New Nintendo Franchise

Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Starfox, Fire Emblem, Mario Kart, Warioware, Smash Bros., Pokemon, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, F-Zero, Kirby, Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Kid Icarus.

Nintendo has a storied history of providing gamers with some of the most foundational game franchises in the industry. From classics like Super Mario Bros. and Super Metroid to newer IPs in the vein of Pikmin and Wii Fit, the company has always strived to provide something for everyone.

Lately, though, Nintendo’s been playing it pretty safe. The Wii U hasn’t exactly had the best console launch in recent memory, and publishers have definitely been feeling the strain. Launch titles for the device have been mainly relegated to ports and numbered sequels. It’s not looking great.

Clearly, gamers are thirsty for something new. Don’t get me wrong, I’m clamoring for the newest Super Smash Bros. as much as the next guy. All the same, we’re at a point where Nintendo pumps out a new side-scrolling Mario iteration on a yearly basis. It’s time for a little variety.

New Nintendo Franchise

Fortunately, Shigeru Miyamoto is working on something new. Known for his portfolio of formative works (which includes Mario, Donkey Kong, and probably half the names listed above), Miyamoto is a man revered for his skills as a gameplay designer.

In a recent interview with Famitsu, the Nintendo legend spilled a few sparse details on his upcoming work:

Famitsu: So, starting with Pikmin 3, you’ve got a lot of new Wii U titles planned up until the holiday season.

Miyamoto: With the recent version upgrade [of the Wii U], we’ve worked on the system side of things and we’re planning on further system tweaks ahead, but even as is, [the Wii U] has become a useful item for the living room. However, it’s pointless to talk about other features, no matter how fulfilling, without releasing games of our own, so we hope you’ll look forward to the games to come. Next Spring, with the release of Mario Kart 8, we’ll have a general selection available, so I’ve been thinking it would be a good time to bring out a new franchise.

Famitsu: A new franchise! An all-new title that you would be working on?

Miyamoto: I can’t say too much in detail right now, but I’ve been pretty busy with this title these days.

What do you think? Is it time Nintendo pulled out the big guns?


William Herbert

Boston-based writer, artist, designer, critic, loser & storyteller. Focused on the intersection of games, culture, narrative, and art. KillerStrokes on XBL, Steam, PSN. @Wherbit on Twitter.