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Michel Ancel: The Biggest Surprises Seem To Come From Nintendo

Posted by Damien McFerran

"Nintendo’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is innovation"

Rayman Legends creator Michel Ancel has been speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine about Nintendo's position in the industry, and has pointed out that the company's greatest strength — and weakness — is its willingness to take risks and come up with fresh ideas:

Nintendo’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is innovation. It’s a company that takes a lot of risks. Few people understand that innovation involves risk-taking, because you don’t control everything on the market.

Today, the biggest surprises seem to come from Nintendo. People may like those surprises or not, but that’s a fact. Miiverse was a surprise, the GamePad was a surprise. What will come next? I can’t wait!

What do you think about Ancel's comments? Do you think he has a point? Let us know by posting something below.

[via nintendoeverything.com]

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User Comments (37)

Marshi

#1

Marshi said:

Couldnt have put it better myself. Nintendo is the marmite of the gaming industry,you either love them or hate them because of how left feild and unique they are

WiiLovePeace

#2

WiiLovePeace said:

Oh man... I can barely imagine how boring the gaming industry would be if there was no Nintendo anymore... They're games are pure awesome to me :D

ULTRA-64

#3

ULTRA-64 said:

Well said, innovation, integrity and ethics are what sets nintendo apart from the rest of the entire industry. It's why I have only ever bought Nintendo consoles. Despite the fact the Wii u has been a bit of a fail so far, its still the most fun console on the market purely because of the amount of concepts they have set out to deliver through the hardware. People forget they risk allot to include new ideas and expect non stop success, 3rd party developers can't keep up with the level of innovation because it takes them out of the industrys comfort zone. Hats off to you Mr ancel for keeping up (rayman is incredibly good) and showing respect.

ReigningSemtex

#4

ReigningSemtex said:

True and it's the risks nintendo take that keep me interested in nintendo they always manage to keep things fresh.

Rief

#5

Rief said:

And thats why Nintendo is more Next Gen than those other two graphic updates.

cookiex

#6

cookiex said:

I wonder how Beyond Good & Evil 2 is doing, wouldn't mind seeing it on Wii U

Artwark

#7

Artwark said:

@WiiLovePeace

I agree. If it weren't for them, most of us gamers would end up getting smartphones to play games or getting Steam because we can't afford consoles from Microsoft and PS4. Also video games would be dull and uninspiring without Nintendo.

Goginho

#8

Goginho said:

I can't imagine gaming without the likes of Mario....of Zelda...DK...Tetris, and all the other intelligently crafted, fun puzzle and block games. No Nintendo, no gaming :)

TwilightV

#9

TwilightV said:

That's cute Ancel, now can we have BG&E2? It's obvious by now your superiors made a mistake by delaying Rayman Legends, which performed best on Wii U. :P

Samurai_Goroh

#10

Samurai_Goroh said:

Kind words. Now, I hope Beyond Good & Evil 2 is also coming to Wii U. Actions speak louder than words.

GreatPlayer

#12

GreatPlayer said:

Ubisoft is probably trying to appease Nintendo, given the abashed remark from another Ubisoft employee a few months ago. Nice try, Ubisoft!

Araknie

#14

Araknie said:

Sonic Lost World and Super Mario 3D World vs Driveclub and Knack vs Killer Instinct and Ryse: Son of Rome.

I'm only comparing exclusives but i don't take for gamers those who buy a next-gen console for FIFA, CoD or AC when it's already on a cheaper console with not even a real graphical leap.

Back on topic, compare this three double featured options and see when there's the most fun, most escapism from reality (you know videogames) and innovation.

And i'm not even mentioning Zombi U, Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101. Ops, i did.

Will-75

#15

Will-75 said:

Nintendo is reason I was and am a gamer, without Nintendo games would-be just games Nintendo somehow makes them something more special through use of their unique hardware ; The Wii U and 3DS are Amazing pieces of hardware !

