EA Exec: Shigeru Miyamoto "Falling Down on the Job"

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EA Exec: Shigeru Miyamoto "Falling Down on the Job"

Electronic Arts CCO Richard Hilleman says that mobile games have taken over Nintendo's role as the go-to platform for children.

When it comes to the videogame industry you'd be hard pressed to find a figure quite as influential as Shigeru Miyamoto. If you're one of those gamers that would cite Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda or countless other classic Nintendo franchises as being defining experiences in your life, you can generally thank him for it. Even among game developers, Miyamoto is often recognized as being the cream of the crop. In a survey of more than 9000 game developers a whopping 30 percent named him as their industry hero.

There are some, however, who would count Miyamoto's heyday as being in the past, perhaps even the man himself. That in mind, Richard Hilleman, chief creative officer for Electronic Arts, recently turned some comments toward Miyamoto that were arguably less than kind. While acknowledging the famed designer's contribution to games, he would go on to describe Miyamoto as "falling down on the job." In turn, he pointed to the mobile market as being the new playground for children and said Miyamoto's role as an innovator had been usurped by "a dead guy from Cupertino." The last comment is a reference to the deceased Steve Jobs and Apple, which is based in Cupertino, California.

"Customers today... are generally looking for a single fabric of play. They want their game where they want it, when they want it, and at a price they can defend to other people," said Hilleman. "We are no longer in step function; we are in evolution. We are not changing every four years; we are in continuous change." It might be safe to assume, in turn, that Nintendo's general practice of living off of its legacy franchises might be a bit too much more-of-the-same for Hilleman's view of the industry.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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The way this guy looks and speaks.. anyone else getting an urge to smack him in the face?

EA's PR department has got to be the most stressful place to work in the US. Either that or they have office parties everyday and they're too drunk to notice when their employees say idiotic things on their company's behalf.

Hardly. Nintendo have only had a few missteps. The mobile platform is hardly the go to platform for kids, especially with all the in-app purchases.
Did you guys hear about the Office of Fair Trading wanted to crack down on IAP because of the "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" they have? At least with Nintendo you have the game and that's it.

That comment about Steve Jobs seemed a bit tasteless as well if you ask me.

All in all, it's another example of someone from EA becoming a major ass.

If it looks like a troll and talks like a troll, it must be a EA/Microsoft boss.

neppakyo:
The way this guy looks and speaks.. anyone else getting an urge to smack him in the face?

You're not alone there, pal. A large part of my urge comes from that hair...something about it...

Fappy:
EA's PR department has got to be the most stressful place to work in the US. Either that or they have office parties everyday and they're too drunk too notice when their employees say idiotic things on their company's behalf.

I really would like to spend a day in that department's offices so I could see exactly how it is. I'm sure it'd be interesting to watch either way.

While God knows I'll be the only one to actually agree with this guy, in the past decade I have found the big N's offerings less than stellar. I mean, the last Nintendo-developed game I actually thought was good was Super Smash Brothers Melee. I mean, Ninty's not exactly the more creative bunch of people, merely redoing the same IP ad nauseam. And while EA does it with their sports games (but can you really blame them for that, because you know...sports), at least they come up with a new game or series now and then. So I agree with Hilleman generally, just not his reasoning.

These comments would probably carry a lot more weight and credibility if they

A. Weren't coming from EA's "Chief Creative Officer", a company that last had an original thought in the 80's.

B. Weren't comming from a guy who looks and dresses like he still thinks it's the early 80's (where he is living with his original thoughts.) Here's a hint dude. If you want to sell me on your creative expertise, and overall ability to predict your industries future, don't look and dress like you did in high school when you are 47. No really, I'm not kidding about this. Presentation counts. In most peoples minds "stunted man child" does not equal quality futurist.

Who's this puke? He's Richard Hilleman, chief creative officer for Electronic Arts?

Chief Creative Officer for EA...what creativity would that be?

No, seriously, what does he do all day?

Apparently take stabs at Miyamoto, who's characters and games have enjoyed popularity for DECADES. Miyamoto's toe jam has more creativeness then this guy.

Steve Jobs hated games, never went out of his way to make iOS a platform for gaming, and did nothing more than open up a shop which allowed other people to make and sell games on phones.

How in the fuck does that make him a more relevant figure to gaming than Miyamoto? The guy who only just last month released Pikmin 3, a game that got an overwhelmingly positive reception from critics. And why the fuck would you refer to Jobs as 'the dead guy from Cupertino'? As if the statement wasn't wrong enough on its own, he had to go and sound like a callous jackass to boot.

Steve Jobs only connection to the gaming industry is ancillary. He knew nothing about gameplay design, mechanics, or any other part of game development. Miyamoto not only wrote the book on game design, he's still putting out games which are seen as incredibly high quality (Wii Music notwithstanding. Everyone's allowed one flop).

Hey Hilleman.. perhaps you've heard of this little thing called Super Mario 3D? Made for a single type of portable console, it's sold at least 20% more copies world wide than your flagship title Battlefield 3 sold on any single platform. It also received a better critical reception from both Metacritic and GameRankings than your title did.

So perhaps before you decide to talk smack about your betters, you could at least put on a nice shirt and jacket, and perhaps consider a hair trim. Anybody who knows anything will still understand you don't have a clue, but at least they won't mistake you for some crazy hobo while you're speaking.

You sir are a scoundrel and a vagabond and I will not hear your false preaching.

Good day.

I honestly just don't see why he would even bother saying any of this... it doesn't make sense. I remember a while back EA basically saying they have no interest in working on any of Nintendo's platforms (or something to that effect), so I would think that would be the end of it right? Two separate entities doing their own thing? If they were truly as disinterested as they seemed, why would they bother? I mean, as far as I know he wasn't even using the comments to bolster up some kind of point in favor of EA.

It seriously just seems like some kind of childhood rivalry where EA said that Nintendo was going down the wrong path and is doing its best to find evidence that they're right. Meanwhile Nintendo couldn't care less that EA exists.

Hmm. Look at the planet-destroying sucking black hole calling the kettle black.

Miyamoto's done more for the games industry than just about any five present-day game designers you'd randomly pull from a hat, but he's only one man. If some of Nintendo's headspace is being lost to mobile devices, that has more to do with time and money (I can go to the games store and pick up this $40 game my child can play at home or I can plunk down $.99 and instantly download a game to keep them amused while they wait for me at the dentist) than kind of lack of creativity.

I'd like to see Nintendo stretching more, but I'm not particularly enamored of scattershot criticism from a company that's left plenty of viscous slime trailing over its own entries into mobile.

someone let the Area 51 scientist from Independence Day out again ?...

the 3DS platform is making Wii money and real people people don't dish out smartphones to "kids" doc.

every single one of my nieces and nephews and the children of my cousins have "gameboys" of some description but i know of none under high school starting age that have their own smartphone.

none.

you don't even understand what Nintendos key market demographics are even though they practically stated one of them outright for you during the 2DS launch.

this is the weirdly the second, no actually third, repetition of this theme ive seen reported here that i can remember...does some shadow figure behind the scenes really want Mario on their phone or something :P

try and get this through your head doc: Nintendo makes games primarily aimed at the same people it's always make games for.

you grew up. you have an iPhone now...yes we see that. how nice for you.

but it doesn't mean Nintendo needs to change its business strategy.

because, shock, horror, a whole new bunch kids will actually grow up "playing Nintendo" too.

and Nintendo will have had them pretty much exclusive to themselves for around 8 years before they even start "big school".

maybe you should get someone back at the lab to explain to you how that works...

I think I got this. He wants out but has some iron clad deal that he doesn't get a dime if he quits. But if he's fired for any reason he gets a golden parachute.

Or he's been sampling some of the stuff Walt hs been dealing.

People are more likely to have a phone than a game console, because everybody needs a phone - so what are parents going to hand to their kids when they want them to shut up?

