Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto Talks About Passing the Torch

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto Talks About Passing the Torch

Shigeru Miyamoto believes Nintendo's core franchises are in good hands and don't "need me anymore."

You may remember Shigeru Miyamoto as the man behind pretty much every big franchise Nintendo can lay claim to. Super Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, Pikmin; he's had a hand in all of them and more. That being said, as of late the famed game creator has been taking a less direct role in the furtherance of his franchises, instead leaving the development of major projects in the hands of others within Nintendo.

For instance, Miyamoto, commenting recently on Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, said "he doesn't need me any more." While "the final responsibility" for new Zelda titles is still left to Miyamoto himself he stated that he's "definitely able to leave the series up to [Aonuma] in a way." It's a similar case, he stated, with producers including Yoshiaki Koizumi (Super Mario 3D World), Hideki Konno (Mario Kart 8) and Katsuya Eguchi (Animal Crossing). "These are the main producers that we've trained who are talented enough and we can allow them to oversee the project and manage all the details and still maintain the Nintendo level of quality."

While it's somewhat sad to think of the man behind so many classic game franchises taking a smaller role at Nintendo, it makes sense for Miyamoto to be training people to take over for him. After all, even if he were an endless fountain of ideas, we imagine he might. at some point, want a break from being the creative center of one of the world's most important entertainment companies. Not to mention that, as tragic recent events have proven, even giants eventually fall.

Source: Official Nintendo Magazine

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I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

The specific day Miyamoto leaves is the day I feel upset for the rest of the day. Without him I wouldn't be playing Video Games (First Console I owned was N64, along with Super Mario 64).

canadamus_prime:
I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

shh.

give the man the chance to silently get out of this boat before its starts to sink slowly into oblivion.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

rhizhim:

canadamus_prime:
I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

shh.

give the man the chance to silently get out of this boat before its starts to sink slowly into oblivion.

Cute. Would be even cuter if Animal Crossing New Leaf, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land hadn't all sold like crack.

image

i should have anticipated this.

The way things are at Nintendo now, Miyamoto is more of a feedback person. The Zelda/Mario/Metroid/etc guys will all come up with new game ideas, go to work on them, then ask him to provide feedback once they've got a good prototype going. That's what led to Metroid Prime going first-person, and having the visor systems. Though he's still very hands on with the development of stuff like Pikmin 3, and apparently has still got a new IP to show off sometime before next year.

rhizhim:

canadamus_prime:
I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

shh.

give the man the chance to silently get out of this boat before its starts to sink slowly into oblivion.

Cute. Would be even cuter if Animal Crossing New Leaf, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land hadn't all sold like crack.

It doesn't surprise me.

He discussed it last year- retiring and all that. Some news site misread it and thought that he said he was retiring now, and Nintendo stocks actually dropped momentarily until he came back to clarify.

I mean, the guy is getting old. We all know that he is going away soon. The same can be said for Iwata.

However I did think he mentioned that he has a successor that he's been teaching the rope to for a couple of years now. Who knows who this person will be.

rhizhim:

canadamus_prime:
I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

shh.

give the man the chance to silently get out of this boat before its starts to sink slowly into oblivion.

It might be a little late for that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

rhizhim:

canadamus_prime:
I don't know if I agree with your sentiments Miyamoto. Those franchises have seemed rather lacking of late. At least the ones I've played.

shh.

give the man the chance to silently get out of this boat before its starts to sink slowly into oblivion.

Cute. Would be even cuter if Animal Crossing New Leaf, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land hadn't all sold like crack.

They may have sold well, but Mario 3D Land felt lacking compared to it's predecessors. At least IMHO anyway.

The only Nintendo franchises i find lacking these days are Zelda and Metroid, Metroid needs an identity and Zelda really just needs less tutorials and a new approach to it's game design, i'm kinda tired of the Oot formula by now, 3D adventures could be done in a variety of interesting ways and i'm not sure the current formula is the optimal choice, imo.

rhizhim:

i should have anticipated this.

What did you expect? If you're going to claim a guy's games are slipping into oblivion, at least make sure you say so when they're actually slipping into irrelevancy. Not when they're selling 6-8 million copies each or more. That's more, just as a point of reference, than any instalment of Mass Effect, Killzone, Infamous or Uncharted. Where are those games if Mario and Mario Kart are now heading towards oblivion?

canadamus_prime:

They may have sold well, but Mario 3D Land felt lacking compared to it's predecessors. At least IMHO anyway.

