Legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto has shed light on Nintendo’s struggle going into next-generation placing most of the blame for the reason of the lack of first party software on the leap from Wii to Wii U. When asked by GamesIndustry International why Nintendo hasn’t put out a blockbuster title yet, Miyamoto responded,
“Well, obviously if you speak in terms of simple math you could say that Nintendo should just multiply its development team staff by four times and then everything would be fine, but unfortunately things aren’t quite that easy. Our focus is always on delivering the highest quality content, and simply increasing the development team size isn’t going to allow you to achieve the level of quality that we strive for. You really have to kind of bring those people up gradually and help teach them how to develop games in order to achieve that consistent quality level. So that’s one challenge that we’re always engaging with and one we’re progressing on.
The other is a little bit coincidental in that the hardware jump from DS to 3DS was quite big in terms of the difference between those two [platforms] and it just so happens that that same scale of jump happened from Wii to Wii U, consecutively with those two pieces of hardware. And any time you have a big jump in the hardware technology it certainly takes the teams time to learn that and adjust their development environment in order to adapt to those big changes. So I think gradually as we’re adding more staff and we’re increasing our capabilities… and in the future as the hardware generation change doesn’t result in significant change in the hardware environment or capabilities of the hardware, then what ends up happening is you have a smoother transition, as you saw from the Gamecube to Wii.”
Another question that has been on many people’s minds is why we haven’t seen HD Zelda as of yet. While this question was better suited for Mr. Aonuma, Miyamoto was willing to give a response.
“So it certainly is a better question for Mr. Aonuma but we are working on a new Wii U Zelda ,as we do whenever we work on a new hardware system. Development on the new Wii U Zelda game, we’ve pretty much determined our direction on that and the teams are working hard on that. In fact, we actually did consider showing it at E3 this year but we were worried that if we showed the new Wii U Zelda game then that would attract all of the focus, and really what we want people to be aware of and pay attention to here at E3 are the playable games like Pikmin 3 that we have coming in the immediate future, because a lot of fun is with the games that are coming out this year. So that’s why we decided not to show it this year at E3, but it’s certainly something people can look forward to.
Of course, as I’m sure you’re aware E3 used to be the place where you made all of your big announcements but as we’re seeing more and more, particularly with the advantages we have with the internet, we’re able to make announcements really at any time. So the other thing we didn’t want to do was go through all the news here at E3 – we wanted to be able to have some news to continue to share with consumers over time.”
So will we be seeing an HD Zelda next year? It’s still unknown, but here’s what Miyamoto had to say about it:
“I think so, maybe. [Laughs] Maybe after we’ve seen enough people enjoying The Wind Waker HD, then we’ll think about sharing something with them about the new Wii U Zelda.”
I think it’s safe to say that we’re really in for a treat with the next HD Zelda, at least based on what we’ve seen from the HD Zelda Experience Tech Demo and what Nintendo has done with Wind Waker HD. Getting excited is certainly warranted.
The last question of the interview dealt with the performance of the company as a whole. With the most recent Wii U sales forecast, is Mr. Iwata still fit to be CEO? Miyamoto thinks so.
“Well, first of all, the entertainment industry is one that is inherently unstable and if people decide that they no longer need entertainment anymore then there’s no way for you to make money off of that. Because of the waves in the entertainment industry and the way the cycles move, personally I feel that aiming for a specific numerical goal is almost silly, and instead our focus should be on doing our best to create something that’s new and unique. So all of this talk of “Oh is Nintendo going to hit its numbers? Is Mr. Iwata responsible?” and all these discussions I think are just silly ones to have because Mr. Iwata is managing our company and I don’t think there’s anyone better to manage it than him.
So for me, I’m really focused on creating the most fun and unique experiences I can so that the entertainment can appeal to a very broad audience, and we’re having fun doing that. So certainly I think there are other industries where I think their chance to appeal to a broad audience has been lost, but I still think within our industry we have a lot of opportunity to do that.”
A lot of interesting stuff so far. While there are many people out there who were expecting a trailer of one of Nintendo’s blockbuster titles, I personally think it’s fairly reasonable that Nintendo has held back, as what they would have displayed wouldn’t have been quality by their own standards.
I’ll be giving my opinion as well as some facts about Wii U and Nintendo’s performance on E3 2013 as a whole very soon so stick around for that. I promise you, I’m not nearly as displeased with what I saw as some others, and I think I have some information and ideas that might be surprising to you, so I hope it turns out to be at least an interesting read.
What do you all think? Has any of this new information been eye opening to you, or did you just enjoy the read?