Miyamoto “Mortified” When Capcom Released Steel Battalion

By Ishaan . March 4, 2011 . 10:57am

Of all the first-party Nintendo 3DS launch games, the one that seems to be getting the least attention is Steel Diver. Perhaps it’s because it isn’t about a relatable character, or maybe it’s simply because the idea of a submarine simulator is a little hard to be excited for without knowing what the point of the game is.


Either way, Steel Diver can come off as a little confusing. Even Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, thinks that Steel Diver is a “plain” game. Recently, he asked Nintendo managing director, Shigeru Miyamoto, who’s designing the game himself, why he developed it.


Miyamoto reveals that it was because he wanted to create a simulation game that reflected the sensation of learning to pilot a vehicle with challenging controls — the opposite of how his games are usually designed: with utmost attention paid to simplicity of control.


Above all, Miyamoto wanted the vehicles the player would pilot to be huge. He reveals that he was “mortified” when Capcom released Steel Battalion in 2002 because he had been wanting to develop a game with players piloting giant vehicles, but Capcom beat him to it. For Steel Diver, the choice came down to a large passenger aircraft, a battleship or submarines. Ultimately, Miyamoto settled on the last one.


“For Steel Diver, we have included elements where if you’re able to comprehend how it works, it will make you want to keep on playing it more and more even if you do not particularly try to be a better player,” he said to Iwata.


However, in reply to Iwata’s comment about the game being “plain,” Miyamoto believes that a lot of his games could be described that way — including the original Legend of Zelda, which he describes as “a world of swords and magic.”


Wii Fit, too, he says could be considered a “plain” game. Miyamoto encourages his development teams to take on the challenge of developing a “plain” game into something that shows people “what they’re made of.”

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  • gatotsu911

    A Miyamoto mecha game?? YES PLEASE.

  • Code

    It’s kind of funny because I’ve really eyed this game, I find the notion of it really charming. I actually had no idea Miyamoto himself had his hands in it, but that’s a really good sign >w<' I think the notion of having high management controls be an aspect of the gameplay is rewarding. But yeah seriously a Mecha game by Miyamoto, rar, sign me up~!

    • puchinri

      I was kind of like that too. I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but I kept noticing it especially, and I’m surprised to hear that Miyamoto played such a role in it. Agreed completely~!

  • onilink888

    “A Miyamoto mecha game?? YES PLEASE. ”

    Hmm, I envision a giant Robot Miyamoto shooting DSs, 3DSs and Miyamoto games out of his eyes at people, and turning them into Miyamoto-ites. Once you’ve done enough conversions, the Miyamoto-ites will all amalgamate with themselves and the original Miyamoto to form a giant Miyamoto being (à la Evangelion/RahXephon) that will, in turn, fire a smiling Miyamoto face laser in all directions of the universe, converting every being in existence: the ruler and God of the universe will have, then, been born!

    • gatotsu911

      If it’s by Miyamoto then, hell, I’d play that.

  • The interface is very similar to Choushoujuu Mecha MG (Nintendo) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g7xYp5F5MY

    • Code

      Holy crap, I kind of want!

      • 5parrowhawk

        Finished that game already. It’s fun in a goofy sort of way, and of course the touchscreen controls are cool. You do need a screen protector though – some of those controls can be borderline Trauma Center, IIRC.

  • Really? While it is probably considered a “niche” game… it’s like the only original game for the 3DS I’ve seen so far. Every other game is a freaking port.

  • Soma

    I have faith in Miyamoto. This game will probably be one of the better 3DS launch titles.
    The fact that Capcom beat him to the punch ensures that he and his team will put in that extra effort to deliver something unique.

  • I wonder why he didnt develop it for the iOS devices, it seems like a perfect fit those systems. Hopefully the controls are not too challenging so that people will be turned off by the game.

    • Let me get this straight; you’re wondering why a Nintendo employee didn’t develop the game for a competing mobile platform?

      • Nintendo is an entertainment company tasked with the mission of providing entertainment…I do not see why it wouldnt make sense to not develop a game for a different operating environment.

        • Soma

          Because Nintendo only develops for their systems. Just like how SCEA and Microsoft have their own studios that develop for their systems. This is like, common knowledge, man!

          • Microsoft makes games for PCs, Sony makes games for PCs (PC version of DC Universe Online). Sony sells sony stuff on iOS devices. I do not see what point you are trying to prove.

          • Soma

            You have much to learn about the gaming industry, young one.

          • @Soma

            No, not really. He never learns. No matter what happens, he never gets it.

