News Article

Shigeru Miyamoto Explains That Internal Development Teams "Gravitate" Towards Big Franchises

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Less about names and more about desired game styles

We suspect a common complaint for some with Nintendo's current and confirmed lineup of titles is the absence of particular cherished and relatively under-served franchises. Examples such as Star Fox, F-Zero and 1080° are notable examples, as they enjoyed various entries on previous systems yet have been posted largely missing in the most recent generation of systems.

While fan desire is one thing, Nintendo clearly considers how best to dedicate its resources to, ultimately, achieving commercial success with its releases. There's also the matter of utilising the strengths of the company's development teams, and the more years that pass by without new entries the more likely it is that existing team members won't have direct experiences of these franchises; there's a danger of new titles not meeting expected standards, as a result. Speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that utilising development teams effectively is a part of the challenge when planning projects, while the staff are naturally keen on working on familiar and popular franchises.

There are franchises where you would want to put in time and the energy because if you don’t spend enough time and energy on it, it could impact the value of the franchise and the popularity of the franchise. Certainly, with something like Star Fox, we’ve released additional games in the series. I guess with our internal teams in particular, they tend to gravitate more towards bigger franchises… games like the Marios and Zeldas.

For us, it’s less about choosing which franchise we’re going to create and more about choosing what type of game style we want to create and what type of new experience we’re creating and that’s limited internally by the number of different teams who can create those ideas.

Where do you stand on Nintendo's current lineup and the brands being used. Do you feel the company needs to utilise more of its existing IPs, or do you agree with its current approach on the Wii U and 3DS? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (68)



Nintenjoe64 said:

Buy more studios and make more teams, you know it makes sense. Don't let EA, Sony and MS absorb all the talent!



Humphries90 said:

Just one more F-Zero and Star Fox, please. They'll stop me moaning for at least 5 years.



SpookyMeths said:

So maybe the big guns in house gravitate towards Mario and Zelda, but that shouldn't stop them from going to one of their 1st party studios (or even third party) and saying "Hey, keep doing what you're doing, but think of new StarFox ideas in the meantime and pitch us something when you have it. We'll finance it."

I mean, on the one hand, if you go the regular installments route, it becomes obligation and you get rehashes. But at the same time, they shouldn't just ignore IP because they have another idea for a new Mario game and would rather do that. Metroid is a brand. F-Zero is a brand. They should always have a guy on payroll thinking of creative ways to further those brands, even while they work away at new IP and Marios and Zeldas.



erv said:

Anything that is f-zero in the realm of gx will always be welcome. More of the same in a racer like that isn't a bad thing at all.

Other than that, I am very grateful for their choices in general. Pikmin 3 in particular was heartwarming. I'm sure there will be more great examples down the road.



unrandomsam said:

What I don't get is how Nintendo of America can spend $82 million on marketing.

Dragons Crown 300,000 in the first week 1 million to develop.
Even if only one in 4 games or something is a hit then it doesn't matter because you are still up. If you don't do anything then you don't get any of the money.

Spend 40 million on 40 small interesting new things then it is much better than blowing it on marketing.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

Nintendo should purchase SEGA and through that they'd also acquire ATLUS. Let them make awesome RPG's for their consoles and let SEGA make a new F-Zero. They could also get Platinum and let them do a Star Fox title. Why not let Next Level create a new Wave Race while we're at it .



cookiex said:

Everyone goes on about F-Zero and Star Fox while I sit here wondering about that new franchise of his.



ToxieDogg said:

I still don't understand how they can keep on pumping out Mario Kart games and yet F-Zero gets ignored. They're not that massively different from each other, are they? Certainly the style of tracks in the new Mario Kart Wii U game would suggest that the same developers could easily make an excellent new F-Zero. :



Dogpigfish said:

I think Nintendo is hesitant to outsource anymore ges since Namco and Team Ninja. Can you blame them? DK is in a better place now with Retro. My opinion is they should expand Retro to a two or three game developing studio. Their commercial success warrants it, but they are probably concerned about losing secrets to the copycats.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@cookiex I'm wondering about that as well. I'd like them to take advantage of their lesser known IP and give us new experiences while continuing what they're doing with the big boys. I guess I want it all haha. I'm not complaining at all, however. I know it's not that easy.



ricklongo said:

I'm a bit burned out on Mario, truth be told (which is why, for example, I never even thought of getting Paper Mario Sticker Star, and why I'll probably get Mario & Luigi Dream Team only next year). Other than that, I'm cool with how they're handling things.

If I could choose franchises for them to work next, I'd go with Kirby and 2D Metroid.



ricklongo said:

@unrandomsam You have to understand that Marketing is much more than running ads. For example, the hands-on campain they did throughout North American Best Buy stores around E3.



