Nintendo is a company built on the talents of many, many individuals, but some of its past and current employees are more important than others.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, guided the firm from its core playing card and board game business into the wacky world of interactive entertainment and was responsible for turning the Kyoto company into the powerhouse it is today. The late Gunpei Yokoi made the Game & Watch and Game Boy, generating millions of dollars in revenue and cementing Nintendo's status as the king of the portable gaming market.
And then there's Shigeru Miyamoto, the many responsible for Nintendo's first genuine video game hit – Donkey Kong – and some of its most enduring franchises, such as Zelda, F-Zero and Super Mario. Miyamoto has stepped away a little from hands-on game development in recent years but is still actively involved with the production of Nintendo's lead titles, offering advice and feedback to ensure the games are as good as they can be.
But what happens when Miyamoto finally decides he's had his fill and retires? That's a question that CNBC put to a selection of Nintendo fans and market analysts in its recent "Rise of Nintendo" report. What shape will the company take once its golden boy has hung up his boots?
Johnathan Mann, the creator of the Mario Opera, thinks the company is in good hands:
People like to say that Shigeru Miyamoto is like the Walt Disney of Nintendo; in many ways, Nintendo is Miyamoto and Miyamoto is Nintendo. They're so interlocked. Whether or not Nintendo can survive without Miyamoto is a bit like asking if Apple can survive without Steve Jobs. It's the same level of importance to the company, so using that as a framework, I would say the answer is yes; Miyamoto has infused so much of his DNA into the company.
Amir Anvarzadeh, Japan equity market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors, is equally bullish about Nintendo's future once Miyamoto moves aside:
Miyamoto-san has obviously been a driving force of the gaming business initially for Nintendo, but Nintendo has a very deep bench; Nintendo has a very, very strong development base.
However, Alex Handy, founder and director of The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, has some reservations about Nintendo's ability to replace someone of Miyamoto's talent:
I think that some of the talent they have is once-in-a-generation talent and can never be replaced, so I wonder what happens to a post-Shigeru Miyamoto Nintendo.
What do you think? Has Miyamoto helped shape a company that can survive without his skills and knowledge? Do you perhaps feel that he gets too much credit for Nintendo's success? What will the company look like once Miyamoto stands down and isn't on hand to provide advice and guidance? Let us know with a comment.
Wow, that’s a bit morbid. I reckon he’ll stay as long as he’s got ideas, of which he has many.
I'm sure it could, he's not the only imaginative person out there.
We'll just have to trust him to pick a.good successor, if he doesn't have one in mind already.
No one will read this lol!
I think they will be fine. Their slogan of 'create something unique' is already a foundation for their creativity. Mr Miyamoto embodies that statement, but I think it would be a disservice to think no one else in Nintendo can. After all, it is the company's culture! It's the very thing that boggles analysts minds while they are slapping themselves on the back because they worked out 'same mechanics + better graphics = profit'. I doubt Nintendo are going to turn into a first person / third person 'experience' company in the foreseeable. I would have thought a director of a museum would have more insight.
As gaming becomes more accepted in the West, it becomes more taken for granted. Inspiration for a game usually comes from another game, which in turn creates a very predictable criteria for success. Nintendo being more 'artistic' means they are still one of the few companies to draw inspiration outside of the digital realm (Pikmin for example) and one of the brave few companies that dare to try something different. To reiterate, they will be fine being themselves. Sometimes they miss, but when they hit, they hit big.
I think his inspiration will live on and when he does retire the company will continue to do great things.
Let's not forget Miyamoto ruined Star Fox Zero and Paper Mario. He doesn't always have the best ideas.
I'm pretty optimistic that, while no praise is too great for Miyamoto, Nintendo has successfully "absorbed" what he had brought to the company and built on it. After all, the late Gunpei Yokoi left the company years ago, but his influence is still apparent to this day in their products.
If a company needs a select few individuals to remain relevant then that company isn't growing at all. I'm sure there are other gems within the ranks that given the opportunity would bring about great titles for us to enjoy.
@nessisonett What's morbid about it? He's not getting any younger, and I imagine at some point he will want to retire and relax for a bit. There's nothing morbid about that from what I can see?
He doesn’t retire and actually outlives the company, much like Al Jaffee and Mad Magazine (RIP)
I feel like this discredits the hard work of the people that have learned under Miyamoto, and have produced multiple successful games with his guidance, but not leadership.
For example, he's not credited for Super Mario Maker 2, and he's directed fewer Mario titles than you think. Produced many, but not all of them.
@Damo 'what's morbid about it?' follows this up with 'he's not getting any younger'. You've answered your own question bud.
I think they can survive when he decides to retire. He’s clearly helping the company prepare for it. There are so many talented people working within Nintendo, plus some who have been under his guidance, that it won’t be an issue. Eiji Aonuma comes to mind, so does Yoshiaki Koizumi (Super Mario Odyssey), Hisashi Nogami (Splatoon) and Katsuya Eguchi (Animal Crossing), including the ones who learning from them as well. If anything, Nintendo will have more incredible talent working for them in the future.
Yeah. They’ll survive. They’ve lost legends before (Yokoi, Iwata) and still keep going. And they’ll still have other old legends (Sakurai, Aonuma) and I see future legends in Amano and Sakaguchi (the Splatoon directors).