It has nothing to do with the games, but how readily available the devices are. Apple didn't want to make a gaming device with the iPhone, they wanted to make a portable computer, and succeeded. Meanwhile, Nintendo wants to make dedicated gaming consoles, and great games to play on them. Nintendo doesn't want to match the functionality of a smartphone, they want to enhance the functionality of a dedicated gaming console.

What Apple contributed to the gaming industry was convenience, for the consumer and the game developer. Apple basically took a cell phone, a Game Boy, a micro laptop and an internet router and slapped them together swiss-army style. Apple didn't invent Angry Birds (hell, Rovio didn't invent Angry Birds). Apple just capitalized on a need in the marketplace with a unique, all-in-one service.

Miyamoto hasn't done much lately, except having a general role in nearly every game Nintendo has published for the last 20 years, but he practically wrote the book on modern game design. If a modern developer says they've never played one of Miyamoto's games, they're lying.

On top of that, no two Nintendo games in a single franchise are exactly alike - there is constant gameplay iteration in every installment. Which is more than can be said for the thousands of clones on the Apple Store, or pretty much every game EA's ever made. Isn't FIFA 14 the same game as FIFA 13? And when they do change something in a sequel, it's usually features that are removed or incredibly simplified.

It seems to me that Miyamoto does a better job lying down than EA does sprinting for the finish line.

Nintendo out of touch with kids? They ARE Pokemon, which means they have the biggest title in portable kids gaming since 1996. And that is just ONE title.

StewShearer:

"Customers today... are generally looking for a single fabric of play. They want their game where they want it, when they want it, and at a price they can defend to other people," said Hilleman.

This is true but it doesn't mean I want my games on a touchscreen device with no buttons.

TheScottishMexican42:
At least with Nintendo you have the game and that's it.

Nintendo has DLC now too. So you no longer buy the game and "that's it".

Sleekit:
someone let the Area 51 scientist from Independence Day out again ?...

Don't equate this guy with Brent Spiner (aka, Data).

the 3DS platform is making Wii money and real people people don't dish out smartphones to "kids" doc.

every single one of my nieces and nephews and the children of my cousins have "gameboys" of some description but i know of none under high school starting age that have their own smartphone.

You're out of touch, I have seen plenty of kids who play games on phones. Two of the kids that I babysit have their own phones to play games on. They are 2 and 3. I don't like it and I wouldn't buy one for my 3 year old(if I had one) but people do.

you don't even understand what Nintendos key market demographics are even though they practically stated one of them outright for you during the 2DS launch.

The 2DS is an effort to appeal to those kids you say don't exist. Those with tablets and phones to play games on and without a hinge which apparently kids break easily.

try and get this through your head doc: Nintendo makes games primarily aimed at the same people it's always make games for.

you grew up. you have an iPhone now...yes we see that. how nice for you.

but it doesn't mean Nintendo needs to change its business strategy.

because, shock, horror, a whole new bunch kids will actually grow up "playing Nintendo" too.

and Nintendo will have had them pretty much exclusive to themselves for around 8 years before they even start "big school".

maybe you should get someone back at the lab to explain to you how that works...

Well, I can tell you that none of the kids I know (from babysitting and from my son bringing home from school) have any interest in the 3DS (or the Vita). My son has a 3DS, I could write my name in the layer of dust on top of it.

Look, I don't want to play games on tablets and phones either and I am not happy at the shift we are seeing but the shift is happening.

Nuxxy:
Nintendo out of touch with kids? They ARE Pokemon, which means they have the biggest title in portable kids gaming since 1996. And that is just ONE title.

That's right, it's just one title. What else do they have on handhelds that is setting the world on fire?

How do Pokemon sales compare that shitfest known as Angry Birds?

OK how much did Microsoft paid him to spout this none sense?

yeah, he's going to be eating his wordshit when pokemon is released

Oh dear some poor person in EA's PR department is going to have to pull another all nighter on this one.

Why the fuck does EA have to try and talk other companies down?

It's like they're hurling abuse from their glass house at the bottom of a valley at some other guy at the top of the valley... and he has a series of impressively sized and ridiculously rounded boulders resting on the precipice of the downwards slope.

