News Article

Miyamoto: Nintendo Focused on Fun, Not Competition

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Worried about reliance on guns in gaming

Shigeru Miyamoto's reputation and prominence in the gaming industry means that his opinion is sought on a large number of issues, not always those specific to Nintendo itself. As the recognisable face for Mario and the company, he often reflects the opinions and ideology shared by his colleagues, so it's not surprising that his assessment of some current gaming trends isn't particularly positive.

In an interview with IGN, Miyamoto addresses the current prominence of first and third-person shooters on the market.

Sometimes I get worried about the continued reliance on making games that are so centered around guns, and that there are so many of these games. I have a hard time imagining – particularly for young generations of gamers – how they sit down and play and interact with that.

Previous forms of media, like books, made it easy for parents to know and understand what they’re buying for their children. With the transition into digital mediums it becomes more difficult for parents to have a full grasp of what’s going on. From a game developer’s standpoint it’s important to take that into account.

When asked about his role as 'Mr Nintendo' in public appearances, including the highly competitive environment at E3, Miyamoto's response was to emphasize his own priorities for games and his work.

It’s something that’s tough for me to objectively look at, and I think to me, what’s most important, is that I don’t betray the trust that people have in me. At a show like this, it’s my job to show we’re all having fun. People come to E3 and they want to talk about competition and who won the show, and all these companies combating one another.

But what we’re meant to be doing is bringing fun to the world. So rather than focusing on competition, I feel it’s my job to go up on stage and show how I can bring fun to the world by having fun myself.

While Wii U will have its share of shooters, do you feel that the gaming landscape is dominated by those kinds of titles?


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User Comments (79)



HipsterDashie said:

I like FPS games as much as the next guy (massive Halo fan) but I can't help but agree with Miyamoto here. The industry seems to be very heavily reliant on shooters lately, in fact I feel that's almost exclusively what my Xbox is used for. Which is why I play Wii so much, because it's nice to be able to play something a little more different and fun.



Mk_II said:

The man once again proves he earned his reputation. I wholeheartedly agree: gaming should be fun. That's why i love Nintendo and Miyamoto and abhor all the pumped-up testosterone-laden slugfests that dominate the other consoles.



TKOWL said:

So I see his definition of fun is shelling out the same minigame collections and platformers every single year.



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

He's not saying shooters can't be fun and focused on competition, he's saying E3 can't be fun and focused on competition.
I think.



DreamOn said:

Miyamoto believes games should contain an element of goodness or virtue in them. He's very religious about it in a sense. We all kow people want guns and guns will sell, but his question I believe is: should they be given guns? Although the simulation of killing in ways that mirror reality appeal to the carnal mind in many, it's not necessarily healthy or good.



RVN said:

MOBA's and FPS's are the future of gaming

unless someone comes up with a way to make a competitive multiplayer out of CERTAIN platforming franchise~



ueI said:

I mostly agree with him, though I think it's harder for parents to keep tabs on books than on video games.



warioswoods said:

"But what we’re meant to be doing is bringing fun to the world."

Perfectly stated. Ideas for gaming should take more inspiration from the world of toys, less from the world of action movies. Miyamoto still understands this, even while the rest of the industry keeps losing its focus.



bezerker99 said:

The only shooter I truly enjoyed was GoldenEye 007 for N64. Outside of that, they can all jump into a hot fire.



Nin-freak said:

I wonder if that Pikmin Miyamoto is holding will have a NFC role in Pikmin 3? Sorry, random thought



alLabouTandroiD said:

Man, i really like how he talks about competiton. Why badmouth someone when all that matters really is what you've got on offer.

He wants to make games that everyone can play and with Zelda, Mario and Pikmin he's done outstanding work in that regard.
While i love these games can also be more thought-provoking / edgy. I want these. And i don't care if there's a gun involved or not.

Also what @ueI(#13) said. Books should be the most difficult media to tackle for parents since these don't have age ratings on their covers. Apart from that: if your kid secretly consumes media that's probably not appropriate what can you do about it, really.



steamhare said:

Although I agree that more games should be made without using guns as a "crutch" (they do tend to force a certain style of gameplay, afterall), I also think that books are one of the harder mediums for parents to supervise. Sure, most parents can read any book aimed at their children in less than half a day, but they are the least restricted media (to their benefit).



Shotgunryugan said:

Aside from the Resident Evil and Metroid franchise i don't really care for shooters(well except for old school Duke Nukem and Doom games).