Well his job at Nintendo now is specifically to foster the next generation of developer talent, and he's uninvolved in game development day to day - unlike both Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Different corporate culture.
So to answer your question they'll be fine.
@Lordplops I'm clearly talking about his retirement - which he's perfectly entitled to, having worked so hard for the past few decades. Not everyone just works and then promptly dies, you know
@RupeeClock Super Mario Odyssey was the work of Yoshiaki Koizumi, plus many other talented people behind him as well. He had shadowed Miyamoto for many years
Nor is memento mori particularly morbid by itself. It's just the truth. That doesn't have to make one morbid.
Miyamoto retires. The Paper Mario franchise soars to unforeseen heights. Under the inspiration and soul moving narrative of the now unrepressed Paper Mario works, humanity enters a new golden age. In a hundred years of peace, non-Paper Mario is considered a niche spinoff series.
I kid, I kid. Miyamoto is a genius and every time he talks about his design process, it's fascinating.
@Damo wording is key, hey it'll come, give it time 😁
@KoopaTheQuick Nintendo never owned Rare, they contracted for development of games to them. I think you meant, they allowed Microsoft to buy a longtime and trusted partner, who developed a good chunk of Nintendo’s N64 hits.
Fans and analysts often asked this question 20 years ago, I don't think they do any more as the answer is obviously yes. The company is now far less reliant on his creative input.
I love Miyamoto, he truly is one of gaming's greatest visionaries, but more game designers will come after him and will strive to be better and better, that's how we get ground-breaking experiences. I think Miyamoto would be proud to have even more people take his place and make better experiences than he did.
Well Disney is far, far bigger than it ever was when Walt Disney was alive...
It's not like when he retires/dies, anything he brought to Nintendo will disappear. He has great ideas that have taught and inspired many game developers and that has already made a huge impact.
Besides, Nintendo's younger developers have been given more control over more projects these days and they have done a great job
@VoodooTrumpet Disney's still not an example you'd want to follow as they went into a serious slump - especially creatively- after Walt died and didn't come out of it until the '80s.
@VoodooTrumpet - agreed. Disney is a behemoth and it is clear Nintendo has already un passed the reins of their franchises to a newer generation.
Nintendo is ultimately a company. When it boils down to it, cash is king and it will do what is necessary to survive and thrive.
He was good at giving the company a boost and resurrecting console gaming after the crash of crash of '83, but at this point, I think Nintendo can survive without him and hopefully not repeat some of his mistakes like the time he ruined Dinosaur Planet and allegedly made Rare want to quit working for the company in the process.
It's a far less interesting question than say 'what exactly makes Miyamoto unique?'.
The biggest recent succes of Nintendo have very little to do with Miyamoto's involvement. Animal Crossing, Splatoon, Luigi's Mansion, even the most succesful Zelda in years owes it to Aonuma and Fubayashi.
On the innovation front it's Kawamoto (Labo) and Yabuki (Arms).
Miyamoto has been hugely succesful AND been responsible for wii music, star fox zero/guard and the stagnation of paper mario.
@progx Nintendo owned a 49% stake in Rare.
Without a doubt Nintendo will go on to make many many great games long after Shigsy retires. He has left his stamp on the company, the main studios will always revere him. Hopefully Nintendo will further broaden their approach to games in the future.
@KoopaTheQuick That is true. They did consider them second party.
@Damo But they didn’t own the company as a division within Nintendo. Investment is a stake, not ownership. Should they have bought them? I’d say yes, but who knows how the boardroom and investors acted in Kyoto in that time.
Miyamoto has been a hero of mine since I read ‘Game Over’ by David Sheff in 1998 and wanted to be an Industrial Designer. He has laid the foundations upon which Nintendo built its empire of fun but I think the company will do well after he retires. We’ve seen games like ARMS, Splatoon, Breath of the Wild and Snipperclips come from the younger development talent who have been more daring in throwing away tradition to try something new.
I think the model we can look at is the late Gunpei Yokoi. His mantra of ‘Lateral thinking through withered technology’ still drives the core thinking at Nintendo, from the Wii using the GameCube parts to keep costs down to the DS basically being an updated Game & Watch to the Switch using a slightly outdated mobile processor, that ethos is how Nintendo turn a large profit.
If Yokoi still guides Nintendo all these years after his sad demise I think Miyamoto will do the same.
It already does.
His game design philosophy just shaped up to be the company we all know these days.
Miyamoto has indeed shaped much of Nintendo. Despite the mixed reports, I'd say that he kept the games "simple" and enjoyable. I kinda wish he had reined in the breaking items and the (few) other needless complications of BotW.
That said, age comes for us all. No one's immune. Nintendo will need to be ready to work without Miyamoto. As much as that might mean a Star Fox game without gimmicks, it could also mean that unfittingly complex or overly-pretentious stories could destroy the franchises' image. That also doesn't mean that it has to be without leadership, necessarily - Koizumi's track record is pretty stellar and would make for a solid creative leader.
It's not just the leaders doing the creative lifting, though. There are tons of people that make our favorite games. I'm sure that with that backbone that the Nintendo we know and love will be just fine.
Long answer told short?
Most likely if you consider how much of a step back he took from game development and how many games(even franchises) are now headed by new teams or even lead directors.
