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Miyamoto says the passive attitude of casual gamers is pathetic

edge-magazine-miyamoto

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

      • URFTBOUND4LIFE .

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

        • https://twitter.com/ChadDodsworth Dunkers7

          Correct fine sir!

        • ScrewAttack

          Needs more paper mario!

    • Rinslowe

      Haha exactly!

    • http://www.xboxonedaily.com/ TheRedButterfly

      Let’s hope so!

  • http://www.DashGamer.com DashGamer

    RETIRE OLD MAN.

  • matthew garcia

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

    • Divaitiie!

      He’s arguably the greatest developer/designer/director in the video games world AND of ALL-TIMES!
      tho, “Pathetic” is a strong word, I hope the casuals won’t take it seriously.

      • matthew garcia

        Pathetic is a word I wouldn’t use he could have said it differently. I mean you wouldn’t have heard him say that towards casuals last gen since casuals were the millions that bought a Wii.

        • Divaitiie!

          Yeah … now that I think about it, this new kinda make him a hypocrite.
          I’m still love the guy tho XD.

          • matthew garcia

            He’s definitely a legend

          • C4

            But they tried to bring casuals closer to core gaming. To some degree I’d even say they succeeded, Wii brought gaming to people who otherwise probably wouldn’t have got into gaming. Some of them left, some kept gaming, although not necessarily on Nintendo platforms and some went to other casual platforms (mobile)

        • David Trail

          The Wii was never a casual console. It was marketed as one in order to sell. Games like Sin and Punishment, DKC, Zack and Wiki prove me correct.

          • Divaitiie!

            I think when he said it was for casuals he meant It was for everyone, kinda like smartphones or tablets. Where they have games for casuals and games for gamers and hardcore gamers.
            the PS4/360 were just for gamers I believe … atleast in the early years. Later, the Kinect and PS Move and some of their games helped to attracted more casuals.

          • matthew garcia

            They sure had a lot of old people playing Wii sports

  • 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.

        • MichelChartrand

          I think a casual who wasn’t that into games in 1997 would have probably just bought a DVD or CD player rather than mess around with getting them to work on tv.

          Casual goes way back though. There were a lot of Tetris players on game boy. And I’m sure it goes further than that. Probably ever since solitaire was first released on computer. :-)

          • Divaitiie!

            I think that the Wii, DS and Smartphone/Tablets are the one that responsible for the casuals players. Before 2005. People playing games are stereotyped as nerds, weirdo or just plain losers. But now, playing games is the hottest trend in the world.

          • David Trail

            Nope a lot of casuals were in to the ps1 becuase they thought it was cool.

          • David Trail

            not really they may have been interested slightly in games and couldn’t resist the game/ cd combo.

    • 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

  • http://www.DashGamer.com DashGamer

    • Epicstuf

      no

      • http://www.DashGamer.com DashGamer

        Yes, fanboy.

    • Divaitiie!

      I don’t get it.

    • fireheartis1

      What the hell does the best duel in Hall and Oats have to do with this article? Nothing that’s what. Miyamoto is a great developer who knows how to create great games. Thanks for the great music, but it does not apply to Mr. Miyamoto.

  • 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

    • Divaitiie!

      I’m his bitch.

  • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang 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.

      • MichelChartrand

        Actually they tried to appeal to the hard core, or core gamer going all the way back to the first E3 reveal. They just had an uphill battle trying to shed the casual image. The media of course didn’t help as it’s been trying to hate on Nintendo for a long time.

        And the power of the console itself isn’t only what makes it hard core. More innovation would appeal to a hard core gamer, I believe the game pad and other styles of play are part of the “try something new” he speaks of. Too many “hard core” gamers are content doing the same things they’ve been doing for years. Trying something different is not something they like.

  • 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.

        • ScrewAttack

          That movie’s my guilty pleasure.

          • Divaitiie!

            LOL. I love it!

      • fireheartis1

        I know this wasn’t a question for me, but I actually love Wii Music. It’s not the most accurate game in the world, but conducting my own Symphony and choosing the Mii with the right music note is always fun. There’s just something fun about that game that I can’t explain.

  • 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)
    :D

  • 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!

    • Merry_Blind

      Not necessarily. There are a lot of ‘hardcore’ gamers on both the Xbox and Playsation consoles; I should know, my console of choice last gen was the PS3, and trust me, I’m no casual gamers.

      But sure, a large portion of their audience are ‘casuals’ who only play CoD or Fifa.

    • Divaitiie!

      I’m one, but it’s not really a proud thing to said in the public to be fucking honest, maybe on this site and/or Internet game communities :P.
      Oh and you forgot PC.

  • MewtwoWillBeBack

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

    • ScrewAttack

      Do you try to do better? Casuals don’t.

    • Korv13

      My friend, a person isn’t a gamer by his abilities in games but by is knowledge about gaming in general. I am really bad when I play the 2D Marios but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the quality of these games.

