. Evidently it works to some degree. I’d love to cater to the ladies more of course, as my view percentage is 96 percent male. (laugh)

As a former Gamestop employee, highlighted in your video for RetroGamingTube85, what Nintendo product excited you most at the time you were an assistant manager?

The DS was a huge thing at the time, and the DS Lite was something that I was really looking forward to. I remember our Nintendo area rep came and gave us a free copy of Mario Kart DS, which I of course claimed and took home with me.

In your eyes, what makes Nintendo stand out among other game and console companies?

I’d say longevity and the fact that you know if you are getting a mainline game in the Mario or Zelda franchise you know it’s going to be great. It’s just a matter of HOW great it will end up being. You can’t really say that with other companies as easily.

What should Nintendo change as they enter a next generation of consoles?

Court the Western market more. Nintendo is a Japanese company, so they focus a lot of their stuff with the Japanese market, but the Japanese market is dying in terms of gaming. They need to shift some of that effort and time and research into the West.

What do you think Nintendo NX needs to be irresistible?

The NX needs to be the ultimate Nintendo system, like the SNES and NES was. Brand it. Drop the gimmicks and silly stuff unless it’s something that is going to be important. The “Wii era” is long gone, so it’s time to move on from that and focus more on a streamlined gaming experience instead of trying to tap into a market that has moved to mobile gaming.”

When were you most disappointed in a Nintendo game, in any generation?

Of course. The latest Mario Party games have been atrocious. Pokemon Rumble World, as well. Nintendo released some duds on the Wii U like that Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival game, which I wouldn’t even really call a game. No company is perfect.

Who is the most famous person that has commented about your video work to you?

Probably, HappyConsoleGamer. Most of the “larger” people who comment my stuff I’ve had interactions with before on social media, but I’d never talked to him before he started commenting my stuff. He’s an awesome guy as well.

How long have you known Jason Lepine?

A little over two years. He joined Nintendo Enthusiast right when I decided to start making videos and I hated him because he had all this fancy technology and I had literally a webcam and no idea how to edit. We ended up becoming good friends both in terms of working together and in terms of just talking outside of work related things.

What is your relationship like with 8-Bit Eric?

Eric is a great guy who gets way too much hate. A lot of people say he is popular because of The Game Chasers, but I actually knew about his channel before theirs. I remember before ever talking to Eric when Nintendo Enthusiast had like, 2000 subs, he gave us a big shout out and was a fan of our work, and I’ve always been appreciative towards him for that. He’s a solid dude for sure who’s a good buddy.

How do your videos inform the public the best, and what don’t they do?

I just try and keep things as real as possible. I’m not going to sugarcoat things or join a “hive mentality” on a subject because it’s the cool thing to do, I’m going to have my own opinion on a subject.

Who is Shawn Long?

A busy man who loves gaming really. Between working 35 plus hours a week at a day job, EiC [Editor-in- Chief] at Nintendo Enthusiast, half their YouTube channel, and running RTG85 there isn’t a whole lot of time for anything else.

What is the one thing you hope does not happen to Nintendo?

They go third party and just develop games. That would be a huge crushing blow to the industry honestly, because look at SEGA.

What is the different between Shawn Long the video personality, and Shawn Long the everyday game player?

Honestly, not much. I tend to swear a little more when I’m playing a game than when I’m making a video. (laugh)

What is a common problem you have at Nintendo Enthusiast when producing content?

Balancing time sensitive vs. timeless. Time sensitive, like breaking news, is good, but if you don’t have timeless content to go along with it, it’s worthless. You might get 2,000 views in a day on a time sensitive video, but after that, it’s dead. No one watches old news. So you have to balance it with content that isn’t restricted by time.

What do you think about when you hear the words making the right connection?

Marketing. Getting yourself out there. When people ask me for advice with YouTube or whatnot I always tell them the most important thing is to be your own biggest fan. If you don’t believe in yourself, others won’t either.

What video game are you enjoying the most right now?

Actually this will sound strange, but Resident Evil on Game Boy Color. I picked it up at Too Many Games. It was 90% complete by Capcom but they pulled it and never released it, but a ROM got online and a company put it on a cart so it can be played on original hardware. It’s pretty mind blowing to see what they did with the GBC hardware!

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