Shigeru Miyamoto is unquestionably one of Nintendo's key staffers, and one of the most important figures in the video game industry, full stop. His creations have sold millions of copies, and he's been involved in almost every aspect of Nintendo's business for decades. However, at 68, he's no spring chicken, and the topic of who will replace him once he retires has been floated on more than one occasion.
A superb interview with The New Yorker has given Miyamoto another chance to answer that question, and his response is interesting. He is asked what his ambitions are at this point in his glittering career, and he replies:
In terms of Nintendo’s business, the core idea is to create a harmony between hardware and software. It’s taken about ten years, but I feel that the younger generation here is now fully able to uphold that foundational principle. For my part, I want to continue to pursue my interests. Nintendo has expanded into new areas of design, such as the theme park I’ve been working on. When you think about it, theme-park design is similar to video-game design, though it’s fully focussed on the hardware side. In one sense, I’m an amateur again. But as these rides become more interactive, that’s where our expertise will be put to good use. This mixing of our experience with new contexts might be one of the most interesting endeavors for my remaining years.
The interviewer then asks if there's any similarity between Miyamoto and the story of Willy Wonka, who arranges an elaborate competition to find his direct replacement at the fictional chocolate factory:
As the company has gained new competitors over the years, it’s given us an opportunity to think deeply about what makes Nintendo Nintendo. [President] Shuntaro Furukawa is currently in his forties, and [general manager] Shinya Takahashi is in his fifties; we are moving toward a position that will insure the spirit of Nintendo is passed down successfully. I am not concerned about that anymore. Now I’m focussing on the need to continue to find new experiences. This has always been what interested and excited me about the medium: not perfecting the old but discovering the new.
Hopefully someone as good as he is at making great games, but also better than he is at understanding how the Internet works, in particular online gaming.
Aww that’s nice to hear
I didn't realize he was that old...
But he could still have another 20 years.
He just needs to take what Masahiro Sakurai takes to remain Young
He gave some very nice and interesting answears and I feel like there is no reason to doubt that Nintendo is in good hands.
That said...Even if that wasn't the case I really really doubt he would publically say something like: "Once I'm gone is over! Over I tell you! Nintendo will be doomed without me! Mario? Link? Their legacy will die in terrible terrible bad designed games!!!"
..though I guess that would have made even more of a news if it happened XD
Hopefully it's someone who believes in physicals and NOT downloads/cloud gaming
They'll probably replace him with a guy named Koopa, Ganondorf, Vaati, Demise or any other Nintendo bad guy name while Miyamoto "retires" to be even more present in the videogame industry. But come on, will we ever get tired of his thumbs up?
The fun creator becomes a wise sage.
I hope he continues to keep creating and not worrying or being distracted. I want as much of his creativity extracted from this man before his time comes to an end.
@GamerDad66 I can't see it, he could have maybe 7 years left(if he really wants to be there) but I don't see him staying in that position any longer than that.
@Fido007 He’ll probably be given a vanity position wherein he isn’t really doing anything but his perceived presence will continue to reassure the shareholders. He’ll become an ‘Advisor to the Board’ or something.
Miyamoto will leave a great legacy but Nintendo need to move with the times. Their approach to some things is just archaic.
@Razer I think Nintendo deliberately chooses not to embrace online, because its focus has always been on family - hence local multiplayer experiences - as much as possible. Switch exemplifies that, in that you can simply snap off a joycon and play with the person next to you, wherever you are. Online opens up possibilities to a more toxic experience (but not necessarily so, obviously). Hence why chat functions are only available via outside apps, so you can get vet you hear and speak to.
Anyway, I’m glad Shigeru is still around - but his influence should linger anyway at Nintendo for decades after he finally leaves.
Hopefully someone who understands what the customer really wants.
To be able to listen and think outside of the box.
To forget the internet and the stealing involved in downloadable games and cloud based robbery.
Will it happen. No. The younger generation will take over and probably feed us something we dont want just like the numerous star wars films that Disney have pushed on the public.
Sorry if I sound negative but this is a company that cant even bother to give us folders and a better UI. That give us second rate NES and SNES games on a paid online service. That cant be bothered to give us GBA,DS,3DS games to make money for the company. No other company has this business model.
Merry christmas 😂😂😂
I love the man, he's a legend; but once he's gone and his presence is not so big, perhaps some of the younger staff will shine and rise to the top with new and fresh ideas.
@Krull those ideologies worked before but in a post Covid world, having access to proper Internet services are more important than ever.
I can't play Smash with my friends right now and who knows when I'll be able, Nintendo's Internet infrastructure is ill fit to provide proper online gaming experiences.
