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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Help Me Understand Shigeru Miyamoto's Senile Nintendo Video Content Answer

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What does this mean?

Last week, I wrote about Nintendo's nine months financial results for fiscal year ending March 2020. (Also known as the quarter ending December 31, 2019.) Shortly after, Nintendo published a question & answer summary featuring president Shuntaro Furukawa and famous Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Among other things, they believe the Nintendo Switch is “just entering the middle of its life cycle.” And then there was this strange answer, provided by Shigeru Miyamoto, on the question of... 
“The touchpoints that consumers have with Nintendo IP, especially Mario IP, are currently Nintendo Switch, smart devices, and the like. I understand this will expand to theme parks, a movie, and so on, but what lines separate these different media? I expect each medium probably has some certain set themes, not just introducing the Mario character anywhere. I would like to know what will be different about each touchpoint, and what will be the same.”

(In other words, this questioner is asking about Nintendo licensing their intellectual property across a variety of media types, and if there is a specific, thought-through strategy that differentiates each media type, or if Nintendo will just spam Mario.)

Now, the answer from Shigeru Miyamoto, which I will quote in full for your context...

“We have not established individual IP expansion strategies for each touchpoint. Take video content development using Nintendo IP, for example. I wasn’t in favor of the idea originally, but to give you some background on my current involvement in creating video content using our IP, consider the number of times we created Virtual Console games (a service that allowed titles released for older Nintendo hardware to be available for download and played on newer hardware). Our assets include our past software, and we can continue to leverage those assets even now, 30 years after the original titles were released. Unfortunately, when the original hardware that supported this software is no longer available, that software must be ported to new hardware. As we continue to port our older games to newer hardware, we have come to think that if we have assets in the form of video content in addition to our beloved video game titles, and if we can leverage both of these assets over the long term, then I can see how our content business could lead to further growth.
In other words, my way of thinking changed, and it’s not so much that I wanted to make a Mario movie, but that I felt Nintendo should have more video content. More people will have access to our IP with video content, and so the number of people who will come into contact with Nintendo IP will continue to grow in the future. The various mediums through which video content is available will continue to expand. As this happens, we believe that the most important thing for us will be to keep a firm hold on our rights. A critical aspect of our strategy is making our rights clear while creating content. And collaborating with other companies to create this visual content means that we have no need to expand our company’s size unnecessarily. This in turn means that we feel able to invest actively.” [Emphasis added, indicating the nonsense]

When Shigeru Miyamoto says video, that may or may not range from Miyamoto's Pikmin-themed short videos from 2014, to his Star Fox Zero special video in 2016, to the Super Mario movie being developed by Illumination Entertainment that still isn't a thing yet. Apparently he wasn't in favour of that before this time, but KoopaTV has always been supportive of Miyamoto's fledgling movie producing if it means keeping him away from games.

But then the rest of his answer is weird. That's where I need your help in understanding it.

What does the Virtual Console and Nintendo making older (dead) games available to the new generation have to do with making non-game video content? Like, I don't see how they're related to one another, or how porting games could inspire making movies?

The second paragraph about how Nintendo wants to have an active role with the other companies they partner with to do the grunt work of animating and distributing the video content makes sense. That's basic management of your outsourcing partners. But, again, how did Miyamoto's thought process lead up to that?

Then if you look back at the initial question, it's fair to conclude that Shigeru Miyamoto did not answer the question at all.


Ludwig published this article because he's just shocked that Nintendo would publish Miyamoto's strange, rambling response in their official investor relation documents. Everyone seems to be publicly more tolerant of senility, between Shigeru Miyamoto and Joe Biden. It's important for a truth-telling outlet like KoopaTV to write what everyone is thinking but is too afraid to say: This doesn't make any sense, and the senile old man should step down for someone more articulate and of the right mind to talk from now on. If Miyamoto made total sense to you, please explain his remarks in the comments section below.


The last time investors got to ask questions, they were told that Nintendo has no defined remake policy, which also seems contradictory to Miyamoto's response.
The next Q&A session with investors lacks Miyamoto, and it's a lot better as a result.

2 comments :

  1. Well, the answer to the original question appears to be "no." But apparently it's considered rude or something to simply answer a question when asked in corporate or political situations. Other than that, I think at least some of the things that he said amount to, "one strategy we ARE using is continuing to port our older games to newer hardware, but we recognize that we can't just do that or nothing else, so doing things like expanding our video content, that's the sort of thing we're doing now to avoid doing nothing but rehashing old games." Or something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if that's what he's getting at... Well, if it was, it doesn't make sense.

      Might as well say they're making sandwiches to diversify instead of porting old games.
      (Or... making new games.)

      Delete

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