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Rayman Creator: Innovation Is Nintendo’s Greatest Strength And Weakness

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While he views himself as an apprentice, Rayman creator Michel Ancel considers Shigeru Miyamoto a master. In an interview with ONM, Ancel spoke highly of both Miyamoto and Nintendo. Ancel has told the magazine that because Nintendo constantly tries to innovate, it is a company that takes a lot of risks. And risk-taking is necessary for any firm that wants to make changes in the video game industry, according to the designer. Ancel went on to say that Nintendo seems to be a leading provider of surprises, with unique software and devices like Miiverse and the Wii U GamePad.

“It’s very kind of you to have me with such talented people,” Ancel said. “But I really consider myself to be an apprentice, where Miyamoto is a master. Well, maybe an advanced apprentice!

“Nintendo’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is innovation. It’s a company that takes a lot of risks. Few people understand that innovation involves risk-taking, because you don’t control everything on the market.

“Today, the biggest surprises seem to come from Nintendo. People may like those surprises or not, but that’s a fact. Miiverse was a surprise, the GamePad was a surprise. What will come next? I can’t wait!”

36 comments

  1. Either this is the next demonstration of alba’s amateur writing skills…or this is the biggest hint we’ve been given that alba is not exactly who s/he is presented as.

  2. Could it be that Ubisoft isn’t too pleased with Rayman’s sales and Ancel is trying to get in good with Nintendo cause he thinks his job might be in jeopardy? Either that or I’m overthinking things ;)

  3. Innovation? Where? I’m not really seeing any innovation on the Wii U. Or at least in terms of gameplay. You can go on and on about how great the Gamepad and Miiverse are, but if the games aren’t using them, it’s not really that innovative.

    1. Well, the Wonderful 101 was incredibly innovative, to the point that I don’t think it needs excessive clarification.

      Nintendo Land showed what the Gamepad was capable of in terms of gameplay, with asymmetrical multiplayer, as well as touch screen vs. TV, and gyroscope function.

      Pikmin 3 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate showed the use of having a controller and an extra screen, something no other console has done or can do.

      So, yeah, I would argue there’s been innovative concepts on the Wii U.

      1. People are more likely to look at franchises like Mario and Donkey Kong, though, and most of Nintendo’s more popular franchises are simply rehash after rehash. Where’s the innovation with those franchises?

  4. pretty much. so far their innovation isn’t doing too well for them. perhaps they should stop catering to families and cater to gamers and maybe they’ll start doing well again. just a hunch.

    1. “so far their innovation isn’t doing too well for them.”

      Not really true.

      When Nintendo designed consoles to compete in terms of power — the N64 and GameCube — Playstation took both generations by storm.

      But, when Nintendo decided to innovate with the Wii and DS, suddenly, an explosion of sales. The Wii was the highest selling console of its generation, and the DS is likely to be the highest selling gaming device of all time.

      Innovation is key. This is an odd generation so far, as well, with consoles coming out so far apart, and with gaming being more mainstream than ever.

      Wait and see.

      1. But how many of those casuals that the Wii wowed in actually stayed w/them for the Wii U’s launch? The Wii may sold the most units but it had the lowest software attach rate of the three (360 having the most).

      2. with its Wii Sports&Wii Fit. However, we could not adequately create the situation that such new consumers played games for long, consistent periods. As a result, we could not sustain a good level of profit.”

      3. *have
        ‘Cheap tricks is key’ (fixed).
        That type of mentality is why Nintendo will never progress past appealing to families & toddlers.

      4. yeah and with each new gen, they lose many gamers and many devs. sale numbers of the past gen doesn’t mean shit in this gen. my point still stands.

  5. You’re damn right that stationary iPad was a surprise. Another surprise is how they’ve not included more multiplayer online capacity in their games considering the age we’re living in. Nintendo is just full of surprises!

  6. I was also surprised when they annouced WiiU as their next gen console along with the choice of name. But the biggest surprise to me is how casual garbage like the original Wii even managed to sell BC of a motion sensing dildo. Mind blown.

      1. Because the guy lead Nintendo to three hug he successes being DS, 3DS and the Wii. I don’t think that 1 struggling console is enough to fire him after what he did…

        If the Wii U is still struggling next year it might be time to change things up but so far, the only mistake he made was releasing the Wii U to early. If they waited a few months after that they might not have the holidays but they would have a steady stream of games and some exclusive pearls and positive mouth to mouth about the console and that’s it.

      2. Correction: two struggling consoles. The 3DS started selling better only after they lowered the ridiculous pricetag & released a bigger variety of games appealing to more than just toddlers & casuals, which is still a failure to his original plans.