Doesn't matter if it's done deliberately or not, it's not good for us. Especially not now.
Wow, I’d never really considered the fact that Miyamoto won’t be with the company forever.
He gets a lot of stick for recent design choices, eg the direction of the Paper Mario series, but he’s unquestionably a genius. That said, I think his faith in the next generation of producers is well placed - the Zelda series has gone from strength to strength since Aonuma took the reins.
@Krull It doesn't have to be either/or, they could keep Switch family safe but still have a better online service with voice chat, friend invites etc. This could be done quite simply by turning off child unfriendly features in their games where parents have turned on Parental Control on the Switch.
@GTHOLLAND The lack of retro games does have some logic to it. I read somewhere Nintendo chose this route on purpose because they found indie games sold better with less retro games thus it attracts more of these kind of devs. It makes sense really. I'd be unlikely to download many indie or third party games at all if Nintendo's entire back catalogue was available. I wouldn't have the time for one thing. So maybe they're going for a staggered approach.
@Otherboard "The Zelda series has gone from strength to strength since Aonuma took the reins"
I wouldn't say so, I prefer the Miyamoto Zeldas. Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker are my favourites. I found Breath of the Wild too overwhelming and loathed the recipe making and collapsible weapons. The lack of memorable music hurt the game for me too. I can respect it from a technical standpoint and see why others like it but I find the latter day Zeldas largely disappointing.
The young’ns made Splatoon. As far as I’m concerned that’s the best sign Nintendo has successfully transitioned to a younger core.
At 68 the amount of truly original content he can craft is probably all used up. He’s probably not worried because I think his role is now more oversight and management and original content is probably driven by other team members.
It does feel like those working at Nintendo totally get what makes Nintendo so Nintendo at this point. I do think the company is in good hands and in the coming years when our favorite game creators and producers step down to retire, that the younger blood will be equipped and ready to carry Nintendo on as we've always known it.
With stuff like BoTW and Super Mario 3D World, you can tell that the younger generation knows what makes these franchises tick and have their own spin on things so I'm not worried about the future of Nintendo, it's in good hands.
Realistically, he's probably going to retire soon (2-3 years). I would imagine that's why he's mentioned this to begin with. Get people prepared for when he calls it quits. It's a tough gig he has and he's already been the elder statesmen of the industry for years.
@TheLightSpirit So do I (except Mario Maker which is unplayable) but it's absolutely ridiculous that Nintendo implemented a feature in the Switch where you can invite online friends to play you in game but NONE OF THEIR GAMES SUPPORT IT! And that you can't do voice chat through your TV or console. This is Sega Dreamcast levels of online gaming (a 20 year old console)
Edit - Actually it's worse than Dreamcast. Dreamcast had proper voice chat AND headphone support.
Yeah like 3D Mario already has Koichi Hayashida and Kenta Motokura sucessful in a director role. With Hayashida also producer of Captain Toad without Miyamoto or Koizumi's involvement.
So even Koizumi should already be quite confident when he hands over Mario.
@TheLightSpirit It's complete contrast to how bitter Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli is.
@JuiceMan_V With games like Mario + Rabbids and Cadence of Hyrule, it's clear designers big and small have internalized his design philosophy.
@GamerDad66 I really hope so
@Clyde_Radcliffe different strokes for different folks, I guess - I wasn’t very into BotW but it definitely had a huge impact on the genre.
That said, Skyward Sword is one of my favourites in the series so my Zelda opinions are iffy to say the least!
I’ll likely reconsider if I want to keep buying new games once he retires. Not just for the franchises he makes but the influence he has on the industry. Losing his voice will be a big culture shift.
@Clyde_Radcliffe Personally I really disliked Miyamoto Zelda games like Ocarina of Time, and I think Breath of the Wild elevated the franchise to a new height. But I guess it does feel a bit alien for people who loved previous Zelda titles (I've tried them all, and the only one I actually enjoyed was Breath of the Wild) since it's such a large departure from what the 3D entries were previously focused on both in terms of atmosphere, pacing, storytelling and even gameplay.
Literally everyone else, writes a paragraph or two. Me; writes a meme comment
But he also puts many good Desicions.
The Tracking of your Position with the 3D Effect on the new 3DS was his Idea, Nintendo wanted to throw it out without more Features.
Also, Persons that are creativ (and set Trends) are more likely to make Errors.
But they learn and stay out of the Mass because they came up with great Stuff.
People following Trends will set Products that are ok, but never be outstanding.
@Razer he is not in charge of the backend systems of Nintendo Online.
