News Article

Shigeru Miyamoto Outlines His Evolving Role in Overseeing Projects

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Trusted producers such as Aonuma-san and Eguchi-san have greater control

It's been common knowledge for a couple of years that Shigeru Miyamoto's role has evolved at Nintendo. Once a producer with a heavy hands-on influence on multiple franchises, he still serves a role of oversight but with less micro-management, with the famed game designer and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata regularly emphasizing the ongoing desire to develop and support a new wave of talented leaders to take franchises forward.

In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine for its 100th issue, Miyamoto-san outlined how a series of trusted producers are leading key franchises, even if the ultimate responsibility still rests with him; he started off by using The Legend of Zelda as an example.

As you saw at our presentation at E3, Mr Aonuma chased me off stage… he doesn’t need me any more! The final responsibility for the title still comes down to me and I’m still involved in the games, but I’m definitely able to leave the series up to him in a way.

... I don’t have to look at every minute detail of every game any more. I know there’s going to be the level of quality that we expect under his supervision.

Similarly we have Koizumi-san, who’s the producer or the Mario series and it’s the same type of situation. And certainly Konno-san with Mario Kart, too. And Mr Eguchi, producer of the Animal Crossing series. These are the main producers that we’ve trained who are talented enough and we can allow them to oversee the project and manage all the details and still maintain the Nintendo level of quality.

Nintendo's clearly preparing for the day when Miyamoto-san, such an integral and iconic figure within the company, finally steps aside; recent entries in key franchises have, in our view, maintained that "Nintendo standard", so it seems the internal changes are working relatively well.

As an extra treat, below is the special edition cover that ONM subscribers will have received on their 100th issue, which includes a Miyamoto illustration to enjoy. Congratulations to Official Nintendo Magazine for hitting such an impressive landmark.

[via officialnintendomagazine.co.uk]

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User Comments (47)

cookiex

#3

cookiex said:

I think he'll stay with the company for at least another decade before he retires. Dude seems to have a lot left in him.

Edit: Also try to brush your teeth better, Miyamoto-san. :P

LetsGoRetro

#4

LetsGoRetro said:

As long as Aonuma really does go back to the "Zelda Basics". The recent overworlds have focused too much on "what kind of transportation can we use?" Instead of "let's let the player explore this beautiful world we've created" SS, ST, and PH were all like this. TP let you explore but forgot to put anything there for you to explore in those big, open, empty spaces. But everything points towards them returning to the exploration/adventring aspect the series was originally based on.

MouldyK

#6

MouldyK said:

@Burning_Spear I've not seen anything from 3D World besides a few pictures and the E3 things, but hopefully at the Eurogamer Expo tomorrow i'll get to try it out. :)

ledreppe

#9

ledreppe said:

I dread the day Miyamoto's death is announced. Will I still be console gaming then, or will I find out in a probable news report on t.v? This thought has come across me several times over recent years.

HyperSonicEXE

#10

HyperSonicEXE said:

I've heard an art theory that any artist that draws a face will invariably leave a little hint of their own face in the drawing without trying.

That said, Mario's got Miyamoto's flat cheeks in that cool sketch.

triforcepower73

#11

triforcepower73 said:

This is really good for Nintendo that their becoming less reliant on one of the main reasons they are who they are. For the people complaining about the supposed lack of quality of newer entries in Miyamoto's series like Skyward Sword and 3D World, they really do have a great level of quality that, yes, might fall a bit below the Nintendo standard, but trust me. Over the next few years, the less Miyamoto is involved, the harder the new devs will have to work, and thus gain more experience for the future. Basically the games will get a lot better!

@HyperSonicEXE Also the happy mask salesman's face generally looks very similar to Miyamoto's.

Bumpon

#12

Bumpon said:

@Burning_Spear I have two different opinions about the 3D World. For example, I like the ideas to change the Adventure to an coop adventure. On the other Hand, I was dissapointed about the new costume, I mean, come on, I really do not want Mario to say "Meow Meow!" and then go climb and jump arround like a cat...-.-

I hope one day they make a Mario games for the generation which grew up with Mario. I want them to make a darker and serious Mario fighting against a brutal creature named bowser. No, now serious: I can't be the only one who thinks "the Super Mario Galaxy games were Awesome! But I wished the bosses (at least the endboss bowser) were a bit (or much) more difficult.

Dogpigfish

#13

Dogpigfish said:

Miyamoto did a great job with Pikmin 3, but he is hit or miss. I thought Skyward sword was too linear, not sure why he took it in that direction. Great game, but I think he needs to better evaluate what his competitors are doing. These other developers have a lot to prove and from what I've seen don't need the guy who created wii music to analyze their game.

