Shigeru Miyamoto doesn’t want to hire gamers at Nintendo
Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto, best known as the
creator of “Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and other hit
franchises, is trying to make room for the next generation of
leaders at the company.
Miyamoto actually prefers not to hire gamers; instead,
he looks for candidates with other skills and
Gamers want to perfect what already exists, while
Nintendo is about experimentation and finding new ways to have
fun, Miyamoto says.
You might think that being a gamer would give you a leg up for a
job at Nintendo, one of the world’s leading video game companies.
But it actually could hurt your chances.
As part of his plan to take a step back from the company, Shigeru
Miyamoto, Nintendo’s legendary game designer, is trying to
encourage the next wave of talent to take his place, he told The
New York Times in
a new interview. But Miyamoto is looking for candidates who
come in with no preconceived notions about the industry. That
means being a gamer is actually a minus.
“I always look for designers who aren’t super-passionate game
fans,” Miyamoto told the Times.
The reason, he said, is people who play a lot of video games are
less willing to try new ideas.
“I make it a point to ensure they’re not a gamer, but that they
have a lot of different interests and skill sets,” he said.
Miyamoto, best known as the creator of hit Nintendo
franchises including “Super Mario,” “Donkey Kong,” and “The
Legend of Zelda,” himself didn’t initially have plans to make
video games. Instead, he wanted to be an artist. He landed
his first gig at Nintendo after showing then-CEO Hiroshi
Yamauchi some of his homemade toys.
Relatedly, some of Miyamoto’s greatest video game successes have
famously been inspired by aspects of his real life. In many
interviews, Miyamoto has noted that 1986’s “The Legend of Zelda”
was inspired by his memories of exploring the Kyoto countryside
as a kid. And 2001’s strategy game “Pikmin” stemmed
from him spending time in his garden.
The Times profile makes clear Miyamoto and Nintendo see this
non-traditional approach as a key element in the company’s
success, and experimentation as an important part of what’s kept
Nintendo relevant for 30-plus years. Even recent Nintendo
bestsellers such as “Super Mario Odyssey” and “The Legend of
Zelda: Breath of the Wild” have been lauded for being examples of
the company’s willingness to take risks with even its most
It’s hard to argue with success. A decade ago, Nintendo took a
big risk with its Wii game console, which emphasized
easy-to-play, fun games rather than fancy graphics, and it paid
off. Nintendo sold 101 million Wiis.
While the Wii’s follow-up, the Wii U, was a notorious flop,
Nintendo’s new Switch console, which also offers a different take
on a game machine, has been a hot item. Nintendo sold
10 million Switches in the device’s first nine months on the
market, and the company recently raised its forecast of
first-year sales of the gadget from 10 million to 16 million,
according to The Times.
full New York Times report here.