Nintendo wants to develop its characters without “destroying” fans’ memories

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The recent Nikkei interview with Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa gave us a lot of concern. He reiterated that cloud games are not currently a “top priority” for Nintendo and took this opportunity to delve into discussions about Nintendo’s development philosophy.

As translated by Nintendo Everything, Nikkei asked if it was a matter of getting existing characters “more out there”. Furukawa advised that it wouldn’t be that easy, and outlined a character development approach that aims to respect fans’ visions:

We have to keep in mind that the origins of the characters are in the games. These are characters that fans have gotten used to through countless hours of gameplay. We have to develop these characters in such a way that fans’ memories of the characters in their worlds are not destroyed. We always proceed cautiously so as not to compromise the value of the brand.

If we want to increase sales in the short term, there are other options. It’s more about what we can do to make Nintendo a popular brand in the long term. This is the debate we often have internally and something I think about carefully when making decisions. There is always a risk of destroying the Nintendo brand that we have built for over 30 years.

Nintendo’s approach to protecting their brand is well known, but has also earned him a reputation for being tenacious by taking legal action against fan projects.

Changing fan expectations can be especially difficult at larger franchises, and if done “wrong” it will bring the debate to an end. This is something we saw in the Star Wars sequel recently. So you can hardly blame Nintendo for being careful with existing characters.

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

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