Does Nintendo Have A Life Past Shigeru Miyamoto?

Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) 1 year, 1 month ago

Poll: Does Nintendo Have A Life Past Shigeru Miyamoto? (166 votes)

Yes. 62%
No. 22%
Fence-Sitting. 16%

Shigeru Miyamoto is Legend. Shigeru Miyamoto is Mario Zelda Metroid and more. Shigeru Miyamoto is Nintendo.

Miyamoto-san will retire one day. Is there a Nintendo without him? Who can pick up his mantle?

#1 Posted by TruthTellah (9116 posts) -

Sure. No one can fill that void, and Nintendo would not be the same. But they can still survive after him. Nintendo is more than just one man, and Miyamoto has been actively investing in others within Nintendo. Even if they will be different without him, they can still be great.

#2 Posted by TechHits (1378 posts) -

Of course.

#3 Posted by BeachThunder (11943 posts) -

I want to see some kind of video game wife swap: Miyamoto should swap jobs with Gabe Newell...

Online
#4 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1704 posts) -

What Nintendo really needs is the next Miyamoto. They are stuck in this rut of only releasing games in their established franchises. They need to give their next generation of developers a chance to come up with the next Mario, Zelda, Metroid, instead of just relying on the ideas one man had 20+ years ago.

EDIT: To clarify, by "next Mario, Zelda, Metroid", I mean new franchises with that level of success and appeal, not new versions of those games.

#5 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

What Nintendo really needs is the next Miyamoto. They are stuck in this rut of only releasing games in their established franchises. They need to give their next generation of developers a chance to come up with the next Mario, Zelda, Metroid, instead of just relying on the ideas one man had 20+ years ago.

Great point.

#6 Posted by TruthTellah (9116 posts) -

What Nintendo really needs is the next Miyamoto. They are stuck in this rut of only releasing games in their established franchises. They need to give their next generation of developers a chance to come up with the next Mario, Zelda, Metroid, instead of just relying on the ideas one man had 20+ years ago.

EDIT: To clarify, by "next Mario, Zelda, Metroid", I mean new franchises with that level of success and appeal, not new versions of those games.

heh. That's kind of like saying "Apple just needs the next Steve Jobs." I happen to agree that new compelling franchises are definitely what they need, but that's a heck of a tall order. Miyamoto is apparently trying to train some of the up and comers, but you won't be able to replace a Miyamoto. The best they can hope for is someone who can simply hold a candle to that level of creativity and hope for an environment where gamers will actually be attracted to their new ideas.

#7 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

If Nintendo wants to survive, all those old geezers should probably retire.

#8 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3395 posts) -

@mcghee said:

If Nintendo wants to survive, all those old geezers should probably retire.

Probably not retire but they should give more opportunities to the younger generation. I think even Shigeru Miyamoto understands this as he's tried to get some of the more talented people at Nintendo a chance to direct an already established franchise as early as 2000. I think the higher ups though think without the Miyamoto official seal of approval the game won't be received well, which has happened before with something like Majora's Mask. I think at the moment Miyamoto's name is close to getting sullied and we are starting to get to the point that these Nintendo franchises are starting to become oversaturated. Ten years ago we would of thought an annual Mario game would be pretty awesome, we are at that point right now I wonder how we feel about it today?

#9 Posted by Yadilie (380 posts) -

You don't need someone like Miyamoto anymore when you're staying inside your safety bubble.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Did Disney have a life past Walt Disney?

#11 Edited by EXTomar (4736 posts) -

I don't see why not. If nothing else letting a bunch of "the old guard" retire in style will allow newer guys to come up from the ranks.

#12 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -

It looks like Nintendo has not much of a future with him either, I am sorry to say.

#13 Edited by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

No.