    1. Well, it also had the most consistently highest rated game in history.

      So, y’know. Don’t forget that bit.

  7. Hi everyone, I never posted a comment before in all this time that I have been reading MyNintendoNews, but I just had to get this out of my system:
    I just got Rayman Legends on Wii U and I played it for 1 hour only (loved Origins by the way) and ALREADY it makes me feel REALLY bad about paying € 50 for NSMBU.

    I absolutely loved NSMBU, I finished it 100% (first time for a Mario game, despite having played all of them) but compared to the FUNCTIONALITY programmed in Legends it is nothing but a cheap game.

    Rayman has daily and weekly challenges, ghosts following you, online achievements (not a fan but still :p) and tons of other extra’s (almost the whole Origin game is in there as well.) And this game costs less then NSMBU.

    Yes, it’s true, the complete interface of NSMBU is a little “cleaner”, more accessible MAYBE, but when we talk value and replayability Legends is a much better deal.

    Also, the speed coins levels in NSMBU are an awesome idea but I played it and wondered “Okay, so I finished 2 levels in 102,5 seconds, and now what?” There is nothing there, no medal to say you are quite fast or quite slow, no comparing via leaderboards. I don’t need leaderboards, but when I see that mode in the game, I don’t see why they added it. There is absolutely NO point in playing that mode. And it really feels like they were just too lazy to add in the tiny bit of code that they could have copied for the most part from Mario Kart Wii where you compare time with everyone else. I have spent hours watching those graphs! :p

    Basically what I am trying to say is that Michel Ancel should not think of himself in the way he does as he is making certain design choices that have way more “consumer satisfaction research” behind them compared to what Miyamoto and his team are making lately. (See how Ghost replay sharing is in SM3DW? Maybe because they finally realized that we might indeed not need online multiplayer for Mario but the ability to compare and be challenged by others is a great way of incorperating online functionality in an platformer)

    Sorry for the rant, I will now browse MyNintendoNews again without commenting :)
    (And I am superexcited for SM3DW, despite that first trailer convincing me Not to buy a Wii U, the second trailer changed it in a second and I got one! :D )

    1. I still don’t have a Wii U, but I’ll answer based on the Wii experience:
      Rayman Origins is by far the best platform game I’ve ever played. I’ve played some Nintendo platformers (I’m only 19, so I kinda started videogaming with the Nintendo 64), and I didn’t have as much fun as I had with Rayman Origins (I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy them, I just liked more Rayman Origins). And considering that many people say that Rayman Legends is even way better than Origins, I’m not surprised that it may be the best platformer so far on the Wii U :P

  8. And here goes Ubisoft playing backstabbing hypocrites shooting down Nintendo/Wii U’s attempt at innovation unlike Sony constantly playing copycat and Microsoft adapting both side’s ideas in a pathetic way (NSA Kinect)

    One minute praising something of Wii U and then the next against it with a hint of doubt because of the blind hate. Whatever the fuck are you now? IGN? Just shut up with the 180* nonsense because you’re still at it complaining Rayman Legends didn’t sell well as you hoped on Wii U which I’ll refresh and explain why:

    1. You decided to delay an already completed game for a whole year out of BS skepticism of Wii U (ala hoping aboard the Wii U hate train created/promoted by EA’s fucking whining over Origin) thus pissing off many Wii U/Rayman fans hoping to play the game at launch and costs you some sales and fanbase in the long run.

    2. You also decided to launch the game at a very bad time between Splinter Cell, which you stupidly gimped the Wii U version’s simple offline mode for nothing and invent some BS behind it like any typical Wii. U hating 3rd party would. You grand excuse: “We didn’t have enough time”..funny thing about it is that you surely had enough time including every feature in every other port..yeah, like If I would believe that shit and also was released barely a week behind GTA5 which happens to be the most anticipated and best selling game of the year/all time beating that piece of shit COD at its own best selling records game (beat its records with just two platform version releases in less than a day..that’s beyond impressive)

    Let it go and confess Ubisoft. You screwed up Rayman Legend’s window by underestimating Wii U from the beginning, which the funny irony in that is Rayman Legends still sells best on Wii U after the delay debacle thus proving how stupid you are to make that mistake and blaming Wii U isn’t gonna help you ass bury the truth. You lost Ubisoft. Better not fuck up another Wii U port with another excuse no one but idiots is gonna believe.

  9. I love Mr. Ancel. He truly is a master at what he does. Origins and Legends are some of the best side-scrolling platformers I’ve played recently. I wish Ubi would sell the Rayman IP and the Ubisoft Montpellier development team to Nintendo. Ubi treats them like crap, and they deserve better – like what they’d get from Nintendo.

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