AtomicToaster said:

That excuse would work if platinum didn't want to do star fox, and sega wouldn't do another fzero.



banacheck said:

Dragons Crown 300,000 in the first week 1 million to develop.

That 300k is Japan only, it's been released in the US since & releasing in the EU on the 11th Oct.



ledreppe said:

I'd love another StarFox, but like Shigsy said: I wouldn't want the franchise to suffer just because a game was rushed out by an internal development team that weren't able to maintain standards. So I'm pretty happy with how they're managing their resources.



cookiex said:


Plus they have to market both games and systems nationwide. $82 million yearly for all that don't even sound like much compared to how Microsoft spent $500 million to market the Kinect alone.



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@AtomicToaster They only say that publically because of the clamor that would ensue if they said anything else other than what they've been saying. Kamiya-San wants to do Star Fox, he's just tired of the 75% asking him over and over again. I can understand that completely.



ICHIkatakuri said:

Star Fox
Excite Truck (my mrs fave)
Wave Race
Disaster Day of Crisis
Battalion Wars (Would be perfect on the gamepad!)
Golden Sun
Kid Icarus

All need new console games, I dont care if they're the same idea with different tracks or the only new addition to the series is online multiplayer or HD graphics. These games are good and fun enough as they are they dont need a silly hook. Just to be made sequels that take advantage of the current gen power and the Wii U community.



Genesaur said:

The Wii U itself is begging for a new F-Zero game. If it plays essentially the same as GX but with sexy HD visuals... man, I'm practically drooling, just thinking about it.



NintyMan said:

Mario and Zelda is where the internal teams have a ton of experience, so I can see why they would want to experiment with something they're familiar with. However, they could easily pass the reins of a lesser-known series to a 2nd party studio.



SKTTR said:

I have both Battalion Wars games and couldn't really get into them unfortunately. Gamecube Wars or Wii Wars (in Advance Wars style) is prefered here, or better yet, a new home console Fire Emblem.

I'm also in for a new Chibi-Robo, F-Zero and Excite game (since EU still doesn't have ExciteBots).





Well in all honesty people had more problems with Other M's story than the game play itself, and the story was handled by Sakamoto. Personally I feel like Team Ninja wasn't a good choice to begin with, but that was more of an internal problem.

Anyway, I want a new IP.





Ick...Kirby? Enough with Kirby. People have been complaining about Mario being milked, but we've also had quite a few Kirby games between the DS and the Wii.



aaronsullivan said:

@SKTTR @ICHIkatakuri I'd be down for an excite game. Maybe merge it with wave race this time. Make it the over the top stunt scoring transforming vehicle game. Excitebots is halfway there and the water dynamics could be quite amazing now. Really a pipe dream because I don't think Excitebots did that well. But I can dream right?



aaronsullivan said:

That is quite the impressive list. It would be great if Nintendo could successfully tackle those more regularly. If the Nintendo home console is going to be about Nintendo exclusives only, then let's see them expand (carefully).



Bryon15 said:

I don't agree with their current approach at all. I'm sick of mario, zelda, pokemon, all the damn time. We haven't seen a new f-zero since 2003. We haven't seen a new star fox since 2005. What is the problem? If they don't have enough teams to make these games, then buy more! Purchase platinum games already. Pick up next level games too.



Neram said:

I wish Nintendo would start using their new ideas for new IP's instead of tacking their franchises onto them. The GameCube days are the best example of why I don't like it when they do that. Super Mario Sunshine for instance would have been an excellent idea for a new IP, a platformer more tailored around the FLUDD water pack idea. The part everyone loved most about that game were the bonus rounds which didn't have the FLUDD pack, and not because the water pack mechanic sucked, but because people who played it were looking for a traditional Mario experience.

The Zelda franchise is another one that seems to get experimented with, probably the most. It seems as though Nintendo is too afraid to take the risk on creating a new IP and instead falls back on their same old household names lke Mario and Zelda to play it safe.

Lately the Mario franchise has been heading in the right direction, with Super Mario 3D Land and now 3D World, which are more pure Mario experiences than Sunshine or even Galaxy. I still don't understand the hate for 3D World though, it's almost like people don't want a true Mario game or something.

I'm not dying for a new IP from Nintendo or anything, but I would prefer if they used their awesome new game changing ideas on new IP's instead of messing with the consistency of their other brands.



Zael said:

I think they have to produce at least one AAA mario, zelda, metroid fire emblem for gen, next they can rotate with star fox, donkey kid icarus pikmin and a new ip every gen
But I think that one mario (of high quality) can be sufficient (like mario 64).
Now it's time for a star fox, but also for a kid icarus because the last kid icarus for home console was on nes!!
But a kid icarus adventure, not a shooter



CaptMcCloudAran said:

Nintendo, if you prefer to use your internal team to Mario and Zelda, no problem. Let Sega develop FZero, Platinum with Star Fox and Retro with Metroid. Problem solved! Next please.



element187 said:

The last Starfox and F-Zero bombed, there is no financial incentive to make another. if Nintendo just responded to mindless whims of their fans all the time they would be bankrupt.

