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Miyamoto says the passive attitude of casual gamers is pathetic


Earlier this week we told you that Edge Magazine would have a big feature on Miyamoto in next month’s issue, discussing several of the franchises he helped create, as well as his opinions on the current game industry. It’s not surprising to see a few of these quotes leak from the magazine and one that is particularly fascinating is one in which Miyamoto says that he finds the passive attitude of casual gamers as “pathetic.” Here’s the full quote:

“[These are] the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland

Their attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself [with more advanced games].

Of course, the magazine does make mention that this is the first time any Nintendo executive has stated their thoughts on the casual gamer and it could potentially hint at a shift from pleasing casual gamers to the more well-rounded gaming audience. Nintendo has always gotten flak for being perceived as casual-friendly, when really their image is more about maintaining a family-friendly vibe. Anyone who has played Donkey Kong Country Returns or Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze can tell you just how hardcore some of those levels can be.

The interview in the magazine goes further, with Miyamoto stating that smartphone gaming has taken some of the pressure off of Nintendo to create games that appeal to a mass audience.

In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population.

Fortunately, because of the spread of smart devices, people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.

Does this mark a turning point for Nintendo? Will we see more games that are focused on the experience, rather than accessibility as in the past? We certainly hope so, since it could mean the return of games like Fatal Frame to the West.

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  • Rich Garriques

    will , nothing to see here , just the truth.

  • Wren Justin Umlauf

    Soooo can we have more Metroid now? =D

    • Mayoo

      And Star Fox
      And Mario RPG


        Starfox is in the works.Plus, We already have the Mario and Luigi series which is the spiritual successor to Mario RPG

    • Rinslowe

      Haha exactly!

  • DashGamer


  • matthew garcia

    Never really heard this guy talk much. Seems like a good honest man and a genuine gamer

  • Merry_Blind

    Interesting to see him happy with the spreading and popularity of smartphones gaming.

  • Mayoo

    And yet, Nintendo’s own Wii actually opened the casual gaming era. Cooking Mama anyone?

    At least they now realized it and are coming up with great titles for the Wii U.

    • matthew garcia

      Very true. Nintendo pretty much invented the modern casual gaming market with the Wii and ds

      • David Trail

        I think Sony invented the original casual market as they included cds and dvd players in their consoles and thus luring in the casuals who aren’t generally into games.

    • Rinslowe

      I’m not sure its really related like that. But Wii U is definitely getting its fair share of great titles over the next 12 months…

  • ActivesiN

    good, now he can focus on us his actual fans

  • DashGamer

    • Epicstuf


      • DashGamer

        Yes, fanboy.

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    What Miyamoto’s saying may be true, but the thing is we are the consumer, and we want to be your bitch. If I want to be a chocolate company’s bitch, I expect them to please me, same with videogames. It’s just business. I find his opinions very interesting, though, and I greatly look forward to this interview.

    • Sleepyhun

      I rather take his opinion than the “push button and awesome” or the “complexity is evil” path.

    • Merry_Blind

      That’s not really what he meant… He’s talking about the approach “casuals” have towards gaming, in that, they don’t expect a challenge, they don’t expect to have to make an effort, they don’t expect to have to think, etc. They just want to be fed images while pressing buttons.

      Miyamoto probably realizes that by gathering to that passive audience, it makes their games less attractive to actual gamers who expect to have to overcome challenges, who expect to put their skills to the test, who want to perform, etc.

      Also, not only does that audience require shallower, simpler, easier experiences, but they don’t get invested in games (because they don’t care enough, but also because the casual experience they like isn’t engaging at all) and are thus not reliable consumers. It’s not worth cultivating the casuals, because no matter what you do, they won’t stick.

      Nintendo learned that the hard way going from the Wii to the Wii U expecting the casuals to follow the “Wii” name.

      • C4

        Yes, it was beyond painful to observe last gen. Glad he realizes that.

      • matthew garcia

        Great points, spot on

  • Zorpix

    Did not expect such bluntness from him. I like it though.

