News Article

Shigeru Miyamoto Explains Structure To Ensure First-Party Quality From Subsidiaries

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We want to leverage the capabilities of Retro Studios further"

With third-party support for Wii U, beyond the Winter at least, practically on hold as companies wait to see a bump in the system's sales, Nintendo is stepping into the breach with an extensive range of first-party games. Some are from Nintendo's internal teams in Japan, some are from second-party subsidiaries, and there are two notable examples from third-party PlatinumGames that the big N is publishing. It's a significant workload and test for the company.

In an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto explained how the company was working hard on its development structures to allow revered studios such as EAD Tokyo to produce more, by "working with partner companies and subsidiaries in a way that allows the Tokyo studio to run more projects".

Naturally the question came to how these subsidiaries and third-parties will be used the most effectively. One quote sure to please fans is a desire to "leverage the capabilities of Retro Studios further", with Miyamoto citing its work on the Metroid series as evidence it's a "very capable studio". In terms of wider details, Miyamoto explained that whereas partners may have been given a fair amount of freedom in the past, Nintendo is working to use more diverse resources while — through assigned internal producers — having a direct link to Kyoto that controls the quality of each studio's output.

In the past, we had what we called the collaboration projects, which were sort of like an outside company almost doing a cover of our games with their own studios. The determination that we’ve come to more recently is that we prefer to have an internal Nintendo producer who’s there to oversee any outside development work that’s happening, to make sure that it’s in line with what we expect out of our games. I guess in one sense, some of those outside companies that we worked with, they also have a tendency to continue to work on the same projects over time. They tend to look more like internal companies or internal partners than they really actually are.

The development style that we have with those companies [such as Retro Studios and Next Level Games] is much closer to our own internal development style. It allows us to expand our resources.

We've perhaps seen the benefits of this approach, with our own Next Level Games and Nintendo interview highlighting a significant level of collaboration; that game, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, has been one of the standout 3DS titles of 2013.

Shigeru Miyamoto also stated that Nintendo is gradually increasing its internal staffing over time. So what do you think of these comments? Do you think these tactics and development structures will help the company deliver plenty of high quality games across Wii U and 3DS? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.


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User Comments (41)



Dr_42o said:

The main affect is that games seem to take longer to happen.. It would be great if Nintendo scooped up a few high lvl well know developers to join the "internal" team. Someone who has lots of experience bringing HD gen AAA titles would be nice.



darkfenrir said:

Seems like a good thing, since that means they are going to make more games, and with the quality control, making quality games too.



Varia01 said:

Nintendo probably does need this support due to the pace they have been losing recently. Another good motive.

METROID?! Perhaps a hint for a new Metroid game.... Oh ho ho ho, yeah! Come on Retro, Metroid for the Wii U!



darkfenrir said:

@Dr_42o :S I can't say anything about the game since I never played it, soooo yeah... And apparently, it got a good score from NL, so it's not that bad... (And I didn't read the review, so it's quite a moot point)

Edit: And Nintendo push out a lot of quality games, you can't judge a company with some bad games, you see how much good games they push out and how much the bad games.



Dr_42o said:

@darkfenrir Right, but I expect the extra waiting time to produce something more than just a "good" game that the majority would rather rent than buy. Otherwise, that extra waiting time just says to me that Nintendo doesn't know how to survive in this HD climate.



SkywardCrowbar said:

@Dr_42o How is a 63 on Metacritic fail? The game has 2 challenges facing it from the get go from reviewers:

1. Mini game compilations can suffer from not being taken seriously enough to warrant good scores by a lot of reviewers. If it's not a freaking M rated shooter, than a lot of reviewers (and gamers) will pass it over.

2. There are crap reviewers out there like IGN (sorry to see Aminka go. Hope she's doing great at the Big N! She was the only contributor on the whole site I had any respect for) who clearly payed very little attention to the game. Evidenced by the fact that they published a review stating that there are 12 mini games, when there are in fact 16.

EDIT: The game actually now has a 63 on Metacritic.



MadAdam81 said:

These are the same people who think CoD of Halo are 90% plus games... Pinch of salt very important when you go for lowest common denominator.



SubZer023 said:

i dont want no Boring same feel to a ps3 or Xbox game because Metroid wouldent be the same, anyway umm This is a Great Way Nintendo's headed just keep making the games slow so they can Be the Greatest of the Greatest



Jaz007 said:

@SkywardCrowbar "If it's not a freaking M rated shooter, than a lot of reviewers (and gamers) will pass it over." That statement is very false. A minigame collection may not get as good of reviews from partially from being one, but it is also true that a lot of minigame collecitons suffer from some boring games in the pakcage that detract from the score. I also suggest you look over highly rated games that were also sucessful and aren't M rated. You can find a lot of games that aren't shooters too like that too.



unrandomsam said:

He is doing the right thing.