I hope they do make another Starfox or F-Zero, because I personally would buy it, but I can't expect a company to make a product if they know its going to be unprofitable.



raith said:


I concur, all those games need new entries. I would also add Pandora's Tower, Custom Robo, and Eternal Darkness. I understand that many of their devs want to work on the big franchises, but Mario and Zelda are high caliber games, so they would need the best of the best on those. Nintendo has access to so many studios out there: Platinum (buy them, please), NST, Next Level, Retro, Monster, Headstrong, Shin'en, etc., that it would lift all that pressure of creating sequels to those franchises off their shoulders. They just need to delegate which IP goes to whom.



BATRA said:

i am saying that battalion wars 3 would be a very good game for the wii u



ICHIkatakuri said:

@BATRA wouldn't it! RTS has never done too well on consoles and battalion wars was a good attempt, just imagining what could be possible on Wii u gets me excited! A great series much underrated.



ICHIkatakuri said:

@raith eternal darkness devs are trying to make a sequel via kickstarter which looks pretty sweet. Yeah Nintendo could sweeten the deal for devs who don't traditionally get a great income from Nintendo sales by awarding them a 1st party IP in exchange for Wii u versions of one of their own. Like SEGA with F-Zero and (dare I say it) namco with Star Fox. If nothing else it creates brand awareness around lesser known IP's and keeps the names running while Nintendo can't keep up.



Doma said:

@ricklongo MK7 was my last purchased Mario title and it was a disappointment. No more Mario games for me, they bore me to tears just looking at them.



Goginho said:

I'm personally fine with just the Marios and Zeldas. I like the DKs as well, but they're covered (thanks Retro )

I wouldn't mind seeing some new Star Fox though, 64 was part of my childhood, so if they could do right and recreate that experience for me, I would be grateful too.



raith said:


Right. I know, but it's not a true sequel, only a spiritual one. Nintendo should fund the project so they can actually work on an Eternal Darkness 2. Of course Nintendo would need devs to work alongside them supervising. Another good idea is to expand their studio's teams. Retro should be #1 on that list.



Senario said:

@element187 What you said. I cant say that they absolutely must work on those games since it isnt a smart move. It would be welcome if they did though.



Jellitoe said:

Whats so hard about hiring a few fresh new faces of unproven hungry talent and give them a specific new project.



MitchVogel said:

The danger here is that they may lose consumer interest if they just keep sticking to the same thing. It seems like they've been struggling a bit more in this way the last few years...



SomeBitTripFan said:

Of course they would, but there is also the potential to build up some franchises. I haven't bought a Nintendo game in seven months, nor do I even want to. I don't even see Zelda games in the same light because they release them too often. I would be excited about these games, if they weren't just flying out the door. How many platformers am I supposed to play before I'm sick and tired of them? If you can't "innovate" your other franchises, at least try to do something with them. Nintendo might find a way to do something new with a franchise if they actually used it.



JebbyDeringer said:

I find it hard to believe that all the staff gravitate towards big existing franchises. I mean I'm sure new employees all want a chance to work on a Zelda or Mario game but you would think there are creative people there that really want to create something of their own.



Lord said:

It sounds like they just want to make mario, zelda, Pokemon games. But we want metroid, wave racer, f-zero and star fox. I think sega went the same way before they collapsed, just made sonc games and forgot about panzer dragoon, skies of Arcadia, and thier other great Ips.



Squashy said:

Something I've been thinking for a while now is that when the Mario Kart team finishes Mario Kart 8, it will be the perfect oppurtunity to make a new F-Zero! It just feels right, perhaps they could even use the Mario Kart 8 engine.

As for Wave Race, I believe Wave Race Blue Storm for the Gamecube was made by Nintendo's development team in America (called Nintendo Software Technology or NST for short), and they've not long finished the latest Mario VS Donkey Kong game so maybe they're freed up now to make another Wave Race which would be great.



JaxonH said:

F-Zero GX sold 650,000 copies, which isn't really as bad as people make it out to be. Star Fox Assault, on the other hand, sold 1.08 million copies. I hardly consider that a failure, wouldn't you agree? Especially considering both these games reached these numbers on Nintendo's worst selling home console with the smallest total install base.



JaxonH said:

lol, I actually thought MK7 was the the greatest Mario Kart game on a handheld to date. Granted, Paper Mario Sticker Star did bore me, and NSMB2 was decent, but not great.

