It’s easy to overlook the little things when it comes to starting a business. Finances, product development, marketing, all of those are obvious components to becoming a successful company. But there’s one key aspect that many businesses get wrong, and that’s customer interaction. You may not realize this if you’re just starting out, but once your business becomes popular enough to develop a fanbase you have to know how to handle the masses. Today we’ll look at a case study so you, too, can learn how to wrangle those pests— er, fans.

The best example of handling one’s fanbase has to come from Nintendo. Nintendo is one of the most successful media companies in the world, and for good reason. They’re responsible for games and characters that were integral to our childhoods, and are still pumping out great games to this day. But how have they kept their customers in check all these years? Let’s find out!

  1. Music

Just as iconic as Nintendo’s games are the instantly recognizable songs present in them. It’s natural that plenty of fans would want to listen to these soundtracks once in a while—which is why it’s perfect that Smash Ultimate has a music player feature! That ought to satisfy their needs, right?

Of course, that means all those pesky reuploads on YouTube have got to go. Channels like GilvaSunner just serve to infringe on copyright, which won’t be tolerated. Of course, the geniuses at Nintendo knew how to take care of that problem. With one button press in January of 2022, over 3,500 videos were gone! Technology sure is neat. Bonus points if he announces shortly after he’s deleting his whole channel; what a weight off your shoulders.

And some of you may ask, “But why not just upload the music on YouTube themselves?” And to that I say, oh you sweet, innocent summer child. It’s not like Nintendo would have anything to gain from uploading their music online for people to access besides discouraging reuploaders. Their music is available in their games, after all, and it’s not like there’s any way to monetize those soundtracks online. Nope, no way to put ads in front of videos or get royalties from streaming services. If only…

  1. Archive Sites

You wouldn’t steal a car, so it should be common sense that you wouldn’t pirate a game either. ROM sites allow people to download video games without buying them from the developer directly. Why anyone would go to such shady sites to find those games instead of getting from the source is a mystery. (…What’s that? Many of the Nintendo games on ROM sites are older and less popular games that aren’t available for purchase anymore, and people want to make sure they’re archived so they don’t become lost media?) Yes, a total mystery.

Well Nintendo has a solution for this too, and it even netted them another 2 million dollars! In 2018 they filed a lawsuit against the owner of RomUniverse, making big headlines. Protecting your intellectual property AND making money, now that’s what I call a win-win. Are you taking notes?

  1. Hacking

The world of hacking is quite scary. If you’ll allow me, just close your eyes for a moment and picture how terrifying it might be to see your precious work altered beyond recognition, twisted into a monstrosity made of ones and zeroes. Imagine it: new characters in Smash Ultimate. Horrifying. Or worse yet, Super Mario Odyssey with multiplayer! It’s a crime against nature!

Sorry, was that too scary? Well at least you can understand Nintendo’s hurry to correct this kind of behavior. Who knows what could happen if that kind of power fell into the wrong hands?

The solution is simple. Once Nintendo is alerted of the hacker in question, they must cut off the evil at its source. Just ban their Nintendo Switch from online content, so they have no way of corrupting young minds. And just to be safe, Nintendo doesn’t just block them from playing online on the game that was hacked, or “modded” as these traitors call it. No, the only way to be sure the world is safe is to block the console itself, permanently. Got bored of your Animal Crossing island after a few months and wanted to spruce it up with rare items? No more Splatoon 2 with friends. It’s only fair.

And hey, good news! After being banned, many of these modders will buy a second Switch so they can still play online. Double the profits!

  1. Fan Works

Nintendo has inspired many future game designers, as shown by the countless fan games that have been created, inspired by Nintendo properties. From Pokémon, to Mario, to Metroid, it’s wonderful to see you’ve made an impact, and I’m sure Nintendo feels the same way. Unfortunately, these games are clearly infringing on copyright. After all, they’re not transformative in the slightest— well, I guess a lot of Pokémon fan games have entirely new Pokédexes and original stories— never mind about that. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, or people will think they have the right to steal your ideas and siphon profits right out of your wallet. So, in January of 2021, Nintendo enacted a massive takedown on GameJolt, where many of these games had been uploaded. Take that, talented developers expressing love for their favorite childhood games! Next time, they ought to consult a lawyer before publishing their passion projects online.

As you can see, Nintendo’s decades of experience help them make only the smartest decisions when it comes to handling their unpredictable gaggle of fans. This makes them the perfect example for any up-and-coming entrepreneurs out there looking to find out a little more about what it’s really like in the business world. I hope you’ve learned something today. Now, get out there and start making money!