Miyamoto: Fresh Experiences Make A New Game, Not New Characters
Posted by Andy Green
Nintendo focusing on new experiences rather than characters
One thing Nintendo is certainly not short of is franchises and over the years the likes of Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Kid Icarus and the plucky Pikmin have all emerged.
However, a complaint that is sometimes leveled at Nintendo is its continued use of the same intellectual properties, with many saying it should create a brand new series instead of "playing it safe" with the current ones.
In an interview with Game Informer, Shigeru Miyamoto spoke about the franchises that are at Nintendo's disposal - and the characters within them - and explained how it isn't as simple as just creating a new protagonist - there's much more thought to go into it first.
Certainly within Nintendo, we have people internally who are saying, "Well, we have our old characters from our old games, and that's old IP, and we should think about creating new IP." But the question that we always ask is: "Does a new character really make it a new game?" And to me, the answer to that is, "No."
What makes it a new game is new gameplay and new interactions. So when we're creating a game, we're always looking at it from, "What is the gameplay, and how are making that gameplay new?" And then, "Who is the character that is best suited to that gameplay?"
For Miyamoto, experiences come first and without something fresh and original a new character cannot be brought into the fray.
By taking this approach, for us, we feel like even when we're creating new installments in existing series, we're creating new experiences, because the gameplay that's in there is something that's entirely new. And in some cases, we may even end up creating new characters.
He went on to talk about how Pikmin became a new IP when it was developed for the GameCube. The first thing Nintendo did was create a new style of gameplay and then looked for a new character to make it work. The current characters such as Mario, Link, Samus and Donkey Kong could not fill the role and so Olimar and the Pikmin were born.
According to Miyamoto, The first thing Nintendo do at the very beginning of the development process is focus on creating fun and new gameplay - the character or IP that will feature in the game comes later on in the design.
In the future, we may see that that will bring us some new characters and new IP, but what's important to me is that, even with the existing IP that we're releasing games for, they're all new gameplay experiences.
What are your thoughts on Nintendo's IPs? Is this the right approach? Would you like to see some new ones emerge soon? Let us know in the comment section below.