News Article

Working With Western Developers Is All About Trust, Says Miyamoto

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We know we can rely on them"

It's no secret that the world of games development has shifted slightly in the past few years. Japan was once the centre of the gaming universe, with companies such as Square, Konami, Capcom, Sega and of course Nintendo offering the best titles the world had to offer. While those companies are still doing sterling work, western developers have taken up the torch and Japanese titles are seen as a little more "niche" in this part of the world.

Nintendo has clearly noted this trend and is now working with several western developers, including Monster Games, Retro Studios and Next Level Games. These companies have been given incredible responsibility by Nintendo — responsibility that simply would not have been offered a few years back. Speaking to Official Nintendo Magazine, Shigeru Miyamoto was asked why this approach has been taken of late:

I think the biggest factor is that level of trust you mentioned. We built the level of trust with those companies and we know we can rely on them. The second thing is a change in our approach. Once we would have looked at them and asked what a company can do independently and we would support them as needed.

Whereas now we’re looking at really working together. Particularly, for Luigi’s Mansion 2, Nintendo is the producer of that game. We call them second-party developers where they’re developing the game but we’re producing it and that’s where that level of trust is built.

Clearly the approach is working; Luigi's Mansion 2 was one of the best games on the 3DS this year. Hopefully we'll see more developers coming on board to work with Nintendo on its other key franchises, with equally agreeable results.


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User Comments (41)



Luffymcduck said:

Time to give some more franchises for western developers. It's been too long since we had a new F-Zero, Starfox, Waverace, 1080 Snowboarding... new Metroid would be nice too.



EarthboundBenjy said:

Metroid Prime is one of the finest Nintendo games I have played. Western OR Eastern! Something must have gone very right for a Western branch to have created such a masterpiece.



Buduski said:

I just want a FPS Metriod game (prime series or not) developed by retro with online multiplayer on par with Halo or COD (hopefully better), is that to much to ask?



Stuffgamer1 said:

Had to look up Monster Games. Nowhere near the level of the other two, but they're okay. For those who don't know (like myself until just now): The Excite series since Truck and Pilotwings Resort. Kinda pales compared to Metroid Prime and Luigi's Mansion, huh?

Anyway yeah, more Western team-ups would be good. Expand that portfolio. Fill gaps in release schedules. You can do it, Nintendo...just try already!



Goginho said:

@Nirvana I agree. Halo is one of the very few games I enjoy from other consoles, although I've never really gotten the chance to get into the Metroid series. If somebody were to tell me that its concept and gameplay would match that, and be similar to Halo's, then I'll gladly take the time to give it a chance.
Seeing as how game development is being treated today, there is no reason why Nintendo should not invest in more companies to "revive" some old and nearly-forgotten franchises such as Star Fox, since they are able to. They're probably loaded like a boat due to all the profit they made i.e. from the 3DS



Kirk said:

They need to do more collaborations like this because pretty much only good stuff has come of it; the Metroid Prime series, Punch-Out!! Wii, the Donkey Kong Country Returns series, Luigi's Mansion 2...



unrandomsam said:

Anything originally targeted at the West is generally junk.

(The West prefers watching to doing and love games that are all cutscene and no game).

If I wanted Western games I wouldn't have a Nintendo.



megamanlink said:

They didn't say they were doing western games they said they were using western developers to develop games explicitly produced by Nintendo



unrandomsam said:

@megamanlink Retro make Donkey Kong Country but that was always a Western game. (Rare were Western). It is also part of Nintendo.

What will happen is we get even less new ideas.



unrandomsam said:

Metroid Prime is a Western game (Made by Retro targeted at the West)

Whereas Super Metroid wasn't. (The Sales figures match).



Genesaur said:

@unrandomsam Was it targeted at the West? We know it was well-received among those who played that glorious gem, but Metroid Prime certainly didn't appeal to the general Western gaming sensibilities of the time. People were constantly comparing the series to Halo, often referring to it as a boring first-person shooter. The general Western audience didn't know what to make of what they thought was an FPS that showed no focus on combat.

Really, what makes Metroid Prime such a fondly remembered trilogy is the seamless marriage between Japanese and North American elements. Your note about sales figures misses the mark by being so (unintentionally or otherwise) vague.



Araknie said:

But no, Sony is doing this too for **** sake, please return and consider Japanese developers, that was the Nintendo difference that made the full throttle on the world.

That's why we're here still talking of Super Castlevania IV, Xenoblade Chronicles and Resident Evil Rebirth.

Nintendo needs to be in-touch more with japanese developers before going western, it's the japanese developers that are being abandoned buy everybody else, while most of the western ones are harder to catch because they have their own place already.

I buy Nintendo consoles because i don't have the same western experience of Sony and Microsoft, go east! EAST! RIGHT WERE YOU ARE!



Marshi said:

@Araknie I completely agree with you mate. Unfortunately we are very much in the minority,most people in the west much prefer interactive movies(last of us, beyond two souls) and online experiences to original games focussed on unique gameplay. Much as I love games like the last of us I do prefer more actual game in my gaming! That being said if nintendo was to make a last of us type experience with japanese sensibilities id be all over that like flys on a fruitcake!



ricklongo said:

The approach definitely seems to be working - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is way too good.