Bumpon

#15

Bumpon said:

@triforcepower73 I know what you mean, they never were. But thinking of Super Mario Bros for example. When you think of it, it was kind of more serious than today. And I found it really hard to beat it in these days. They don't have to get serious, but I hope they make it a bit more challenging then especially 3D Land. (I liked the New Super Mario Bros U gold medall challenges for example, more elements like this should have their place in future Mario games imo.)

Nintenjoe64

#16

Nintenjoe64 said:

@Dogpigfish
I think Skyward Sword ended up being as linear and repetitive as it did because they went all out to nail the motion controls and knew they didn't have the time to make 10 dungeons and a proper living Hyrule on the ground. The Wii was fading a bit so it wouldn't have sold to as many people if they'd waited any longer to release it.
I did think in some ways the game was quite clever by making the overworld the sky and making the 3 areas into mazes with a few dungeons scattered about but I really hope Zelda U goes back to the days of having a huge bustling world with loads of characters, dungeons, side quests, mini dungeons and exciting new minigames. I want them to keep the sailing and flying but have a TP sized Hyrule with additional islands and a dark world the size of Hyrule, located on the opposite side of the globe, to sail to....

NintyMan

#17

NintyMan said:

I think this is a good thing. Miyamoto is still there to oversee and advise, but the younger folks taking more control will give them the experience they need to make better games. I like Koizumi's work on the 3D Mario games.

Miyamoto still appears to have juice left to keep working for the next several years. Before it comes time for his inevitable retirement, he'll be giving more and more freedom to his developers to sort of ease them into full control.

Marshi

#18

Marshi said:

You see this is why some publishers do questionable things and we as fans wonder what on earth possessed them to do this or that. Let me explain: people complain about twilight princess because of the vast overworld with little to do in it. So nintendo listens to its fans and makes skyward sword,a game with no real overworld but with plenty to do. Does that please the fans? No,its now too linear!
This is why games like ff 13 and resident evil 6 exist,because fans will never be happy with anything new. Ff fans just want. Ff7 remade or rebooted. Resi fans want re4 over and over,and bringing it to my point,nintendo fans just want galaxy. I think miyamotos a legend,more so than the late yamauchi. But change is needed,the sooner people see that the sooner nintendo will make brand new fresh games arguably not seen made since mario 64 and ocarina

Retrowire

#19

Retrowire said:

I was just talking about this the other day with my niece. About how I think Nintendo needs to publicly show that they don't rely on Miyamoto so much so that when he does retire or join Yamauchi in the skies that Nintendo's reputation will not plummet.

ricklongo

#20

ricklongo said:

@Marshi If you don't see stuff like Mario Galaxy as truly new, I really don't know what to say.

Anyway, Miyamoto is a legend, but it's nice to see more and more new guys grabbing the reins at Nintendo. The first-party titles I've played this year have almost all been phenomenal games - perhaps only 2D Mario is in a more pressing need of some fresh ideas going forward.

Marshi

#21

Marshi said:

@ricklongo no you misunderstand. Galaxy was new. WAS. And if all people are wanting is galaxy 3,4,5 and beyond then thats the exact same "lack of quality" that people say is missing now.

Let me be clear,galaxy is still one of the greatest games ever made. But we should be wanting fresh new experiences from nintendo rather than sequel after sequel.

Nintenjoe64

#23

Nintenjoe64 said:

@Retrowire good point, I imagine Nintendo shares will take a horrible tumble if Miyamoto publicly retires while he is still considered influential.

Mr_Nose

#25

Mr_Nose said:

Good, Keep him as far away from Zelda as possible.

Miyamoto is why we got Skyward Sword and not a game more closely related to Twilight Princess.

Eiji Aonuma literally had to scrap the Zelda he was working on, and start from scratch, when Shigeru decided he wanted the next Zelda to look like an impressionist painting. I completely changed my opinion of the man after that. The series was headed in a long over-due direction, and he sent it back to cartoon land.

Similar to what happend to Metroid after the amazing Prime series.

I still respect his career, but he's better suited to 'lighter' endeavours.

AdanVC

#26

AdanVC said:

I don't think Miyamoto would retire anytime soon. Remember that he is working on a new IP and it would be revealed next E3! well let's hope that's true but still this method of leaving the direction of their big creation to other people and still make awesome games is a good sign of how talented the people at Nintendo is. Either way, Miyamoto is a legend!

