An interview with Yoshio Sakamoto and Shigesato Itoi that is being uploaded in multiple parts has begun to go up on the official Miitomo site. So far, only part one has been released. Five more parts will eventually be released, although the current release date on them is only listed as “coming soon”. The interview will talk about Miitomo’s potential, along with how the Miis went from being a Wii avatar to the stars of Miitomo. The first part focuses on how the Miis were created.
Sakamoto says that “some women in the company expressed to me their opinion that this game for young girls could have wider appeal if it touched upon a wider range of life experiences that everyone could relate to. I also thought the same thing, and the thought stayed with me. After that I was in a team made up of all new people and we were relatively free to do what we wanted. So at that time I thought let’s try making a game like that, so we started working on a game called “Otona no Onna no Uranai Techo” (Women’s Fortune Telling Pocket Notebook)”. Sakamoto says “Otona no Onna no didn’t go as planned. So the staff, who were stuck, started creating an Avatar (Mii) editor”. It was originally supposed to be a feature in the game, according to Sakamoto. He said that “we thought it would be meaningless if the friend’s list used for fortune-telling just listed names, so we thought of adding avatars (Mii). And that Avatar (Mii) editor turned out really well. At first you could not change the size or angle of the parts, but then when we made it so that you could freely adjust those things, we were able to make the avatars (Mii) that really looked like the original. When I created my own face with the editor, in one go (points to himself) this was the face I got”.
Eventually, they didn’t know what to do with the Miis, so according to Sakamoto, they “showed it to Mr. Iwata”. Sakamoto recalls that moment, explaining that “‘Mr. Iwata, isn’t this interesting’ is what I said. If I think about it now, I was acting like an excited little kid. Then he said something like ‘hmm…..’, like that. And then he said ‘This seems like something Mr. Miyamoto would be excited about.'”
Indeed, according to Itoi “Mr. Miyamoto had been talking about it since before. That he wanted to create avatar (Mii) software”. Sakamoto says that “we left that project to Mr. Iwata. And I had forgotten about it. Then, one day, all of a sudden I was called up. I went in nervous thinking that I had maybe done something wrong. But then I was told that they wanted to use the Mii (Avatar) editor in the Wii. Then the main members of the team joined the Wii Team in order to create the Mii Channel”.