Fair enough. For myself and plenty of other gamers, it was an enjoyable continuation of the Galaxy style of platforming, while also bringing in elements from the 2D series. Sold faster than either Galaxy game as well, as far as I'm aware.

I'd be okay with him stepping down soon. Not because I think he's done a terrible job lately, but because he deserves a break and I would love to see Nintendo imbuing their franchises with fresh blood.

Miyamoto isn't the only one who can make Nintendo games, and I'd like to see what other talented designers can do with Nintendo's resources, skillsets, and philosophy.

No one lies forever, we all know that, and Miyamoto and Nintendo know that. He is smart to consider a future without his creative input at Nintendo. Miyamoto has been giving us alot of great games for decades, soon there will be a time where he has to leave that post, and give it to younger game developers.

I salute you Miyamoto, for all the great stuff you have done for gaming. I hope when he retires Nintendo will be in capable hands, and I have faith they will.

I think this is good. We can't have Miyamoto managing every damn game in the company. It's time for a long deserved break.

Considering how his whole job now consists of "New Mario, New Zelda, New Metroid, and maybe some other flagship titles, rinse, repeat" I don't see how hard it would be to 'pass the torch'.

A trained fucking monkey could do his job. In fact, you can't convince me that Miyamoto is nothing more than a trained monkey.

Scrythe:
Considering how his whole job now consists of "New Mario, New Zelda, New Metroid, and maybe some other flagship titles, rinse, repeat" I don't see how hard it would be to 'pass the torch'.

A trained fucking monkey could do his job. In fact, you can't convince me that Miyamoto is nothing more than a trained monkey.

When 9000 people in the developer community were asked who their favourite developer was, Miyamoto got the largest vote, with 30% of developers putting him at the top. Out of the dozens upon dozens, possibly even hundreds of great developers who have contributed to the industry, Miyamoto by himself got 1/3 of the votes. What he's forgotten about game design is more than most other developers ever learn in their entire careers, to use a well-known phrase.

By all means, if you think a trained monkey could come up with this or this, I'd like to see what monkey trainers you've been hanging around with. And it's not as if he's got a mysterious new IP in the works or anything.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Scrythe:
Considering how his whole job now consists of "New Mario, New Zelda, New Metroid, and maybe some other flagship titles, rinse, repeat" I don't see how hard it would be to 'pass the torch'.

A trained fucking monkey could do his job. In fact, you can't convince me that Miyamoto is nothing more than a trained monkey.

When 9000 people in the developer community were asked who their favourite developer was, Miyamoto got the largest vote, with 30% of developers putting him at the top. Out of the dozens upon dozens, possibly even hundreds of great developers who have contributed to the industry, Miyamoto by himself got 1/3 of the votes. What he's forgotten about game design is more than most other developers ever learn in their entire careers, to use a well-known phrase.

By all means, if you think a trained monkey could come up with this or this, I'd like to see what monkey trainers you've been hanging around with. And it's not as if he's got a mysterious new IP in the works or anything.

You forget that he's mostly a figurehead. He didn't sit down and code along with the other code monkeys. He's not better than Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux, David Jaffe, Richard Garriot, etc, etc. He's relegated down to a marketing tool, a name that can sell a product better via celebrity recognition. At least in the case with some other "name" developers, like Hideo Kojima or Warren Spector, Roberta Williams, (and others), they are at least in the forefront of the development cycle.

You can't tell me that "Let's re-release the same Mario game as the last, but with one slight addtional feature that isn't new the franchise" coming from someone as influential as a name as Miyamoto is a good thing. There is no fucking way you can say that.

You know I think this would be a good idea, while I like Miyamoto I think him leaving the franchises to other people might be for the best. I know he had a hand in the story of the new Paper Mario by pretty much mandating that Mario shouldn't have story and that turned out horrible, It might be good to let the others take the reins.

Scrythe:
[quote="j-e-f-f-e-r-s" post="7.829327.20201133"]

You forget that he's mostly a figurehead. He didn't sit down and code along with the other code monkeys. He's not better than Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux, David Jaffe, Richard Garriot, etc, etc. He's relegated down to a marketing tool, a name that can sell a product better via celebrity recognition. At least in the case with some other "name" developers, like Hideo Kojima or Warren Spector, Roberta Williams, (and others), they are at least in the forefront of the development cycle.

You can't tell me that "Let's re-release the same Mario game as the last, but with one slight addtional feature that isn't new the franchise" coming from someone as influential as a name as Miyamoto is a good thing. There is no fucking way you can say that.