MAB said:

I have said it before, now even the genius Mr Miyamoto backs me up yes I will be getting ZombiU and not because its FPS but because its survival horror



grimbldoo said:

I agree with Myamoto, there are so many FPS's on the other two consoles and half of them aren't even fun.

@Nick-Clegg #6
Nintendo [is] the king of fun or Nintendo are the king[s] of fun.

@battLeToaD #17
Books for sell and in the library are separated by age group, a parent would know if a book is considered to be child friendly of not.



luminalace said:

While sometimes I would love to see what Retro could do if allowed to do a FPS, I am so happy that Nintendo marches to the beat of it's own drum.



19Robb92 said:

Well they do a great job at providing amazing gameplay for most of their titles. So I'd say they're doing a pretty good job if that's what they're aiming for.

But I'm hoping they will provide some good visuals as well with the new WiiU tech. Can't wait to see the next Zelda, 3D Mario or Metroid on the WiiU system.



spidey1010 said:

This article is 100% why I'm a Nintendo fanboy and have actually bought Nintendo stock.



Lyndexer said:

Miyamoto is someone you can look at and say, "hey what he is doing and what he's saying is the right thing". He is always on topic. I can see why he didn't make Mario a first or third person shooter.



Kyloctopus said:

Miyamoto should bring back the X series for 3DS. I loved X-Scape, I really want to see X for Virtual Console, and it would be cool if there was something like "X-Treme" or simply "XIII"



darkgamer001 said:

Well, the article ends with this question - "Do you feel that the gaming landscape is dominated by those kinds of titles?"
They have not just dominated the market, they have over-saturated it with these kinds of titles. I think it could eventually lead to people moving on to another genre (hopefully), but I guess we'll have to wait and see



Onett said:

Finding a good balance between fun and competitive would be nice. I don't want every single one of my games feeling like a luck based minigame from Mario Party. However, I will agree with how overly reliant developers are with shooters these days but then again, it sells. It is the sad truth.



WingedSnagret said:

Hence why Nintendo is my favorite (and only) gaming company. There is so much more variety with them, they have something for pretty much everyone! Unlike Sony and Microsoft who have almost nothing but modern day war simulator and zombie apocalypse games anymore... Neither of which I care for.



Samholy said:

yeah, there are way too many call of duties every year.
seriously, i need my dose of shooting, but i usually choose of of them and stick with it for a long while. shooting with a gang of friends is huge fun.
I dont want to own 3 consoles, i want on ly one in my living room. it costs a lot of money, i have a family,house,car to pay. bills too, freaking bills.

if nintendo dont have the shooting experience i need with my boys, then perhaps...nintendo will fail. This year we chose battlefield 3 on PS3 and didnt stop playing it yet. if nintendo tells us there is going to be the bext battlefield, and wont crap it out like they did with call of duty, then perhpas we will choose wiiU for our next years of shooting.

so far, the next playstation seems to be a wise choice. and nintendo wont give me the next god of war ! the next infamous! the next ratchet and clank !



Samholy said:

clearly you dont own a playstation 3.
exclusive titles of the ps3 are worth it. Infamous is insanely fun. god of war is simply astonishing. (ultra violent of course, maybe too much. but wwwoooooowwww its impressive)
ratchet and clank should have gone with nintendo, but they chose sony. one of my favourite franchise ever.
how about assassin creeds, twisted metal, UNCHARTED; freaking UNCHARTED;little big planet (which should have been on nintendo too for its cuteness, but nintendo failed the pixar looking power)
Then how about fat princess. Awesomenauts,Journey,Flower,SquareEnix titles like final fantasies, deus ex,dragon dogma,skyrim; FREAKING SKYRIM. Heavy rain, mirror edge and etc and etc.

none of them are war sims, all of them are fantastic. saying sony is about war sims is a LIE and clearly say that you dont know what you are talking about.



Samholy said:

and mind that I love nintendo's philosophy. and i truly plan to get a WiiU simply to be able to play coop with my family, my girls, my girlfriend.
but i hope they keep a reasonable price.
im not a sony fanboy, but they seriously owned the other consoles over time. Nintendo should have launched the WiiU years ago along with the ps3 and 360.



LavaTwilight said:

Miyamoto isn't saying he doesn't 'compete' - he is after all a business man! But what he's saying is that E3 isn't about competition, the games market in general isn't about competition it's about fun. FPS's can be fun but when you're making an FPS or playing an FPS just BECAUSE it's an FPS well then that's just retarded! That's like buying a minigame collection just BECAUSE it's a minigame collection. And that's not what Nintendo are about. Sure they have bad minigame collections but then there are bad FPS games.
Also what he's saying if you read his comments are that there's too much violence. Links Crossbow Training is an FPS but it's hardly what one would call 'violent'.
Everyone has an opinion on almost everything but what he's saying is the video games market is saturated with these types of games and it can't be good on young minds. Fair enough if people here are mature enough to handle it and distinguish between a computer game and reality but there are a lot of people who can't.



kyuubikid213 said:

"I have a hard time imagining – particularly for young generations of gamers – how they sit down and play and interact with that."

