What Nintendo must do for Ring Match Journey to thrive


In a July stockholders meeting, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa hinted that new content for its Ring Fit Adventure game may be on the way. That’s potentially great news because it’s lacking in features for the population that arguably needs to exercise the most–the disabled. During Covid, many Nintendo fans were enthralled with the serene stylings and cute animations of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, catapulting the game’s sales to 32.6 million copies sold. 

And while many gamers were busy building their dream houses, others took the opportunity to get in shape with Ring Fit Adventure. However, the fitness-themed title has only sold 10.1 million copies to date. It’s strange, because Wii Fit Plus, the game’s predecessor, and Wii Fit sold 21+ million copies each. Ring Fit Adventure is definitely missing something — accessibility options. According to a 2020 WHO report on health and disability, the organization estimates that there are over a billion people in the world who have a disability. That’s a huge section of potential consumers that aren’t being served.

Don’t get me wrong, Ring Fit Adventure is already surprisingly accessible compared to other games on the market. However, it needs to go even further with its inclusivity. For example, there’s a shoulder, back, ab, and knee assist mode. If you turn knee assist on, someone in a wheelchair can participate without jogging in place to move the character. At the end of every level, players can check their heart rate. However, the game assumes the player was jogging the entire time. So if knee assist is on, the player will get a lower workout ranking. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

These assist modes can be toggled on and off to build muscle and endurance during activities. You can also adjust the difficulty, pause if you need a break, and flee from battles if you’re caught at an inopportune time. However, everyone’s body and capabilities are different, so it’s difficult for an individual to find a mode that perfectly fits them. Nintendo needs to allow the user to calibrate assist modes and difficulty levels on a slider to fine-tune each individual‘s experience as well as not penalize for physical inability. 

Recalibrate the calibration


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