      When you are beginning to know about the gaming platforms, the franchises, the gaming companies, the different types of games and are able to discuss about them, I think you can call yourself a gamer.

      And as ScrewAttack mention beside my post, you can see it in you reaction when you see a challenge in a game. Casuals usually don’t try to overcome the challenge. Gamers will try to overcome it or will be able to explain the deficiencies in the game if there is some.

      Finally, people who are following gaming news to know, for example, if Mewtwo is going to be in the next Smash aren’t usually what I call casuals… ;)

  • 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.

    • Superxtreme

      You can’t generalize all the fans. That’s like saying all Wii U fans are pathetic casuals who play Just Dance. It’s just not true my friend.

      • David Trail

        COD and Fifa is the ps4s top selling game. 80 to 90% of ps4 owners are casual/ pathetic gamers.

        • matthew garcia

          Get over yourself. We all know your the most genuine gamer of all time lol and you know everything

  • janco tianno

    That’s just a usual translation problem…

    Probably he said in Japanese something like “Deplorable”, “Heartbreaking”, but someone preferred to translate as “Pathetic”.

  • http://obaforums.wordpress.com DragonSilths

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now, and ever since E3 Nintendo has been back on the Core track. If Nintendo did that since the launch of Wii U then the Wii U would have done so much better, however the question now becomes, will Nintendo STAY on this track? Or will they drift back to casuals…I hope they don’t.

  • http://www.twitch.tv/insanityraptor/profile InsanityRaptor

    Hmm. He thinks the casual gamer attitude is pathetic, huh? THEN DON’T MAKE SO MANY GODDAMN CASUAL GAMES! Period.

    • ScrewAttack

      Hopefully this marks the end of his patience with casuals. Means good thinga for starfox I think!

    • Merry_Blind

      Well I think that’s exactly what he is saying. Casual gamers attitude is ‘pathetic’. They’re not good customer, they hurt the brand, etc. I think Nintendo realize now that they have to gather to the Nintendo fans first, to the gaming fans first, not the ‘mass-market’, not grandma, not the non-gamer.

  • Divaitiie!

    I agree with Miyamoto completely but Pathetic is a strong word … And most parents don’t like strong words, especially in the United States of America.
    God bless him.

    • Merry_Blind

      Well it’s a translation, so the word he actually used in japanese was probably not as pejorative.

      • Divaitiie!

        Well then Myamoto just got fucked ….

  • Gamingfan

    Fix this industry Nintendo because without you it’s terrible.

  • Korv13

    These quotes seem to be part of a larger reflexion on Nintendo’s future by the executives.

    I think they are discovering that if the casual crowd can be larger and could be more interesting from a business point, it has also its disadvantages. The principal one is that casual have difficulty to make a difference (or they don’t bother to) between a excellent game and an okay game. They don’t seem to recognize the quality where it appears and this is bothering people like Miyamoto.

    I can see a parallel with movies. When you are really interested in movies, you slowly create a conscentious taste. You learn to know if the movie you are watching is a good one. You learn to make an estimation on the quality of the movie by its trailer. You are learning to love the presentation of the movie, the plot, the esthetic, etc.

    As people who are interested in gaming, we care for these things. We know when a game needs to go to the dump rather than on your console. This knowledge is why we are (most of the time) more qualified to judge the quality of a game than a casual gamer.

    Nintendo is starting to recognize this and I think this is the reason why they don’t go on the smartphones. If Nintendo expands on casual territory, it will have to compromise on its own identity. These quotes show us that Nintendo won’t give up on that quality standard. And it’s a good thing.

  • Gamingfan

    It’s sad when people think they’re core gamers when they are looking forward to games like Destiny, Far Cry 4, Assassins Creed: Unity, Battlefield: Hardline, COD: Advanced Warfare etc. They’re casuals and don’t even know it.

    • 00EpicGamer00

      I wouldn’t say the people that are looking forward to Destiny are “casual” gamers. To be fair, Destiny is a brand new IP. Sure, it’s a first person shooter which has been done before, but who knows? Maybe Destiny will show us something that’s never been done before in the FPS genre.

    • matthew garcia

      The only hardcore gamers in my opinion are the ones that spend 40+hours playing rpgs and I’m not talking about pokemon. Now that’s hardcore

      • Gamingfan

        Casuals to me are the people that just constantly play FPS, cover based third person shooters and sports.

        • matthew garcia

          I can see that but those games offer nothing but great competition between individual players. I’m a competitive guy and I love sports so playing Madden, fifa, nba 2k with my friends is great fun and causes heated arguments and smack talking. I like that sometimes :)

          • David Trail

            Sounds casual lol.

      • David Trail

        Pokemon is hardcore dude.

        • matthew garcia

          Lol ok

  • JayHexx

    Now that this is said. I wonder where Nintendo is going to go from here. I hope it leads to a Metroid game of epic proportions.