We don’t normally post “soundbyte” news, but in this case, we had to make an exception. Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former president of Nintendo of America for 13 years, recently conducted an interview with a podcast called Kinda Funny Gamescast. When asked about a game that didn’t perform as well as he had hoped, he touched on some thoughts about Other M, where he had predicted the game was going to create a long lasting, positive impression on the fans, which in fact it got quite the opposite due to its heavy handed writing and “unfavorable” depictions of Samus’s personality.
“I really thought that that was going to be a defining moment for the Metroid franchise. It was giving much more of a perspective about Samus. I really thought that was going to be a killer moment in the franchise’s history, and it wasn’t. It didn’t deliver – not the business results, it really didn’t touch the player the way we hoped it would.
Interestingly, I was in a large group meeting, a strategy meeting with Iwata and Miyamoto and the game developers, and we talked about why not. I was always the brash American. I was the one who would say what I believed was truth to try and help the business move forward. The point I made to the developers was it took too long to get into the meat and potatoes of this game. The first five hours of the game, you kind of “plodded along.” There wasn’t a lot of payoff, there was a lot of dialog, and I’m sure I pissed people off in the room. But I said, ‘The learning here was the player wants to get into this much faster. Yes, there are elements we need to do from a tutorial standpoint to help them understand the game mechanics, but you need to move things further along much quicker.’ And hopefully that advice had a little bit of an impact on the developers in the room.”
Listen to the entire Podcast Episode here. (The soundbyte happens ~16:45 mark.)