This coming from the man who gave us nightmares with Redeads...
I do agree that there are too many shooters on the market... However, they are still fun.



Linkuini said:

Sure, amid the deluge of FPS games you can find plenty of games that think outside the usual framework – Bioshock, Portal, and the Fallout series come to mind. That doesn't mean that we need quite as many FPS games as we're currently seeing, though. We're in a rut right now, the same way we were back in the 16-bit days when we were drowning in platformers. I love platformers, but I don't want to live in a world where games as worthless as Bubsy Bobcat and Punky Skunk get in the way of progress.



MitchVogel said:

I agree with him that there are too many shooters. I love to play me a good game of Call of Duty every once in awhile, but shooters are just beginning to saturate the market. I think that if a second video game industry crash were to happen, shooter games would not be entirely to blame, but they would still be a big cause.



Nintendude789 said:

Miyamoto can make a shooter game very diferent! He always makes original games. So I think Miyamoto can do the FPS games with his own ideas.
Remember: TOKSO or whaterver you spell it, Creating Sonthing unike. (fail spelling)



Korbin64 said:

I completely agree with Miyamoto. There's just too many first-person shooters in today's game market.
My first "violent" game was Super Smash Bros. Melee; up until that point I only played a few games on the Gameboy, so this blew my mind. When I first played a Zelda game (Wind Waker) my reality was shattered by the hyoi pear. When I first played Call of Duty I was bored out of my mind. There was nothing to keep me interested. It's not that war doesn't interest me, but shooter games just don't have the kind of fun that Nintendo games have. If it were up to me the world's greatest "shooter franchise" would be Metroid Prime (yes, I know it's an action series); it solves a need for violence, puzzle solving, and over-all button-mashin' fun. Shooters are usually just too linear; you move from one objective to the next by killing everything.



FonistofCruxis said:

I like some shooters but not the realistic war shooters and I agree that there are too many of them these days.



Cloud-San-VII said:

I hate most (well, mostly the newer ones) FPSs these days. They are overused, repetitive, and when you really get to it, they are bland.
Take for example a CoD game (which I have been hating for a bit): you play it for 2 weeks saying "Oh, this is the best game ever! Microsoft (and sometimes Sony) is better than Sony (or Microsoft) and/or Nintendo, they're so babyish! This is better than all other genres!" Then "I'M BBBOOORRREEEDDD!!!!!!" and you only play it every once in a while. You need to continuously release DLC to keep them happy, or they will complain like there's no tomorrow. I don't complain about violence, but there's no point in this, it's (mostly) garbage.
Compare this to a Zelda and see what would happen: "Wow! Look at all the awesome.. oh no, a Moblin is attacking me! Hey look, he had the key and SO MUCH RUPEES!! Now to battle the boss and.. OH NO, I died." Nowadays kids are introduced to so much of this garbage that we call FPS (again, not all are bad, just a lot are) that not only are they becoming stupid, lazy, and negligent, but are becoming slaves to corporations.
Miyamoto is right and should be proud for speaking up for this noble cause. And since he is a major influence, maybe there could be hope. I would love for him to make that FPS he talked about, as long as it has that Nintendo feel to it.
I enjoy some of the Halo games and a few others, but most are annoying and overused.



Samholy said:

too many shooters yeah. the best way is to simply ignore them and play those that are worthy.
like i said, i chose ONE shooter (online) to invest time in it. one that after a couple of months, youll be good at it for real. ignore the rest. maybe some will be interesting along the way, but mainly because they either have split screen coop (resistance 3) or simply are genius work. theyre rare. i cant find any for the next year to come, unless you count ''The last of us'' as a shooter ?



lanabanana said:

I agree with him. Let the third parties focus on shooting games. Nintendo should keep doing their own thing. I just wish they had Resident Evil games on Wii U...



NintyMan said:

This man speaks the truth. Today, there are too many FPSs and they fill up the game libraries of Microsoft and Sony consoles. It's good to have variety. Shooters aren't my cup of tea, but I don't bash them much like shooting fans do Nintendo games. However, it does make me wonder what goes through some of those gamers' minds when they get immersed in that stuff, especially gamers like tweens that are too young for such games. On this, I can relate to Miyamoto.

