Miyamoto on recession: 2009’s games were ‘not fun enough’

Last year, things weren’t going too well for the videogame industry. Hit by the recession, people were losing money and jobs were lost. Nintendo legend and cheeky imp Shigeru Miyamoto has blamed the games, claiming that 2009’s products simply weren’t fun enough to sell in droves. 

“I think any entertainment products are less susceptible to changes in the economy,” explains Mario’s dad. “The fact that in 2009 we were not able to sell more than we did in 2008 was simply that in comparison, we were not able to produce fun-enough products. There are always ups and downs in this business. As long as we create unique and unprecedented experiences with video games, there should be nothing to worry about.

“Some may call 2008 the peak year for the current generation of video games. But there is always the opportunity to further expand video-game entertainment, and invite more people to enjoy playing. There is no fixed demand for entertainment in general, and video games are not an exception. As long as we can create something new, which can offer some unprecedented experience, there is always demand we can create.”

2009 certainly wasn’t swamped with hits like 2008 and 2007 had been, but part of that was thanks to publishers postponing all their products to avoid the holidays. You can’t sell too many games in a year when you delay them all until the next. 

Nintendo’s gaming guru on the recession, innovation and the Wii [The Economist]

Jim Sterling