Oh for the love of...

Being a developer does not require that one has to be a code monkey. Satoru Iwata, the current CEO of Nintendo, is a code monkey. Miyamoto is not. That doesn't change the fact, however, that Miyamoto designed the maps, levels, gameplay mechanics and characters for the games he was involved in back in the day. Being the lead on projects like SMB and Zelda, he came up with the ideas for mechanics and levels, then wrote them out so that the code monkeys could then do them. Code monkeys didn't design Zelda's open-world. Miyamoto did. Code monkeys didn't come up with the idea for a sidescrolling game involving jumping and power-ups. Miyamoto did. So please, let's not start making assertions that only code monkeys count as developers.

He is still in the forefront of the development cycle. In case you hadn't heard, Pikin 3 came out, a game he was heading the development of throughout its entire dev cycle. The entire Pikmin franchise is based on his idea for a strategy game that came from his gardening hobby.

I can say that re-releasing the same Mario game as the last is a good thing. Fortunately, that's not what Nintendo does. Each new 3D Mario game brings with it new gameplay ideas, new level design philosophies, and oftentimes entirely new gaming concepts. Mario 64 and Sunshine put an emphasis on more open-world design. Galaxy 1 and 2 put the emphasis on playing with physics. 3D Land focused on the idea of a 3D platformer on handhelds, and 3D World is looking to really innovate on the idea of local multiplayer in a 3D platformer.

I cannot believe that I am sitting here having to defend Shigeru motherfucking Miyamoto of all developers. When the majority of the developer community still doffs their hat to him and builds their games on ideas he already came up with, you don't get to play the "I'm too cool for Miyamoto" card. He's an industry legend, he shaped the way games are played to this very day, and he still makes games that are incredibly polished and fun to play. John Carmack, there's a developer who's started going to seed. Warren Spector has gone a worrying amount of time without a genuinely great game as well. Miyamoto? His latest game was regarded by most as the best entry in its franchise.

fluxy100:
You know I think this would be a good idea, while I like Miyamoto I think him leaving the franchises to other people might be for the best. I know he had a hand in the story of the new Paper Mario by pretty much mandating that Mario shouldn't have story and that turned out horrible, It might be good to let the others take the reins.

Sadly, that's also the fault of the people Intelligent Systems polled before making the decision about whether or not to cut the focus on story and characters in favor of more paper mechanics and turn based battles.

Still, yeah, him moving on to other projects or retiring would be good. Nintendo cannot remain tied entirely to the design philosophy of one man, because no matter how great he is, his games all lack certain elements. Like engaging characters or stories.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Being a developer does not require that one has to be a code monkey.

You know, at some point in a developers career, that could help. A lot.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

That doesn't change the fact, however, that Miyamoto designed the maps, levels, gameplay mechanics and characters for the games he was involved in back in the day.

Funny you mention that, because when I play a Mario game, you know I don't see? "Made by Miyamoto". Instead, I see his name, and dozens of others. Don't credit one guy for the labor of others.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Being the lead on projects like SMB and Zelda, he came up with the ideas for mechanics and levels, then wrote them out so that the code monkeys could then do them.

Again, that wasn't his job. That's the writers. Unless those stopped existing in the gaming industry in the last 20 minutes, I'm pretty sure they lay out the script (not code script, the general outline of the game).

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Code monkeys didn't design Zelda's open-world. Miyamoto did.

I would love to see the proof that he single-handedly did all that. That would make my whole fucking year.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Code monkeys didn't come up with the idea for a sidescrolling game involving jumping and power-ups. Miyamoto did.

Yeah, and that way over TWENTY YEARS AGO. I'm sure you're absolutely right in the assumption that he's sitting there saying "You know, this game should be a side-scroller" as if it was a new thing, because it sure looks that way.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

So please, let's not start making assertions that only code monkeys count as developers.

You're right. Let's forget the peons and focus on the God himself.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

He is still in the forefront of the development cycle. In case you hadn't heard, Pikin 3 came out, a game he was heading the development of throughout its entire dev cycle. The entire Pikmin franchise is based on his idea for a strategy game that came from his gardening hobby.

Holy shit, he had an idea for a sequel? That's unheard of! And from his idea, Nintendo just magically sprung genius from his mind, straight into disks! That's Godlike Miyamoto for you! Never mind concept artists, level disigners, programmers, the people who get paid shit wages to draw textures, 3D artists, animators, voice acting. None of this matters because it was his idea and thus his credit alone.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

I can say that re-releasing the same Mario game as the last is a good thing.