Like Animal Crossing which is now headed by a different person( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aya_Kyogoku ) than the ones they started with. In fact she even made sure the AC development team would achieve gender parity in it's makeup which diversity ouc viewpoints may well have helped make this into a title that can appeal to so many players in the first place.
Another fun fact: New Horizon as a title is well known for it's gameplay already but did you know the amount of writing in this game actually numbers over a million words? That's a gargantuan amount of writing for a game or even a novel(recall that the writing goal for Nanowrimo's novels is only 50 000 words for a "finished" novel).
It's not just his unique talent but his unique position. Even if someone had his talent they would not be in his unique position because his position is derived from him being there from the start of Nintendo's efforts in interactive entertainment and his legendary contributions. This gives his position gravity and respect that is impossible to replace (all similar to Steve Jobs). No doubt the company will continue forward well without him but it will have lost a key rudder that will, like all companies with such key figures, have long term implications.
Miyamoto is THE videogame living legend and he is one of the reasons why Nintendo is still here today. But there are other studios that make incredibly good games without any help from Miyamoto. Rockstar is one of the best studios, so good that Nintendo said BOTW2 would get inspiration from red dead redemption 2. So as much as it saddens me to think about Miyamoto's eventual retirement, I am positive Nintendo will still thrive and possibly attract great game designers
Yes. No doubt. Need more words. Positively yes.
I was under the impression that Miyamoto already has a more hands-off mentoring role at Nintendo?
I’m sure Nintendo have had a plan in place for many years already to ensure that Miyamoto’s eventual departure doesn’t hinder the quality and creativity of their output.
There’s no denying his talent and influence, but for a business on Nintendo’s scale it’s daft to think that one person is the sole factor for how competent and successful they will be.
I mean Disney still seem to be doing okay without Walt Disney - and it’s been nearly 60 years now?
I don’t want to sound dismissive of Miyamoto. Obviously he will be greatly missed, and his legacy will continue to reap rewards through the people he has mentored and passed his knowledge onto.
@RetiredR Oh, I definitely would have agreed with that around the time of Color Splash and Star Fox Zero. It definitely seems like they're doing much better recently, though.
I'll be frank with y'all - Hiroshi Yamauchi wasn't chosen by grandpa Fusajiro out of the blue - the man was looking around for someone to pass the torch. Same goes for Hiroshi with Satoru Iwata.
Miyamoto's been looking for a successor for quite some time now, and most of the input for Super Mario Odyssey has been given by fresh blood as far as my knowledge is concerned. Nintendo will be fine.
That legitimately got a good chuckle out of me.
Nintendo will DIE! Just like Apple and Disney did.
But seriously, it'll be fine. Miyamoto has spoken several times about mentoring the next generation. His skills and philosophy will live on after he's gone.
Miyamoto was behind Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Star Fox Zero. He's not some sort of all-powerful game-making god. Some of Nintendo's best games didn't have much of any involvement from Miyamoto; they will be fine as a company.
Well Disney is doing fine without Walt Disney...
Zelda has been in Aonuma's capable hands for a long time. Mario Odyssey was Motokura. Sakurai is the king of Smash Bros for now. He has nothing to do with Animal Crossing, Kirby or Pokémon and Splatoon is doing great. I think Nintendo are already doing pretty well without Miyamoto already really.
He's a legend and an inspiration, but he's far from the only talent Nintendo have and I don't think it's fair on everyone else there to act as if he's the only one holding Nintendo up.
@RileyR when you explore ideas and concepts and take chances in order to innovate, not everything will resonate with everyone. Honesty, I wish Miyamoto would make another Zelda game. I miss his vibe. Breath of the Wild was cool, but it didn't have the charm and personality of past games, imho. I can't put my finger on it, but I love replaying A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds, but I don't feel like replaying BotW.
Nintendo will be just fine. Whenever he leaves will be a sad day, but Nintendo has tons of creative people under its wings. Splatoon was spearheaded by a new creative team and it turned into a mega hit, even on the Wii U of all places. I selfishly would like to at least get Pikmin 4 before he leaves, haha.
He deserves to have some time to himself, retire and enjoy the rest of his life. What a legacy he has.
@Tsusasi A Link Between worlds was headed up by Eiji Aonuma, same as BotW. Miyamoto was the producer on Link's Awakening but reportedly didn't actually give much creative input.
“ some of its most enduring franchises, such as Zelda, F-Zero and Super Mario”
Sorry, but we’ve not seen F-Zero in 16 years. Way to rub it in. You might as well have included Mole Mania in that list...
(or rather Star Fox if you want a serious suggestion)
As Disney survived without Walt, Nintendo will survive without Miyamoto. But, the spirit of Disney is what was harmed with Walt's passing. Walt was the ideas man and the visionary, and without him the quality of Disney Animation suffered for decades.
Nintendo is not like Disney in the fact that Miyamoto has been mentoring young talent for decades. He's instilled the essence of a Miyamoto game in to the minds of designers around the globe. That a fun and polished game is more important than profit. And that a designer should question every decision they make about a game to allow for it to flow. And that no idea no matter how crazy and out there can become a cornerstone of a franchise. Like when he suggested to Retro of "what if Samus has a fly's head" and that's how the visors were born.
He's a genius if a bit eccentric. But, he will always be Nintendo and what young designers will strive to emulate in their work for decades to come.
