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Meeting a Legend - ONM interviews Shigeru Miyamoto

An exclusive chat with the man who started it all from ONM 100

Dream maker. Inspiration. Hero. The father of modern gaming. To Nintendo fans, Shigeru Miyamoto is all these things and more. To Nintendo, he's a hit maker and arguably the company's saviour. Editor-In-Chief Chandra Nair draws up a chair and tries to find the words to do the moment justice.

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Chandra Nair: How involved do you get with games development these days? Do you think back and miss the 'good old days'?

Shigeru Miyamoto: For me, the idea of being more deeply involved in games is less about the nostalgic feeling and more something that I just want to continue doing. The challenge lies in the fact that as I've got older I'm simply not able to work as many hours as I used to when I was young, so then it becomes a matter of really focusing my attention on the right game.

So, for example, I was deeply involved in the design of Pikmin 3. Games like Mario and Zelda are ones that I'm really involved in too. So, for Super Mario 3D World, I've been in deep discussions with them, so for me it's more about how can I balance my time so that I can remain more deeply involved in the games that I really want to be involved with.

CN: Speaking of time management, do you ever get the chance simply to sit down and play a game from scratch any more?

SM: I do play all of the games that I'm working on but I don't get the time to play other people's games, sadly.

CN: So, what was the last non-Nintendo game that you played?

SM: There's a videogame in Japan called Puzzle & Dragons [it's a drop-down puzzle game - Ed]? That's a game that I've sat down simply as a consumer and played.

CN: You said a few years ago that you were looking to train directors and producers. All these years later, who would you say your star apprentices were?

SM: As you saw at our presentation at E3, Mr Aonuma [Eiji Aonuma, Director of the Legend Of Zelda series] chased me off stage... he doesn't need me any more! The final responsibility for the title still comes down to me and I'm still involved with the games, but I'm definitely able to leave the series up to him in a way. I don't have to look at every minute detail of every game any more. I know there's going to be the level of quality that we expect under his supervision.

Similarly, we have Koizumi-san [Yoshiaki Koizumi] who's the producer of the Mario series and it's the same type of situation. And certainly Konno-san [Hideki Konno] with Mario Kart, too. And although he wasn't on stage with us at the event, Mr Eguchi [Katsuya Eguchi], producer of the Animal Crossing series... 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.

With these producers in particular... for many years what they would do is look at me and develop a game that they would bring to me to get my approval. The feedback I always gave them was, "Don't bring it to me and look at me for feedback. Think of the consumer who's going to play the game and make the game in a way that's going to make them happy." And so, over the years, they've managed to be able to take more of that perspective on their games.

CN: I guess they must've got fed up of you up-ending the tea table all the time!

SM: Thankfully I don't have to do that any more!

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  1. Mariostar222 Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 11:25

    im sure this has came up twice now

  2. JoeONM Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 13:45

    im sure this has came up twice now

    We put up a piece of the interview when ONM 100 came out, but never the whole transcript.

  3. Mariostar222 Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 17:10

    im sure this has came up twice now

    We put up a piece of the interview when ONM 100 came out, but never the whole transcript.

    ok,fair enough joe

  4. Jarmez Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 20:04

    Certainly the Metroid franchise is one that, when you talk about really bringing the world to life, we feel that Metroid and the characters established are really important for Nintendo. So important that they were included, obviously, in Nintendo Land. I definitely think it's a franchise that we value and we certainly want to see what we can do with it in the future. And, obviously, Retro is a very high priority in terms of the potential team that would be considered for working on a Metroid game.


    Okay, so explain Mr. Miyamoto, as to why Nintendo didn't even acknowledge Metroid's 25th Anniversary in 2011 (it was left to the fans to celebrate Metroid's 25th on their own)? If the franchise was "important" to Nintendo as you say, then surely Metroid would have had an anniversary celebration like The Legend of Zelda did, even if it was done a year later. But since it's not popular in Japan, and because it hasn't sold as many copies, as a franchise in comparison (which is Nintendo's fault for not trying hard enough), then it's not as important. Plus the latest game (Metroid: Other M) was developed mainly by a Third Party publisher, Team Ninja, which says it all. Why should Luigi get a year dedicated to him, and not Metroid? Nintendo can probably do a 30th anniversary in 2016, but unfortunately that year also happens to be the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon...


    Sorry for the rant, it just frustrates me that Metroid didn't get anything ._.

  5. alexjones94 Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 20:54


    Plus the latest game (Metroid: Other M) was developed mainly by a Third Party publisher, which says it all.


    As was Luigi's Mansion 2, and the Metroid Prime series. I'm not sure that Nintendo not developing it in-house means they don't care about that character/franchise.

  6. Jarmez Saturday 9th Nov 2013 at 23:29


    Plus the latest game (Metroid: Other M) was developed mainly by a Third Party publisher, which says it all.


    As was Luigi's Mansion 2, and the Metroid Prime series. I'm not sure that Nintendo not developing it in-house means they don't care about that character/franchise.


    The Metroid Prime series was developed by Retro Studios, which is a First Party developer, not Third Party. Metroid Prime Hunters was developed by Nintendo Software Technology. Luigi's Mansion is a spin off series which is linked to the Super Mario series, so they don't have much to lose with that.

  7. Argenthor Sunday 10th Nov 2013 at 14:29

    I always love interviews with Miyamoto. They're just always really interesting to read, even if nothing new is actually revealed.

  8. psy_commando Wednesday 13th Nov 2013 at 05:34

    Okay, so explain Mr. Miyamoto, as to why Nintendo didn't even acknowledge Metroid's 25th Anniversary in 2011 (it was left to the fans to celebrate Metroid's 25th on their own)? If the franchise was "important" to Nintendo as you say, then surely Metroid would have had an anniversary celebration like The Legend of Zelda did, even if it was done a year later.

    Its was Starfox's 20th anniversary earlier this year, and they snobbed it too. Its like, "f@@k Starfox! Its the year of the luigi!" I mean, not even a simple mention on their sites or anything..

    And, he totally dodged the question about Starfox :?
    I was hoping they'd give Starfox SNES some love(released in 1993 btw), given its been virtually erased from existence, thanks to the N64 "remake"(more like reboot). Well also because everybody seems to think the N64 game is the exact same thing for some reasons..

    I mean I love SF64, but I love SF SNES too, and I prefer SF SNES's storyline / canon. Canon that we mostly learned about in the official comics and the game manual btw. But, a real remake set in a side universe to the current canon, or a simple remake for the heck of it, or some merchandise or something would have been great. But I'm not holding my breath..

    And don't get me even started on Starfox 2 SNES, which wasn't even released, being cancelled in its very last few weeks of developments and just stored on some forgotten hard drive in Nintendo's building..

    Anyways, I went a little off track here.. The point is, you're right, its sad that Nintendo is not even acknowledging its other franchise's anniversaries.. And its also sad that, its been literally years that Miyamoto says the same thing each time he's asked about starfox, without being honest about it, or avoiding to answer..

    And is it me or Miyamoto is sounding more and more serious, and less "lighthearted" than usual and etc.. ?

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