Miyamoto backs off franchises, looking for “one big hit”

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 01:28 GMT

Shigeru Miyamoto is indeed taking a less active role in supervising Nintendo’s development division, but only because he wants to work on his own games.

“I am acting with the understanding that one big hit title can change multiple phases of a situation in the entertainment business, and I feel that finding such one big hit is my basic job.”

Nintendo design lead Shigeru Miyamoto has clarified recent comments about his shifting role within the company, saying his subordinates are more than capable of continuing development on existing franchises while he pursues the next big thing.

“The ideal situation is one in which I do not need to give any direction. My giving directions may hold back my subordinates’ independent and voluntary growth,” Miyamoto said of his withdrawal from established franchises like Mario and Zelda, during a question and answer session with investors following the company’s quarterly financial release last Thursday..

“Of course, I do not let everyone go totally unchecked. I supervise whenever necessary. I end up using less of my energy and, as a result, I am starting to have time that I can spend for myself.”

By “for myself”, the designer actually means “for Nintendo,” because when free from managerial duties, his creativity can fire up.

“I am spending more time than before on finding new ideas for new developments rather than focusing my energy on work in my teams in order to solidify the contents of (existing) franchise titles,” he said.

“I am acting with the understanding that one big hit title can change multiple phases of a situation in the entertainment business, and I feel that finding such one big hit is my basic job.”

Miyamoto added that he feels confident in his team members’ ability to produce quality games, and CEO and president Satoru Iwata said Nintendo has a second major development division in addition to Miyamoto’s, under his own supervision, dispelling a myth that Miyamoto personally oversees every first-party game.

“No single person can replace Mr Miyamoto instantaneously. They are living in a different age from Mr Miyamoto and their experiences are different from Mr Miyamoto’s,” he added.

“On the other hand, there have been many people who have observed how Mr Miyamoto works, have worked with him or have been left in situations where they have to take on more significant responsibility without being allowed to be dependent upon Mr Miyamoto. I am confident that people are growing. Even for the development fields that required Mr Miyamoto’s involvement in the past, the situation is changing.”

Iwata also commented on an interview in which Miyamoto was quoted as jokingly saying he was semi-retired; Nintendo flatly denied even a joking reference to such a thing, although Wired stuck by its transcript.

“Mr Miyamoto’s intention is to change the developers’ mindset because they will continue to believe that ‘this is Mr Miyamoto’s responsibility, not ours unless he encourages them to envision the workplace without him. Unfortunately, the article was reported as if Mr Miyamoto had made his retirement announcement,” Iwata said.

“Follow-up articles were created one after another on the Internet. Before we knew it, articles containing completely different messages from Mr Miyamoto’s original message were circulated, which once again reminded us how scary the internet can be.”

[image]

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments