Megami Tensei author says Nintendo originally wanted to create a game adaptation
A missed opportunity for Nintendo
There’s no doubt you’ve heard of the Shin Megami Tensei series of games, but did you know they are based on a trio of novels from Japanese author Aya Nishitani? The series, called Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, was released decades ago, and it seems Nintendo was quick to see the potential for game adaptations.
Nishitani took to Twitter to share a story about his series, which is where it’s revealed that Nintendo reached out about a potential game adaptation. Wondering why that never came to be? You can read Nishitani’s explanation below.
“He [director of Nintnedo] read my novel and said that it was interesting and that he would consider whether my company could adapt it into a game. I’ll see if my company can adapt it into a game,” he said, and took the manuscript with him. A week later, however, he called me and said he was sorry.
“I think it could work, but there’s a strong opinion that a demon-summoning game couldn’t be released under the Nintendo brand. Why don’t you try something other one? He suggested another creation, but I refused. “ I couldn’t do any other title because I was fixated on 女神転生” [Megami Tensei]
Obviously, this was a very different era for Nintendo, and a demon-summoning game certainly wouldn’t have fit in with the company’s usual releases. Nowadays the project would be greenlit without batting an eye, as Nintendo has published and even co-developed Mature-rated titles.
Nintendo’s loss was obviously Atlus’ gain, as the SMT franchise has seen incredible success and continues to grow to this very day. I bet Atlus is quite happy Nintendo passed on this one!