And you are a minority.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Fortunately, that's not what Nintendo does.

So where have you been this past decade? Because I bet that place is awesome.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Each new 3D Mario game brings with it new gameplay ideas, new level design philosophies, and oftentimes entirely new gaming concepts.

An established game with a new set of levels is not a game, it's a romhack. And if reintroducing Yoshi and the Tanuki Suit are new gameplay ideas, then I must have fallen asleep when those things were introduced.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Mario 64 and Sunshine put an emphasis on more open-world design. Galaxy 1 and 2 put the emphasis on playing with physics. 3D Land focused on the idea of a 3D platformer on handhelds, and 3D World is looking to really innovate on the idea of local multiplayer in a 3D platformer.

And yet they are still, at the end of the day, platformers of an established franchise reincorporating the same characters, same story, and same themes, with only those small changes added. See also: Zelda.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

I cannot believe that I am sitting here having to defend Shigeru motherfucking Miyamoto of all developers

I can. Trust me, I can believe that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

When the majority of the developer community still doffs their hat to him and builds their games on ideas he already came up with, you don't get to play the "I'm too cool for Miyamoto" card. He's an industry legend, he shaped the way games are played to this very day, and he still makes games that are incredibly polished and fun to play.

I don't have a retort here, you are absolutely correct. However, that "industry legend" is not around these days. He no longer develops with innovation in mind, he develops with "playing it safe" and "pleasing the investors" in mind. Innovation was taken out behind the shed and shot.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

John Carmack, there's a developer who's started going to seed. Warren Spector has gone a worrying amount of time without a genuinely great game as well.

The grammar here confuses me. Not taking a potshot at you or your grammatical skills, I just wish you would rephrase that.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Miyamoto? His latest game was regarded by most as the best entry in its franchise.

I'm sure it has. I'm not even surprised. He's been using a safe, winning formula for years now. Why would he do anything different? And because they're fucking NINTENDO, of course people are going to eat that shit up. Why wouldn't they? It's Nintendo!

But for the sake of arguement, let's say that the last three games he made, Luigi's Mansion 2, Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario 3D Land World XIV: The Real Beginning, or whatever it's called, let's just say that these are the bastion of gaming today, and that the bar is now raised because of that. They are critically acclaimed, and loved throughout the life cycle of the Wii U.

And when the next season comes around, I hope you have a bucket ready, because Nintendo (and Miyamoto) are going to blow your fucking mind with the announcement of Pikmin 4, New New Super Mario Wii U 2, and The Legend of Zelda: This One's Theme Is Fire!

And according to your attitude and anecdotal evidence, this is supposed to be a good thing.

I'm sorry, but I just refuse to suck on Miyamoto's cock. Not because I'm trying to be "cool" or "hip" or "edgy", but because they've already sold us the product, and slapping a new coat of paint on it and calling it a new product is a fucking insult. It is no different than Apple's business practices, and it certainly does not portray your sacred Miyamoto as anything else then a figurehead: a name they can slap on a the freshly painted product.

And I, for one, refuse to play along.

Well hopefully nintendo takes this as a cue to start experimenting with new things instead of the same bunch of ip. Or at least more variety with IP instead of just larger numbers and re-releases. Maybe they could do some writing and story, that would be kind of cool. A zelda game with some really good writing and story I would get behind. Twilight princess was a slight step towards that but I think, with their funding, they could make a very good story.

maybe itl mean we get some new IP... probably not though...which is sad.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

rhizhim:

i should have anticipated this.

What did you expect? If you're going to claim a guy's games are slipping into oblivion, at least make sure you say so when they're actually slipping into irrelevancy. Not when they're selling 6-8 million copies each or more. That's more, just as a point of reference, than any instalment of Mass Effect, Killzone, Infamous or Uncharted. Where are those games if Mario and Mario Kart are now heading towards oblivion?

canadamus_prime:

They may have sold well, but Mario 3D Land felt lacking compared to it's predecessors. At least IMHO anyway.

Fair enough. For myself and plenty of other gamers, it was an enjoyable continuation of the Galaxy style of platforming, while also bringing in elements from the 2D series. Sold faster than either Galaxy game as well, as far as I'm aware.

I didn't say it wasn't enjoyable, I said it was lacking when compared to it's predecessors. And I don't know, maybe it's just me, but for the first time when playing a Mario game I felt something was missing.