Let's be real: Miyamoto made Nintendo. If anything, he'll be CEO one day and fucking hate it. As it stands, though, Miyamoto is their golden trophy, and when he's gone, Nintendo has nothing. The Wii U is fucking failing, for crying out loud. The 3DS took forever to pick up, and it only did so because they lowered the price of the thing. They didn't even bother with a proper E3 press conference this year! They are up to their neck in the deep end, and there ain't no flotation device around to save them. They could release a new Zelda game right now, and I still don't think people will rush out and buy a Wii U!

If this is happening while Miyamoto is still with the company, imagine what it's like when he leaves.

No, Nintendo won't survive without Miyamoto. They'll go the Sega route and go third-party with their titles, which they honestly should do already. They would make way more fucking money on that. Zelda, Mario, and Metroid going multi-platform would be the fucking crown jewel, man.

#14 Posted by Slag (4400 posts) -

I'd say it does.

Miyamoto may have created the legendary IPs, but he wasn't even primarily responsible for a lot of the acclaimed sequels in those IPs. That isn't meant to diminish his work and vision which uniquely irreplaceable, just a fact especially in the post 3d era that dev teams are just that teams. Meaning their successes and failures are collectively based. Name on the box guys like Sid Meier and Tim Schafer are used more as a branding tactic than an accurate reflection of reality.

And then of course you've got Nintendo teams like HAL labs, Monolith and Intelligent Systems which to my knowledge he was never part of.

I think Nintendo's problem is not creative talent, but their marketing/positioning tactics with hardware. Which with enough capital is a very fixable problem. Whether they have the will and the capital I can't say.

#15 Posted by Hailinel (24830 posts) -

@jakob187 said:
They'll go the Sega route and go third-party with their titles, which they honestly should do already. They would make way more fucking money on that. Zelda, Mario, and Metroid going multi-platform would be the fucking crown jewel, man.

I've seen this line of thinking from the peanut gallery numerous times, and it's the same shallow wishing every single time.

Nintendo would not be Nintendo without their hardware business. Their games are what they are because they design them for their own platforms, which they know inside and out. They don't have to spend time creating two or three versions of the same game for multiple platforms since they just focus their energy into creating games for specific platforms, with rare exceptions (i.e.: the next Smash Bros.).

They are not solely defined by Miyamoto and haven't been for many years. Zelda is more and more Aonuma's franchise, the Mario series is being overseen by other teams, and Miyamoto has little to no say in what goes on at studios like Intelligent Systems. Sakurai has earned his keep at Nintendo through his work on Kirby and the Smash Bros. series, and has created games like Kid Icarus: Uprising as a result. And at their E3 presentation this year (yes, they did hold a press event), far more than just Iwata and Miyamoto showed up to demonstrate what they were working on.

Does Miyamoto have a supervisory role in a lot of projects? Yes, but he's not the primary creative force in the vast majority of the company's output. He has authority, which he will wield on those projects he does oversee, but it's not as though these teams would have no idea what they were doing without him.

And as far as exiting the hardware business is concerned, as I said before, Nintendo would not be who they are without it. Cut the hardware business, and you end up cutting a large percentage of the company's workforce. In turn, they'd lose the profits they take in from hardware sales, which reduces their overall bottom line, which ultimately affects their ability to maintain their software development studios. Which in turn would eventually reduce them to post-Dreamcast Sega, in a constant stumbling effort to produce profitable titles on hardware they're not as intimately familiar with. Which would in turn lead to efforts less like Super Mario Galaxy and more like Shadow the Hedgehog.

Meanwhile, their smaller franchises like Fire Emblem would fall to the wayside (not unlike Shining Force) and vanish from the public eye. Their more unique titles like Animal Crossing, which depends so heavily on hardware features, would also likely fall to the wayside. NIntendo would ultimately become a shell of its former self. Anyone that thinks that Nintendo could just carry on with business as usual as a third-party developer needs to study more on basic business economics and Sega's history.

#16 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (895 posts) -

Miyamoto hasn't directed a game since 1999 and was only a designer on four games in the last ten years. I don't think he actually does much in-depth stuff nowadays, so they'll probably be fine.

