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Nintendo Not As Interested In Making Games For “Passive” Audiences Says Miyamoto


In an interview in the latest of the U.K.’s Edge magazine, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto says that his team aims to make games for those that enjoy more advanced games, and isn’t necessarily focused on making games for “passive” audiences any more. Instead, he hopes to aim for audiences that are interested in more intricate games.


“[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland,” Miyamoto says, in a quote transcribed by CVG.


“Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].”


This might seem like an odd comment for someone at Nintendo to make, to say the least, considering that the company spent a good 7 or 8 years reaching out to a much more “casual” breed of gamer with the Nintendo DS and Wii.


However, while it is the kind of comment you don’t hear out of Miyamoto often, it certainly isn’t off-the-mark, given that Nintendo’s games tend to consistently follow the “easy to pick up, hard to master” philosophy of design.


Miyamoto elaborates, “In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population. Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.”


It also isn’t the first time that a Nintendo executive has made such a remark in recent years. Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, has stated on a number of occasions that it is more important than ever for the company to release games that are seen as good value for money, so that the people that play them feel safe recommending them to others, despite them costing “dozens of dollars”.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.