Has Miyamoto lost touch with the core gamer?

#1 Edited by Ronnzi (16 posts) -

Miyamoto is a legend in the industry.  Though one could certainly argue that many of Miyamoto's earlier successes were as popular with the casual gamer as they were with what is now considered the core gamer, his games led to the creation of the devoted fan groups we consider hardcore today.  In particular, the original Zelda was so rich and full of content for its time that many fell in love, spending hours upon hours of their time unlocking secrets found within.

A few years ago, Miyamoto began speaking about how he had stopped playing games in his free time and I began to worry.  I understand that games had become too complicated in a sense, but at the same time the way he was talking didn't seem to allude to a refocusing on what made old-school Nintendo games classics.  It sounded as if he was ready to move on.  Miyamot has not lost his creative edge, it seems he has instead redirected it toward an experience that a wider audience can get around.  Whereas in the past you would expect him to unleash games in less casual franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Pikmin while at E3, he instead is now more likely to advocate casual titles like "Nintendogs" or the "Wii Music."

Nintendo still continues most of its core franchises, though at times seemingly without much thought.  Either way, from what I have been able to tell, Miyamoto no longer invests a heavy hand in most of these titles.

Has Miyamoto abandonned the types of games he once in many ways pioneered? Has his focus changed or has he always been concerned with the mass market?  One could argue perhaps that Mario or even Zelda targetted the same crowd as a Wii Sports, Nintendogs, or even a Wii Fit.  Perhaps Miyamoto has been targetting a more casual audience all along.  If so, perhaps he is more happy with the Wii's direction, all matters or financial success aside, than any of Nintendo's previous consoles for that reason.

I'm not sure how I feel about Miyamoto at this juncture - still one of the most influential and best-regarded talents in the industry, I can't help to wonder if he has already began to take his farewell bow out of the videogame-limelight.

#2 Posted by Sabious (31 posts) -

I've been somewhat disappointed with Miyamoto over the last few years, especially since the Wii was introduced. It seems that the franchises he pioneered and made into household names (Mario, Zelda) take a backseat to things like Wii Fit and Wii Music. He has created some of my favorite games in the past with games like Super Mario Bros and Zelda 3 still being among some of my favorite games to this date.

Maybe it's the change of the times or just the direction Nintendo want to push the Wii in, but it's a shame to see Mario be overshadowed by games like Wii Fit. Look at E3 last year for example, they spoke about Wii Fit for a long time and hardly even mentioned Mario Kart Wii. It felt like Mario Kart Wii was a third party game the way it was put over.

I just hope in the future we'll see him introduce some new groundbreaking games that intererest the old school and core gamer. I'm not a fan of these Wii gimmick games he's currently working on so I hope he'll soon take a step away from them, he's got way too much creativity to waste it on them. I'd prefer him just to create another epic Zelda game and for it to not take as long as Twilight Princess did!

#3 Posted by Termite (2398 posts) -

The worst times for Microsoft set in as Bill Gates started letting control go to other people

The worst times for Nintendo set in as Miyamoto started letting control go to other people

I think he has to be more involved in the games that Nintendo is making. It's still making some AAA titles, but lots of it is pure garbage

#4 Posted by LightYagami245 (1117 posts) -

I agree with Sabious. He made Nintendo with Mario and Zelda(and plenty other titles too), but now he's neglecting the titles that made him and the company for a more casual audience. They need to make casual games a side project, not their main concern.

#5 Posted by pbhawks45 (736 posts) -
LightYagami245 said:
"I agree with Sabious. He made Nintendo with Mario and Zelda(and plenty other titles too), but now he's neglecting the titles that made him and the company for a more casual audience. They need to make casual games a side project, not their main concern.
"
That sounds good and all, but they did that last generation, and look how that worked out.

The Wii is making a ton of money right now, and not much of it is due to the core gamer.
#6 Posted by Ronnzi (16 posts) -
pbhawks45 said:
"LightYagami245 said:
That sounds good and all, but they did that last generation, and look how that worked out.