#17 Posted by blurienh (120 posts) -

Miyamoto was doing all these things as Nindento and video games were becoming what they are today, where one mans ideas and character can define a game completely, and already had to the sway to still do it when development grew to the larger multi-team productions. For someone unknown to reach that status now will be next to impossible inside a large company putting out mainstream games, the indie scene is where the next miyamotos will come from.

#18 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2775 posts) -

I want to see some kind of video game wife swap: Miyamoto should swap jobs with Gabe Newell...

Gabe Newell has a job besides stuffing food down his gullet? ...Are you sure?

#19 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1604 posts) -

@hailinel: Mostly agreed, though I'm not convinced that writing for their own hardware is the advantage it used to be when different platforms were wildly different to program for though. I don't think leaving hardware would be good for them, but I don't think it would be a Sega-style mess either. I never owned a Sega system, so take this with a grain of salt, but it always seemed to me that their decline was more about internal strife and failing to make the correct strategic plays.

You're absolutely right about the wishful thinking aspect. People are too quick to confuse what they personally want (Nintendo games on a system they prefer) with what's good for Nintendo as a company. Don't even get me started on the perennial calls to release their games on smartphones. Just because you want Mario on your iPhone, it doesn't suddenly make it a good idea for Nintendo to abandon control over their money-making platform and dive headfirst into a race-to-the-bottom, gross-business-tactic-dominated cesspool.

#20 Posted by DuffO (21 posts) -

Anyone can be replaced.

#21 Edited by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

@hailinel: ***WARNING*** - Little of this essay has anything to do with the topic of the OP, but is instead a response to Hailinel. I'm offering this one thing, and after that, I'm done...because arguments between the two of us usually go south or turn into stalemates, so I'm just going to throw this up and call it for my side.

_________________________________

You mentioned Aonuma and Zelda. It has nothing to do with Aonuma being at the helm. It has to do with the brand recognition of "Zelda" among gamers. Only those who keep themselves "in-the-know" about games would know something like Aonuma or Miyamoto being at the helm of something. However, those of us "in-the-know" also know the importance of Miyamoto. He's involved with EVERYTHING in one way or another. Aonuma? He touches Zelda and that's about it. The loss of Miyamoto's presence would be a devastation for Nintendo, as there would be a true lack of leadership and direction around there (although some could argue that it's already that way). You assume that a franchise like Pokemon, which sells upwards of 20 million copies at any given game release, is something where the majority of 20 MILLION people give a shit who the developer is? They look at the name "Pokemon" and that's it. Meanwhile, you mentioned Intelligent Systems. Ya know, I had to actually look up who that was. I had no clue. They do Fire Emblem. Interesting enough, you yourself pointed out that Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon sold a lifetime total of 250,000 copies. Numbers overall for Awakening look to be around 1 million? When it comes down to it, the only two franchises that are Nintendo exclusive that sell gangbusters are Mario ANYTHING and Pokemon. Beyond that, Zelda gets an average of about 4 million sales, Metroid is...well, it's amazing to me how that franchise continues to exist with numbers that low...and Donkey Kong is up and down.

Also, if you look at sales numbers for Nintendo-exclusive franchises, the popular ones (Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc) have some interesting stats to them. In the last 15 years, only two Zelda games have sold "gangbusters," meaning they've sold over 4.8 million copies. Those two are Ocarina and Twilight, and both of them rode a train of hype with the consoles they were coming on (OoT was the first 3D Zelda, TP was the first "realistic" graphical overhaul in 8 years on a console with a gimmick). You can tell that is the reason for the high sales because Skyward Sword still hasn't broken 4 million in sales. If Nintendo was multiplatform, they would sell double and possibly triple that number off brand recognition alone. That is serious money. Mario itself is a fucking ridiculous smash when it lands. Super Mario 3D Land...on a HANDHELD...has sold more than the highest selling Zelda game of all time (OoT). New Super Mario Bros. has sold almost 30 million copies. 30 MILLION! THAT'S FUCKING INSANE! Imagine how many more would be sold if it wasn't a console exclusive.

