If you haven’t played Mario, you’re “probably not a good creator” – Inafune

Wednesday, 9th October 2013 23:22 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mega Man and Mighty No. 9 creator Keiji Inafune believes playing Mario games is essential for any would-be game designers.

“If any creator has not played Mario, then they’re probably not a good creator. That’s something I can say with 100% confidence,” the outspoken developer told IGN as part of a celebration of the Nintendo franchise.

“Mario is, for game creators, the development bible. There are so many hints about good design, about cute characters, about innovation in using an existing gameplay system. It’s something you have to constantly look at and examine and take hints from as a game creator. It’s the anchor that grounds almost all games.”

Inafune said he has “total respect” for Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and said the designer should be one of Japan’s national cultural treasures.

“He’s talked about in all different countries. Lots of people know him. He’s pushed forward Japanese culture and interest in Japan all over the world. He’s somebody that deserves everyone’s ultimate respect, and a lot of that is due to being able to create Mario. And Super Mario Bros. 3, of course, within that, was a fantastic game,” he added.

The full article on IGN includes further musings on the franchise from various Nintendo staff as well as industry faces like Ted Price of Insomniac and Ryan Peyton of Camouflaj; it’s a cute read even if nobody has anything quite as strident to say as good old Keiji “Clickbait” Inafune.

Thanks, NintendoLife.



  1. monkeygourmet

    “And you know why Inafune carried Miyamoto’s groceries home from the store? It was out of respect…”

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TMRNetShark

    Uh, acting like a snob doesn’t fit in video game world. By saying “Hey, you haven’t played X, Y, and Z games… so you aren’t a true gamer.” It’s excluding people and I thought we left that to high school.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. monkeygourmet


    Not really. Most people involved in creating any form of art / media, often try to trace things back to there roots. It’s part of the process.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Biscuitpants

    A girl was excited for her sweet 16, and she asked her boyfriend to buy her a car. He said yes. The night of the party, he didn’t come. She was very sad. Then she found out he’d died trying to drive two cars at once to her party. Like this if you love your boyfriend.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. pcbros

    @2 – “If any creator has not played Mario, then they’re probably not a good creator”

    Let’s not twist his words :)

    I agree that Nintendo sets a standard for the types of games they create. People imitate but very few, meet or exceed those standards.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. fearmonkey

    @4 – I wept…so sad…

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Judicas

    @2 *creator* not gamer, there isn’t a comment about gamers in that sentence.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    He’s talking about professionalism. So like, if you were a fantasy author, you should of course develop your own style and create your own world, but if you haven’t read The Lord of the Rings, you’re probably missing a trick. or if you were a movie director, you’d probably wanna go back and look at what all the greats did, and maybe pick up a trick or two.

    It’s pure common sense…

    I’d say that if you were a game reviewer, you might wanna do the same…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. sebastien rivas

    Sorry I had difficulty swallowing the pill.
    We must agree Mario was really unique in ITS genre.
    Although there are SOOOOoooo many games in various genre that pre-dates Mario and are excellent in terms of designs and creation.
    Mario is cool butbMario is Mario and that’s it, beside mario paper clip, I still wait and see for THE NEW MARIO that pulls all satisfaction and UNIQUENESS that Mario was back in the 80′s.

    Ho my GOD, does that mean we are out of good Designers????
    Haaaaaa game industry crashing, gamers… run for your lives…

    #9 1 year ago
  10. pcbros

    @9 – “Although there are SOOOOoooo many games in various genre that pre-dates Mario and are excellent in terms of designs and creation.”

    And developers should play those games too. He didn’t say they should ONLY play Mario.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. sebastien rivas

    Nope hecdid not. In contrast, he mentioned something much worse, something like if any creator have not played Mario, they probably are not good.

    You vill ear Mario, you vill eat Mario, you vill live Mario, or you are probably not fit for the job ;)

    #11 1 year ago
  12. ps4fanboy

    mario is over rated.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. pcbros

    The game probably had a huge impact in his life and career. If he feels every game developer can learn from it, so be it.

    Mario is the Mickey Mouse of the gaming industry. To not study what made Mario such a great game, is like an animator not studying what made Mickey Mouse so great. It’s possible some don’t, but I’m sure most do.

    Mario is definitely a classic and Super Mario is practically a house-hold name.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. GwynbleiddiuM

    Don’t worry about that, I’m sure everyone connected to the industry at some point in their lives played a Mario game – therefore this argument is pointless, moving on.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Telepathic.Geometry

    Just as a kind of tangent, why not get everybody in here to list out a few games they think a game designer should play/study?

    For me it’s this lot, not because I love them (although I do), but because they felt so thoroughly carefully/thoughtfully designed:

    Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy;
    Batman: Arkham Asylum;
    Pixeljunk Shooter 2;
    Metroid Prime;
    Demon’s Souls;
    Pikmin 2;
    ME 2;

    I would guess that Fez belongs in there too, but I haven’t played it yet so…

    #15 1 year ago
  16. polygem

    miyamoto is an outstanding artist.
    mario is an icon. i love jak and dax, sir dan, ratchet, master chief, but they’re not mario for a reason. their design is not pure perfection.
    miyamotos designs are pure, simple and to the point. he captures an emotion without adding too much detail. he focusses on simplicity in art- and gamedesign but still delivers deep, satisfying gaming experiences by doing that, BECAUSE of that. it’s not only about mario though, it’s also about the world around him, the wigglers that turn mad, the grumpy goombas, the dancing turtles. such simple but insanely powerfull characters graphicwise, every single one will make you smile. he’s a brilliant artist. his work is still unmatched. nothing gets even close.

    #16 1 year ago

    If you haven’t played Mario, you’re probably not a gamer.

    #17 1 year ago

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