Miyamoto is great, but all voices are important
As far as Nintendo goes, there’s no bigger name inside the studio than Shigeru Miyamoto. He’s pretty much the man that built modern Nintendo, coming up with the ideas for Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and so on. His contributions to Nintendo in general and the game industry at large are almost incalculable, and he’ll no doubt go down in history as one of gaming’s greatest icons.
While Miyamoto is still very active at Nintendo, he’s been surrounded by rising stars over the last few decades. There are a litany of major players in the company now, and many help steer Miyamoto’s creations to their next evolution. Of course, those people toiling away on the next Mario or Zelda still look to Miyamoto for input, but his suggestions aren’t the be-all/end-all when it comes to creating experiences.
In an interview with Game Informer, chief and programming director Yuji Kando noted that Miyamoto still makes other devs nervous and his input is certainly valued, but when Nintendo’s teams are building games, they’re not just setting out to appease the legendary dev.
I always feel honored to be able to work with Mr. Miyamoto. With that said, I hope people don’t take this the wrong way, but we don’t work on a game with the goal of “to make Mr. Miyamoto happy.”
The important thing is how deep of a discussion we can have about the game, and those discussions are the times when we see how thoroughly we thought through the game design. So in that sense, yes, we do get nervous going into a discussion with Mr. Miyamoto.