I understand what you are saying: Nintendo makes unique hardware, and in turn, the games they make cater to that. However, that's the problem with the mentality: the games cater to the console rather than the games cater to the player overall. You can have innovation in games without having to rely on making motion controls, a giant tablet controller, a memory expansion pack for your console, and a million other different things. Nintendo fights so much to be unique in the industry with the Wii, but then produces a console that is going to be best known for the rest of eternity as a shovelware system that had few actual games and tons of minigame collections? I would only call their monetary situation with the Wii successful, not the console as a whole itself. Did it influence the other two companies out there to make motion controls? Yes. How successful have they been? The Move seems dead as hell and Sony hasn't really shown shit with their new camera thingie, and the Kinect is now a required piece of surveillance equipment in order to use the Xbox One.

What I'm saying is, looking from a pure numbers standpoint, the only thing that seems to keep Nintendo floating above water at this point is releasing Pokemon and Mario games...because it damn well isn't Zelda or Metroid. If they weren't Nintendo's first party games...if they were genuinely in the same climate as the rest of the game world, these are IPs that companies would say unperformed, failed, and would get axed from their list. If anything, the only thing Nintendo hardware is good for...is to keep those games going.

#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

@hailinel: I can't continue an argument with you, Hailinel. They never end well when we go at it.

That's either the Internet or Hailinel. Never quite sure.

#23 Edited by Wuddel (2092 posts) -

I think they should become a third-party dev for next gen consoles now. Everyone loves Nintendo games ... Wii U not so much. They still could have the 3DS.

#24 Posted by Hailinel (24830 posts) -

@jakob187: So what you're basically saying is that you want Nintendo to be a Mario and Pokemon house, shitting new games in those franchises out on an annual basis on someone else's hardware. All right, then.

But if you had to look up Intelligent Systems to know who they were in the context of this discussion, it doesn't seem worth arguing with you at all since you evidently know very little about Nintendo's business and yet feel compelled to insist you know what's best for them.

#25 Posted by punkxblaze (2985 posts) -

I hate to say something like this, but I think Nintendo's only life is after Miyamoto, after Aonuma, after all the big N old guard. They need new people in positions to do new things, Miyamoto seems fine making New Super Mario forever and ever.

#26 Edited by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@jakob187: So what you're basically saying is that you want Nintendo to be a Mario and Pokemon house, shitting new games in those franchises out on an annual basis on someone else's hardware. All right, then.

I hate how you drag me back in.

I find it funny that you say this solely because Mario has appeared in a Nintendo game every year since 1983

...when he debuted...and he has been in at least one Nintendo console game a year since 1984.

Pokémon, meanwhile,only skipped out on 1997 since they debuted in 1996.

Therefore, should I invalidate your argument as well as "it doesn't seem worth arguing with you at all since you evidently know very little about Nintendo's business...?"

I don't need to know the development house of Fire Emblem to know that I like Fire Emblem...and that it doesn't sell nearly as well as it should.

My point is simple: sales numbers show among multiple genres across multi-platform capabilities that Nintendo would sell gangbusters on franchises only pushing 1-4 million in sales right now. Put Metroid on other consoles and it will at least double its numbers, if not triple. Put Zelda on other consoles and it will fucking skyrocket. Hell, Skyrim has sold over 10 million copies, and I'd be willing to bet a lot of those fools wouldn't mind having Zelda on their other consoles or PC. Fire Emblem? Probably wouldn't push as little as 1 million copies. A diehard RPG like that should be seeing the numbers of other multiplatform hardcore games...ya know, like Dark Souls and it's 2.3 (and rising continually) million.