If it wasn't for the element of fun, there would be no point in being in the video game industry. It's the duty of a video game company to produce games that are fun and appeal to all potential players so they can profit in return. It's refreshing that Miyamoto doesn't care for the competitive nature of the industry and focuses on just having fun. Being competitive and negative leaves a sour taste in peoples' mouths. Showing the world that you are having fun as well as providing fun can show the world how you really are and should be. I'm reminded again why I admire Miyamoto.



Hokori said:

Shooters arnt that great and those games save your progress every 30 sec, so theres little thinking involved, and plus they ar the same game every year, the most innovative game on other consoles last year was Skyrim and even that did feel good, it music is meh but people seem to prase it, the gameplay isn't as good as Zelda IMHO either



PuzzleMaster7 said:

I don't even think I own a FPS game, but that is not the future of Nintendo anyways. Nintendo has always been the fun console for families for decades, and that is where they should stay. Family games have been their long term plans which have led them to their success and will for generations to come.



thanos316 said:

competiton is fun. golden eye was fun for the n64 and that was a great shooter. fps games are fun, but some are not. and not all sports games are fun either. i like to play a good fps once in a while. ninty needs to be careful at their stance on gaming. they missed the beat with the n64 vs ps generation and i feel that they are being a lil stubbron now. they are too much competition out there right now to be complacent. fun games are cool, but i want good creative different games. lets hope ninty gets this right



Slapshot said:

Blame the developers for children playing games that are clearly rated for a Mature audience. Heck, thanks to the ESRB it's even labeled right there on the box for the parents to see.

Put the blame where it belongs: parents!



Token_Girl said:

It's not anything against shooters, just like movies different audiences need different things. Pixar movies are "kids" movies, but everyone can find them enjoyable. Same with Nintendo games. Graphic action movies can certainly be good, but they're not for everyone. He just has a different focus than the M rated game developers do.

The problem is that there are still a lot of technologically inept and neglectful parents who don't understand how different the libraries are between an Xbox360 and the "Nintendo-box" that babysat them as a kid.



DrDaisy said:

You know what would be really fun?! If Shigeru Miyamoto permanently retired!! Most of the games he's been involved with lately are boring and/or annoying. They need to cut-out Mario's voice box and quit shoving motion controls on us!



doctor_doak said:

and so they should be..

Like many others, I was fairly bemused by the fact that virtually every AAA game trailer shown off at E3 displayed over-the top violence with little if no context. They were violent for the sake of being violent..

It's pretty sad that this is all big game developers can come up with, and even sadder for us the consumers for buying and playing these games in the millions..

That's why i'm looking forward to this new console so I can get some games that are light-hearted and fun, but still presenting a decent challenge.

I don't see the likes of Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell, The Last of Us and Dead Space, etc.. doing any of those things. Would not be upset at all if none of those games made it to the Wii U because they are boring.



ThreadShadow said:

Thank you Miyamoto! Your part of E3 was the best part of E3!

I can hardly wait to play your First-Person Exploration game for Wii U featuring two gamepad co-op!




There have been a bit of developers getting this kind of opinion as well, and I feel the same way. I advocate for more child-friendly games in the market and more variance in types of games.

When I mean child friendly, I mean any games that a child can play with little or no harmful effects of cognitive dissonance. Preferrably, make games that both a adult and child can play so that any irresponsible parent doesn't get Halo for their child (children under 7 years would be better off doing other stuff).



Jaco said:

I totally agree with you and have had similar experiances, having grown up with the magic of Nintendo over the years, playing most FPS feel...uninspired, bland. But heres something thats interesting, it was actually miyamoto's idea to make metroid prime a FPS , so what i think the king of games is trying to say is that the market is full of these uninspired fps experiences and that they tend to go more for effect (of violence) than really improving gameplay. Thats just my opinion, i do enjoy some fps....some...



Gamesake said:

Fun is the one thing Sony can't seem to copy. Tell me Nintendo's not being competitive.



Supereor said:

What game are you finding boring? Just do what I do; look at the best points about a game, and obsessively focus on those points, while barely remembering there is bad points to that game (;



Kage_88 said:

Miyamoto-san's thoughts seem to echo the recent comments of Warren Spector.

I don't think he's saying violent 1st/3rd person shooters can't be fun (Metroid & Goldeneye should attest to that), or that they don't have a place in gaming - but rather, this obsession over guns 'n gore has taken mainstream gaming hostage (which I agree).

