News Article

Warren Spector: Underestimate Nintendo "At Your Peril"

Posted by Andy Green

Industry veteran is weighing up his options

The Wii U has been navigating stormy seas since its launch late last year but with new games on the horizon Nintendo will hope its new system begins to pick up some solid momentum.

One industry veteran who has always been enthusiastic about Nintendo is Warren Spector - the man behind such titles as Deus Ex and Epic Mickey.

In an interview with GameSpot, he spoke of how the industry is a better place with Nintendo in it:

I think we need a company that's dedicated to games. Every time I visit Nintendo, I'm relieved to have spent time in a place where you can just feel how much everyone loves games. And, really, how many times have people written Nintendo off? I think you underestimate them at your peril.

Spector most recently headed up Junction Point, which sadly closed its doors for good earlier this year. Since then he's been staying at home waiting to get bored - after all he has been working for 30 years.

I didn't want to go out and look for anything, but I spread the word that I'd talk to anybody who wanted to talk to me - from startup to multinational corporation. I'd listen and if the perfect thing showed up, I'd do it.

It seems that perfect opportunity hasn't come up just yet, but we could see Spector make a return pretty soon as he confirmed he is in talks with several parties:

I'm talking to some people and seeing how perfect the opportunities are. You may see me coming back soon. Or you may not. I’m playing it by ear.

What are your thoughts on Spector's enthusiasm for Nintendo? Let us know in the comment section below.


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User Comments (45)



DESS-M-8 said:

Warren Spector's resume holds nothing but quality, even the epic mickey games were excellent, the problem with them was..... Mickey. He's not been a massive draw for a longtime, especially in video games, and I doubt he ever will be again. This isn't a slight on Disney as I believe if the tie ins such as wreck it Ralph and so on had been made by a better company, they would have sold very well. Disney to one side, seeing what warren Spector does next will be interesting, I just hope whatever it may be, we see it on wii u



HeatBombastic said:

I'm a fan of Warren Spector, and I agree with most he says. I really hope that his next game will be able to make it to a Nintendo console, I'd really love to experience it.

And for those who'll say, "But the PS4 about the games, too", I think he was speaking of the company itself. Sony has divisions focused on movies, music, video games, and tech. Nintendo, right now, is a video game company.



Whopper744 said:

Personally I don't think Mickey himself (as a character) wasn't the problem. I try not to be too picky on games, but Epic Mickey 2 was almost unplayable at some points on the Wii U due to slow down and bad camera issues. Also, gravity seemed to increase at random times for me when in the middle of a jump.

I hope the best for the guy. Maybe even see him as a part of Nintendo.



Morph said:

Nintendo should get in touch and get him to devlop for wii u, either give him a current ip to work with or give him free reign to develop something new



TomJ said:

And, really, how many times have people written Nintendo off?
Oh, more than you think :



AltDotNerd said:

How can people even underestimate Nintendo in the first place? Microsoft and Sony are ELECTRONICS companies; Nintendo is an actual VIDEO GAME company. They've been in this buisness for over 30 years, they have the best first-party support, bar none. And all their games are hardcore, insane-difficulty games hidden behind a kid-friendly image. Nowadays, Mario is more recognizable that Mickey Mouse (ironic this article is about Warren Spector).



Varia01 said:

Glad to see that a popular creator appreciates Nintendo. I read something in the Game Informer saying that Miyamoto Shigeru put a hand on Spector's shoulder, and that gave Spector the idea for a game. That game was Epic Mickey 2, I think.



LonDonE said:

jack tretton one of the higher ups at Sony famously said at last years E3 about wii-u, "that he would never bet against Nintendo" he knows full well Nintendo are very shrewd and know what they are doing when it comes to the topic of video games, i think to have one of your competitors executive leaders saying something like this says allot, Nintendo should never be underestimated!!



MrGawain said:

I agree you can never count Nintendo out, but to say "A your peril"?

Seriously, if you say Nintendo are going to fail and then they bring out the greatest game ever, what's going to happen to you?

They'll unleash the Triforce on you?



hYdeks said:

Thanks Warren for saying this, your the man Nintendo has so much innovation into there products and games, and have such a dedicated fan base there people that flame Nintendo and there fans just sound dumb at times. I sold my Vita today for a 3DS XL, why, because it has games and I love the dual screen. The Vita is a nice hardware and all, but it still feels like Sony just doesn't get it.



aaronsullivan said:

I totally disagree with you. There just wasn't anything fun to do in the game. It was startlingly run-of-the-mill for the time I spent playing it. The idea of paint and thinner sounds fun until you use it and find out it's just a way to switch things on and off so you can jump on them. The process itself is not fun.



ricklongo said:

@MrGawain He was talking about companies/players in the video game industry. They have very much to lose if they underestimate a company and then it turns out that company comes out on top.