The Wii is making a ton of money right now, and not much of it is due to the core gamer.
"

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel, but part of me thinks that Miyamoto is MORE happy with the direction of the Wii than he was with any of Nintendo's past consoles.  I think he has always wanted the NES and Nintendo's systems afterwards to be something that the whole family would get around and enjoy together.  The original Super Mario Bros. did that to an extent, but most of his other games really didn't.

Did his vision change or have gamer's misinterpreted what Miyamoto was trying to do all along?  Was he always interested in casual games, originally thinking that games like Mario and Zelda would bring that mass appeal, only to be dissapointed by their "limited" successes with the more dedicated gamer?  The Wii (when done right) may be closer to Miyamoto's vision than anything else Nintendo has done thus far.

Not saying I necessarily like a lot of what Nintendo has been doing lately, but I sometimes question if they truly changed direction.  Maybe they were always trying for casual success, only failing to break into the market as they have this generation.

I could be wrong, I just think it's an interesting point.
#7 Posted by fruitisgood (22 posts) -

The industry has moved so fast and games have become so complicated (we've gone from an average of  2 controller buttons to around 12) that I think Miyamoto wants to simplify things for new generations. Its the same as when George Lucas decided to make the new Star Wars films for a new generation (so there is good reason for people to be worried).

#8 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

Well, Miyamoto is not going to lose my respect, even though I agree he is shifting his view. One one podcast, I heard Miyamoto mention that Wii Music was great because it was a toy, and not a game. I do not think he's completely given up on making "game" games, as he's working on Pikmin 3. But let's face it, Nintendo has not been a pioneer of software innovation for some time. To be sure, they've done some remarkable things with hardware, but they truly have only a small amount of IPs, which end up being re-hashed again and again.



#9 Posted by Willy105 (4688 posts) -

Miyamoto is getting old, and he's making games that will make him happy now. Shame.

#10 Posted by Dark_Link142 (377 posts) -

No. He even stated himself that he's best at making traditional games, although he enjoys making educational/casual games anyway. Right now, he's working on both but is focused on his traditional games. He hasn't announced them yet and probably doesn't plan to until a few months or so before they're released.

#11 Posted by DarkLegend (1387 posts) -

Lost? No but losing is yes.

#12 Posted by Merforga (262 posts) -

Actually, the question should be  "Was Miyamoto ever in touch with the core gamer?"

#13 Posted by superezekiel (58 posts) -

I actually made an image earlier today that sums up how I feel about things.

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/1808/miyamotwofacegy3.jpg

No image upload working for me just yet, but may the reign of Miyamo-Two-Face end soon. We deserve to have our faith rewarded.

#14 Posted by Valkyr (667 posts) -

He should focus on creating a new successful IP like Zelda or Mario instead of helping in the development of stupid stuff like Wii Music. Right now Nintendo is basing on first party IP's and has almost no third party support, if they don't create new characters the iconic ones are getting old and sooner or later people will start to get bored like "Oh another Mario game, oh the same suits, look he is a racoon", it sucks that the wii only has Mario, Zelda and Metroid as AAA games, create something new and give the short italian plumber some rest!!

#15 Posted by tec3297 (1170 posts) -

What is Nintendo's obsession will the phrase "core gamer" lol

#16 Posted by Kenzo287 (722 posts) -

no he hasn't. he admitted recently that he works best when doing a more traditional game as opposed to things like wii music so I think we'll see more stuff from him next year. this is the perfect year for wii owners to get another console in addition to the wii

#17 Posted by makari (594 posts) -

Considering Miyamoto-san made the core gamer what it is by simply making games he wanted to make, not specifically catering for anyone in particular, I don't think he was ever in touch with the core gamer, but more in touch with his own imagination and experiences. Considering his stance on making games has not changed, and creation of games is still based on his whimsy, experiences, and genius, I believe it is the core gamer that has lost touch with him.

#18 Posted by SelfAwareRobot (1 posts) -

Well, he did happen to make this comment regarding his target audience not too long ago.

http://www.joystiq.com/2008/07/18/miyamoto-says-nintendo-not-targeting-core-with-e3/

Admittedly it's about E3, but who other than the "core audience" is really going to be paying any significant attention to E3?

#19 Posted by gunswordfist (576 posts) -

Miyamoto is and always will be an incredible man but when he calls Wii Music a great idea, you got me worried. And don't get me started with how much I HATE the Wii. His games used to be for everyone, but now he's just focuses on bringing in non-gamers.