EA, you are still considered "shit" in the industry. Not "the shit" in that quasi-bad-name-for-a-good-thing mode but "the biggest shit" in the no-really-you-have-no-place-to-talk mode.

LysanderNemoinis:
While God knows I'll be the only one to actually agree with this guy, in the past decade I have found the big N's offerings less than stellar. I mean, the last Nintendo-developed game I actually thought was good was Super Smash Brothers Melee. I mean, Ninty's not exactly the more creative bunch of people, merely redoing the same IP ad nauseam. And while EA does it with their sports games (but can you really blame them for that, because you know...sports), at least they come up with a new game or series now and then. So I agree with Hilleman generally, just not his reasoning.

Yes, because Nintendo releases a new game from every franchise every year, just like Call of Duty and EA Sports. I mean, seriously: We had two 3D Mario platformers on Wii. Two! And all within a three year time span...OK, the math doesn't add up, but still, two! They are obviously just releasing the same game year after year...

Oh yeah, and then there's Zelda. It also had two games on Wii released over a six year period. Another franchise with the same game year after year!

And then there's Metroid, which brought it up to three over the course of a few years! And one even went so far as to include the first released in its package! Same game year after year! Damn Nintendo, you're just like EA Sports.

And...yeah, I'm done. I'll never get why people say Nintendo releases the same game all the time and then compares it to something like Madden. Granted, they tend to pursue the same set of IPs the most, but that doesn't mean they don't support new IPs[1], that they don't take a break from major IPs[2], or that they don't innovate at all[3]. Could they improve on their creativity? Yeah, probably. But why would they do it when so many people still enjoy the core experience and already feel that Nintendo keeps things fresh enough to make each new iteration interesting?

sirjeffofshort:
I honestly just don't see why he would even bother saying any of this... it doesn't make sense. I remember a while back EA basically saying they have no interest in working on any of Nintendo's platforms (or something to that effect), so I would think that would be the end of it right? Two separate entities doing their own thing? If they were truly as disinterested as they seemed, why would they bother? I mean, as far as I know he wasn't even using the comments to bolster up some kind of point in favor of EA.

It seriously just seems like some kind of childhood rivalry where EA said that Nintendo was going down the wrong path and is doing its best to find evidence that they're right. Meanwhile Nintendo couldn't care less that EA exists.

Ignoring the fact that there might be a decent argument for EA wanting to monopolize the industry and Nintendo sort of gets in the way of that goal...(no, that comment isn't entirely serious)

EA's been trying to get establish a strong foothold mobile gaming for a while now. The biggest "competitor" (if you can even call them direct competitors) to iOS gaming is Nintendo with their DS line of systems. If EA wants to continue that path while continuing to make as much money as possible for what they put out, they do have some interest in convincing people to switch from Nintendo to iOS for their mobile gaming. And if the annual "EA bashes CoD" tradition is anything to go by, a major tactic of the company seems to be tearing down their opponents and building their success on the opponent's corpse.

OT: I just don't see iOS gaming really tearing Nintendo down in terms of appeal to children, or any audience for that matter. Both offer different experiences, and while iOS is certainly cheaper, Nintendo's games tend to be of a higher quality and last much longer. Not to mention, people get iOS to enhance their phone, which they already have for other purposes and which isn't dedicated to gaming. Someone looking for a dedicated gaming system can always look to Nintendo. That's not to say it can't do a minor dent to Nintendo, but I doubt Nintendo is ever going to have to seriously be worried about the iOS platform forcing them out of handheld gaming.

[1] Look at Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's tower, which all released within the last few years.
[2] Star Fox and F-Zero have been missing for a while, and they just released Pikmin 3 after a long hiatus from that series.
[3] Just look at the transition from Sunshine to Galaxy.

WeepingAngels:

Nuxxy:
Nintendo out of touch with kids? They ARE Pokemon, which means they have the biggest title in portable kids gaming since 1996. And that is just ONE title.

That's right, it's just one title. What else do they have on handhelds that is setting the world on fire?

