Shigeru Miyamoto On The Success Of Pokémon GO, Animal Crossing’s Mobile Game, And More



Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has been participating in a handful of interviews recently thanks to the upcoming release of the mobile game Super Mario Run. This time, Miyamoto sat down with The Verge to talk a bit about the mobile Mario game, the astronomic success of Pokémon Go, the future of an Animal Crossing mobile game, as well as his hope that Super Mario Run introduces the series to a whole new group of gamers.


First off, Miyamoto explained that Nintendo had been playing around with the idea of creating a one-button Mario game since around the time of the Wii:


“As we were doing those experiments, we thought that that kind of approach would perhaps best be suited to iPhone. So that became the basis for Super Mario Run. Nintendo has been making Mario games for a long time, and the longer you continue to make a series, the more complex the gameplay becomes, and the harder it becomes for new players to be able to get into the series. We felt that by having this simple tap interaction to make Mario jump, we’d be able to make a game that the broadest audience of people could play.”


Miyamoto then commented on the worldwide success of Pokémon GO, saying that they were surprised by how much of an impact the mobile game had in terms of bringing that audience back to more Nintendo titles:


“Certainly when we first embarked on our mobile strategy, a key element for us was the idea of bringing our characters and [intellectual property] to a much broader audience. But I think we were surprised by the impact that [Pokémon Go] has had in terms of bringing that audience back to our own games.”


He then continued, saying how he hoped a series like Animal Crossing could garner the same effect that Pokémon GO has by creating a larger audience that would express interest in new games from the series.


“We have Super Mario Run releasing now, and it’s already decided that we’ll be making a Mario game for our next system. And similarly with Animal Crossing, the hope is that when we release the Animal Crossing mobile game, we’ll have more people who become familiar with the Animal Crossing world and characters, so that when we next release an Animal Crossing game we’ll have a much larger audience who will be interested.”


Finally, Miyamoto commented on how he hopes that Super Mario Run will open up the door for a whole new group of people to discover the Mario games and how their opinions will ultimately shape the way the series evolves in the future:


“Super Mario Run is going to introduce millions of more people to the fun of Mario, and it’ll become the entry point for them. And then the question becomes, once you’ve gone through that entry point, then what comes next? Is it a more traditional Mario experience? Is it something like the Mario Galaxy games? We’ll then have to look at what it is these new fans want from a Mario game, and we’ll continue to see Mario evolve in that way.”

“I hope people will continue to recognize the areas where Nintendo has taken that first step. And hopefully someday people will look back on the Wii U and think ‘Oh wow, I remember when Nintendo did that, and now look at what’s come of that.”


Super Mario Run will release for iOS on December 15th, and for Android devices sometime in 2017.