After years of supervising his most popular creations, Miyamoto says he's finally ready to let someone else spend time on Mario while he spends time on something fresh.
Legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has told a group of Nintendo investors that he will be shifting his focus from overseeing popular company mainstays such as Mario and Zelda to discovering the company's next "big hit." Though he's traditionally continued involvement with his most famous franchises after their creation, Miyamoto now feels others are finally able to continue maintaining his series, thereby allowing him to spend more time doing what's he's become famous for: coming up with new ideas.
"I am spending more time than before on finding new ideas for new developments," Miyamoto said, "rather than focusing my energy on work in my teams in order to solidify the contents of franchise titles."
Miyamoto has always taken the time to develop new ideas and turn them into little moneymaking factories for Nintendo (most recently that's been Pikmin, Nintendogs, and Wii Sports) but until recently, he's needed to spend a substantial amount of his time managing the stewards of his work. Now, after years of "nurturing" his team, he's finally ready to step back and focus on what he describes as his "basic job."
"There have been many people who have observed how Mr. Miyamoto works," explained Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, "or have been left in situations where they have to take on more significant responsibility without being allowed to be dependent upon Mr. Miyamoto.
"I am confident that people are growing," he continued. "Even for the development fields that required Mr. Miyamoto's involvement in the past, the situation is changing."
But just because Miyamoto is taking more time for new endeavors, that doesn't mean he's abandoned the properties that he's, in some cases, spent over twenty years developing.
"Of course, I do not let everyone go totally unchecked," Miyamoto explained. "I supervise whenever necessary."
"I am acting with the understanding that one big hit title can change multiple phases of a situation in the entertainment business, and I feel that finding such one big hit is my basic job."
It would be difficult to downplay the importance of Miyamoto and his various creations for Nintendo. After all, he's been responsible for a massively popular series on every Nintendo console since the NES. With the Wii U just around the corner, it should be interesting to see what he's able to cook up with unprecedented processing horsepower and a whole lot of extra time to think.