Nintendo Adamant They Are Not “Playing It Safe” With Sequels

pikmin_3_undergrowthAfter Nintendo’s exclusive reveals from E3, some were left feeling a little deflated that the company had chosen not to reveal a new IP and instead expanded their list of sequels for their power-house franchises. Nintendo came under criticism when the, somewhat controversial, publication Kotaku previously said they felt Nintendo’s games were “fun but felt safe” this year, so to set the record straight legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime sat down with Kotaku to talk about whether they really were “playing it safe”.

When speaking to Kotaku, Miyamoto stressed the differences between a brand new IP and a new game, as well as explaining that creating a new character does not necessarily mean the game will be fun to play for the user. However, he recognised why some wished they had brought newer ideas to E3:

“So I don’t look at this as us playing it safe, because, whenever we make a game, we’re striving to create new experiences for people. Certainly from outside the company and even internally we have a lot of staff members who are talking about, we should create new [intellectual property, as in characters or series]. To me the question really comes down to: What is new IP and, by definition, what is a new game? And I think there’s a lack of understanding about the difference between the two.

“And so, from my perspective, a lot of people say, ‘Oh, you should make new characters and those would be fun games,’ but creating a new character doesn’t necessarily mean the game is going to be fun. You really need to be focusing on creating a new gameplay experience that’s fun and unique.

“I guess I understand there are some who wish we brought something new or some different ideas to E3, but at the same time, I also feel that people don’t tend to recognize what we have done that is new. Because even something like Nintendo Land that I thought was very fresh and offered unique ways to play games, people don’t recognize as being a new IP or taking a risk simply, because we didn’t build a new story around it or introduce a new character around it. Whereas if we had taken that gameplay and had done it that way, people would have recognized it as a new IP. So I guess to a certain degree that is a little bit of the frustration.”

Reggie also brought his thoughts to the table when it comes down to Nintendo “playing it safe”, and firmly disagreed by saying it was a “superficial analysis”. He explains the level of detail that goes into making a new game, even if it is a sequel, is still viable and is also incredibly rich when the user begins to play the game. Reggie also points out Nintendo has  new franchises ready to launch, and completes his interview by saying The Wonderful 101 is “magic in a bottle”:

“I think that’s actually a superficial analysis. And here’s why I say that. When you look at the depth that’s in Super Mario 3D World, the use of the different characters, the fact that different characters have different capabilities, the fact that it’s a multiplayer game in a 3D space that EAD Tokyo does so well… that experience is a phenomenal experience. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, I think it’s superficial to look at that game and say, well, it’s just Donkey Kong Country. No it’s not. New levels, new enemies, new ways to player underwater, I mean there’s a lot more richness in that game. I could literally go through point by point.

“All I can tell you is that, first, we’ve got some new franchises that we’re about to launch. The Wonderful 101, I think, can be magic in a bottle, and we’re continuing to work on other new franchises.”


85 thoughts on “Nintendo Adamant They Are Not “Playing It Safe” With Sequels”

    1. “some were left feeling a little deflated that the company had chosen not to reveal a new IP and instead expanded their list of sequels ”

      Talk about unrealistic expectations… A new console needs its big sellers out.. Nintendo would be suicidal to put out new unproven IP’s and niche titles when it needs to sell consoles…. Not the least bit surprised that most gamers do not understand business at all.

      New IP’s are fine and dandy, but I rather have new gameplay mechanics inserted into known franchises… usually new IP’s mostly play like old IP’s.. take sony for example. All of their new IP looks and plays like their previous IP already. I mean how many TPS and FPS can you play before it goes stale? I mean do gameplay mechanics really change all that much from Uncharted to TLOU ?? I’m sure TLOU is great because of the story, but the gameplay looks absolutely no different from Uncharted…. the same goes with ALL of their New IP’s. Its rehashing the same gameplay we already experienced for the last 7 years.

      Nintendo is pretty good about changing how their games are played.. Take Mario Galaxy 1/2. In just about every single galaxy they put in a new gameplay element. Whether its rock mario, spring mario, cloud mario, bee mario. Whether its balancing on a ball, swinging from a tree, to ice skating. Nintendo keeps adding in new gameplay mechanics to keep the game fresh from start to finish. Nintendo has the most creative devs working for them in the world.

      I really really want to love the PS4, but Sony failed miserably to show us anything new. Its the same 30fps nonsense we looked at last gen… I mean a system that is 10 or 11 times more powerful than the ps3, and its still playing games with a slideshow frame rate… as terrible as the xbone looks but a couple of their exclusives will target 60fps, Sony has ZERO.

