Nintendo Aims To Develop Its Characters Without “Destroying” The Memories Of Fans

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Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa’s recent Nikkei interview has given us much to consider. Reconfirming that cloud gaming isn’t a “top priority” for Nintendo presently, he also took this opportunity to dive into discussions about Nintendo’s development philosophy.

As translated by Nintendo Everything, Nikkei questioned whether this was a matter of putting existing characters “out there more”. Furukawa advised it isn’t as simple as that, outlining an approach to character development that aims to respect fan visions:

We must keep in mind that the origins of the characters are in the games. These are characters that fans have grown attached to through countless hours of playtime. We must develop those characters in a way that won’t destroy fans’ memories of the characters in their worlds. We always proceed with caution as to not damage the value of the brand.

If we want to increase sales in the short term, there are other ways to do so. It’s more a question of what we can do to keep Nintendo a beloved brand in the long run. That’s the debate we often have internally, and something I think carefully about as I make decisions. There’s always a risk of destroying the Nintendo brand, which we spent over 30 years building.

Nintendo’s approach to protecting their brand is well-known, though it’s also earned it a reputation for being heavy-handed, namely by taking legal action against fan projects.

Manging fan expectations can be especially tricky with larger franchises, and when done “wrong”, it leads to no end of debate. It’s something we recently witnessed with the Star Wars sequel trilogy, so you can hardly blame Nintendo for being cautious with existing characters.

Do you agree with Nintendo’s development approach? Share your thoughts below.




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