Miyamoto: new characters don’t make new games

Tuesday, 9th July 2013 06:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo isn’t in a rush to establish new properties so much as to make entirely new games, according to legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto .

Speaking to GameInformer, Miyamoto discussed Nintendo’s relatively slow production of new gaming properties – worlds and characters, in other words.

“Certainly within Nintendo, we have people internally who are saying, ‘Well, we have our old characters from our old games, and that’s old IP, and we should think about creating new IP.’ But the question that we always ask is: ‘Does a new character really make it a new game?’” he said.

“And to me, the answer to that is no. What makes it a new game is new gameplay and new interactions. So when we’re creating a game, we’re always looking at it from, ‘What is the gameplay, and how are making that gameplay new?’ And then, ‘Who is the character that is best suited to that gameplay?’”

Miyamoto said that even when Nintendo makes a game within an existing franchise, because it has made a new kind of gameplay, it has crafted a new experience. Characters are secondary to that, but may be created if no existing faces fit the new style of play. Pikmin is one example of a franchise created in this way.

The full interview through the link above contains loads of Miyamoto quotes. The designer’s latest game is Pikmin 3, which arrives on Wii U in August.

Thanks, Destructoid.



  1. Crussong

    Yeah, better milk what you got Miyamoto, huh?
    Nintendo just became lazy, greedy and boring. They arent anymore who they used to be. If they dont bring up any new and interesting, they are going down. We dont need the 100th mario game with minor additions, not another Super Smach Bros. with 2-3 more new characters (wii fit trainer, really?!) and they fucking should support those customers, that helped them grow and get more money. They lost eyesight with their fanbase since they released the Wii.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Clupula

    So, in other words, there are people in Nintendo who want to get away from the outdated bullshit Miyamoto keeps shitting out, but he won’t let them because he has too much attachment to his old characters.

    If Nintendo want to survive. they need to get rid of the dinosaurs, and I don’t mean Yoshi.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Metroid455

    Confirming what I already knew, Miyamoto-san I think it’s time to move on and let some younger blood take over.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Clupula

    Seriously, though, everything that people bash Nintendo about are all easily fixable things. When people complain that they are constantly milking their franchises, it turns out that people in Nintendo have the same opinion, but Miyaomoto won’t let them grow up.

    It’s really time for his Peter Pan-syndrome to get out of the way of progress and let Nintendo come into the 21st Century.

    People think I like to bash Nintendo. I don’t. If they did the stuff I wanted, I’d buy their products. And now we see why they aren’t doing the stuff today’s audience wants. Because there’s sad old men at the helm who believe in crushing ideas and doing the same old, same old.

    What was that game that he made them turn into Starfox? Makes me wonder if Rare hadn’t been at Nintendo, would they have had ANY new franchises over the last three gens?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. polygem

    i cannot understand why it´s so hard for people to get his point. nintendo never rushed new characters and that´s what makes them great. that´s what makes them nintendo. that´s why formula nintendo works so damn well. they always evolve the ones they have instead – that´s just what they do. it´s clever if you ask me. i am tired of people screaming for new nintendo ip´s (we´ll see one or two soon though. i am sure about it but not many). it´s clear that you guys never really play nintendo games. “What makes it a new game is new gameplay and new interactions”. That´s what nintendo is about…why don´t you get it? it´s just a different approach. you cannot say they´re milking their franchises or aren´t creating new things. in fact they are industry leaders in creating new and unique gaming experiences while most of the other devs characters xyz look like character abc in other games. here you go again. here´s quick list again: mario kart is different to mario galaxy is different to nsmb is different to paper mario. zelda ss is different to spirit tracks. metroid prime is different to other m. kirby canvas course is different to epic yarn…and so fucking on…brandnew, fresh, unique, extremely creative games starring the good ol´characters….you know: nintendo.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Fin


    I’m pretty sure Mario Kart 8 is very similar to Mario Kart 1-8.
    Likewise, 3D World is pretty similar to 3D land, which is an evolution of Galaxy etc.
    Pikmin 3 looks like Pikmin 2.
    The new Smash Bros looks like Brawl HD.

    Nintendo aren’t innovating.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Clupula

    If anything what Nintendo do is stagnating. There’s room for Mario Kart and Smash Brothers, alongside new IP’s that will become new first party franchises. First party franchises that Miyamoto is not allowing them to make because he thinks everything has to have the same five characters stuck to it.

    If you were to make, say, Mario Galaxy with a whole different art style and a whole different character, would that make it any worse?

    #7 1 year ago
  8. DrDamn

    Agree to an extent with Poly. Think some need to read the article fully. However this point here …

    “‘What is the gameplay, and how are making that gameplay new?’ And then, ‘Who is the character that is best suited to that gameplay?’”

    As soon as you fit an existing character into that new gameplay you are restricting it before you’ve properly started. If this is the approach then you will always have question 2 at the back of your mind and it will impact question 1. If you take the approach right from the start that what you are going to do is create a brand new game with brand new IP then you have a lot more freedom.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Clupula

    @8 – Well, that is what I am saying with my Mario Galaxy question.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Bomba Luigi

    I guess I understand what he means, like when Metroid Prime came out it was not a new Character or IP but in Terms of Gameplay it was something totaly diffrent then Previous Metroids. Or when Luigis Mansion came out on the GC, it was not a new Charakter but a new IP and new Gameplay.

