Adding creativity like Nintendo

I read this wonderful article by Matthew Ball about Nintendo and how they differ from Disney in their approach to leveraging IPs. It’s an interesting read and if you have half an hour to spare I recommend it. But in the middle of the article was with wonderful tidbit:

Creator Shigeru Miyamoto actively requires development teams to reinvent the franchise. Following the success of the first entry, a top-down action adventure game, Kotaku reports that Miyamoto-san told “the team—not the Zelda 1 team, but an entirely different team—that he wanted to make a side-scrolling action game where the player had to attack with, and defend against, high and low attacks.”

To be clear, this approach is why Nintendo is so spectacular.

Matthew Ball

If you don’t already know Mr Miyamoto is the legendary creator behind both the Mario and Zelda franchises, his creative works are second too none. I find this little legend especially interesting because Miyamoto is deliberately adding constraints instead of reusing the same tried and true pattern. Even though this is a huge financial risk.

When was the last time you did something deliberately harder?

I don’t think I’ve deliberately thrown away working patterns in my designs at any time. Definitely not in the last five years. I’m intrigued to find out what happens if I try it.