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Meeting a Legend - ONM interviews Shigeru Miyamoto

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

CN: These days, do you think you're more intense, or more chilled out as a boss?

SM: I don't think I've changed much. I'm pretty tough, but I'm tough on the product, not the people. Because we're always preparing with the customer in mind it's a matter of being tough so we meet that expectation.

In particular, we spend two, maybe three years making a game. If you spend all that time and people aren't satisfied with it, then all that time you spent on it has been wasted. That's why I'm strict when it comes to final quality. That's where I'm toughest.

CN: And that always shows. A good example is Luigi's Mansion 2, which got pushed back but was ultimately amazing. Speaking of which, western studios are now taking responsibility for some of your biggest franchises. That level of trust didn't exist before. Why do you think that has changed in recent years?

SM: I think the biggest factor is that level of trust that you mentioned. We built the level of trust with those companies and we know we can rely on them. The second thing is a change in our approach. Once we would have looked at them and asked what a company can do independently and we would support them as needed.

Whereas now we're looking at really working together. Particularly with Luigi's Mansion 2, Nintendo is the producer of that game. We call them second-party developers where they're developing the game but we're producing it and that's where that level of trust is built.

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CN: With that in mind, how do you decide what games these developers will work on? For example, how did you decide that Retro Studios would work on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze rather than anything else?

SM: Retro is a very capable studio and can design a lot of different types of game and I know that because I produced Metroid Prime. But when it did Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii, apparently it had a lot of fun making that title and from what I've heard it put in a request and said that it wanted to do a new Donkey Kong Country game on Wii U themselves.

In particular the company built up quite a lot of knowhow in that specific style of gameplay and as a consequence felt that it could leverage that again in creating something new in that same style for Wii U.

I think Retro has really come to a point at which it's possible for it to have multiple lines running at the same time and having different projects in development. I totally think there are possibilities to see different projects from Retro in the future.

CN: One of those could be a Metroid game. Do you consider the Metroid Prime series to be a success? Would you like to see another Metroid Prime-style game?

SM: 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.

CN: There are many Nintendo franchises all liked by different people - we'd love to see Star Fox and 1080 come back ourselves. How do you pick which franchise to revise for which console?

SM: There are franchises where you would want to put in time and the energy because if you don't spend enough time and energy on it, it could impact the value of the franchise and the popularity of the franchise. Certainly, with something like Star Fox, we've released additional games in the series. I guess with our internal teams in particular, they tend to gravitate more towards the bigger franchises... games like the Marios and Zeldas.

I guess we could have looked at different approaches with 1080 [1080 Snowboarding] on N64 and tried to find ways to extend that franchise or build it in a way so we could maintain that brand until now... but it's always a difficult decision in terms of which ones to choose.

For us, it's less about choosing which franchise we're going to create and more about choosing what type of game style we want to create and what type of new experience we're creating and that's limited internally by the number of different teams who can create those ideas.

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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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