If somebody has already mentioned this, my apologies! If I’m not mistaken, hasn’t Miyamoto said in recent years that he’s become more hands off when it comes to development? During the WiiU era, didn’t he bring up this very fact and the press ran with it? It turned into Miyamoto is leaving and Nintendo’s stock dropped. Didn’t that happen?
Edit: And, Miyamoto has said that he no longer swoops in and completely shuts games down.
This article scared the bejesus out of me. I thought he had died when I read the headline. Why else would people be pondering this now?
Nintendo without Miyamoto won't be the same that is for sure (the losses of Yamauchi and Iwata were also noticeable) and Miyamoto will be missed so much by the whole video game industry when he leaves.
However, Nintendo started to adapt to a post-Miyamoto era long ago. Some time after the GameCube released they already started to push Miyamoto more into the background and into a supervisor role. Over the years he got pushed back more and more into the background and now has more or less just the role of an advisor.
Miyamoto seems to have established a way of thinking and working at Nintendo that won't go when he leaves. I'm pretty sure of that... at least I hope so.
The loyalist in me says no, but it isn’t like the old guard hasn’t trained successors. Aonuma-san for instance, has done Zelda proud considering he pretty much reimagined the first Zelda game and it was amazing (BOTW). I think Miyamoto-dono is pleased at having handed Zelda to him, plus I have heard that even Aonuma-san is trying to groom the next gen behind him. Personally, I’m more concerned about management.
Miyamoto-dono and his peers were allowed a ton of creative freedom and even time off work to gather inspiration. Yamauchi-san was a crabby guy, but he didn’t choke hold the creativity beyond wanting a standard of quality. Iwata-denka and to a lesser extent Reggie were champions for the devs and the consumers.
I still have no real sense of the current President and I don’t think we will until the successor to the Switch as the Switch was Iwata-denka’s last influenced product.
That being said by the time he retires totally I will be at an age where I will likely re-evaluate gaming as a hobby so it shouldn’t hurt if I choose to walk away.
@nab1 I’ve been in your shoes in the past. A quick glance at an article about Miyamoto’s future has caught me off guard, too!
@RileyR the thing is Miyamoto is the guy a lot of these creatives go to when they have questions or concerns. He gives a lot of input on projects that give a guiding hand. Like how Splatoon was almost a Mario spinoff till he stepped in and told them to get creative. Or how he'd come into the office and question every decision being made in BotW to make sure it all was cohesive. He's integral to the design of Nintendo games.
Look at Square after Sakaguchi left and the Final Fantasy IP. It spent decades going from creative hand to creative hand. It's a the point you question what Final Fantasy even is? Sakaguchi seemed hands off with the IP post FFVII, but like Miyamoto he was the guiding hand that kept the spirit there. Not saying FFXII, FFXIII (this one's not to my taste) or FFXV are bad games, just they are so different from FFX and before it's like a whole new franchise. The franchise lacks direction. And that's where I think Miyamoto has been successful.
He's put key people into roles he thinks they can succeed at. Aonuma was placed in the position of the head of Zelda because of Miyamoto. The Splatoon team created it's funky pop world because of Miyamoto's advice. And, Retro were daring with Metroid Prime because Miyamoto told them when something was working and something was not. This is just what we know about and he has been key in shaping what Nintendo is due to his hands on approach and putting people and studios in positions for success. I think they'll be fine exactly because Miyamoto has been cultivating talent and imagination within those teams for decades.
@gauthieryannick Apple has Arcade.
Miyamoto is like the Steve Jobs of Nintendo. Some hate him, some love him. But he did shape the current form of Nintendo. But I don't think Nintendo would be in any real danger if he would leave. Maybe even a fresh direction could help the company.
I'd be sad to see him gone, but Nintendo would survive.
I was a bit scared and feared he kicked the bucket. Thank goodness that isn't the case!
But back on topic: Nintendo definitely works without him. His role seems to have dwindled anyway over the years. Now the most we hear of him is expanding Nintendo outside of games (like the Mario theme-park attraction). Maybe he still gives advice behind the scenes from time to time. And they may keep him as a mascot, as inspiration for a younger generation. Think of Koji Kondo. When is the last time he is credited for a soundtrack (okay, he made some Mario maker 2 tracks, but you get the point).
Miyamoto has done very good things like creating Mario and Zelda, but he has also done very bad things. Lately it seems nobody at Nintendo is interested in his "new project" ideas, makes you wonder how out of touch they are. That being said: It would be a pity if his last game would be the failed Star fox zero. Give this man one last hurrah: A genius new ip that everyone loves. It must be possible!
Can the Kirby franchise do well without Sakurai? I mean, Epic Yarn and Star Allies lead me to answer this by saying with a shrug, "Probably...?", but so far, even the worst games are still enjoyable to some capacity. I think Miyamoto is too restricting at times, and it would be nice to see the Mario series expand rather than regress. And maybe with Miyamoto out of the picture, we could get a decent Star Fox game, or maybe even a new F-ZERO game!
Miyamoto hasnt acted as director or lead producer on a major game since StarFox Zero, which released 4 years ago.
Nintendo will absolutely be fine if he leaves the company or retires.
