Molyneux weighs in: “Never underestimate Nintendo”

Speaking of Nintendo and other E3 highlights this week, former Bullfrog/Lionhead/Microsoft Game Studios (currently 22Cans) head-honcho, Peter Molyneux talked about Miyamoto, and Nintendo’s IPs:

What Miyamoto says defines things in this industry. What I say just upsets people. When Nintendo is making truly world-changing hardware, I totally see his point. But I do wonder about the Wii U – it seemed to be a kind of reaction to SmartGlass. And it’s very chunky, doesn’t really feel like it’s cutting edge. That’s when we start saying, ‘Why not spend some of your unbelievable talent on these devices?’ Because there’s a billion people out there [points to iPad].

You know what Nintendo did – this is a fascinating thing – Nintendo created gamers by the software they made. They created millions of gamers with Donkey Kong and Mario – they were the birth of gamers. That exact same thing is happening on this platform today. Millions of new gamers are being created almost every month, and they’re being created with titles not from Nintendo, not from Microsoft, not from Sony, not even necessarily from Activision or EA. They’re being created by companies like Supercell and Rovio. They’re the ones that are bringing and creating new gamers. And now there are millions of people interacting with franchises, which Nintendo won’t even touch, which seems a shame to me because Nintendo are brilliant about bringing people into the industry, and I think their hardware is starting to get in the way of that.

Since Molyneux moved away from Microsoft, he’s onto working on different platforms, as seen by the multiplatform title Curiosity which was recently “finished”. He seems to think Nintendo should go the same way. Molyneux goes on to say;

I caveat all of this by saying that they are a factor more intelligent than I am, and they’ve probably got a plan, and you should never underestimate Nintendo. We’ll probably be sitting here in a couple years saying, ‘Oh that’s what they were doing’.

He’s right. Nintendo have been laughed at with their last four console releases, the DS sold slowly at first, people thought the Wii had a ridiculous name, and the 3DS needed a price cut because it wasn’t selling. Fast forward a year or two into all of those console’s life cycles, and suddenly a pattern of dominance starts to emerge. The DS, Wii and 3DS all suddenly became very popular, successful consoles; in regards to the Wii and DS, these consoles were literally record-breaking in terms of sales.


The Wii U is under a lot of pressure. Two new consoles release this year, which could harm Nintendo’s sales. Or, alternatively, could we be feeling very foolish a year from now, thinking; “How could we have ever doubted Nintendo?”

What do you think? Is the Wii U dead already, or is a huge console sales spike just around the corner? Tell us your opinion in the comments below!


Dave AubreyBy Dave Aubrey (120 Posts)

Nintendo Warrior. Fan of pretty much all game genres.

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  • Marco Boschini

    I’ve never underestimated Nintendo, i just never liked it.

  • Alessio Palumbo

    I agree with Molyneux. If Nintendo went multiplatform, they could easily make gazillions of money since EVERYONE loves their IPs (well, except Marco it seems), but not everyone agrees with their sometime quirky hardware choices. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, these titles if published for PC/PS4/XBONE/ANDROID/IOS could sell dozens of millions easily, and multiplatform development has never been easier since all these platforms are very similar now.

    Of course that’s not going to happen with this generation since they are invested with WiiU; but as a gamer, I do wish it for the future. I think they could have a lot more success as a software developer than, say, SEGA.

  • Dave Aubrey I’m linking a Reddit comment I made earlier today as I believe it’s relevant!


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