Goginho

#16

Goginho said:

@ferthepoet But Tetris was on Nintendo on my original Game Boy back in the day, which got my parents into some gaming :) It was a bundle they bought, along with Super Mario Land, which I played to the bone.
I doubt the same would have happened on any other platforms. Maybe I'm being a bit ignorant or biased, but I remember the Nintendo consoles always having an assortment of bock/puzzle games, which were perfect for older, newcomers who couldn't get into action, rpg, platformers...etc.
My friend had games like Tetris Attack, Yoshi's Cookie.
On the other hand, my cousin's Playstation mainly had some complicated rpgs I could never understand, shooting games, horror shooters, and some actually pretty fun titles and racers I enjoyed like Crash Bandicoot and Gran Turismo.
Other than that, my N64 had the innovation, which got even my mom helping me beat the first, true 3D platformer, Super Mario 64.
So despite Tetris being older, or multiplat for that matter, it was the simplicity of the portable, Game Boy version that was decisive in helping to introduce my parents to the harmlessness of, and accepting, gaming as it once was.
Today we got everything anyway :)

RantingThespian

#17

RantingThespian said:

It's one of the main reasons why I am a Nintendo fan, and keep buying their consoles. They are different.

ricklongo

#19

ricklongo said:

I'm happy that they keep innovating, even when the innovation turns out not being for me (I was never a fan of the wiimote + nunchuck combo, for example).

The Wii U gamepad is one of the best things to happen in the industry in a long time, and I don't think any other company would be as bold as Nintendo was with the decision to make it an integral part of their new home console. I really hope more and more people get to discover just how awesome it is.

flyguy6060

#20

flyguy6060 said:

Mike Ancel is a great developer, and my loyalties lie with Nintendo first and others second.

unrandomsam

#21

unrandomsam said:

@ULTRA-64 I am not sure I agree. I think Hudson / NEC Avenue and Sega were quite similar. (Nintendo killing most of the best PC Engine releases from being allowed in the West isn't that ethical either). I do agree they are the only one left though and they have some standards. (Not really happy with much of the 30fps 3DS stuff). Disappointed in the amount of effort put into the levels in New Super Mario Bros (All of them). If it sells so many copies then it is obvious people want it but the effort seems to be going into e.g 3D World / Galaxy / Galaxy 2.

unrandomsam

#22

unrandomsam said:

@GreatPlayer People seem to forget that Ubisoft has basically killed the platform for most of the rest of the 3rd parties. (Certainly the smaller ones trying to do an exclusive proper release). All they needed to do was just wait to completely devalue ZombiU. (I think they make utter garbage (Watchdogs 30fps all platforms is them all over) but I know that their actions will make it much harder for stuff I do want to do at all well).

kletro

#23

kletro said:

Totally true. Just look at Mario 3d world.bowser driving a car on highway while throwing football looking bombs at you.

Haywired

#24

Haywired said:

But really Nintendo is just as conservative as it is a risk-taker. Not that that's a bad thing at all. But people have got it into their heads in recent years that all they ever do and all they've ever done is innovate, innovate, innovate (and that no one else does) like some crazy crackpots. When their strong reliance on safe franchise sequels and the fact that the majority of their consoles have been focused on power (as much as anyone else's) would tell a different story. Again, not that I'm saying that's a bad thing. It's their business to make money, not to be innovative.

One could even argue that the Wii (which I guess is the sort of thing he's referring to) wasn't totally a risk, because Nintendo's home console position was dire at the time. They had just been soundly beaten for two generations in a row by Sony. They didn't have much to lose. It surely would have been much riskier at that time to try and take Sony on for a third time with a traditional, powerful next-gen console.

SuperMinusWorld

#25

SuperMinusWorld said:

I think Mr. Ancel would probably understand this best. Rayman isn't an extremely profitable franchise, but he still set out to make the best games he could with Origins and Legends to bring Rayman back. I love this guy.

GreatPlayer

#26

GreatPlayer said:

@unrandomsam @ULTRA-64
Nintendo also excluded third party from making games for Genesis too. Sega survived by basically creating most good games on its own (Sonic, Sport games, Aladdin). Nintendo is ethical?