    • Daniel Carvalho

      That took me by surprise as well. We from the “hardcore” side of gaming always knew that, and some even despise “casual” gamers because of that attitude, so it’s kinda of a common sense within the gaming community, but to hear that from Miyamoto, a guy that, alongside Iwata, believed that public would be the target for their HD console so much they actually ignored their fan base in order to cater to them… That is something I never thought I’d see…

      Glad they’re back to the tracks now, and are making things that sell for those who want to buy the games they develop again!

      • Thomas Vienna

        Nintendo has been doing a lot of things to surprise us lately.

  • William Cole

    This dude has had everything to do with even the top 10 best selling games of all time. (except tetris) I’ll play whatever he makes. Hopefully he can speak some sense into Yuji Horii about more Dragon Quest. Since Reggie can’t.

    • crocodileman94

      “I’ll play whatever he makes”

      Even Wii Music?

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        Lol. I’m sure there are some limits to be set there.

      • William Cole

        Oh God, forgive me if you assumed I liked that! It’s like the Super Mario Bros. Movie, it happened but don’t speak of it again.

  • DJKeens

    Amen. Blunt yes but truth. I admit some of this casual games can be fun but I forget about em usually after the first day if they even get that far. Agree completely and hopefully this is a muddled sign that Nintendo will return solely to the core.

  • crocodileman94

    So they realised that the smartphone market has caught the casuals that bought their consoles last gen.

  • bistricky

    Miyamoto …. leading the NEW “ass-kicking” Nintendo …

    HAI (yes)

  • Rinslowe

    Nah I think its easy to look too much into this one. Nintendo moving away from casual gamers? Who knows. All the guy really said was that its kind of pathetic to expect to be entertained only, with no real participation or initiative. And I would agree with him.

  • greengecko007

    I don’t really like this, but as always with these things, some “benefit of the doubt” is deserved. Maybe he didn’t mean it exactly as it’s presented to us. In my opinion, I believe that it is the developers’ job to create an entertaining experience when it comes to video games. Challenge is welcome on varying degrees depending on the person, but entertainment is always what matters. If you aren’t having fun doing a hobby, why bother doing it?

  • Falcoxcalibur

    Great honest words from the master. Lead the way Mr. Miyamoto, I’ll continue following you.

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    I thought it should have been obvious that casual gamers are only looking to be entertained rather than be challenged and put to the test. Nice to see that Nintendo is sticking to their guns this time and not pleasing the casual audience, who aren’t traditional gamers by any stretch. It’s not to say that it’s bad thing if Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft want to cater to these casuals, but it shouldn’t be their primary focus. IMO, let the mobile market take care of consumers who just want cheap experiences. Only thing that’s odd about the interview, is that all gamers want to be entertained, so not sure what Miyamoto was trying to say there. Perhaps a mistranslation.

    • nWo4liFe

      I think, ultimately, Nintendo hoped that by grabbing a casual audience, they could introduce them into becoming “hardcore” gamers. It sort of worked a bit, but those left to the Playstation, which in my opinion, will offer a balance between casual and hardcore, instead of their initial focus; I suppose this is what happens when you sell too much.
      At this point, Nintendo knows they have everything against them, but they have everything going for them on their part. They should shift away from baby sitting their consumers, and realize that the majority of Wii U owners, are hardcore Nintendo fans. All of those Wii owners game on smart phones and bought PS4s. Their recent collaborations, the DLC announcement, and his statements kinda give you shades of the old Nintendo.

    • Rinslowe

      It doesn’t look like he’s having an issue with entertaining gamers. Just the ones that want the entertainment without so much of the interaction. Which is likely why he referenced movies and theme parks etc.
      I also doubt he has any issues with either movies or theme parks either. But they do make a good parallel with the idea of being passively entertaining.

  • David Trail

    I always said the PS4 and Xbox One were for casuals. If you consider yourself a hard core gamer the Wii U is the place for you with titles such as DKC TF, Wonderful 101, Zombi U, Monster Hunter Ultimate, Zelda: Wind Waker HD,NSMBU, New Luigi Bros U, Pikmin 3, Lego City Under Cover,SM3DW, Bayonetta 2 and Smash etc etc!

  • MewtwoWillBeBack

    Thanks Miyamoto for naming meh “pathetic”…
    (I suck at gaming ;_;

  • David Trail

    PS4 and Xbox One fans are pathetic casuals who play Fifa and COD all the time and they are stuck in a comfort zone.