Meaty-cheeky said:

@Morph I agree, Nintendo and Warren need to work together on a new project. Also the video game industry needs more visionaries, and less corporate and marketing suits telling us what they think we should be playing.



Auracle said:

@ngamer155 - What can I say? It's a classic.

But seriously, it seems foolish to underestimate Nintendo. They've been around the proverbial block a couple of times and have consistently provided quality games. However, Nintendo shouldn't get cocky itself and underestimate its competition.



bunnyking said:

A lot of us Wii U owners already know how good it is now that the initial launch period is over. I'm pretty sure it will get a price drop and in just two weeks we will have our hands on Mario Kart.

Of course I will still get a PS4.



QuickSilver88 said:

@Dreamcaster-X amazing when somebody outside of Nintendo doesn't check in until #16 with GTA on PS2 (which BTW had 150mil user base). Most impreesive was Mario on NES and Tetris on GB....the universe of gamers was cosmiderably smaller back then. Aother thong to note is the diversity in types of games they have made best sellers out of. I laugh at all the people who thing Nintendo is going the way pf Sega....lno when they are so succesful selling systems and games. Whats great about Nintendo is how their huge successes allow them to take risks and do seires/titles and even accesories that no one else would deliver.



Dreamcaster-X said:

@QuickSilver88 Exactly. Nintendo is an extremely profitable company %99 of the time. They're sitting on billions and billions of cash reserves with zero debt. They can easily release 2-3 more "failed" consoles before going out of business.
Alot of gamers don't look at the financial side of this industry. Sony & Microsoft may sell more consoles but they're not that profitable. They're so busy spending millions/billions battling each other that Nintendo just sits back, watches them and keeps making amazing games while reaping in huge profits. Yet all people seem to care about is who's number one. Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank.
If you were to ask me 100 times which one of the 3 companies will still be around in 20 years making video games/consoles I would tell you Nintendo every single time. It's what they do baby!!



WesGrogan said:

Writing off Nintendo -
Donkey Kong - It's a stupid name. It'll never sell.
Game & Watch - The gameplay is too limited. It'll never sell.
NES - The day of the video game is over. It'll never sell.
Gameboy - Mono graphics on that little screen? It'll never sell.
Super Nintendo - There's too much competition like the MegaDrive. It'll never sell.
Virtual Boy - Red LEDs and 3D? It'll never sell. (and they were right)
N64 - Cartridges? It's all about CD now. And look at that controller! It'll never sell.
Gameboy Advance - Still two buttons? No backlight? It'll never sell.
Gameboy Advance SP - No headphone port? It'll never sell.
Gamecube - Haha Nintendo is kids and look at those small discs and no internet? It'll never sell!
Wii - It's so underpowered and waggling is stupid! It'll never sell.
Wii U - Who wants a second screen and it's not really next-gen. It'll never sell.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Wii U Launch Sales (4-week): 1,800,000
PlayStation 3 Launch Sales (4-week): 540,000
Xbox 360 Launch Sales (4-week): 940,000
Wii Launch Sales (4-week): 2,000,000
PS2 Sales DURING PS3 LAUNCH: 664,000

Yet, journalists seem to forget these numbers all the time. Underestimate them indeed!!



Slapshot said:

Underestimating Nintendo is one thing that nobody in the industry should ever do!



cdawg said:

Put him to work inside retro studios. Nintendo should help both him and retro grow into a power house that delivers top Nintendo exclusive titles.



LavaTwilight said:

I'm a fan of Nintendo, not just because "It's Nintendo" but because they make great games! I'm a fan of really good games and it's difficult to find them elsewhere! It truly is. The moment Nintendo stop making good games is the moment I'm likely to buy a different system. I've only just procured a PS3 now that there's enough decent games (with the release of The Last Of Us) to justify it. I got a Wii within the first year and the WiiU on day one. Go figure!



NintyMan said:

This is one of the big reasons why I think Nintendo puts so much charm in their games. Nintendo is purely a video game company. Microsoft and Sony also deal with computers and other forms of entertainment, whereas Nintendo is solely focused on games and game consoles.