      1. He is somewhat right on a story level. It’s basically the same crap, but with a couple new gimmicks like cat or penguin suits lol. They are still fun, but it’s true in my opinion.

        1. It’s the same story, I won’t deny (well, except for the RPG games, which you cannot claim have the same story) but it’s so simplistic to begin with, how can you make that completely fresh? So I can forgive Nintendo for that, as long as they can keep the gameplay fresh and interesting, which they tend to do when it comes to their franchises.

        2. They all have the same base, but each product is different. Plants are planted in the same soil, but barren different fruit.
          Whoa man, I would make a good sensei!

        3. What you call gimmicks I call innovating new gameplay mechanics.

          New Gameplay Mechanics > New IP’s that play like old IP’s

          TLOU as fun as it looks, the gameplay hasn’t changed one iota from Uncharted… how much third person shooters can you play before it goes stale?

          during the gamecube years I was a PC only gamer playing first person shooters nonstop, when Gen 7 rolled around and console gamers started playing shooters, I was left feeling quite underwhelmed by Sony/Microsoft consoles as I was looking for something different from shooting games…. and looks like Gen 8 will be no different from Sony/Microsoft. Still goign to be lots and lots of shooting, and most exclusives will be a 30fps slideshow…. instead of Sub 720p, games will play in sub 1080p…. I don’t see how console gamers are not bored to tears with this. its the same games, different characters, but with identical gameplay…. yawn, wake me when Sony and Microsoft change their gameplay up.

    1. COD, CRYSIS 3, METRO last night, Which FPS am I missing. Also wait those are all third party games with a different titles and skin. At least Mario has different ” gimmicks .”

      You need to research your history before you attack Nintendo. Pikmin 3 alone shall have more creativity than 99% of the games that released on the PS3 and xbox360 in the last year.

      Let me not even start with the PS4 and Xboxone’s launch line up. FPS galore!

    2. The 3d marios have been different from each other except smg2 and sm3dw. All new super mario bros. are rehashes, but the old 2d mario bros evolved I would say.

    3. All UNCH, God of War, COD, Gears of War, Ratchet n Clank, BF, ane evry other Sony n xbox Ip are the same, sorry, just different gimmicks..

    4. “all marios are the same, sorry, just different gimmics” You just described every sequel to every game ever. You may not know this but every game that you have played and will play in the future is made up of gimmicks… if they weren’t, there would literally be no game at all. People don’t seem to understand what a gimmick is and just think its a but thing.

    5. @So is God of War, Uncharted, Halo, Call of Duty, and the list of offenders goes on and on. While the main theme of most Mario or Zelda games may be similar (rescue kidnapped princess), the overall story and gameplay is usually different. For example, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword come to mind. The end result in both games is to rescue Zelda, but the stories and gameplay of both are vastly different.

      1. “While the main theme of most Mario or Zelda games may be similar (rescue kidnapped princess)”

        Zelda hardly boils down to that… Only the first one, arguably.

    6. No they’re not. Do you even play Mario? I have, and you can’t get away with saying they’re the same thing. They aren’t.

    7. Why don’t they ask all these western developers why they keep rehashing shooters? It’s like all these guys on the west want Nintendo to succumb to western standards by making gritty m-rated games, realistic bloody, depressing graphics, and first person military like shooters. As if that’s the only way the western media will give em any credit. They got ahold of Sony and alot of Japanese developers and look what’s happening, quality is declining and alot of games are make or break for em. Very sad.

    8. yep. Just like Mario Galaxy is perfectly similar to Mario Paint, which is, by chance, perfectly similar to Mario Kart 7, which is similar to Mario Sports Mix, which is similar to NSMB…

  1. Im preyy happy aboute what they rebeveled and my wallet will be empty for sure. But common.. they have to save som stuff for next year as the other consoles will be released. I wich ppl would just stop complaining all the time.

    1. I don’t see what new experiences they could be referring to. Everything I saw WAS very safe, but then again, it’s true, all we have done is SEE them, not play. However, I have heard from those who attended E3, and they found the games fun but… unoriginal. So again, I’m not sure exactly how Nintendo defines new experiences. Time will tell I guess.

      1. I went to the Best Buy event and played the Super Mario 3D World demo! Playing in multiplayer, as far as I’m concerned, is EXTREMELY fun and it feels like something that hasn’t really been done before? I mean, a 3D Mario game with four players really hasn’t been done before. I can’t say the same for DK and Mario Kart, I didn’t get a chance to play them! I think it looks safe, but the experience is new.

  2. one thing that really bugged me about e3 this year was that everyone was leaping to conclusions. i heard people say they were disappointed by 3d world then they played it and said its one of the best yet! im just trying to say, you can’t say a game is bad when it is first announced when you don’t know most of the things about that game. oh yea, FIRST!