Wasn’t the argument during the Wii U era was Miyamoto hadn’t done anything new in a long while that made a difference? Miyamoto isn’t involved with Metroid. Or Pokemon. Or Fire Emblem. Or Kirby. Or Xenoblade. He didn’t come up with Splatoon, or Arms, or Ring Fit. He has little involvement with Zelda now, and took a back seat with Mario Odyssey. All of this is because they’re are very creative people who bring their ideas to the table. Miyamoto has taken a step back during the Switch era so he can oversee the Mario movie. It’s not a question on if they can go on without him, it’s obvious they already are.
Yes. Yes they can. Could they survive without Mario Zelda Pokemon animal crossing and smash?
@Ogbert actually that's not even remotely true. He changed the entire course of development of the game on more than one occasion. He had them scrap the original game completely and start over from scratch and gave them the direction to make it part of the Link to the Past world. He torn into mid-development play mechanics and sent them back to the drawing board. He was also the one who finally geeen lit the game. We would never have gotten the game we got if it hadn't been for Miyamoto's guidance and insight. Not even close.
People don't even know much about how Nintendo is doing now.
Nintendo is not relying on Miyamoto like he is the only important employee, the company has a lot of talented people, Miyamoto is just another of them, the company can keep doing well even if he leaves or dies.
Also, Miyamoto nowadays is not even that important for Nintendo anymore, sure he created Mario and Zelda, but those franchises are doing well without him, Miyamoto is more like a supervisor nowadays, there are a lot of good Nintendo games that didn't have any sort of input from Miyamoto, there are even some fans that claim that Miyamoto is actually being a hindrance, like the Paper Mario fans, that claim that Miyamoto's requests for Sticker Star and Color Splash made the games lose the charm of the previous entries.
@DinnerAndWine What does you hating women have to do with anything?
I think Nintendo would be better off without him the same way ID is doing a lot better now that John Carmack left. Now ID is making really amazing games instead of making tech demos that fulfill Carmack's random, arbitrary programing obsessions.
Miamoto just ruins games and makes junk projects at this point: he ruined Paper Mario by telling them to strip out all the elements that make Paper Mario good. He ruined Dinosaur Planet by making them slap the star fox license on it and I'm sure there where other original projects that would have been awesome but he either made them get tossed out for stupid nonsense reasons or made them slap an existing Nintendo IP on. He headed dumpster fire garbage games like Star Fox Zero and Wii Music.
Who knows when the last time he actually did anything good was, my guess is any recent good things he's been attributed to are actually him being given credit for someone else's ideas or work. He's MASSIVELY overrated: very much the Japanese equivalent of George Lucas, or John Carmack at the very least.
Am not worried if Shogeru Miyamoto does retire one day there always will be talented people for the game industry.
It's more of a comment on certain companies hiring people who are ill-equipped for jobs based on diversity focused hiring practices, and how Japanese companies don't fall into that trap while western companies do.
Thanks for your input though 😏
On the contrary, I think a few things would have been better without him!
Nintendo will survive, but he’s an absolute legend.
I think of him more as the Willy Wonka of the games world - far more playful and left-field than Walt Disney ever was - but Nintendo as a whole has many, many Willy Wonkas - not one, as well as many creative Umpa Lumpas
Yes. If anything he hurts games more than helps them these days.
As wonderful and legendary Miyamoto is, I do feel like he gets a bit too much credit for a lot of Nintendo's later successes. These games are made by a whole team of extremely talented people, it's not just Miyamoto alone.
@Ryu_Niiyama what's up with the honorifics?
Without a new pikmin he's gone to me already.
While Miyamoto was an important player in Nintendo's early success, I really don't think he's been very important in the last decade, so when he retires I don't think much is going to change. The last game to launch where he was a designer was Steel Diver. Not to discredit him for many of the wildly successful titles where he has been a producer, but as a producer he more or less just serves as guidance on the general direction the game is taking. Undoubtedly he serves as a mentor to his teams, but that just shows that he is passing his knowledge on, and that the legendary quality games Nintendo is known for isn't going to die with Miyamoto. In some ways, I feel Miyamoto's retirement might be good for Nintendo, as it can pave the way for some of the other great talent in their company. When people say Miyamoto is the "Walt Disney" of Nintendo, I don't believe them, I think there are a lot of "Walt Disneys" in Nintendo. I don't mean any disrespect to Miyamoto, far from it, the man is a legend in the industry, and probably one of the greatest if not the greatest video game designer of all time.
@RileyR Years of speaking the language and martial arts training. Is there a problem?
I don't know, Walt Disney went from an animation studio making 5 minute cartoons with funny animals to almost building a city of the future in Florida.
I can't think of anything as left field as that from Nintendo.
You guys know that, since Iwatta passed away, he is not in charge of Game developing anymore, right?
His position of "Creative Fellow" is just a symbolic position. He just advises and gives his point of view.
He is a venerable member of Nintendo. But in the last 10 years his way of working has become a hidrance and his arrogance started to show.
For example, not making a 2D Mario game, one of Nintendo IPs that sell hardware and is loved by gamers of all ages, just because HE DOESN'T LIKE TO MAKE THEM, is a show of arrogance.
Puting a moron that doesn't like nor understand nor cares about Zelda just because "he made dolls in college" is pure arrogance.
Making a mediocre Star Fox game with terrible controls just to prove that he was right about the Gamepad (proving that he wasn't in the way) and blaming the gamers for not liking is arrogance.