A Luigi's Mansion 3 for the Wii U would get me excited like there's no tomorrow.



shingi_70 said:

People on Nintendo fansites like to trump the horn of unique gameplay experinces yet nothing Nintendo has relased this year (or most of the time for that matter) even fall into that category.

Plus for all the complaining about interactive movies what do you think most JRPGS are?



Darknyht said:

@Sony_70 I know I am feeding you, but there has been a lot that Nintendo has released that has been unique. Animal Crossing, Luigi's Mansion, Wonderful 101, Lego City: Undercover, Nintendo Land, Off-TV Play itself, Art Academy, and many others off gameplay not found elsewhere. Granted not all have proven popular, but they are willing to try it.

Nintendo has a long history of trying unique things that work their way into the mainstream (Rumble, Thumb Controlled Analog Sticks, Motion Controls, Second Screen Gaming). If anything all Microsoft and Sony have become good at is taking what Nintendo invents and repackaging it in a more Western friendly format.



LeVideoGamer said:

Western or not, I just want to see Nintendo collaborate with other studios. They have so much IP just wasting away, and they obviously don't have enough internal staff to work on all of them, so they should let other studios have a shot. F-Zero, Star Fox, 1080 Snowboarding, Wave Race, Excitebike, Sheriff, Geist, etc. could be brought back with the help of another developer.



Samurai_Goroh said:

@Ernest_The_Crab Excite Bots sold poorly because they never bother to release it in Europe! And even Japan only got it as a Club Nintendo reward, if I'm not mistaken.
Excite Truck is one of the best games of the Wii launch window, it just lacked the polish and more focus on multiplayer that Excite Bots seems to have achieved. I would love to have another Excite Truck in glorious 1080p on Wii U, hope Monster Games is working on it. Either that or F-ZEEEROOOO!
Nintendo has tons of IPs they don't seem to be able to capitalise on. Not to mention the delays on the ones they do choose to make. Whether hire more people and make more 1st party teams, or make collaborations with 3rd parties, Nintendo. You are quite understaffed.



DilMan33 said:

Look what happened to Capcom, when they outsourced to Western developers!

So you gotta be careful, to say the least.



DerpSandwich said:

I have to say, I absolutely love the work western developers have been doing for Nintendo. I'm not going to open the whole "Japanese games suck" can of worms that certain members of the industry have been vocal about recently, but I will say that Donkey Kong Country Returns and Luigi's Mansion 2 are so much more inventive and charming than pretty much any Nintendo games I've played in years. In particular, the characters are all so expressive--something that Japanese developers don't really try to achieve. I hope Nintendo continues to hand the reigns over to their western partners.



yienwae said:

Glad to see this. I hope that Western Developers may even have a hand in helping Nintendo develop new IP's that can cater even more to the taste of the western audience. Continue to foster that relationship Nintendo. The strength of your 2nd party developers can help expand your already large catalog of unforgettable content.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Of course Nintendo had Wonderful 101 which was a new IP and so far my game of the year & a majority of Nintendo players didn't even give it the time of day. There's a reason why Nintendo keeps pumping out sequels, most Nintendo fans won't venture outside the comforts of Mario, Zelda, or Donkey Kong.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Ernest_The_Crab: It was, but it still couldn't hope to stand up to the bigger names. I didn't play as much of it as I wanted to because I was learning to drive a real car at the time and my dad decided to ban me from playing it as a precaution. Never wound up getting back to it.



AJ_Lethal said:

@DilMan33 Wrong. Capcom's downfall was caused by pandering to Western audiences way too much while burning a crapload of money in the process expecting a kajillion sales.




@Buduski Yes...yes it is. Metroid shouldn't have multi-player shoved into it. It's not CoD or Halo, so why ruin the single player for the sake of multi-player?

You really can't have it all.



Buduski said:

@NINTENCHIP, you clearly never played Metroid Prime Hunters for the original DS, that game had Local & online multiplayer and it worked fine (the touch screen controls where awkward but thats not the point) they need something similar but on a larger scale, Beautiful HD graphics output at 1080p running a smooth 60 fps, having TDM with different Hunters including Samus or creating your own as a customizable hunters (weapons, armor, etc.)... Yea a Game mode like THAT if implemented would definitely be a bad thing



JaxonH said:

Monster Games also handled Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, even if it was a port. The last "Excite" game was Excitebugs on the Wii, and it was actually fantastic. Not sure if they handled it but I think they did, cause I remember hearing it was the same developer as Excitetrucks on Wii.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@JaxtonH: Actually, ExciteBike: World Rally released later the same year. Didn't know about DKCR3D because it's not listed on their website for some odd reason. Though granted, it's a pretty bare-bones site.



Araknie said:

@Marshi This and China lifting the Videogames embargo in this month could be a great oppurtunity.

I couldn't believe any videogame consoles manufaturer not considering a market with other 1B and 300M people in it.



mastersworddude said:

@Araknie This doesn't make any sense to me, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo, Metroid Prime were developed by western game studios. I don't see why it matters, I play Nintendo because I like to play amazingly polished, traditional, feel good games, they give me feeling most other consoles and PC games can't. If a developer can help Nintendo to release games like that, they can be based in Mars for all I care.

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