I heard ZombiU was not bad. IGN rated it as one of the best Wii U games, but I have not played it as I stopped playing any survival horror games now. I think all New Super Mario Brothers are a waste of money for hardcore gamers. They are too easy and the worst was Luigi U (ultra-short levels for $20!). Luigi U makes me realise that I cannot throw my money to buy Nintendo's games unless they offer a demo so that I can try it out first.

WaxxyOne

#27

WaxxyOne said:

This man speaks truth. Nintendo is all about innovation and trying new things. The unfortunate truth is that means that sometimes your new stuff is a flop (see: Virtual Boy). But, it also results in some truly epic moments that further advance the gaming industry (see: Wii).

What kills me is the people who can be heard bemoaning Nintendo for it's "terrible" Wii U console these days when they were all on board when the original Wii hit the shelves. They're the same people benefitting from Nintendo's gaming innovations that inspired things like dual analog controllers, force feedback, motion control (and Kinect which is basically the same thing), etc. I shudder to think what would happen if Nintendo stepped out of the hardware market as some suggest they should do. Who would Microsoft and Sony copy then? Each other? Great, then I guess I'll look forward to the PlayStation 7 and Xbox Zero-Point-Two-Five in a couple decades, each featuring controllers that haven't changed since the PS2/360, selling for $900 a pop and whose best game is Call of Duty 133: Modern Warfare 17: Black Ops 4 1/2.

unrandomsam

#28

unrandomsam said:

Whereas Ubisoft always puts everything on every platform and the result is they are at best Mediocre (On the best platform) and the none favoured platforms are dire.

yuwarite

#29

yuwarite said:

That's nice, Ancel. Are you making any exclusive games for Nintendo systems? No? Okay then, bye.

faint

#31

faint said:

@unrandomsam You are absolutely right. Everyone wants to praise ubi for bringing games that are bad ports with missing features or dlc, utter trash(see espn sports connection), or Zombie U(not triple A but good). The wost thing ubi does is drastically drop the price of their games. This will make third party's avoid the wii u like a plague. When enough games drop that much that quickly 3rd party's know you wont buy their game until the price drop so no point.

faint

#32

faint said:

@unrandomsam Why don't people praise Capcom instead? Sure they have shady dlc choices, nearly destroyed Resident Evil franchise, and the whole mega man legends thing but they have done more for the wii u than anybody else really. Monster Hunter is one of the best games on the system if not one of the best released this year at all. One hell of a solid AAA title. RE Revelations while barely a AAA is still part of a big franchise and got = if not better treatment than the ps3 xbox360. They had every reason to say no way such as the 3ds already has a version. We got Ducktales which could have skipped the wii u like Mickeys castle of illusion did (thanks sega) And look at the vc. It's a wall of Nintendo, a couple from namco, one from natsume, a coulpe from tito(?) and a wall of capcom. They are also the only 3rd party to do multiple digital sales.

mattmayatt

#33

mattmayatt said:

I love Nintendo consoles and have many any of their systems but why are they sitting on some of their biggest franchises , just release a new pilotwings , f-zero, starfox, wave race, metroid and watch the Wii u fly off the shelves , also port 3ds/2ds games to the Wii u they would be perfect for it , could even have a 3d option for people with 3d TV,s.
I also like Ubisoft as they seem willing to take a gamble with Nintendo and support them from the start eg red steel/ red steel 2 and zombie u hopefully they will continue releasing stuff for Wii u.

unrandomsam

#34

unrandomsam said:

@faint Not sure about Capcom. Lots of the Virtual Console releases are still as broken as ever.

(Bad ports in the first place / Slowdown / Sprite flicker). Gives the impression of not being bothered. Something like just the stuff from Capcom Digital Collection would have made quite a difference.

They should have been able to find a way around it.

They support Japan pretty well. (Looks like the really stupid DLC is only on Western targeted games).

I am not at all happy with Dungeons & Dragons. (For a time - Saturn / Dreamcast / Gamecube - Capcom's console ports were near as damn it exactly the same as the original). Don't think they bother now.

They are not making Monster Hunter multiplatform I don't think ?

My views on Capcom are mixed.

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