Moreover, using Sega as an example is barely an option, as it's not even close to comparable to Nintendo as a company. Even when they were all console exclusive, Sonic was selling half the number of copies that Mario was at any point (11 million and change for Super Mario World, around 6.1 million for Sonic 2).

I'm just saying that numbers don't lie: there's literally no reason that Nintendo should be grasping onto their own hardware so hard when they could be making way more by dropping hardware focus and moving to third-party software instead. They don't have to blow out a game every damn year if they don't want to, as the games themselves will be enough that is needed. However, they'd definitely do it with Mario and Pokemon. Funny thing is that most of the games they release featuring those characters are quality compared to what most other annual franchises throw out there.

Nonetheless, if Miyamoto left, these franchises...whether at Nintendo or not...would have a much harder time standing on two legs.

#27 Posted by Hailinel (24830 posts) -

@jakob187: Not every Mario game is part of the same Mario series, just like not every Pokemon game is part of the primary generational release. Both have their shares of spin-offs and branches, but in terms of, say, developing a new Pokemon generation game every year? Or a new Mario Galaxy every year? That's never happened. So you didn't invalidate anything.

Also, it's funny that you try to compare the sales figures of Fire Emblem to Dark Souls. Both have hardcore audiences, but those games are worlds apart in terms of gameplay and audience expectations. Further, Fire Emblem: Awakening didn't need to sell multiple millions to be considered a successful game.

As for Sega, it is a valid comparison because that company is the closest analogue that exists to a potential post-hardware Nintendo. You throw these numbers of 11 million for Super Mario World and 6.1 million for Sonic 2, but you're ignoring something. Selling 6.1 million copies of Sonic 2 was still highly profitable, even if it wasn't double-digit millions. Which quite frankly is a lot more appealing to developers than budgeting game development so that the only way to avoid losing money is to sell in excess of ten million copies. Would Nintendo love it if Fire Emblem: Awakening sold double the number of copies it has? Hell yes, but that doesn't mean that they can't be proud of one of their more niche franchises selling a "mere" million if that million is a profitable number.

You're looking at these numbers separate from their context. Numbers never lie, but if you don't have the context for what they actually mean, then their value drops considerably.

Also, Miyamoto's involvement in these franchises? He's not a part of the Pokemon team. As far as I know, he hasn't made any contributions to Pokemon larger than the franchise's creators inserting "Shigeru" as a default name for the rival in the Japanese version of Red/Blue. And he hasn't directed a Mario game in years. He's overseen efforts as a producer, but the bulk of the effort on Mario games ranging from Mario Galaxy to the NSMB series to Super Mario 3D Land and World has all been in the hands of other individuals. In terms of active game design, he's been more focused on Pikmin 3 than anything else in the past several years.

So there's really no reason to worry about a post-Miyamoto retirement Nintendo.

#28 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

He's pretty hands off with most projects now, so I'd assume so.

#29 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

Yeah, they need to go back to being the scrappy Nintendo of 1985-1995 that had just rejuvenated the console market with the NES and then dominated with the SNES. They need to believe in some younger designer and creative folks within the company.

#30 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

To me, Nintendo is Miyamoto. He came up with all the great ideas, and without him, Nintendo is just a bunch of engineers who have no idea how to make a great game.

#31 Edited by Jeust (10654 posts) -

As it currently stands Miyamoto is responsible for a lot of the first party franchises, and they are getting stale. I think Nintendo should retire most of the their chief designers and hire new blood, maybe even in the indie market. It would be awesome to see Super Meatboy, Braid and Minecraft designers creating first party games at Nintendo. It would be a risky move, but unless Nintendo evolves, it will run their franchises and the company to the ground.

#32 Posted by MikkaQ (10290 posts) -

Does he even do much these days? Guys like that tend to fill advisory roles and get payed to sit on boards. They leave the day to day stuff for the younger folk.

#33 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1588 posts) -

Did you seriously just use and honorific?

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