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Topic: Why did Shigeru Miyamoto cease directing Legend of Zelda games?

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myonlyvice

The Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time and there are many other people who feel the same way. But, I may or may not be alone in my feeling that the LofZ series took a step backwards after Miyamoto handed the reigns over to other people. Why did he do this? He still has not retired from the industry so it makes this all the more perplexing. Is he burned out or is it a case of writer's block or does he feel he could never top OofT so he never bothers to try? I really wish he could find it in himself to direct just one more full-scale Zelda adventure. Ever since Majora's Mask things just haven't been the same. The Wind Waker was great and Twilight Princess was too but they fall short, perhaps well short, of Miyamoto's games.

myonlyvice

CaviarMeths

He's the general manager of EAD groups now. He oversees all projects.

Sometimes, people get promoted.

So Anakin kneels before Monster Mash and pledges his loyalty to the graveyard smash.

Santa

I'd argue that the zelda games after Majora's Mask are better ( Wind Waker )

But you know, that's just me.

I bring Christmas Joy and Cheer for all the little boys and girls each year.

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myonlyvice

CaviarMeths wrote:

He's the general manager of EAD groups now. He oversees all projects.

Sometimes, people get promoted.

Could it be as simple as this? If so, all I can say is wow. Maybe I'm starting to understand why Nintendo has been steadily slipping in the world for over a decade now. Maybe it's flagrant mismanagement. Everyone acknowledges that he is one the greatest if not the greatest video game designers ever. When you have someone as talented as this on your team it makes no sense to take them away from the creative side of things so they can be an overseer. This guy's talents would be infinitely better utilized in a position where he's getting his hands dirty creating new Zelda and Mario games that spring from his own fertile imagination.

myonlyvice

Jacob717

myonlyvice wrote:

Could it be as simple as this? If so, all I can say is wow. Maybe I'm starting to understand why Nintendo has been steadily slipping in the world for over a decade now. Maybe it's flagrant mismanagement. Everyone acknowledges that he is one the greatest if not the greatest video game designers ever. When you have someone as talented as this on your team it makes no sense to take them away from the creative side of things so they can be an overseer. This guy's talents would be infinitely better utilized in a position where he's getting his hands dirty creating new Zelda and Mario games that spring from his own fertile imagination.

I think it's because he's getting older and when you get older working hard on a game, or anything can be bad for your health.

Jacob717

Joeynator3000

Age, and that he wants to work on his own little projects like what we saw at last year's E3.

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CaviarMeths

myonlyvice wrote:

CaviarMeths wrote:

He's the general manager of EAD groups now. He oversees all projects.

Sometimes, people get promoted.

Could it be as simple as this?

He still works on games (Pikmin and Wii series), but Zelda was popular enough that it needed to expand development and have somebody supervise the series. Miyamoto is too busy to do that, so he handpicked Aonuma for Zelda, just as he handed Mario off to Koizumi. Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi are both extremely creative and talented. The games they make are exceedingly worthy successors to Miyamoto's own work.

And it's pretty selfish and short-sighted to believe that making Zelda and Mario games forever is a better use of Miyamoto's talents than managing the creative output of EAD groups.

So Anakin kneels before Monster Mash and pledges his loyalty to the graveyard smash.

myonlyvice

Sanya wrote:

Age, and that he wants to work on his own little projects like what we saw at last year's E3.

The age thing makes sense today. But not 10-15 years ago. Something else was/has been keeping him from doing what he was put on this earth do to: create epic video games.

Did he volunteer for an overseer job or was he made to do it?

myonlyvice

MrWalkieTalkie

CaviarMeths wrote:

myonlyvice wrote:

CaviarMeths wrote:

He's the general manager of EAD groups now. He oversees all projects.

Sometimes, people get promoted.

Could it be as simple as this?

He still works on games (Pikmin and Wii series), but Zelda was popular enough that it needed to expand development and have somebody supervise the series. Miyamoto is too busy to do that, so he handpicked Aonuma for Zelda, just as he handed Mario off to Koizumi. Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi are both extremely creative and talented. The games they make are exceedingly worthy successors to Miyamoto's own work.

And it's pretty selfish and short-sighted to believe that making Zelda and Mario games forever is a better use of Miyamoto's talents than managing the creative output of EAD groups.

This

Plus, it's not like Miyamoto made these games all by himself. It took a whole team of lots of talented people!

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Joeynator3000

Zelda wasn't the only the he worked on, like others have said...his last major project was Pikmin 3. His next one seems to be Star Fox.

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Tiefseemiez

myonlyvice wrote:

Sanya wrote:

Age, and that he wants to work on his own little projects like what we saw at last year's E3.

The age thing makes sense today. But not 10-15 years ago. Something else was/has been keeping him from doing what he was put on this earth do to: create epic video games.

Did he volunteer for an overseer job or was he made to do it?

This sounds like you're sensing some kind of conspiracy.
I think he likes the position he is in right now. He can decide which direction to take in the development of a lot (all?) major Nintendo titles without having to bother with every little step and can work on his own projects in the meantime aswell.

Never want to come down, never want to put my feet back down on the ground.

erv

He brings more awesome where he is now than he ever did before. His talent scales outward to team members now.

Plus, there's a whole lot more talent than only myamoto working at nintendo. He's awesome, but he's hardly alone.

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myonlyvice

He still works on games (Pikmin and Wii series), but Zelda was popular enough that it needed to expand development and have somebody supervise the series. Miyamoto is too busy to do that, so he handpicked Aonuma for Zelda, just as he handed Mario off to Koizumi. Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi are both extremely creative and talented. The games they make are exceedingly worthy successors to Miyamoto's own work.