How do Pokemon sales compare that shitfest known as Angry Birds?

Is that really a fair comparison when one costs $40 and the other is free-$.99 depending on the version you get?

OT: EA...I want to like them because they do make some good games but they make it so, so hard to. Why did he say this? What was the motivation? Especially since they don't make games for Nintendo consoles anymore.

EDIT: Oh...I just read the post above mine (MysticSlayer's). That make complete sense, and I hate that kind of advertising. Tell me why I should like what you're selling, don't talk about your competitors. I might just take a harder look at your competitor and decide not to bother with you at all. ;) XD But that's just me.

"Bitter table for one at the Pity Party Palace!"

Sorry, I read that and that's pretty much what went through my head.

Abomination:
Why the fuck does EA have to try and talk other companies down?

Alternate approach to avoid being on the "worst company" finalist list next year most likely. If you can't improve enough to avoid the list, try to make everyone else worse to fill the slot instead.

WeepingAngels:

Well, I can tell you that none of the kids I know (from babysitting and from my son bringing home from school) have any interest in the 3DS (or the Vita). My son has a 3DS, I could write my name in the layer of dust on top of it.

Look, I don't want to play games on tablets and phones either and I am not happy at the shift we are seeing but the shift is happening.

It's dying is what its doing. Developers are actually moving away from smartphone development now. The market is too crowded, the majority of games too poor in quality, and it's too difficult to get a ROI on games which people expect to play for free. GamesIndustry.biz did an interview with various developers, and the smartphone scene is not healthy right now. To quote one: "I wouldn't touch mobile with a ten-foot pole."

You know how people say another Gaming Crash is coming? They're right. But it's the smartphone gaming scene which will crash. The circumstances are almost identical: an overwhelming amount of cheap, cash-in shovelware designed to syphon money out of consumers, with developers being crowded out of an increasingly overpopulated market. Smartphone gaming used to be the gold rush, but now there are too many mines set up, and all the gold has already been found.

Nuxxy:
Nintendo out of touch with kids? They ARE Pokemon, which means they have the biggest title in portable kids gaming since 1996. And that is just ONE title.

That's right, it's just one title. What else do they have on handhelds that is setting the world on fire?

How do Pokemon sales compare that shitfest known as Angry Birds?

The last Pokemon games sold north of 11 million units I believe.

Additionally, Mario 3D Land sold 8 million, which is huge by industry standards. Animal Crossing New Leaf is somewhere between 5 and 6 million. VG Chartz says that Mario Kart 7 is north of 8 million, though it's always worth taking their figures with a pinch of salt.

Has Angry Birds sold in larger quantities? No doubt, but it's a game you can get for free on your phone. It's also been so heavily marketed, iterated and shoved everywhere in a small space of time that it's going to be hitting sales fatigue soon. Angry Birds has been marketed around a short-term idea of 'get as much cash as possible while the smartphoen gaming craze is still hot." Similar as Guitar Hero, which got driven into the ground with too many iterations in too small a space of time. Ten years from now, I doubt Angry Birds will be around. Whereas I'm pretty sure we'll still have Mario. What will Rovio do then?

Allspice:

WeepingAngels:

Nuxxy:
Nintendo out of touch with kids? They ARE Pokemon, which means they have the biggest title in portable kids gaming since 1996. And that is just ONE title.

That's right, it's just one title. What else do they have on handhelds that is setting the world on fire?

How do Pokemon sales compare that shitfest known as Angry Birds?

Is that really a fair comparison when one costs $40 and the other is free-$.99 depending on the version you get?

What would you like to compare against Nintendo's most successful handheld franchise?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

It's dying is what its doing. Developers are actually moving away from smartphone development now. The market is too crowded, the majority of games too poor in quality, and it's too difficult to get a ROI on games which people expect to play for free. GamesIndustry.biz did an interview with various developers, and the smartphone scene is not healthy right now. To quote one: "I wouldn't touch mobile with a ten-foot pole."

