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Nintendo: “we don't know what cool is”


Once upon a time, all games looked like Nintendo games: bright, colourful and cheerful. That's not the case any more, as today's blockbuster titles are more realistic, more violent and more like action movies than cartoons. Although Nintendo has a few grittier adult games on the way in the shape of Devil's Third and Bayonetta 2, the company isn't about to change its iconic family-friendly style in order to seem "cool".

"Nintendo isn't one simple element of an overall gaming industry," Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has explained to the Los Angeles Times. "I really think there needs to be a Nintendo genre, that's almost its own entity."

He continued: "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 really cool," Miyamoto said. "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."

That would certainly explain deliciously silly recent Nintendo hits such as Tomodachi Life and the brilliant Mario Kart 8, as well as upcoming gems like Splatoon. "It's almost as if we're performers," Miyamoto reckons. "Our way of performing is by creating these fun, odd and goofy things."

Published: 30/06/2014

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