Co-Rep Director of Nintendo and superhero game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, shared an interesting tidbit during their annual shareholder and investor meeting.
When asked what plans Nintendo has for their most popular franchises in other forms of media, he mentioned that he’d like to see Pikmin, Star Fox, Yoshi, and other characters bridge over into anime shows and movies.
We want to make anime for Pikmin, Star Fox, Yoshi, etc. and distribute it freely, or integrate into games.
Interesting that he added ‘integrate into games’, suggesting that games and anime would share certain aspects. Maybe story lines, maybe something more interactive? It’s Nintendo, after all, so nothing is off the table.
President Tatsumi Kimishima backed Miyamoto up, adding
We’ll look into investing toward film. We want to increase opportunities for Nintendo [franchises] and guide consumers with hardware and software synergy.
I take that to mean Nintendo’s future will probably follow their typical trajectory:
Step #1 – Make games
Step #2 – Use games to sell merchandise
Step #3 – Profits
Only this time the merchandise is anime, so I’m not complaining. But why has it taken so long for Nintendo to make this move? It seems like such a natural progression to go from games, to shows, then movies. They’ve done similar moves in the past, like the 80’s ill-fated Super Mario Bros Super Show (which was just silly) and the Legend of Zelda cartoon (which was actually pretty cool to six-year-old me). Perhaps those failures left a bad taste in their mouth?
In an interview with Fortune, Miyamoto explains,
I’ve always felt video games, being an interactive medium, and movies, being a passive medium, mean the two are quite different. As we look more broadly at what is Nintendo’s role as an entertainment company, we’re starting to think more and more about how movies can fit in with that.
Seems like they’ve already been testing the waters of change with apps like Pokemon GO! and Super Mario Run. And seeing as how new technology allows for more interaction between media (à la Pokemon GO!), the results could get interesting… Nintendo does have a reputation for innovation.
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