And by the way, saying customers didn't get it when one of his projects failed (Pikmin for example) is pure arrogance.
If anything, he should have retired a long time ago and let younger developers do their job. He is and always be respected but treating him like a God is not constructive in any way.
So yeah...Nintendo will be very fine without him. Maybe even better.
I didn't really read the article. I clicked on it because I didn't know whether it was based on him actually leaving or not.
Anyway, Nintendo will be fine. Yes, he was a creative force and did a heck of a lot for Nintendo and its franchises, but he's also the reason we don't get some things, or the reason we have some bizarre forced gimmicks.
I think putting all the credit on him for Nintendo even in the last couple decades is a real discredit to every other creative force at Nintendo.
@Ryu_Niiyama it's just weird. No need to show off your asian skills randomly.
@Toy_Link But it's also kinda predictable Walt would do such a thing.
I've always thought of Walt Disney as a conventionalist in many ways - because his projects always felt designed to be mass-appealing foremost. He was a capitalist through and through - and you can't get anything more conventional than that.
Nintendo, whilst also being very, very business savvy and capitalist, always seem to value their child-like imagination as the greatest asset the company has – and their success is alway on the back of that - not before it (whereas with Walt I believe business WAS the point - and creativity the means).
Basically Disney are tailored crowd pleasers first, and creators for the purpose of that end, whereas I believe Nintendo are non-compromising toy-maker creators first, who are (fortunately) crowd pleasers too.
Hence I still say they are true life Willy Wonka's who are prepared to be unpopular to remain creative first - and we should be very happy about that (such as not bending to the Sony/Microsoft model of hardware first - and taking serious chances with things that may or may not work out like: The Wii, Labo, The DS, Rig-Fit Adventure etc...). Walt wasn't like that - he was all business and even if he had failed projects they where not intentionally left to chance at all.
Another comparison would be something like: Walt = Steve Jobs, Shigeru = Steve Woz. Woz was all for the love of it. Jobs had gold reflecting in his eyes all the way - and the tech was just the tech. He fed off the Wozs' and Johnny Ives'.
So I stand by my Willy Wonka angle and I don't agree with anyone who see Nintendo as the Disney's of the games world at all. They are not perfect but they deserve a better comparison than that.
@Ryu_Niiyama you missed out a san for poor Reggie.
I love Miyamoto, but I think Nintendo have done a great job in allocating different franchises to directors and producers who work well with them. You only have to look at Zelda to see how richly one of Miyamoto's games can thrive without his direct guidance. And the company have recently done great work forming young teams, completely removed from the NES and SNES-era superstars. I think they're all very conscious of the desire to live up to the legacy of the great developers associated with Nintendo, especially after Iwata's passing, and I don't think it undermines Miyamoto's talent or unique vision to say I think they'll be able to do it. I think it's directly because of Miyamoto's influence that they will.
@Deanster101 Reggie is americanu though, not a Great Japanese. Only very honory Japanesu men deserve name appendix.
I bet Reggie has not even done 1 lesson of beautiful karate(thx Razer) training!
This article is a bit old but it's rather relevent to this topic.
I won't go into too much detail but the short answer is no, it wouldn't have much long term adverse impact, it may change the direction of certain projects but overall, no the health of the company wouldn't be effected long term
It will be a shock and may impact the stock for the business but that'll bounce back before long.
He would however, be sorely missed and so would his presence and guidance so I'd rather not dwell on such morbid theories.
@RileyR Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art. Not Japanese.
You maybe thinking of Karate? Although that's rather ugly looking in practice.
Nintendo is already preparing himself for the eventual retiriment of Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo will be fine when Shigeru Miyamoto retires or die, they already have a lot of amazing talent taking care Miyamoto franchises.
A "perfect" prototype master planed city of the future was far from a safe bet. There was a reason why the idea died when Walt died and "East Coast Disneyland" (the part of the plan that Walt cared least about) became the main focus of the Florida project .
Nintendo and Disney both have always been crowd pleasers. I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as you make a good product and you take a good amount of risks. Nintendo has its own fair share of "Cinderellas" such as NSMB and all the Wii series games (that came after Wii Sports was a proven success) and also their "Fantasias" such as the examples you cited above.
Walt wasn't just a businessman, there was already another Disney at the studio that was much better business man than Walt. There was a reason why the company almost collapsed after Walt died. Walt wasn't the most creative guy around, but I think he knew how to fix a story, and how to enhance an initial vision.
He has an impressive legacy to leave behind that, much like Walt Disney, will be the foundation for many future projects to come. Nintendo being as old as they are, aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
If Xbox can survive after Phil Spencer, Matt Booty, and Aaron Greenberg running it into the anti-consumer ground and going 3rd party, then Nintendo will be just fine.
Disney had its Dark Ages for a couple decades after Walt died (mind you, some of my favorites are from that time period) and now look at them. Apple is doing just fine without Steve Jobs.
Nintendo has survived since 1889, sometimes with barely anything at all, and they’ve lost other legends over the years. Younger generations need a chance to shine too and it’s not like he hasn’t taught them well. And it’s not like he’d be taking Mario and Zelda with him.
@Deanster101 you seem to be confused. Reggie is an American, and since I didn’t write out his last name there was no reason for me write Mr. Fils-Amie. Is there a problem? Or did you just feel compelled to give syntax lessons where none were required?