I have seen a few interviews where he discussed the online portion in particular on regards to his music games. He wanted more of an online interactive aspect but Iwata did not. This is a company mantra to focus on the toy and bringing people together locally not necessarily globally.
Maybe find some who cares about making new games from older franchises and can make a decent modern star fox game.
Yes I’m blaming you shiggy for that mess called SFzero
Pretty encouraging words in that interview from my perspective. I hope Nintendo is successful for many years after Miyamoto retires.
Might be the only way we get a Kid Icarus: Uprising sequel. Best game I've never played, still waiting for a port I can play on TV.
Anyway, this was a nice lil interview
@Razer Other then less laggy online services, I don't want a more interactive online experience. The online gaming community is filled to the brim with toxic jerks, creeps, self-appointed gatekeepers and awful brats.
If I wanted to subject me and mine to that type of abuse, I would have bought another system +headset.
I'm glad Nintendo doesn't seem to like them either. I play to have fun, not get insulted, screamed at and harassed.
What he means is that when he retires he is finally free from everyone's BS and it's no longer his problem. Lol
@Bunkerneath LoL, good luck there mate
He better makes pikmin 4 good, pikmin 3 is absolutely the worst and boring game I have ever played. He needed to be gone long, his time was over like 10 years ago.
@Zidentia the problem is, as im sure you can see, there's hardly a big demand for people getting together locally and playing video games.
Nintendo have kinda capped their own knees here, because by not having a more robust online infrastructure to play online games with friends or strangers, they've removed a lot of value from many of their games, especially this year.
Taking that approach of only catering to the local market is very short sighted and this year proves how it isn't a sustainable model anymore.
It's all great wanted families and friends to enjoy games together but when and if that ever returns to the way it use to be before remains to be seen.
Nintendo need to prepare (they should have been prepared really) for an eventuality that it may not return to normal, not saying it definitely wouldn't, but a multi billion dollar company cannot take such a large risk on a "maybe".
It's time they started doing a proper online service, like it or not, thats how the market will be in this post Covid world.
@GamerDad66 20 more years of making video games?
That has to be a joke?
You think he would work until he's 88 years old? Do you realise how stressful his job is?
Because if not, go ask someone from CDPR.
no this has to be a joke so yeah, good one. Haha, made me laugh. Good imagination you have there.
@Ryu_Niiyama I don't know that his voice is still listened to in the industry at large, outside Nintendo, anyway. In Nintendo he's still the final word (no matter how much he may pretend otherwise to allay investor fears, we all know he is...) but outside Nintendo I think the industry started ignoring him 15 years ago.
Even in Nintendo, the golden age was the duo of Miyamoto and Iwata. After Iwata, I don't get the sense of the real charm of Nintendo anymore. So much of what they've been churning out is paint by numbers. I want to keep loving it because Nintendo games still have a special charm, but it feels ever more like window dressing over bland copy paste games. The great ones started under the Iwata+Miyamoto era, including Splatoon and BotW. But that "special Nintendo something" seems to be missing from their newer games.
@Bunkerneath Like it or not cloud gaming and digital is the future.
I hope whoever replaces him brings back F-Zero.
@NinChocolate Except that's not the reality at all. Literally all the key staff are over 40 and 50 years old. You guys hear about young developers but don't ever look at the credits and the people who are director, producer, main designer, etc.
@Nemesis666 40’s is young when you’re a successful creator. Few people in their 20’s are creating successful global franchises. That’s an exceptional group that miyamoto was part of. Hisashi Nogami is over 20 years age difference to miyamoto. That’s a generation. That qualifies as a younger, newer generation.
@Tempestryke "I don't like it, therefore it's a good thing no one has access to it"
You do understand that just because there is an option to play with others online, that doesn't mean you have to play online? And surely you also understand that playing with randoms is a completely different thing to playing with your friends? Surely you also know that bad behaviour online is not tolerated on Xbox or PlayStation and will cause you to receive a permanent online ban?
I still fear their "westernization", Nintendo is one of the very few companies in the market that didn't force political agenda in their games.
@nintendoknife More like, Nintendo doesn't like it, and their fanbase has other consoles to chat on.
Ah, so you're saying that you do like being insulted, threatened, harassed, creeped on and screamed at? Well, if that's your thing, then you do you.
I for one am concerned. Having once been Nintendo’s #1 fan, I can tell exactly what Mr. Miyamoto brings to the table, and I don’t see it in Nintendo’s newest games anymore. That’s not to say Nintendo won’t continue to make great games, but as a focus shines on new developers, the company loses part of what guaranteed that almost all their games were amazing.
Use the takuna takuzi guy!
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