I think he should go for a few decent examples of each genre.

(Or just release everything just the same as they do in Japan).

Western games suck. (The ones like Final Fantasy / Tales of that were really good are now nowhere near as good.)



TheAdza said:

It's what I have been saying all along. Nintendo need to have more studios working on games. It's just still too late. They needed to have had more staff a d more projects for the Wii U when it launched. It was a very big mistake to leave it up to 3rd parties to fill the gaps with their (mainly) dreg inferior and late ports. Huge mistake.



Absol07 said:

F-zero, Metroid...but what about Star Fox D: really need more nintendo brand games!



unrandomsam said:

@Dr_42o Forget metacritic (The average score on there is 70% so it is worthless. Same as Nintendo life's average incidentally on the same site). The content of the review doesn't affect the score on this site.



Melkaticox said:

@Dr_42o The only reason Game & Wario is getting so many low scores is because there are VERY few minigames, and it's a game made for multiplayer (...doesn't have online multiplayer).
However, it's a $30 game. What was the last time you saw a $30 nintendo game?



GN004Nadleeh said:

they need to get off their butts and get the games out, i don't want to hear you read your report on how and why you failed, just get a game out, an rpg this time please



ULTRA-64 said:

@Dr_42o well said on needing more acquisitions of devs/studios...I've said similar on here a few times before!!
Nintendo are way too friendly on this issue, you would think they could have snapped up loads of dev studios with so many going bust/subsidised releases that increase the install base to stop people worrying about losing on Wii u/made an aggressive take over of a company that release industry standard games....then make them Wii u exclusive!!(only theory,I could be way off the mark on the money side, but imagine how people would see the Wii u if gta 5 was exclusive to it,I'm sure Nintendo if stretched could buy rockstar in the same way Microsoft stole rare from us....only theory!?!)



Dr_42o said:

@LDXD At that price I wouldn't mind the quality/garbage ratio of the mini games. The current price is garbage for what you get.



Dr_42o said:

Also, don't get me wrong.. I am a Nintendo supporter. I bought NFS: Most Wanted from the eShop for $60, when I could have got it for $30 on EA'S website. On Wii U



KLZ said:

Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault are prove that Nintendo needs to make sure other companies are using its franchises correctly.



rmeyer said:

Retro has built enough trust to be given more staff and games. They've been working on one game at a time, have half the staff as other development companies like themselves. They should be working on two titles always so they consistently release a new title each holiday season.



GearsOfWarU said:

I think Retro Games will make new Metroid Prime U as soon as there done with Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze & Platinum Games will make new Star Fox U as soon as there done with Wonderful 101... So next fall October/November 2014 should have Both New Star Fox & Metroid



b23cdq said:

@KLZ Stairfax Temperatures wasn't originally a Starfox game, Miyamoto is responsible for that particular change.



Harrison_Peter said:

Folks, this is really good news for Nintendo gamers. It's also something we can see has been a massive success for Sony. They've taken this approach, working with many studios but overseeing quality and they bring out exceptional exclusives fairly regularly. I mean game of the year quality for the most part. Nintendo providing the resources and backing to the trusted devs like Retro Studios is a great thing and means we should see more Nintendo games, but hopefully without sacrificing quality.

We won't see the effects of this for a year or two, but it's good news!



aaronsullivan said:

This is the right approach, IMO. It's clearly taking a long time for Nintendo to ramp up to the challenge of not only MORE games but games that take more resources to create due to the higher graphics fidelity.

The best news is that they are expanding internally. Remember the previous initiative whereby Shigeru was sort of spread around working with other younger designers at Nintendo. Seems like Nintendo is trying to cultivate a larger number of producers/directors so they can create more games. The interviews with the creators show at least 3 VERY strong directors besides Miyamoto now, which is encouraging.

As far as the delays: Nintendo has made more games than I can remember in the past in a shorter period of time when you count Wii U and 3DS together. I'm hoping that we are past the "filling of the pipe" now and we'll see the fresh water continue to pour out on the release end as new water pumps in from the in development end.

It's too bad the Wii U and 3DS platforms are so different to program for because this generation would have really benefitted from similar games on both platforms releasing near each other. No reason Luigi's Mansion 2 couldn't also be awesome on Wii U, or Kid Icarus for that matter. You can really see why they combined the hardware units for the next generation. Nintendo could be pumping out nearly twice as many games (per platform) that way.



P-Gamer-C said:

Third party for that the wii u exists already there looking to next gen so many new ips to look forward to



Araknie said:

I like almost only exclusive on my console and i get multiplatform on Steam or GOG so it's the kind of thing that suits me.

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