Nintendo just announced their plans for E3, introducing back the Nintendo World Championship in a funny and pleasant video. Part of the video at the end joked that Bill Trinen was fired, but if you saw his Twitter earlier on, it looks like he spoiled that joke. He had tweeted an hour earlier saying: “I guess nothing can last forever.” Shocking Nintendo fans into thinking he’d left, when in reality it was supposed to be part of the joke, which he’d tweeted an hour early after getting confused with timezones! He’d also changed his Twitter bio to “used to work at Nintendo” but since then he’s changed it to “still works at Nintendo.” Poor Bill, Time zones are hard!
Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen has hinted that Nintendo could produce Mario Maker style games for their existing franchises providing that the original game is a success when it launches sometime this year. Trinen says that Mr Tezuka is busy on the development side of things but the team at Nintendo are excited to see what the users create once the game is released.
We have nothing to announce on that now. Mr. (Takashi) Tezuka is working hard on Mario Maker and the game is progressing really nicely. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun seeing what people are able to do with the game when it comes out. During E3, we had everyone from moms and kids to longtime Nintendo fans and newer folks who just got into gaming lately just having tons of fun with the way they’re able to create stages. Depending on how people react, we’ll see if the teams take a similar approach with other franchises.
Following on from iJustine’s interesting and informative interview with Mr Miyamoto and Bill Trinen, she got to take on the legends herself in a vicious game of Mario Kart 8 for Wii U. The video is lacking some super skills, but it’s great to see Shigeru Miyamoto and Bill Trinen team up to take on iJustine.
Online gaming publication Siliconera recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bill Trinen, the Director of Product Marketing at Nintendo of America. Bill explained about the origins of Nintendo Treehouse and how it was in the early days compared to now.
“The thing about Treehouse is that it’s actually a huge team [now]. When I joined Nintendo back in ’98, there were two of us. We localized games, captured all the screenshots for promotional materials, wrote all of the manuals, captured all of the footage to help with T.V. ads for media…the list gets longer.”
“From there, the team started to grow, and one of the first things I said was, ‘We really need somebody else to capture the footage [for media], because there’s actual localization work to do, and we can’t do it all,’ so then we added what’s now called our Marketing Support Team.”
“Then there’s my team. I left out of localization several years ago and started up what is essentially the product marketing team. Our role is to educate the NOA internal marketing teams and their agencies on what the products are and how they can identify the key features of a product.”
“We also have our brand management/Pokémon team that handles all of the Pokémon products. They do some things around the Kirby franchise. Today, Treehouse is a very large group. Localization alone is 40 or 50 people. It’s hard to imagine that we started by translating text into .txt files.”
“There have actually been rumors that Mr. Miyamoto is going to retire, you know, so this E3 we were going to spread the rumor that the two of us had bought a place in a Hawaii and that we’re going to retire together. But really, when I first joined Nintendo it was in 1998. I had gone in for an interview on a contract job and didn’t hear back, so, I just sort of assumed I didn’t get the job. Then I heard back from this agency that had hooked me up with the interview and they said, ‘well yeah, they don’t want to hire you for the contract job, they just want to HIRE you!’ So, naturally, I said, hey, sure—I’ll do that!”
“As a part of the testing process for Ocarina of Time, we were doing these nightly telephone conference calls, because we didn’t have video conference technology back then—but we at least had email—so we would do these calls every night and I ended up being the one who was translating them for the testing team in Redmond.”
“I was going about my merry way for a few months when, one day, Jim Merrick comes up to me and says, ‘you’re Bill, right? You speak Japanese, don’t you?’ I was young and naïve, so of course I said, ‘Yeah! Yeah I speak Japanese!’
“Miyamoto was really nervous because he had never spoken in front of an audience that large before—and I was really nervous because I had never met Mr. Miyamoto. I can’t remember it exactly, but there was this little joke at the beginning…anyways, we got on stage, and he gets to his joke, tells it, I translate it, and the whole room just busts up. That’s been our motto ever since—whenever were doing anything, we don’t really care what the audience thinks, the two of us are just going to get up and have fun.”
“Before the trip, I told my wife, ‘I’m going to come back either looking for a new job or I’ll be staying at Nintendo for a very long time.”
Director of product marketing Bill Trinen is extremely confident that the Nintendo 3DS will take off this year due to the influx of new and enticing software that will be available to consumers. Trinen says that Nintendo portables in the United States have historically taken a few years to see sales pick up, but as soon a healthy amount of software is released sales really pick up.
“We have noticed that in the US in particular, people tend to, at least when it comes to handheld gaming, they tend to shift generations a lot more slowly than they do particularly in Japan. In Japan, once a new handheld system comes out it’s like everybody just goes right to it.”
“GameBoy Advance was the same way; DS was the same way; 3DS now. It does take a couple of years. But then once it does, it really builds steam and so with the lineup that we’re seeing this year, to me it really feels like this is the year that 3DS is really going to take off.”
Miiverse is a network where players can share their feelings with others; for example, if you are struggling on a particular level within a game, let other Wii U users know how you feel so that they’ll attempt to help you. Defeat a challenging, ruthless boss, and let other players know of your triumph so that they’ll congratulate you.
To access the Nintendo eShop for Wii U, Miiverse, Nintendo TVii and Wii U Chat, you must have a Nintendo Network ID. To register for a Nintendo Network ID, a player must enter a password, birth date, gender, location and e-mail address.