This guy had it all figured out!
Back in 1989, Nintendo was firing on all cylinders. The NES was the king of the gaming scene, and the Big N was building out their library of franchises. Many of those games were steered by Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the most influential designers in Nintendo’s history.
Miyamoto would go on to see incredible success throughout the decades, but there’s no denying his game industry star power back in the late 80s. This is what led BEEP Magazine to interview Miyamoto, and they wanted to know what he felt the key to game industry success was. This classic 1989 interview has just been translated by Shmuplations, and you can see Miyamoto’s response below.
Well, what’s worked for me so far is finding something I want to make that matches up with what the market currently needs.
If you believe in your idea, and that it’s something people will want, then all that remains is for you to polish and raise it to a sufficient level of quality. So no matter how talented of a staff you’ve been blessed with, if you don’t have a clear direction for your idea, I don’t think a good game will come out of it. The goal is for each staff member, individually, to contribute to the overall “finish” of the work, so it’s just a matter of having each person fulfill their role. And as the lead creator, even if the rest of the staff sometimes loses sight of the whole picture, it’s your job to hold the course and make sure you keep to that initial vision.
Unfortunately I’ve seen it happen many times where the developers get carried away with themselves, and they’re having a really good time, but it ends up harming the playability of the finished game.
Wise words from a wise developer, and they no doubt remain true this day. It seems like Miyamoto had things all figured out over 30 years ago!