News Article

Miyamoto Plays Games, a Lot

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Is 10 hours a day enough?

It's been reported today that Shigeru Miyamoto often spends around 10 hours a day playing games, in work. According to a translation, Miyamoto says he is "continually playing the games and checking their content, and sharing my opinion with the development staff." It's stated that he typically has around seven games on the go at once, which sounds promising from a Nintendo gamer's perspective.

Our very own Editor James Newton is currently undergoing a similar routine to bring you our comprehensive review of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, so he is getting a taste of the lifestyle. We're sure that playing upcoming Nintendo games is a serious business for Miyamoto-san, recording his experiences to report to the relevant game Director, for example.

That said, being an industry-leading genius in game design does clearly have its perks.


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User Comments (33)



NintyMan said:

Well, he makes games. That shouldn't be a surpise. Would you want someone who's a game developer to not play games much?



ThomasBW84 said:

In all seriousness, he's probably not 'playing' the games in the sense that we do at home. He'll be analysing as he plays, probably focussed on technical issues.

That said, it's still not a bad way to get through the day.



Punny said:

And yet he's not in his basement being fat. Thank you for giving extreme gamers a positive image, Miyamoto-San.



Hokori said:

damn he has me beat ! ok time for me to quit doing school stuff that doesnt help, and start playing games.



timp29 said:

At the end of the day when Miyamoto san gets home, does he sit down and play some games? He probably can't stand them outside of work lol.

To be honest, with all the chores and responsibilities of being a professional/productive adult, gaming has lost a large part of its shine for me. It's pretty hard to play games when you know you should be organising/cleaning/repairing/whatever. I imagine someone as busy as Miyamoto is probably the same (unless he hires people to do all the menial crap for him - and hopefully not just his wife or something straight out of the 50s)



Thwiidscube said:

You're lucky Miyamoto... although I can see how you can get by without people telling you to knock it off and do something else, since you ARE in the videos games industry.



Freeon-Leon said:

I read somewhere that he doesn't play too much in the way we do. I mean, he just plays them because of his work, not because he wants to... He's more an outdoor (and very artistic) guy.



Capt_N said:

interesting, to say the least, but like a lot of ppl here, I'm sure he mostly plays for correcting flaws in-game(s), not so much for enjoyment.



Wheels2050 said:

I imagine it's more of a 'play as a beta-tester' kind of deal (and I mean a proper beta-tester, not the demos that companies call public betas these days) than a 'play as a gamer'.

The former is boring. Granted, he wouldn't be sitting there tracking down bugs like normal play-testers, but it'd be figuring out how to improve things, finding what works and what doesn't, etc.

I can't say I'd want that as a job - I think it'd ruin gaming for me. I'm quite content to play finished games without having to worrying about analysing every last detail!



Bensei said:

Playing 7 games a day for 10 hours might not be as satisfactory as it might sound to fans.



Kirk said:

Why can't I just get his job or one just like it!

I swear to God, I'd be even better than him at it!



alLabouTandroiD said:

Well, I don’t know how much time other game designers / producers spend playing so I could be totally wrong here, but …
I’d say this must have something to do with the sheer quality, freshness and level of perfection of nearly everything he created so far. Outstanding work there, Shiggy.

And while there’s no way to really compare this to reviewing or playing games as a hobby one can’t help but think …

Even if I had that much gaming time I’d most likely limit myself to five games per day at the very max.

  • one game with a stronger emphasis on story or a mysterious atmosphere (like Zelda, Okami, Assassin’s Creed, Bioshock, a RPG or something like that)
  • one game that puts its focus clearly on gameplay (like Mario, Kirby, …)
  • one game to relax and play a few minutes before going to sleep (like Picross)
  • and maybe one or two competitive multiplayer games for one or two hours


Fuzzy said:

@timp29 - I'm sure he'd be able to afford people to do his chores for him, so his after work hours are free. Then again, he's probably 'working' most of the time anyway.

But yes, I agree with what you're on about. I try and forget about things on the must-do list while I'm playing, but there's always something in the back of my mind telling me that I should be doing something more productive. Stupid mind...



TingLz said:

"I want his job"

Actually I imagine his work is much harder than it sounds. Keep in mind he's developed games for over 15-20 years, so he didn't get these perks overnight



milkman12 said:

but my health teacher said i couldnt make a career playing video games!lick my anus mrs.womack!



GreenDream said:

Lead game designers don't usually have the free time to play games for fun... and Miyamoto probably has less free time than them!

As Wheels2050 said, I would think that most of the time, those 10 hours is spent playing unfinished, broken versions of games in development; alongside of the QA teams. For example, while making Super Mario 3D Land, they probably ran Mario into EVERY wall at EVERY angle, then jumping at every wall at every angle, then crawling, then flying, then tail whipping, then... for EVERY single level...multiple times. Then doing it with 3D on, and off... "Playing games for a living" is not as simple as it sounds.

A game designer would typically only be given time to play their competitor's games to deconstruct them piece by piece using various flow charts, identify flaws, then formulate possible solutions that those designers could not implement; also being sure to factor in production limitations of the project in question. Surely he has tried using the PS Move and MS Kinect to influence his designs for Skyward Sword, and eventually for the Wii U... but he probably has done more critical observation than hands-on application.



GreenDream said:

Miyamoto has actually been with Nintendo since the late 70s, so he has been with Nintendo for over 30, not 20 years. Miyamoto was about 24 years old when he was hired by the previous president, Hiroshi Yamamoto. He did not focus on school very much, and he only got hired because a family member was a friend of Yamamoto's. He got in through luck-of-the-draw networking and a good first impression, not raw talent, previous experience, or hard work. That would be an impossibly lucky situation these days... He also needed a few years of on-the-job training before developing his artistic talents later on, with Donkey Kong.



StarDust4Ever said:

I used to dream of making my own mario leels when I was a kid, until I downloaded some Mario level editors to hack my own Mario levels. It is really a pain playing a level a dozen times, trying to see whether or not the enemies spawn in the right places, of if moving platform elements line up properly. And that is even dealing with a near-flawless game engine. I'd hate to see what kind of hacked, thrown together mess it must be like for the developers, attempting to play through levels on a broken physics engine, just trying to manipulate the hexadecimal values so that Mario can run and jump properly.

The real question is, after working on the same game engine for two years, would I be so sick of debugging it, to even still have the desire to pick up the retail copy in the store to play on my own tine? I probably wouldn't even want to look at games in my own freetime.

I've heard it before, when a fun hobby becomes a career, it ceases to be fun or hobby anymore.



motang said:

Must be nice, I nearly don't have enough time to play that much per day though I would love to.

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