          • Phoenix_Apollo

            But Microsoft and Sony are MULTIMEDIA electronics companies. Nintendo is a video game company. Huge difference.

          • Zero_Destiny

            INGENIOUS!!!!!!! I see it now. The meeting will go like this: Employee #1: “Hey guys I have a great idea. Let’s make a game for a rival platform!!!!” Employee #2: “By God your right. We don’t need to make money to fund our own projects thus meaning we can deliver more HD graphics and voice Acting. That’s silly anyways. And by no means do we need to make money and support our families!!! We better tell Iwata about this pronto” Iwata: “Hhhmmmm . . . You want to make games for our competition? You two are GENIUSES!!!! You’re the next Miyamoto’s waiting to happen!!!!”

          • @Zero_Destiny¤♥DragonQuestVI¤ well its Mr. Miyamoto, everything he touches turns is gold in his fans eyes…who can tell him what he cant and cant do?

          • Zero_Destiny

            I think Ren was right about you not understanding sarcasm. :(

          • Suicunesol

            Nintendo would lose out on potential buyers of Nintendo systems if they supported another company.

            Sony will release their first-party titles on another platform if it will make them a profit. PCs are okay to develop for because most people own a PC. The rate at which people buy PCs will not change if Sony releases their game on a PC.

            Also notice how Sony never releases PC versions of their games before the console versions are out. PC versions always come out later to make players buy the console version first.

          • malek86

            I’ll just point out that the only Sony games for PC are the Sony Online Entertainment titles, which is basically separated from the main branch. From what I know, SCE themselves have never made a PC game.

          • @Suicunesol Free Realms released in 2009 for PC’s, it is listed for a 2011 release on PS3. I think a case in which they have released PC version before console version.

          • Mario Teaches Typing. Nintendo-published game on PC.

    • AdrianWerner

      iOS devices seem like a horrible system for game of this type. There’s a reason why simulation is pretty much PC-only genre. This game works on 3DS because it has two screens. how do you imagine it playing well on iPhone where all the internal machne systems would take most of the screen?

  • Skua

    I’d take Miyamoto with a grain of salt. He said the same thing about Virtua Fighter (“Sega beat him to the punch”), Tamagotchi (“had something similar in development, but Bandai did it first and without requiring a TV”), and even Rubik’s Cube.

    Either he’s very unlucky with the competition consistently beating him to market with the most innovative ideas, or he’s just jealous that he didn’t come up with the concepts first.

    • The only place I can find online where Miyamoto references the Rubik’s cube, he was talking about how he admired it and wanted to make something like it, not that he had the idea before it was invented.

      None of your examples are very original ideas, anyway…

    • Caligula

      Well, even if he had come up with a Tamagotchi-esque game, it would’ve tanked if it was on the TV. One of the major points of appeal for the Tamagotchi was its portability.

    • 5parrowhawk

      I believe him. It’s not that difficult to come up with an interesting idea, but sometimes you simply don’t have the time, resources or willpower to execute, and then somebody else beats you to it. Or you find out somebody already made it.

      Any designer worth his salt – and many who aren’t – will usually have a notebook or some such which is full of interesting design ideas, so it’s not uncommon at all for this sort of thing to happen.

  • It’s this day and age regardless of how better your game may be. If it’s not seen as an original idea it’s called a copy. For a man that created several genres by himself. I doubt he wants to be seen as a copy cat!

  • “Of all the first-party Nintendo 3DS launch games, the one that seems to be getting the least attention is Steel Diver. Perhaps it’s because it isn’t about a relatable character…”

    Um, how about because it’s the only game that isn’t part of an ongoing franchise or port? To me that’s a good reason to give it attention. It’s the one and only spot of originality in the entire launch lineup.

  • Wait…This is from Shigeru Miyamoto?! That makes it a automatic purchase then.

  • Tokyo Guy

    Sarcasm intended: Miyamoto’s career seems to be littered with “could have, should have” ideas that he never acted upon. I suppose this is a direct contrast to Tetsuya Nomura whose apparent ADHD prevents him from even finishing one project before he already has 3 more.

    I can’t help but think Miyamoto’s talent has been wasted all these years. Nintendo basically has him making the same games over and over again yet he clearly has tons of ideas for project that would accomplish exactly what Nintendo admits it needs; more franchises and more fresh content. Pikman was an excellent example of his creativity and while it wasn’t necessarily mainstream, it offers a great window as to the potential that we could get were Mario and Zelda not constantly on the front burner.

  • So close Miyamoto, beat to the punch by just 8 measly years

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