  3. Even if they were “playing it safe”, can you blame them for bringing out more of those franchises which continue to be the most successful in gaming, such as Mario & Pokémon? I hadn’t heard of The Wonderful 101 though, I’ve looked it up and it seems cool. Nintendo should have highlighted it at E3.

    1. They did show The Wonderful 101 at E3… they showed it at E3 last year, as well, when they were showing off what the Wii U is capable of. They showed it in several Nintendo Directs. They even revealed the final name in one of the directs.

  4. wonderful 101 looks like a gimmicky pikmin with fake ass superheroes.magic in a bottle you hope,when its competing with pikim . which can essentially be interpreted as the same game.. dk country innovation equals underwater play ,new levels/enemies..the weak arguements keep coming. What are they defending? They add a few fun elements like added characters to mbworld and they want to pass that as true innovation? Thats the part that makes me mad. dont piss on my leg and tell me its raining

  5. Mario might be the same but each game is different, i mean try comparing SM64 with galaxy, each one feels different, while SM3D world looks like an HD remake 3D Land

  6. “When speaking to Kotaku”

    Guys, don’t even bother speaking to them. They’re a bunch of troll journalist hacks, that couldn’t do a good bit of journalism if their lives depended on it.

    1. The only games im disappointed with are 3D Workd which i think is a waste of fucking time and money for Nintendo to be making, and DKC:TF. No doubt it’ll be an amazing game, DKCR is probably my favourite 2D platformer ever, and if this follows the same quality, it’ll be amazing….

      But we all wanted a new IP from Retro, or a revival of something like Star Fox

          1. I agree they made 3, but not on WIIU. I seriously think Metroid and X are the only 2 games in my opinion that can appeal to today’s market. Of course their other IP’s will sell, but to sell systems, they need more. People love shooters and RPG’s… Thats exactly what Nintendo needs to apply more attention to not just platformers even though they are the best at them.

            1. The market is much bigger than just hardcore gamers. While Metroid and X is the only Nintendo games that appeal to a certain audience, we have more different audiences that enjoy other Nintendo games, including Mario Kart, Zelda, Smash Bros and certain casual-oriented Nintendo games.

              1. that’s right. Nintendo games appeal to every type of audience, and i’m happy with that. first, because it’s hard to make a game that can satisfy different types of players. and second, don’t the casual players have the right to play videogames? i always read in websites and forums “they should focus on hardcore gamers and forget about casuals”. they are right, but at the same time those “casuals” have the right to play videogames, even though in the future they change the platform they play or just play simple games like Wii Fit and those things. videogames are like films: something everyone should enjoy and, for that, there must be differents types of games for each one.

  7. New IP and revival of old franchise. It’s what majority wants. But Reggie’s right about building a new story behind Nintendo Land.

    1. Wrong site to promote a “Pizzeria”, did you know that this is a “dedicated Nintendo GAMING blog”? facepalm… you want us to go there? put some Wii U’s in the bar, and then we’ll talk.

          1. She says she takes the tips that are meant for her employees & make them work for 30 hours a day.

            So I wouldn’t go there if I were you. Even if there were WiiUs there.

  8. Wonderful 101 IS a new IP. COMPLETELY new. 3D World has only a prequel on a handheld, whith mechanics that clearly haven’t been taken to its full form yet, so it is kind of a full fledged game out of a prototype game. Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze is just ONE SEQUEL to game that’s a revival of another game made TWENTY YEARS AGO, and that has just been brought back from the death (DKCR has a lot of potential to be unveiled yet, and I highly doubt DKCRTP will be more of the same… it’s like Galaxy 2). People just like to complain. Miyamoto is completely right: NEW IPs ARE OVERRATED. What we need is new mechanics, not new IPs. So there: shut the fuck up.

    1. It’s not new IPs or the lack of new IPs that I don’t like, it’s the fact that the sequels are so similar to the previous game that they’re better off being expansions, not their own entries.
      Are they fun? Yes. Do they come off as lazy, however? Sadly, yes.

  9. Sequels in themselves are definitely NOT playing it safe. A good example would be Metroid Prime which took a huge risk by going first person. However the games they showed at E3 were definitely playing it safe. A Wii U sequel to 3D Land with 4 player co-op will most likely sell millions, but it’s also being safe by not even trying to top what they did with Galaxy. Retro making Donkey Kong? Really? If that’s not playing it safe because Returns did 5 million on the Wii I don’t know what is. I’ll still get it though cause it was fun when I played it. I just hope we do eventually get a worthy successor to Galaxy and an amazing project from Retro (preferably Metroid).