BlackStar9000 said:

@MrGawain hes talking about game developers/publishers/investors, they will be sorry they didnt support nintendo systems as they grow and make more money which will leave them left out of the benefits



WesGrogan said:

@LavaTwilight - okee dokee
Donkey Kong - It's a stupid name. It'll never sell.Saved NoA, 60,000 units and $180,000,000 earned. That's 1981 money, baby.
Game & Watch - The gameplay is too limited. It'll never sell. Manufactured for 11 years, introduced the "D" pad to gaming, 60 titles total.
NES - The day of the video game is over. It'll never sell. Snuck into the U.S. through the R.O.B. trojan horse, manufactured for 20 years and turned video gaming into the billion dollar industry it is today.
Gameboy - Mono graphics on that little screen? It'll never sell. Beat out the more advanced Game Gear and Atari Lynx through two selling factors - good games and better battery life. Being bundled with Tetris didn't hurt.
Super Nintendo - There's too much competition like the MegaDrive. It'll never sell. Launched with Super Mario World and Super Metroid. Thanks to Donkey Kong Country it even managed to go head to head with the Playstation and other 32-bit consoles. Whether Sega or Nintendo won that generation depends on who you ask, but both did phenomenally, and Nintendo made fewer mistakes.
Virtual Boy - Red LEDs and 3D? It'll never sell. (and they were right)
N64 - Cartridges? It's all about CD now. And look at that controller! It'll never sell. Goldeneye 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and on and on and on. Not a big seller during its generation, but has aged much more gracefully than the Playstation, and won over many after its generation was over.
Gameboy Advance - Still two buttons? No backlight? It'll never sell. Super Mario Advance and multiple excellent Metroid games, along with better programming to compensate for the lack of a backlight, led to the Gameboy Advance selling almost 40,000,000 units.
Gameboy Advance SP - No headphone port? It'll never sell. The addition of the backlight along with a clever clamshell design to help protect the screen meant the SP would sell 43.5 million units, doubling GBA sales.
Gamecube - Haha Nintendo is kids and look at those small discs and no internet? It'll never sell! Outlasting the Dreamcast, the Gamecube went head to head against the legendary Playstation 2 as well as the first Xbox, it gave us games such as Super Mario Sunshine, Zelda: WInd Waker and Twilight Princess, Luigi's Mansion, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II and other great titles to lead to 21 million sales.. last in its generation, but every console was sold at a profit.
Wii - It's so underpowered and waggling is stupid! It'll never sell. The little console that could, it sold three million units in just the first four months of its release, selling 99.84 million units as of now and easily Nintendo's best selling home console - and all were sold at a profit.
Nintendo DS - Two screens? Har har gameNwatch! Who wants two screens? It'll never sell. Plain and simple - 154,000,000 sold, second only to the PS2 for all-time greatest sales. And yes, there was a profit on each unit.
Wii U - Who wants a second screen and it's not really next-gen. It'll never sell. The story is still unwritten, but the future of the console should be pretty clear by the end of 2013, when it goes head to head with the PS4 and Xbox One and has some AAA first-party games to defend it.



bassoongoon said:

As long as Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are all making consoles, people will continue to trash on and underestimate Nintendo. C'est la vie.



AltDotNerd said:

Thanks. Why the hell would Ash give up the ONLY Squirtle that wore Boss Shades?!
(And before anyone says "Well, there were 4 other Squirtles...) WRONG! They all evolved into Wartortles and did not wear shades.



AltDotNerd said:

@WesGrogan Damn straight!
But you forgot the colored Game Boys (Pocket) that were released as a joke while everyone was waiting for the Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Pockets sold like hot cakes because Nintendo introduced "personality" to consoles, a first for the industry.
And the Game Boy Color? 4 games sum up how awesome it was/is.
●Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
●Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
●Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
●Pokemon Crystal Version



WesGrogan said:

@AltDotNerd Not forgotten as much as skipped over. The kinda just added to the legacy of the Gameboy Brick, in my opinion without significantly changing the hardware. I loved my Gameboy Pocket and cherished my translucent shell! Thanks for the additions, though!



NintyMan said:

@WesGrogan: You forgot about the 3DS, but excellant summary of Nintendo history! Those naysayers have a terrible track record; only being right 1 out of 13 or 14 times, and that one time was just Nintendo being impatient with the Virtual Boy. Why listen to them?



WesGrogan said:

@Dev - The 3DS is just so complicated! At first, the 3D was a gimmick and it's just a slightly better DS and it'll never sell. At first, they were absolutely correct. It had rubbish games and rubbish sales, and the marketing was extremely lacking. But then... it took off! Now it is essentially like printing money, Having sold 30 million units so far, it looks to continue to dominate the handheld market over the more powerful Vita (but then, in handheld land the most powerful product tends to lose).



JuanitoShet said:

Never in my life have I doubted Nintendo's ability to deliver. They've been a part of me my whoke life, and I'm pretty sure it'll always be that way.




LavaTwilight said:

Hey you don't need to tell me I was there for pretty much all of it! I was kinda joking but thanks for some of that research! Nintendo will just keep getting stronger!



WesGrogan said:

@LavaTwilight Haha I wish I could say there was a lot of research involved, but most of it was just from my own memories. Started with the VCS and haven't stopped yet! Still, it was a great reason to share it with others that might not have known.

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