@RileyR Not sure what was weird about it. My original post violates no website rules and is correct syntax. It is weird that rather than commenting on my post’s topic, you are focusing on trying to tell me how to speak. And making side comments about it. This is uncalled for behavior. Stop.
This focus on a single individual as the harbinger of an entire company's vision and future needs to stop. Nintendo employs 1000+ game developers across Nintendo EPD, Monolith Soft, iQue, NST, and Retro (not to mention another dozen or so very close partners) who have built the company to what is is today, not just Miyamoto.
There's no denying Miyamoto's huge influence on Nintendo as a company and video games in general, but I do honestly believe Nintendo will be fine without him. I doubt his influence on the company in recent years has even been anywhere as big as it was in the 80s and 90s.
They'll be fine, even if a giant tsunami hit Japan Nintendo will still stand strong. Even if their many greats passed away, they still got tons of alumni waiting to rise.
How does Disney, a company that publish other peoples stories, need Walt disney? They operated the same, with or without him. Not sure on how Nintendo would do, not as well for sure, because it's a different scenario, but they would continue to make good games.
@Ryu_Niiyama It is weird though. Making a deliberate dinstinction in adressing high ranked industry figures only on the base of their ethnicity.
Silly to flex your japanophillia like that.
@Ryu_Niiyama @RileyR Japanese? I thought it was cockney?
@Toy_Link Yeah maybe your right - I guess we don't really know any of these guys if we're honest, and these are just my impressions. That impression is that whereas I can imagine working for Nintendo to be a dream (but hard work), working for Walt was probably more of a nightmare. He just didn't seem to be a 'good' person - just motivated, successful and to an extent visionary. But it's true that I don't know – just impressions based on not a lot of knowledge if I'm truthful.
@Ryu_Niiyama Don't listen to them Ryu. It's really not worth it.
I don't think the Steve Jobs comparison is particularly apt. Nintendo was around a long time before Miyamoto, and he's never been a CEO. Sure his creative contributions have been invaluable, but they've developed other very successful franchises besides those he's been directly involved in.
As long as they follow his integrity and game design practices.
Nintendo will surely survive post-Miyamoto, and even financially thrive. But it won't be Nintendo, exactly, that we've known. Like Apple under current leadership is more financially successful than even under Jobs, but it's really now "just another tech company" without that special different-ness that made it special under Jobs (I say that as a vehement non-fan of Apple.)
Similarly Nintendo will become "just another entertainment/media/software company" that may be more profitable than ever, but it won't be that special quirky company. It'll make mass market money just fine, but it'll be just another corporation just like all the others.
@cdog555 It's apt in that, while Miyamoto isn't the business head of the company, he's basically not the business head only because he refused the role when it was available for him.
But it's not the business executive role that made Jobs synonymous with Apple, it was the creative/design lead role that did that. Anyone can liason with investors and guide the numbers and sales strategies so long as they have the knowledge of how to do so. But being the creative/visionary behind a company's identity is a one of a kind task.
@Ryu_Niiyama Yamauchi impeded Miyamoto's creativity often, their arguments were legendary. Miyamoto just went around his back. "Politely"....kind of... Miyamoto's a rebel. In a Japanese context that alone makes him one of a kind.
But where Yamauchi was an old school tyrant who mostly only cared about getting sales at the end of the day, and Iwata was an altruist, Furukawa is "just a globalist businessman." He lives and breathes shareholder value. Like every other modern corporate leader. He's not a particularly evil leader, he's just "normal" and current "normal" is soulless evil that exists simply to siphon all value and turn it over to investment for an attaboy. Mario x FIFA, coming soon to a Hulu Gaming subscription near you.
Miyamoto established Nintendo's culture. As long as their "fun first" culture is maintained and someone takes up the mantle of providing high scrutiny, Nintendo should continue to be what is has been.
Tilte: can Nintendo survive without Miyamoto?
Subtitle: he's the Walt Disney of Nintendo.
Walt Disney died by the end of 1966.
Walt Disney Studios is -arguably- doing very good.
But the real creative spirit that made Snow White happen despite investors backing out and not believing in the idea of a feature length hand drawn animation film... The spirit that made Oswald and Mickey...
Then again, Miyamoto's IP's are pretty much timeless, and forever Nintendo's with other directors already. New IP's are based around the same core aspects: fun, simplicity and still some unique depth (I'm mainly thinking of Splatoon now, but I must admit I quit playing it, online isn't really my thing). I think they'll be fine, they may even survive the inevitable fall of capitalism, if the spirit of interactive art, fun and creativity remains, and the will to express it in video games. I don't know how that will happen, but if it's their true spirit, they'll find ways to make it happen and bring smiles to people.
I think from a lot of the interviews you see with Nintendo's newer game staff/directors you can often see the influence of Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi.
Compare the things these new devs say to what Miyamoto discusses in Iwata Asks and 90's, 2000's magazine interviews and You'll see his and Yokoi's game design philosphies in the DNA of games that don't even involve them.
I think they can survive without him, but only because influence is a lot more important(especially now that teams to develop Mario, Zelda,etc. are much more massive).