And it's pretty selfish and short-sighted to believe that making Zelda and Mario games forever is a better use of Miyamoto's talents than managing the creative output of EAD groups.

[/quote]

I understand the need to expand your team as a project's popularity grows. What I don't get was the decision to place your best game developer in a management position which keeps him away from what he does best. I'm not saying Miyamoto is a poor manager but I don't see how his management abilities can surpass his game development abilities. Why not put somebody else, anybody else in the management position? Why does it have to be him? If you're a Led Zeppelin fan, would it have made sense to remove Jimmy Page from his role as guitarist and songwriter so could be the band manager because the band achieved a certain level of popularity? Would it make sense for the Cleveland Cavaliers to reassign LeBron James to team manager because they're a team on the rise? Clearly not for either because you want to keep your best people where they can do the most good. The Nintendo company's raison d'être is to make awesome games in order to turn a profit, not to expand its internal bureaucracy. (Though, admittedly, sometimes such an expansion is necessary to achieve the primary goal). It seems Nintendo does not have its most talented people working where it counts the most.

I agree that Aonuma and Koizumi are very talented. I said before that I liked Aonuma's Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. These are great games. But I don't find the games that these men direct to be as good as the ones Miyamoto has directed. After reading the comments on this thread I can see that many people feel differently about the issue. I guess this is to be expected because it's all subjective anyway. I am a little surprised though that there aren't more people willing to say that Zelda was better in the Miyamoto days. I feel like I've learned something, though. I think it's reasonable to conclude that Miyamoto felt he had done all he could do as director and was open to a career change. I imagine he received a nice salary increase in his management position which also motivated him. And who could blame him? He is absolutely within his right to alter his life's path in any way he sees fit.

I asked this question because I sorely miss Miyamoto's games and I wanted to understand what led to him giving up directing. Video game production is always a team effort but it's no coincidence that the games I enjoy the most are the games he directed. I wish there could be more but I'm not expecting any. Everybody's responses have been appreciated and, taken together, I believe you have answered my question. Thanks to all.

myonlyvice

DefHalan

Band manager is not the same as a project manager. Miyamoto is still working on Game Design and making fun games. He cannot be heavily involved with Zelda and still create Pikmin or work with the Splatoon team. He is in a position where he can have the most impact on the most number of games. This isn't taking him away from what he wants to do and forcing him to work on multiple projects. This is him being able to do what he loves in as many projects as he can without being bogged down with the day to day of a designer's job. He created some great Zelda games, but he still has an impact on them.

People keep saying the Xbox One doesn't have Backwards Compatibility.
I don't think they know what Backwards Compatibility means...

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liveswired

Personally I disagree. All Zelda games are great - but some will inevitably be better than others.

For instance - it will be impossible to match that jump into 3D for the first time - OOT redefined interaction, plus it's scale is immense. Team Zelda have to keep mixing it up, we don't want retreads of the same game everytime. Gamers today will never understand the feeling of the glory days of pioneering polygonal worlds!

Even today I switch on my N64 connected by an S-Video lead to my Pioneer KRP600 60" 1080P Plasma and I can quite frankly admire the scale of what Nintendo achieved, pin sharp, zero fuzz though it is obviously pixellated, but the artwork works in tandem with the correct filtering and resolution to bring a stunningly beautiful world to life. OOT et all are graphically epic on real N64 hardware which cannot be understated.

liveswired

kkslider5552000

I never understood this logic, considering how the other 3D Zeldas are just more interesting versions of Ocarina of Time. :V

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Santa

liveswired wrote:

Personally I disagree. All Zelda games are great

Not all of them...

Untitled

I bring Christmas Joy and Cheer for all the little boys and girls each year.

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Joeynator3000

lol...yeeeeaaah let's pretend those don't exist.

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myonlyvice

DefHalan wrote:

Band manager is not the same as a project manager. Miyamoto is still working on Game Design and making fun games. He cannot be heavily involved with Zelda and still create Pikmin or work with the Splatoon team. He is in a position where he can have the most impact on the most number of games. This isn't taking him away from what he wants to do and forcing him to work on multiple projects. This is him being able to do what he loves in as many projects as he can without being bogged down with the day to day of a designer's job. He created some great Zelda games, but he still has an impact on them.

The differences you may be thinking of between a project manager and a band manager/team manager are irrelevant. I used the analogy simply to illustrate that Miyamoto no longer works in the same capacity that made him famous in the first place, the very capacity in which I wish he still worked today. Sadly, his creative impact on any given project these days is necessarily diminished because of his job.
Bear in mind, I'm coming at this as a person whose primary interest is classic Zelda (and also Mario). I'm not really interested in his other projects. Besides, according to his gameography on Wikipedia (assuming it's accurate), he has not actually directed anything since 1999 so it's uncertain how much creative impact he has on Pikmin and everything else that has come out since then. To me, this actually makes sense because I never really found the more recent game associated with him nearly as fun. Perhaps Nintendo is merely capitalizing on his name to create buzz around certain games though his actual connection to said games is nominal. Something similar happens in Hollywood when a movie will boast of having a well-known producer associated with it but his actual creative involvement in the movie is quite tenuous. It's merely a marketing tool.
And just so you know, I read that gameography for the first time yesterday. I'm not retrofitting my perceptions of games associated with Miyamoto to bolster my argument here. I've always felt instinctively that the games I played which were released post-Ocarina were not as good. I could tell by playing them that he was not nearly as involved as he used to be. Reading the gameography merely offered an explanation for the feelings I've had for years.

myonlyvice

LzWinky

Aonuma directed Majora's Mask which is the best Zelda game of all.

Current games: Everything on Switch

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