There are still some great Mario games out there though, for example M&L Dream Team is a phenomenal RPG, and NSMBU is the best side-scrolling Mario I've played since World back on the SNES. And, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't utterly hyped for Mario Kart 8



warlordovblood said:

I guess i can say goodbye to my hopes of getting a new super princess peach, Wario world/land, metroid, punch out, kid icarus (on wii u would be awesome), golden sun. Oh well, i'm sure they got some good games in mind for 2014 already. (fingers crossed)



MadAdam81 said:

The thing is they could make 5 AAA titles, 4 Mario and one FZero (or any other absent IP), and each of the Mario games would sell 5 to 10 times more.
Nintendo would do well licensing the absent IPs to people like WayForward.



FJOJR said:

It'd be best to test out or reward smaller studios with a shot at reviving a franchise much like what Nintendo did giving Retro Studios the Metroid franchise.



Boyoshi said:

Finally. Here we go. They need to make new

  • Star fox. Like star fox 64 but new and in hd
  • Metroid. Wii u one like prime. 3ds one like super metroid
  • F Zero. Just keep it the same way. Difficult and fast as hell
  • Kid Icaras. Like the old platformers. Not a shooter. Although uprising was decent
  • Mother. OBVIOUS

The list goes on
I think that in order to lose the 'kiddy' image you've adopted you need to reincorporate these challenging yet rewarding games.
Don't get me wrong Zelda's and Mario are great in occasional doses. LOOKING AT YOU MARIO. But they need different teams working on different games. A nice steady flow of these types of games would be great for the company, and I, like many others would defiantly buy them all



julienpoo said:

Wave Race
Excite Truck
Cruis'n (a better one than the bad port that happen on the Wii, would be great with 3d effect, if they focus on backgrounds, tourism)

It's very racing style... but it's a shy genre on 3DS....



Senate_Guard said:

I hope Nintendo doesn't keep going on this "safe" path with just Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon. It really shows they're simply relying on the best selling IPs instead of taking risks with the lesser ones.

We need a new Metroid, Star Fox, and especially F-Zero within the next few years on Wii U. Star Fox and F-Zero have been dormant long enough, and Metroid needs a huge comeback!



Dpishere said:

Hopefully after the money making games like 3D World and DK Tropical freeze are released we will see revisits of lesser used franchises. That being said, I do love playing Mario and Zelda and feel that 3D Land was one of the best ones they released, so a sequel to similar gameplay is ok in my book! Always looking forward to a new Zelda game as well since they never disappoint!



Marshi said:

The frustrating thing is how much untapped potential is being ignored on the wiiu at a time it needs it most. Okay so you cant stretch extra teams for a new f zero or star fox or metroid. So bring out older games on vc! Give us f zero gx,give us star fox armada or 64. What it really cost that much to put em on wiiu?
also from what I understood miyamoto is saying why create a new adventure when they could put mario in that adventure so the new experience is kept but the brand power almost guarantee's sales? Well I agree somewhat but if in 2 years all wiiu owners best games are the marios and zeldas that have been released then fans will get bored,fast! A new face on your product can ignite fresh interest in your system nintendo!
I love nintendo but I think they are an incredibly ignorant and niave company



MIDP said:


I think it is because of their similarity they dont make them both.
It doesnt make sense to spend so much effort on a game with a significantly smaller audience when they are already under pressure to deliver on their biggest franchises.
Nintendo tend to not have to many of their franchises under the same genre.
It is kind of like, "if you want a racing game, play Mario Kart, its the best we got".
So in order for them to have F-Zero make sense they have to make it feel so different and so good that it can produce big numbers and reach out to more people than only its core audience.
If they'll have that idea, to make it really unique and not just a "more tracks, more races, new game modes, some small innovation gimmicks that really arent that great", it'll happen.

I think it might be more likely to see a new F-Zero developed on 3DS though



MideonNViscera said:

I honestly don't mind the lack of Star Fox. They basically nailed it with Star Fox 64, and recently gave us a prettier version. I dunno if they could do much better.



elbcen said:

I am not very well acquainted with how the business works, but is a company like Retro Studios, for example, an internal studio of Nintendo? Was Rare an internal studio of Nintendo?

If so... Why not just get companies like WayForward and make them internal studios? Platinum Games certainly seems to be going in the direction, they were almost given rights to Nintendo characters!

I mean seriously, I want a StarFox or F-Zero game made by Platinum Games. Can they please acquire Platinum Games?



GreatPlayer said:

Nintendo recently has made games too easy. They are geared towards new gamers but not veteran gamers. I beat Mario U and got all the coins in three days, and beat Luigi U in two days. I smelled that Mario 3D World will be the same... The only exception is Wonderful 101. Please significantly rank up the difficulty of your games. Huge variety is good but difficulty is also important.

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