To add to the fan-pleasing parade that Nintendo is apparently conducting this week, Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto recently stated Nintendo’s new interest in catering to their most passionate and longtime fans (rather than the widest audience possible) in an interview with Edge Magazine.
In the magazine issue (available for purchase today) Miyamoto expresses not just the potential he sees in emphasizing fan devotion over audience numbers, but also his concerns about pandering to the largely undefinable casual crowd. He describes them as “the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland.”
“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,” said Miyamoto.
Though looking like an aggressive stance, the impactful claim marks the first instance of a powerful Nintendo employee concretely stating a desire to recapture the core, challenge-seeking market which first put the videogame forefathers on the radar.
After record-setting sales of the Wii and titles like Wii Sports making their way into over 100 million homes, the reasons why Nintendo banked on the casual crowd snatching up the Wii’s successor seem pretty clear-cut. However, after significantly poor Wii U sales during the first year of its release, the reasons why Nintendo would want to revisit this approach seem just as evident.
“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,” said Miyamoto.
Though Nintendo may not yet have a lengthy enough Wii U library to justify the claim of casual abandonment, some of their recent actions and events suggest they are taking the notion very seriously. With an unconventionally impressive E3 presence that hosted a competitive Smash Bros. tournament and the recent announcement of two content-rich, budget-friendly DLC packs for Mario Kart 8, whether Nintendo continues to further their core-market presence will be a topic to keep a close eye on.
To read the entirety of Miyamoto’s interview be sure to check out issue 271 of Edge Magazine.