Expa0

#27

Expa0 said:

Hopefully with Miyamoto out of the picture Nintendo will start doing something fresh with their games once again.

Zombie_Barioth

#29

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Marshi
I definitely agree, people complain that nobody listens to their fans but then there are just too many voices. That being said that doesn't mean sequals are bad or that wanting more of the same is bad either, you need that balance of new and old.

Its the old and familar than makes us appreciate the new and fresh so much. Thats why series like Pokemon or Mario do so well, they're like a fresh take on comfort food. You reinvent it with different ingredients or making it fancy but its still that same nostalgic, comforting dish at its core, its both old and new at the same time.

VoiceOfReason

#31

VoiceOfReason said:

@SirGreatNose
So... Basically what you want is another twilight princess.... Cause that was the Zelda series trying to be something it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, if they tried again, maybe they could make something worthwhile, but just no. Besides, a Zelda game isn't bad because of being cartoony. It needs strong story.

VoiceOfReason

#33

VoiceOfReason said:

Expa0
Yes, and it tried to be more dark and serious to attract more people to the Zelda series, and it worked, for people who weren't Zelda fans and wanted it more realistic. I daresay that for most longtime fans, though, it left a lot to be desired.

JaxonH

#35

JaxonH said:

@Burning_Spear
Really? I think the game looks great. 3D Land was an exceptional game, and certainly 3D World will be a better game than that. It's DIFFERENT, mind you, but ask yourself this: when was the last time you played a bad 3D Mario game? I can't think of a single one. So I'll give them the benefit of any doubt, since they've had a flawless record thus far. I don't think they'll ever make a "bad" Mario game. It would damage the brand too much.

JaxonH

#36

JaxonH said:

@Expa0
Games don't always have to be "original" or "innovative" to be good. Twilight Princess was a really fun game- anything else is irrelevant. Bland? I'm not sure about your definition of bland. You could call anything "bland" and make an argument for it. As long as the game is fun, nothing else matters. Bland, non-original, lifeless... none of those adjectives have any meaning as long as the game is fun, and Twiligiht Princess was certainly that.

JaxonH

#37

JaxonH said:

@VoiceOfReason
"It needs strong story"

I'm not arguing that a strong story couldn't make a Zelda game great, but it's hard to accept that statement when Zelda has NEVER ONCE depended on a strong story, and I certainly don't think it all of a sudden "needs" to now. Again, it is something I would personally be in favor of- I WANT a strong story in Zelda, but it doesn't need it. And looking at past games, I highly doubt the new one will have a strong story either.

VoiceOfReason

#40

VoiceOfReason said:

@JaxonH
I'm not sure how the misunderstanding of "Zelda always puts gameplay before story" started, but that is not the case. Story can make or break a Zelda game. Zelda has always been very dependent on story. For example, Majora's Mask was just a rehash of the gameplay from ocarina of Time, only arguably worse, but it is still considered one of the great Zelda games. Why? It's not because of the graphics(well, when it was released the graphics were good) or sound quality (even when it was released the sound quality was not up to par with many games at the time). It's because it has a deep story.

Samus06

#41

Samus06 said:

I never understood the hate Twilight Princess got. An incredible game in my opinion.

Araknie

#43

Araknie said:

Sorry for double posting i forgot to comment on the article...

Anyway, i understand what he's doing and it's all cool this way. After that last project he still doesn't want to reveal, probably he's gonna be an overseer and a executive for the company, it's ok. He's done enough.

GN004Nadleeh

#44

GN004Nadleeh said:

needs to go back to his old job. super mario world is the best and everything else is dumbed down. i have had all of nintendo's consoles and handhelds since nes and gameboy and the only video game company who is evolving is sony. nintendo adds gimicks to make emulation of the system harder, but thats all. what happened to a console with a regular controller that wont cost an additional $100 just to display the stuff on the pause menu. now back to gta v on ps3 because nintendo didn't want to add memory to wii u so i can't play it on that also sony lets me put it on 2 of my ps3's so my brother can play it as well. evolution!

GN004Nadleeh

#46

GN004Nadleeh said:

@DarkLloyd nope, i have been doing this for six years now i always only pay for half a game. we cannot both be signed in to the psn with the same name at the same time i can make a second name on the ps3. so i start the download on my brother's ps3 then sign out and into another name all the while the game is downloading in the background and yes we can play online together as well. evolution!

erv

#47

erv said:

Miyamoto is awesome. But to think he's responsible for every golden nintendo move is silly. There's lots of talent at nintendo, and if teams of 100 people working on a game for 2 years to get it out is not proof enough of things never being a one man show, I don't know what is.

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