Do you remember ‘Nintendogs’? It was the hottest game of the early 2000's to play at school with the brand new DS Lite (the pink one, of course). All of your friends marveled at your perfectly washed golden retriever with the Mario hat that made you feel like a true dog owner.

A brief history

The first game of the franchise was released in 2005 and it sold over 23 million copies as of March 2017 (via Statista). It won 10 awards from various sites and organizations and it received all around great reviews on a multitude of platforms. There were plush toys and trading cards, and it gave casual gamers a chance to dip their toes into the gaming world.

Nintendo released three versions of the franchise for 3DS in 2011, but this time they included cats. At long last, cat owners finally had a Nintendo game. Overall, the gameplay is about the same, right down to the layout of icons, and the dog models look just like they always have. One edition even comes bundled with a pink 3DS. Old habits die hard, it seems.

If you are interested, check out Nintendo rallies for more third-party games for Switch.

So what happened?

But what can we take away from ‘Nintendogs’ apparent decline? It’s a game full of iconic characters (referring to both the dogs and the competition announcers Archie and Ted) as well as one-of-a-kind gameplay and a sandbox environment. It's everything a gamer could dream of, minus a few things here and there. So why has it faded away from the public attention like the sweet, sweet memory it has come to be?

The simple solution: no one wants to play casual games anymore.

Take a look at the top grossing games of all time and the trend is clear. Games that focus on storytelling and/or first-person shooters that are made with a challenge in mind have and always will dominate the Video Game market. We can see this with Nintendo especially, putting the spotlight on Mario year after year after year, and recently letting "Splatoon" share some of the attention with its smash release on the Switch. As mentioned before, "Nintendogs" is more of a casual simulation game. All the games that are raking in the dough right now are made especially for the crumb-covered laps and the hair-trigger like reactions belonging to none other than the avid gamer. These poor puppies have rolled over because the only challenge they offer is remembering to feed them every week.

So, fare thee well, old friend. Maybe someday the video games market will realize you are the ideal gateway into the world of gaming and sing your praises down the alleyways. Or they’ll put more effort into advertising. Whichever comes first.

Also check out 'Splatoon 2' file size revealed for the Nintendo Switch.