Since their inception, Nintendo and it’s games have always been known for their wild imagination, vividly bringing ideas to life in games that set benchmarks for the gaming industry. Iconic game series such as Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong have all been major leap forwards in each of their respective genres, and each game series has brought something unique to gaming…and well kind of weird. Mario is a plumber that dress up like a raccoon and cat, Tomodachi Life is quite the odd experience, and who knows what the heck going on in Wario Ware. But through this unique sort of weirdness, Nintendo has captured millions of gamers hearts.
However, in light of recent home console struggles, Nintendo faces harsh criticism and concerns that they are fading from relevance. While Nintendo’s established series still continue to sell well and win accolades ( Super Mario 3d World and A Link To The Past both garnering high scores and Game Of The Year Wins), it seems that a large amount of gamers are preferring think that they aren’t “hip” and that to be a cool game, it must have guns and explosions. Games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield, while fun in their own right, seem to limit certain gamers audience on what games could and should be.
However Shigeru Miyamoto stands firmly against that notion. In an interview with LA Times Hero Complex about Nintendo’s unique ideas, Miyamoto expressed that “It’s not that I don’t like serious stories or that I couldn’t make one, but currently in the video game industry you see a lot of game designers who are working really hard to make their games seem real cool,” Miyamoto stated. He went on to say “For a lot of us at Nintendo, it’s difficult to decide what cool is. In fact, it’s a lot easier for us to laugh at ourselves. It’s almost as if we’re performers. Our way of performing is by creating these fun, odd, and goofy things.” While the heavy focus on story in games is a major plus and pushing video games in new directions, it’s almost refreshing that Nintendo can stick to creating games that are generally seen as fun to play, rather than piling cutscene upon cutscene on gamers.
And while the style of Nintendo games has kept them as a major player in the game industry for quite sometime now, Miyamoto makes the bold claim that “Nintendo isn’t one simple element of an overall gaming industry,” he explained at E3 2014. “I really think there needs to be a Nintendo genre, that’s almost it’s own entity.”
He is certainly right about Nintendo games having their own distinct look and feel, but is it possible for Nintendo really to be considered it’s own genre someday? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.