So many games these days feature a generic hero with a buzzcut, who is likely named 'Jack Mason' (or something), and who is funneled down linear environments packed with shallow, Hollywood-aping set pieces. Oh, and there is always a chick who provides support over the radio. And the game is powered by Unreal 3.

It's understandable in a way - development costs are skyrocketing, and publishers need a sure-thing that will sell. And mindless violence sells, apparantly. However, non-violent IPs such as Mario, Wii Fit, Pokemon, Guitar Hero and Angry Birds prove that there is a market out there for those kinds of games. Additionally, even creative titles such as Minecraft, Fez and Heavy Rain can be respectable sellers.



luminalace said:


Yes I know about Metroid Prime Trilogy but remember when Goldeneye 64 won over even the Nintendo haters?

Nintendo should keep doing what they do best but their 2nd parties should also be allowed to try things outside the stable of Nintendo franchises.

It doesn't have to be Retro but those guys are awesome!



SomeBitTripFan said:

Well put Miyamoto. I feel as if games really do just center around violence and some gore to finish it off. What really is sad though is how the average 5 year old where I live is primarily playing some gore filled murder-fest of a game. Also, great point to whoever mentioned parent letting their children play such games. I truly wish the 16 bit era could exist again but, from what I see that style of game is gone.




Can't go back to dual analogue FPSs now. Its like writing a word document with a quill and ink instead of a pen or even a word processor on a laptop. I want the wiimote point and shoot mechanic and that only.

Anyway, as for fum. Miyamoto as mostly is the cas is spot on. Too many of the real gaming hardcore don't seem to enjoy gaming and more seem to need/want the fix like in an addiction. Gaming is about fun folks, remember?




I tried a fair few shooters on my wii and enjoyed the all. I only have the Zelda Crossbow, Sin and Punishment "2" and Ghsit Squad remaining from my various culs over the years. The latter however, is the only real FPS though I guess.



Samholy said:

i cant believe you said that. do you own a ps3 ? did you ever tried a ratchet and clank game ?
infamous and god of war gave me insane doses of fun and challenges.

not only nintendo can give you fun . its only different kind of fun



Samholy said:

noooo dont say that about dual analog hahaha
this cant be serious. really. the wiimotes as fps controls is a gadget, but nothing as precise as dual analogue.

the best so far is mouse and keyboard of course.

but really, dont be silly. the wiimote is not responsive. ever tried knect or psmove ? this is much more responsive, and yet, dont manage et surpass what the dual analogue can give you.

just learn to use dual analogue. its harder, but in the end, its much more precise and responsive. of course, you can still shoot on PC with a keyboard and mouse which makes things even smoother and ultra precise.



DrDaisy said:

@Apple The flying controls in Skyward Sword were unnecessarily frustrating thanks to mandatory motion controls when the control stick would have sufficed. Even with the sword, motions controls pretty much sucked most of the fun out of Skyward Sword.
The latest Mario Party games were annoying and drab. The controls in Super Mario Galaxy 2 were not improved upon from the first game. I used to think Bowser Jr. was kind of cool, but I've gotten so sick of him after the last few games. Mario's voice since Super Mario 64 and Mario's Game Gallery is just deplorable and there's no way to turn it off without losing the music and sound effects along with it.



amri_rizqi said:

mainstream FPS is boring ... this world need something fresh, like SD FPS or Mario FPS? lol



Sam_Loser2 said:

Shooters are really widespread, and there seems to be precious little difference in them. Not my kind of game, so I don't have the best opinion.



Phle said:

Who can ever dislike that guy? Such a cute smile and he's holding a fluffy toy I want...

Kids around where I live seems to be a bit too much controlled by their parents, as they aren't even allowed to play Pokémon Global Link at an age above 10 so I would say, some parents are overprotective. It's just as damaging to the kids as not giving them any limits at all. There is a line in between there that the parents should look for. There are plenty of non violent games around, ones without guns, very suitable for kids, so I don't see any problems at all really.



Henmii said:

I agree about the guns, or violence as a whole. On the other consoles there is really a battle going on about who can deliver the most violent game ever. Why must everything be so violent? What's wrong with cheery stuff like Mario/Sonic/Kirby/etc?! Or a good adventure title like Zelda?!



Korbin64 said:

@DrDaisy: I also challenge the other stuff said in the other comment said after the Shigeru Miyamoto comment.
Not only did you insult Miyamoto, but also Eiji Aunoma and Satoru Iwata!
Next you'll say that Metroid is a terrible franchise, or the gameboy is a worthless trinket... and by extension insult Gunpei Yokoi!

NINTENDO #1 FOREVER! Don't hate the masters for their genius!

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