Flashback: That Time Miyamoto Said He Could Make Halo, But Didn't Want To 1
Image: Microsoft / Time Extension

Shigeru Miyamoto is one of gaming's most famous designers. He's responsible for series such as Zelda, Super Mario, Star Fox and Pikmin – franchises which have not only sold millions of copies, but have laid down the foundations for many other titles to follow.

Given his amazing success in almost every genre, you can imagine Miyamoto gets a bit peeved when people point out the impact and influence of other titles, so we'd imagine he was in that kind of mood when he took part in an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in 2007.

Miyamoto was asked if he ever worried that he was "losing touch with what young American players" following the success of Bungie's FPS epic, Halo. As was noted by some outlets at the time of publication, the exchange took place via a translator, so there's a chance that it wasn't Miyamoto's intention to sound quite so arrogant – but here's the noteworthy comment:

I could make Halo. It's not that I couldn't design that game. It's just that I choose not to. One thing about my game design is that I never try to look for what people want and then try to make that game design. I always try to create new experiences that are fun to play.

When the comment blew up online, Bungie staffer and former UK games journalist Frank O'Connor responded in a light-hearted manner:

I just want to go on the record and say that Bungie is hard at work on a side-scrolling platform game featuring some plumbers - I'm not going to say what their ethnicity is, it's none of anyone's business. We took it as a gauntlet, a sort of glove slap, and we're going to respond in 2D scrolling style. That's all I'm saying.

In the same interview, Miyamoto was asked if there were any real-world issues he would like to turn into a video game, and he settled on the thorny issue of taxes:

I look at places in the world where people understand that paying taxes to the government helps society. In Japan there's not that understanding.

Interestingly, Miyamoto also expresses his disappointment with outsourced versions of F-Zero and Star Fox – one can only assume he is referring to F-Zero GP Legend, F-Zero Climax and Star Fox: Assault. When asked if there had been any games which hadn't turned out as well as expected, he replied:

Yes, that has definitely happened. In the past we’ve worked with some outside development houses on titles like F-Zero and Starfox — and let me just say that we were disappointed with the results.

While the interview is obviously some years out of date now, it's still worth a look, if only for a snapshot of Miyamoto's thoughts 17 years ago.