  10. Don’t quite get some of these blog posts. Like the bit about Reggie. You baisically say what he said, then you put the actual quotes from him directly below. There is really no need to for a recap directly before the actual quote, especially when the recap is the same length.

  11. I’m happy with what Nintendo are providing, its similar and familiar, but different enough for me to be satisfied with, what Nintendo aren’t doing is making some really innovative leaps with the gamepad and taking risks with that, especially with NFC. For example would be awesome to use the NFC to transfer user data from one Wii U to another. Like with Mario Kart you could transfer your licence details to a friend’s Wii U using an NFC “Mario Kart Driver’s Licence” simple, slightly gimmicky yes, but doing something other than Skylanders toys

    1. I’d like at least two or three mature games that are heavily story based. I’m still holding out for a Metroid, and X to do that

  12. I’m fine with sequels. I really am. I’m also fine with seeing more Zelda, Mario, etc. What I’m not fine with is the sequel being so similar to the previous one that it may as well have been an expansion pack, not its own game.
    The New Super Mario Bros. series is proof of that, and the 3D Mario series is becoming way too similar.

    1. Yea I don’t mind the sequels I will support donkey Kong country tf but I want story I want more immersion it doesn’t have to be a fps I want variety naughty dog ex employees working at retro should help with that

    1. The most obvious mario kart clone was mario kart wii, but many people who brought a wii had never played a mario kart game before, but it won’t be the same story with mk8. only dedicated fans will buy that :)

  13. Nintendo are in a spiders web with the wii u, but the 3DS is going great! :D

    I don’t know how to put this, but the wii u in itself was a too bigger step by nintendo, they are now out of their depth, and are like fishes out of water…

  14. Well, I guess they have a point. New IP is certainly not a guarantee that the game will be good, and that’s the kind of thing that Sony fanboys don’t really understand. They parade on and on about their numerous exclusives or whatever, but just because you have all those new and different IPs doesn’t mean they’re actually fun to play. Lucky for Sony, they just so happen to have some very fun IPs like Infamous, Uncharted, and Ratchet and Clank, for instance, but the bottom line is that a new IP is not an automatic shoe-in for best game ever and the fanboys really have to understand this (tall order).

  15. Sorry Reggie. But Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is still just Donkey Kong Country but in HD and different camera angles.

  16. Well, Mario will probably always be the same (For the canon games. Spinoffs like the Mario&Luigi Series or Paper Mario always have amazing stories) but most of Nintendo’s other series tend to change a lot. Metroid, Star Fox, Legend of Zelda. It may be the same series, but each installment is usually pretty different. Nintendo doesn’t really need any new IPs at the moment (Though I wouldn’t mind some new ones)

  17. More lame attacks on Nintendo… those other companies would not even exist if Nintendo and its other contemporaries of the time had not ccome up with everything we take for granted today.

    Oh, and acccusing Nintendo of dipping in the same pool more times than they should!
    Are they serious?
    Look at the Playstation 4 and XBox One launch line up… calling the kettle black, much?

    The fact is, there is a demand for these games by fans wanting a specific version of Mario, Zelda…
    I will admit I dislike the gimmicky shit that the Big N has been pulling with Mario games! Cat Suit, etc, some tiny little updated version of the same game engine. But I digress, and I have already mentioned in other posts of my opinion on the variety of gaming setups, artstyles and so forth that I would like to see explored by Nintendo…

    This much is true but to say that they are playing it safe is ridiculous.

    Sony is the big fucking coward here… sitting on the fence until everyone draws their cards and then running back and rewriting its playbook.
    Not to mention stealing game ideas… that Smash Bros. rip-off did so well did it?! “sarcasm by the bucket load”
    Then taking a giant cut off the top with its new PS4… desperate measures eh.

    :P

  18. Not only that but why is Nintendo the only getting here if using the same franchises is the issue? Sony and Microsoft milk there games at a much faster rate. I swear we got like 4 Halo games this gen. The biggest thing to take from all this is that Nintendo IS making new IPs. But unfortunately, all these lame asshats won’t recognize them because all the new IPs Nintendo made last gen with the exception of Xenoblade, get beaned with these “excuses”:

    -It was a casual/party game

    -It was a downloadble game

    -It wasn’t an adventure game

    -It was a crappy game

    -It got bad sales and no sequels

    -It wasn’t made by a Nintendo 1st party studio

    -It wasn’t released in all regions

    -It uses characters from an existing franchise
    Not a single of these are a valid excuse btw.

    As a Nintendo fan, it pains me to see the company I love so much have to suffer through so many double standards from these bean pie head assholes. SMH..

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