    Something like that is great in my Opinion, but the Problem is they didn’t do something like that for a while now. They play it way to safe now, I would love some new and Fresh Ideas, and I don’t need a new Character for that.
    In the last Years other Studios had to that for Nintendo Console. Like Monolith Soft, or now Platinum with 101, but Nintendo struggles with new Fresh Ideas a bit. I’m sure 3D World will be fun, but I can’t see any mindblowing shit like Galaxy had when I first saw it.

    At least Mario Kart 8 has a nice new Twist for the Series with the Anti Gravity Stuff. Its not a lot Innovation, but Mario Kart isn’t really the Series where I want that. Its a Racer, I don’t expect great Innovations in a Racer.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. polygem

    well i think you must look at nintendo more in a kind of classic disney way. IF they create a new character/ip it must be a truly awesome one. they have a corporate id like no other in the industry. it´s much harder for them to create a new ip. it must become as big as mario or kirby or zelda or it would really hurt the legacy.
    to me that´s fine, that´s just what nintendo is about and i love them for it. i can see that some people don´t like that but you just cannot say they are lazy and not creating new experiences that´s just not fair and simply not true. when i played phantom hourglass on the ds i was so wowed. i thought it was an amazing new way to play a zelda game. i controlled link with a stylus, the whole game! and it was fun and still a rich and deep gaming experience. it was totally different to any zelda game i´ve played before yet it felt familiar. THAT´S NINTENDO and that´s all i am trying to say here. they develop new games. they do. they just use their old characters for it and that´s what´s building their legacy. i love that. it´s awesome. sure, nostalgia is involved too but why is that a problem? i can see youngsters falling in love with new games of the same ol´ip´s over and over again if the game is good.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Clupula

    I mean, I look at a developer like Suckerpunch. If they had Miyamoto’s attitude, instead of Infamous, they would have just created an open world Sly Cooper game with the same mechanics. Really, if you’ve played both, you know there are definite similarities between the two, but they are different enough that they can be two different franchises. And nobody thought, “Well, gee, which existing character should we use for this?”

    Instead, they decided to explore a different idea and created a whole new franchise that people care about. A franchise that is one of the big selling points for the PS4 currently.

    That’s what should be going on at Nintendo. That’s how you avoid atrophy.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. polygem

    @Clupula: sure, but that´s what i am basically saying. nintendo just has a different approach. you can like it or not. it´s just a different solution to how to develop a game. for them it works quite well. it´s a proven formula and it´s what makes nintendo nintendo.

    and now excuse me guys. nice discussion but i want to play a match of the last of us mp or two before i´m off to work…

    :) addicted

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DrDamn

    “If you were to make, say, Mario Galaxy with a whole different art style and a whole different character, would that make it any worse?”

    No, and by freeing themselves from the restrictions of the IP it could have been better. Existing IP is a restriction, it’s a restriction in art style, a restriction in mechanics and a restriction in expectations.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. ps3fanboy

    It’s time they get rid of the dinosaur, and I don’t mean Yoshi.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Clupula

    @14 – Exactly.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Clupula

    @15 – Yes, that’s a Charles Original! Copy that down and put it in a little red book of my sayings for future generations to learn from.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Lengendaryboss

    Ok making excuses for not making New IPs but i respect his opinion whether i agree with it is an completely different story.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. dizzygear

    Kinda funny Sega has a ton of old IP’s we like to see return but do nothing with and with Nintendo it seems to be the exact opposite.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Clupula

    @19 – In the time it took you to write your comment, Sega reviewed, approved, and then canceled four pitches for a new Streets of Rage.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. dizzygear

    @20 And than they changed their mind and announced a SoR! Only it turns out to be a browser based card game exclusive to Japan forever dooming the franchise into obscurity.

    Yes i’m still bitter.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Max Pain

    This is the list of Nintendo games that I enjoyed since GameCube.

    TLOZ: Windwaker.
    Metroid: Prime 1
    Mario galaxy 1

    The rest is just soul less rehash of the same thing.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Professor Zoom

    Wii u is definitely a last generation system. Let’s hope Nintendo can become a third party publisher next generation, right now people only buy their consoles, due to the outdated first party franchises.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Lengendaryboss

    ^ Troll Nintendo another day.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Telepathic.Geometry

    The problem with this thinking is that the character limits you to a certain kind of game. If you show me a game like Kirby’s Epic Yarn or Metroid Prime, you can see how the new game is elegantly couched in that old game franchise with no damage.

    But I think that in Ninty’s case, they tend to create the new game around an existing franchise to shore up the sales, and as a result, they are limited by that franchise. For example, I think that the number of Mario games is testament to this problem.

    Mario Party, Mario Bros, Paper Mario and Mario RPG all make sense to me, but Miyamoto has used Mario as a generic character avatar in so many other games, it’s just crazy. Mario Golf, Mario Tennis and so on should all have had some new franchises built around them… Mariokart goes both ways.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Kidbuu42

    I think the request for new IP’s is shallow at best. I’ve understood how nintendo makes games for years and they are just now becoming public about it. The zelda series could easily have been 3 different series by now if nintendo hasn’t adopted this policy. But ask yourself, would wind waker really have been so much better if you played as (NEW PIRATE BOY CHARACTER) instead of link?

    #26 1 year ago

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