Scribblesense:
I'd be okay with him stepping down soon. Not because I think he's done a terrible job lately, but because he deserves a break and I would love to see Nintendo imbuing their franchises with fresh blood.

Miyamoto isn't the only one who can make Nintendo games, and I'd like to see what other talented designers can do with Nintendo's resources, skillsets, and philosophy.

Games such as Fire Emblem have gone on to sell millions without a shred of Miyamoto's help (as far as I know) so I think new people will take over fine. Only time will tell though.

Scrythe:
snip

You know what is really funny here? Slapping a new coat of paint on things is exactly what Nintendo does not do. Lets look at Yoshi. Yohsi is used for different mechanics in every game he is in. Yoshi of Super Mario World is completely different from Yoshi of Yoshi's island and Yoshi of Super Mario Galaxy. They look the same but all play different. They are all different mechanics united by a visual and thematic elements. In other words, Nintendo invents new things on a mechanical level but uses the old coat of paint.

And if that is your problem that is fine. The Mario visual look is old and not liking a Mario game because you are sick of the aesthetic is entirely reasonable. But don't try to claim that Nintendo just slaps a new coat of paint on old ideas because that is the opposite of what is actually happening.

MrBaskerville:
The only Nintendo franchises i find lacking these days are Zelda and Metroid, Metroid needs an identity and Zelda really just needs less tutorials and a new approach to it's game design, i'm kinda tired of the Oot formula by now, 3D adventures could be done in a variety of interesting ways and i'm not sure the current formula is the optimal choice, imo.

I'm not sure I agree on the Metroid part. Metroid Prime trilogy was awesome! And when they finally tried to give the series an identity (Other M) most fans started raging like never before. But I think the Metroid series will be interesting in the future.

As for Zelda I'd like to agree with you. I loved Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword but I think it would be better to go a bit more... "open world"??... As in not 3 dungeons with 3 keys from 3 places etc etc. Since there never has been any leveling system in the Zelda franchise I don't see why they couldn't create a game, for example with 5 temples, 5 big bosses, 1 big baddy (Ganon?) and maybe 2 or 3 "Guardians of Gannon".
Can take the temples/dungeons/missions in any order. After certain achievments (for example start with 3 hearts, so when you aquire the 5th) you meet the first of the 3 "lieutenants" and get a some sort of important item (shield/sword/bow???) etc etc.
Ideas can be thrown around :D

On topic:

I think it's good that Miyamoto understands to give way to younger people and talent in time. He's still there and they can ask for help or ideas etc, but it's better that thye get more new fresh idea early and not 2 days before he actually leaves.

Ask me about 6-7 years ago what I thought of Nintendo and I would have blown my load all over. Nowadays, not so much. All I see, as everyone else has put it, is sequel after sequel. Super Mario Galaxy was the only one that looked semi-decent out of a horde of these sequels and even then, my interest for it wasn't really there.

They used to lead. When OoT came out, that was revolutionary. There was nothing like it the time. When SM64 came out, that was revolutionary. Hardly anyone knew really how to do platforming in a 3D space at that time. When Super Smash Bros. came out, that was revolutionary. When Super Mario Bros. came out, THAT WAS REVOLUTIONARY.

Now what do we have? Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. And Mario Party/Kart 672. Even my fave franchise of them all, Zelda, has dwindled somewhat with Skyward Sword.

Now, all of this I don't think is really one mans fault at all though. Just saiyan that Nintendo needs to catch up to its competitors if it wants to stay relevant. People call Microsoft the biggest money grubbers but look at what Nintendo has done. At least Microsoft tries to truly innovate and stay ahead.

Nintendo used to be very relevant but then Morrowind came along. Then Halo. Then Portal. Unreal Tournament, Gears of War, Skyrim, Half Life 2, Timesplitters, Bioshock Infinite, Guild Wars 2, Freelancer, Minecraft, Mass Effect.

You get the picture. It's time for Nintendo to aspire to more than just selling a bunch of copies of churned out sequel #5743.

Scribblesense:
I'd be okay with him stepping down soon. Not because I think he's done a terrible job lately, but because he deserves a break and I would love to see Nintendo imbuing their franchises with fresh blood.

Miyamoto isn't the only one who can make Nintendo games, and I'd like to see what other talented designers can do with Nintendo's resources, skillsets, and philosophy.

Actually, that's been happening for far longer than you think.

The recent Zeldas, and Marios? They were all mainly produced by other producers. He was basically the final approval. Even then he recently stated that they don't need him anymore. So he has done a lot less in terms of overseeing production than the past.

 

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