In a recent interview with the Telegraph, the veteran game designer Shigeru Miyamoto complained about the current trends followed by other gaming companies. He pointed out how the same games are appearing on every system and described it as boring.
However, he did admit that what these other companies are doing makes business sense. Although Nintendo posted an unexpected 215 million yen profit in the last quarter, the publisher has been struggling financially for the past couple of years. Miyamoto seems unconcerned by this fact and is much more focused on the creative side. When asked what separates his company from the competition, he replied:
”At Nintendo, we want an environment where game creators can collaborate and think of ideas for games that could never have happened before.”
What makes this interview interesting is that Miyamoto is not speaking with a video game journalist. He talked to Robbie Collin, the Daily Telegraph’s film critic. Collin was in Tokyo to speak with Miaymoto about his work on the three Pikmin short movies. The Super Mario creator is infamous for his opposition to the link between films and video games. The fact that many gaming companies try to sell their products with the word ‘cinematic’ is something he despises.
He bemoans the fact that many young designers want to be recognised, want to create stories that will touch people’s hearts. For Miyamoto, it should be the experience that is touching. He says that in film, the creator and the director are the same person; but in video games he believes that it is the player who is the director.
When Collin asks Miyamoto what the video game industry can learn from films, he seems mildly horrified at the thought. He is firm in his belief that there is nothing video games can learn from movies. Games can make players feel like a part of their world, a unique experience which cannot be replicated by movies or literature, he explains.
Do you think that Miyamoto is right? Are too many developers ‘boring’? What, if anything, do you think video games can learn from the film industry? Join in the discussion below and let me know what your thoughts are.