Generational shifts might sometimes be cause for concern for long-standing companies like Nintendo. Fresh new leaders will need to take the reins at some point, but what keeps that original Nintendo spirit alive? For longtime Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, he’s not worried about losing what makes Nintendo, Nintendo in the new generation.
Speaking to the New Yorker in a lengthy interview, Miyamoto discussed many aspects of his life; highlights include his work on the Super Nintendo World theme park and his kids playing Sega games like OutRun and Space Harrier. When it comes to those taking up lead for the future of Nintendo, though, Miyamoto expresses some confidence that Nintendo won’t be losing its spirit.
“In terms of Nintendo’s business, the core idea is to create a harmony between hardware and software,” Miyamoto says. “It’s taken about ten years, but I feel that the younger generation here is now fully able to uphold that foundational principle.”
The creator of Mario is looking forward to his own interests, like the theme park, which is set to open branches in Singapore and the United States as well. He says pursuing this might be one of the “most interesting endeavors” in his remaining years. Meanwhile, others like president Shuntaro Furukawa and general manager Shinya Takahashi are taking up the mantle to ensure that Nintendo stays Nintendo.
“Shuntaro Furukawa is currently in his forties, and Shinya Takahashi is in his fifties,” Miyamoto told the New Yorker. “We are moving toward a position that will [ensure] the spirit of Nintendo is passed down successfully. I am not concerned about that anymore. Now I’m focusing on the need to continue to find new experiences. This has always been what interested and excited me about the medium: not perfecting the old but discovering the new.”
Nintendo’s been doing pretty well with the new, considering the smashing success of the Nintendo Switch and this year’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There’s even more in store ahead too, but I like the sentiment Miyamoto closes on. It’s not always just what’s worked, but finding the new ways Nintendo can surprise you. Whether it’s an old classic or the weirder side of Nintendo, discovering new ways to create fun is Nintendo to me.