#20 Posted by Whisperkill (2969 posts) -

I dont really care at this point, I dont care about nintendo

#21 Posted by joey (980 posts) -
  

#22 Posted by HiroSeven (215 posts) -

I personally think that if you cant please yourlself first, you won't be able to please others.

The case is the same with Miyamoto. I agree that I don't like the general direction he is headed in, but he has given us many years of adventures and will continue to as well as he can. As good as these game developers are they, they are probably starting feel their age, thus It will be important for them to step back and say 'I've had a good run'. Not saying that Miyamoto is getting terribly old( he is only 56),but there are alot of visionaries, creators and pioneers in every respective profession that will and have moved onto simpler things because they realize the accomplishments they've already made.

To answer your main questions; I dont think he has abandoned what made him a legend, I still think that he will show us something amazing in the times to come. As far as his viewpoint, I don't think it has changed very much to whatever it was; whether it was towards the traditional gamer or towards attracting various amounts of people from different lifestyles.

#23 Posted by Systech (4078 posts) -

I don't think that he's lost anything. He's just trying to make what pays.

#24 Posted by gunswordfist (576 posts) -
Valkyr said:
"He should focus on creating a new successful IP like Zelda or Mario instead of helping in the development of stupid stuff like Wii Music. Right now Nintendo is basing on first party IP's and has almost no third party support, if they don't create new characters the iconic ones are getting old and sooner or later people will start to get bored like "Oh another Mario game, oh the same suits, look he is a racoon", it sucks that the wii only has Mario, Zelda and Metroid as AAA games, create something new and give the short italian plumber some rest!!
"

Yeah I'd love to see Nintendo work on new IPs...but not with the Wii. I could care less about that console and will only play DS games.Whisperkill said:
"I dont really care at this point, I dont care about nintendo"
I can't blame you at all.
#25 Posted by Linkyshinks (9881 posts) -

I don't think Miyamoto has lost a thing. This is about Nintendo's direction first and foremost, not Miyamoto's. Nintendo will allow Miyamoto to make anything he wants to, he has that freedom, but he has to adhere to the company vision for the future, which right now is expanding the audience. That's something which Nintendo are doing very well. Now that they have audience, as well as the money, they can invest heavily in the core titles and be more creative with their design.




Miyamoto spoke about the core titles a little while back:


Miyamoto was quizzed as to why the latest entries in both franchises weren't as "
radically different from their predecessors".

For Zelda he's been telling development teams that Twilight Princess, the last entry in the Zelda line, wasn't a bad game but that he "felt like there was something missing."

For Mario he felt that although they did take the series forward from Sunshine and Super Mario 64, "certain elements of it do feel somewhat conservative in terms of how far we branched out with design."  

With that in mind, Miyamoto hopes the next installment of Zelda or a forthcoming Mario will feel newer and fresher than their most recent versions.

More on Miyamoto's thoughts in the MTV Interview.



#26 Posted by gunswordfist (576 posts) -
Linkyshinks said:
"I don't think Miyamoto has lost a thing. This is about Nintendo's direction first and foremost, not Miyamoto's. Nintendo will allow Miyamoto to make anything he wants to, he has that freedom, but he has to adhere to the company vision for the future, which right now is expanding the audience. That's something which Nintendo are doing very well. Now that they have audience, as well as the money, they can invest heavily in the core titles and be more creative with their design.




Miyamoto spoke about the core titles a little while back:


Miyamoto was quizzed as to why the latest entries in both franchises weren't as "
radically different from their predecessors".

For Zelda he's been telling development teams that Twilight Princess, the last entry in the Zelda line, wasn't a bad game but that he "felt like there was something missing."

For Mario he felt that although they did take the series forward from Sunshine and Super Mario 64, "certain elements of it do feel somewhat conservative in terms of how far we branched out with design."  

With that in mind, Miyamoto hopes the next installment of Zelda or a forthcoming Mario will feel newer and fresher than their most recent versions.

More on Miyamoto's thoughts in the MTV Interview.



"

Yes but expanding your audience with people who don't really care about games and with games that aren't that good is not a good thing at all.

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