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.