@NEStalgia That is fair but Miyamoto-dono has also touted the creative freedom he and his fellow workers were given as well. Given Japanese business culture if Yamauchi-san really wanted to make his life difficult he could have and even being one of Nintendo’s golden gooses wouldn’t have saved him. That’s my opinion of course based upon what I have read from Miyamoto-dono’s interviews. Either way, I think the dev/creative employees will be fine. It is still management that I have to get a feel of.Even King Koopa has been pretty quiet while Reggie has been so active you’d think he was still at Nintendo. For that only time will tell.
@GrailUK thanks Grail. it’s just always odd when people choose to attack others unprovoked. Appreciate the support though.
@Ryu_Niiyama True, but also given Japanese culture, Miyamoto saying he was given creative freedom by Yamauchi doesn't actually mean he was given creative freedom by Yamauchi. The good gossip leaks from the bystanders getting lost in their own tales of the glory days.
But, yeah, the creatives are probably not quite on the same page as leadership. Nintendo's been really opening up it's leadership to global trend without Iwata's stalwart defense of the tradition.
Bowser may be the silent type, but I've been giving him the benefit of the doubt that, with Seattle having been kind of locked down months before the rest of us, Japan on pins and needles since December, probably Directs getting cancelled, etc, they've been deliberately quiet rather than it being an indicator of their actual PR style. I'm thinking/hoping "E3 time" sans E3 will at least reflect a holiday ambition of some sort. (And I don't buy for a minute Sony and Microsoft are actually releasing new consoles while production is at a crawl.)
Miyamoto us a legend but as the man says, Nintendo have a very deep and gaping ring filled with talent.
@Deanster101 @RileyR ah I understand your intent. I shall make this much easier for all involved and remind you that as always anonymity is no reason to forget manners and decency. Since you both feel that needless and baseless attacks are a better way to spend your time I shall allow you to do so un impeded. I however, shall not indulge such behavior. Have a nice day, you have both been added to my ignore list. I suggest you do the same as I shall continue my style of speech that seems to draw your attention.
It's a question I've pondered for years as all things have to come to an end one day. I have no doubt that Nintendo will go on without him. The blueprint has been left by him, but I believe it will be better for the awesome talent they have already in their stable to be able to rise up and infuse newer ideas and forward thinking for the future. If creators of games like Animal Crossing and Splatoon are any indication, there's lots to look forward to. Even those that work on Mario and Zelda today are infusing newer ideas and new blood into those series. But I do hope Miyamoto will stay on as long as possible providing his insight.
@Ryu_Niiyama you probably can’t see this mate but I humbly apologise, just a bit of fun.
@Ryu_Niiyama If it's any consolation, Deanster101 apologised (and it's sincere!)
@Ryu_Niiyama Ok Ryu-sama. 😂
"... some of it's most enduring franchises, such as F-Zero..."
Last F-Zero game: F-Zero Climax (2004).
@NEStalgia I meant to come back to this but forgot after all the nonsense that went down in this thread.
All I can go on is what Miyamoto-dono said. I am sure it wasn’t perfect but if it was horrible and cramping his creative freedom I think he would have left. He isn’t a programmer so dampening his creativity essentially meant a company did not want him to work. Since the video game pillars were essentially the hippies of the 80s (by the 90s they were the rock stars) and Japan is very good at punishing an employee to inspire them to quit even now, I will believe that he wasn’t outright lying when talking about Nintendo.
I’m not saying it was sunshine and roses all day as it was still work and work comes with baggage.
Your point about leadership looking at global trends is in part why I am in a wait and see approach on the current leadership. I still say we wont see their colors until the Switch successor is on the way.
I have an insane amount of respect for Iwata-denka, but I don’t think he was traditional in the sense of trying to clone Yamauchi-san but more in the way that since he rose from the bottom he was loyal to Nintendo as a body of people working together that loved games. As that was how he was and Nintendo and HAL helped foster that for him.
I think that Iwata-denka and Miyamoto-dono were always focused on the joy of gaming and they tried to foster that in the rest of the company (if nothing else than to attract and hire like minded people) and it still shows.
Nintendo is still that company that I don’t have to look back to remember the joy of my childhood; they still bring that out of me now. It takes a certain type of culture to do that.
Sorry for the delay in response. I turned off the email notices when I left on hiatus so I don’t have that reminder to come back.
@Ryu_Niiyama Well, when it comes to office politics, Miyamoto had an ace up his sleeve with Yamauchi. After being the goose that laid the golden egg with DK, he kind of had them over a barrel (ba-dum-tss.) He knew they wouldn't truly push him out because they couldn't risk losing the golden goose. That led to Mario, and then he knew he was kind of "safe" no matter how heated the reportedly very heated arguments got. (Even pre-rock-star status he was still a rock-star at heart...)
Yeah, I fear for the future of the hardware, at least. Most of the people involved even with Switch are retired out now. Miyamoto remains and will keep the focus on creativity at least one more generation. The management, I've no doubt would go all-in on a Disney-esque proprietary streaming service if they could. Japanese companies used to be a lot more self-reflecting, but now it seems they cave to Western investment firms no slower than any other global corporation.
Then again, I still can't tell if the post-plauge world puts a freeze on "global" anything for a while. Investment is running at full speed though, so maybe not in a sense that matters here.
No worries. I use email notifications but haven't been around much lately...just not enough time. And the notification for this post ended up in spam for some reason!
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