You know how people say another Gaming Crash is coming? They're right. But it's the smartphone gaming scene which will crash. The circumstances are almost identical: an overwhelming amount of cheap, cash-in shovelware designed to syphon money out of consumers, with developers being crowded out of an increasingly overpopulated market. Smartphone gaming used to be the gold rush, but now there are too many mines set up, and all the gold has already been found.

I hope you're right, atleast you aren't claiming that mobile gaming was never a thing.

LysanderNemoinis:
While God knows I'll be the only one to actually agree with this guy, in the past decade I have found the big N's offerings less than stellar. I mean, the last Nintendo-developed game I actually thought was good was Super Smash Brothers Melee. I mean, Ninty's not exactly the more creative bunch of people, merely redoing the same IP ad nauseam. And while EA does it with their sports games (but can you really blame them for that, because you know...sports), at least they come up with a new game or series now and then. So I agree with Hilleman generally, just not his reasoning.

i'd argue that EA is roughly as transitory given that they don't actually really come up with anything, but just purchase other companies that do, and then run them into the ground on their false belief system that relies on there being enough companies having ideas for them to continue doing that instead of actually making a worthwhile investment that will survive into the future

while nintendo also runs things into the ground, there are only a handful of titles that i could say aren't worthy of the quality standards they actually try to maintain, even in the face of other companies who claim they are the future but don't have any more legs to stand on than their competitors, and are also games i can actually consider to be worthy of replaying

those phone games aren't gonna last past a year or two before everybody's moved onto a new, fleeting thing with that brand new smell, and i mourn the loss of value that we pass on to each generation in succession

all we're doing is building a future with no past, so that companies can use our lack of cultural history to exploit our minds and wallets for their personal gain, giving us shit and telling us it's the best thing ever, and not investing that money back into games that are actually better, or worth playing, or teach us anything

this is why i resent the triple aaa industry, and why i am skeptical of sony being the messiah that people are hoping for

"might be a bit too much more-of-the-same"

Seriously?
From E-A?
From *insert sport here* yearly, basically overpriced DLC
From CoD yearl, basically overpriced DLC.
etc/etc/etc?

Hah..no, it's not funny, it's pathetic and sad.

WeepingAngels:

Allspice:

WeepingAngels:

That's right, it's just one title. What else do they have on handhelds that is setting the world on fire?

How do Pokemon sales compare that shitfest known as Angry Birds?

Is that really a fair comparison when one costs $40 and the other is free-$.99 depending on the version you get?

What would you like to compare against Nintendo's most successful handheld franchise?

One of another handheld's would make more sense. Mobile and handhelds are so different they can't be compared. A phone is something almost everyone has and no one buys one specifically for gaming. It just also happens to have that functionality and a lot of good ones, like Angry Birds, are free (I only downloaded it because it was free). The same can't be said for a handheld.

Allspice:

WeepingAngels:

Allspice:

Is that really a fair comparison when one costs $40 and the other is free-$.99 depending on the version you get?

What would you like to compare against Nintendo's most successful handheld franchise?

One of another handheld's would make more sense. Mobile and handhelds are so different they can't be compared. A phone is something almost everyone has and no one buys one specifically for gaming. It just also happens to have that functionality and a lot of good ones, like Angry Birds, are free. The same can't be said for a handheld.

Are you saying that handhelds and mobiles aren't in competition? I have Angry Birds on my PSP/Vita (I bought it because of the hype and was quickly disappointed). I keep seeing major Japanese companies putting their new games on mobile instead of handhelds. Here's an example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Square_Enix_mobile_games

What JRPG fan can forget the slap in the face that is Breath of Fire 6. http://www.destructoid.com/breath-of-fire-6-coming-next-year-you-ll-be-sad-to-learn-259147.phtml

As I watch my favorite franchises get releases on mobile and not on my beloved handhelds...I think they are in direct competition.

Despite the fact that Nintendo has been very busy trying to make me not like them ever since the Wii I can still see that saying this was a horrible idea. Seriously, does EA even have a PR department at this point? Or have they all been long since driven to suicidal despair?

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