Spector: Underestimate Nintendo at your peril

Deus Ex and Epic Mickey designer Warren Spector enthusiastic about Nintendo, says he is currently evaluating potential job opportunities.

The Wii U has struggled thus far, but Deus Ex and Epic Mickey designer Warren Spector remains hopeful that Nintendo can turn it around. Speaking with GameSpot, the industry veteran said betting against Nintendo is an ill-advised move.

"I've been pretty up front about my enthusiasm for Nintendo. I think we need a company that's dedicated to games. Every time I visit Nintendo, I'm relieved to have spent time in a place where you can just feel how much everyone loves games," Spector said. "And, really, how many times have people written Nintendo off? I think you underestimate them at your peril."

Nintendo's three-pronged strategy to revitalize the Wii U includes shipping key first-party titles on a regular basis, ameliorating its messaging tactics, and reducing manufacturing costs. The company will share some of its vision for the future through a Nintendo Direct video presentation next month.

Spector also elaborated on his post-Disney life, saying that "lots" of companies have reached out to talk since Junction Point closed in January, though he has not yet decided if he'll return to the industry or not.

"I was exhausted and pretty burned out when [Junction Point Studios] closed. You try working 30 years without a vacation! I kind of got it in my head that I'd stay home until I got bored, whenever that might be," Spector said. "I didn't want to go out and look for anything, but I spread the word that I'd talk to anybody who wanted to talk to me--from startup to multinational corporation. I'd listen, and if the perfect thing showed up, I'd do it."

"Honestly, I was kind of hoping nothing that good would show up! Lots of people wanted to talk--very flattering!--and, damn it, there were a handful I couldn't just reject out of hand," he added. "So I'm talking to some people and seeing how perfect the opportunities are. You may see me coming back soon. Or you may not. I’m playing it by ear."

Though Spector is not making games at the moment, he remains involved in the industry. As announced earlier this month, Spector will head up a new game development program at the University of Texas at Austin and will also give the keynote address at October's Captivate Conference.

GameSpot's full conversation with Spector will be published later today.

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Discussion

482 comments
danielbirchal
danielbirchal

Microsoft is REALLY helping out Nintendo with this DRM b***t. If Sony follows the same path then I see a real bright future in WiiU!

AssRhino
AssRhino

Warren you made some of my favorite games growing up. Wing Commander, Crusader: No Remorse (seriously EA remake this game), Thief, System Shock and Deus Ex. But its been 13 years since you have released any game i have cared about. Please start making good games again.

Sardinar
Sardinar

Oh, the peril is great fosho. 

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

I don't underestimate nintendo. I base my expectations on what I've observed year after year.


The question is if they can get their key titles out :New 3D Mario, Smash Bros, Zelda before its too late. I think Nintendo is in a more difficult spot than they have ever been.

Akijo
Akijo

Next Smash Bros announced : Wii U's sell raises by 200%

hadlee73
hadlee73

A little bit of peril never hurt anyone :P

pycho22solid
pycho22solid

Nintendo is fine, but not great. The problem though, is that they SHOULD be great. Personally, thats why I'm so disappointed with them.

vampyren
vampyren

Sooo where are the games? they have had like atleast 5 years and they couldn't release Zelda day 1? Its not like they made the Wii U a week before release.

Also if they care so much about games why do they make a bloody tablet who no one wants nor needs!!! I lost my faith in Nintendo first after the crappy Wii and now they pull this stunt on Wii U, if i see atleast 10 awesome games from them i might just might consider Wii U and these games better all support the Pro Controller. 

Up to Nintendo to prove itself. And one PS4 hit the market they loose my attention. Just as Wii got old news when PS3/X360 started getting great games.

twizzickle
twizzickle

yay for supporting nintendo. its all about good games with good ideas, not superior technology :)

corrus
corrus

As i said in one other article devs talking only BS and i am tired to read their BS

VBVCSHARP
VBVCSHARP

Yes, some old guy who designed a Disney game is going to convice me to not overlook Nintendo.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

They need to focus on games, not hardware.

Aydenuille
Aydenuille

It seems some people wanted to talk...

Damn it

lostn
lostn

Well, I did exactly what people said "don't underestimate Nintendo" twice now. For 3DS and Wii U. By not underestimating Nintendo, I actually 'overestimated' Nintendo.


To be as charitible as Warren, I would say. instead of "don't underestimate Nintendo" change it to "don't overestimate Sony and MS".

chemergency7712
chemergency7712

Spector working for Nintendo would be pretty incredible... Just as long as his games are more like Deus Ex or Thief and less like Epic Mickey.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Spector is a loser,  old and out of touch.  He needs to leave the game business altogether,  along with Peter Molyneux and all these other dinosaur developers who's best days are behind them.  I really think Gamespot posts these articles so we can all rag on them. 

LordSadic
LordSadic

LOL This very same words were said by EA, and look how that went down....

And this is coming from the same guy that made EPIC MICKEY 2, BWAHAHA

cnx2022
cnx2022

Why is it that they do not support the Wii? I do not think I have ever fully understood that.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

you know the funny thing is that the first party Nintendo things are as awesome as almost any other consoles first party exclusives. The only thing that is missing is the same shovelware that the other consoles have for multiplat and they would be just fine.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

I just hope Nintendo embraces 3rd party titles this time around and expands its scope with 1st party titles.

unam10122
unam10122

nintendo will always be my favorite platform. it focus on great games that make me enjoy being a gamer. recently i went to play legend of zelda twilight princess and reminds me that a game doesn't need state of art graphics or how many explosions it can fit in one scene to grab someone's attention. 

Rafael Angelo Hernandez
Rafael Angelo Hernandez

Nintendo sucks I dont know any one who has it and when I go to buy games I only see lil kids with there parents buying Nintendo games

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

Not really but it is nice to have 3rd party games as well as games released by nintendo. 

uncle5555
uncle5555

See above picture ^


Spector's new game: Angry Mickey...

OMGMrTea
OMGMrTea

Nintendo is going to be fine.

Jonathan Lahey
Jonathan Lahey

Nintendo's been around for decades and isn't going anywhere soon. Also, as things sit, I'm more interested in a Wii U than an xbox one.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Nintendo is not all right,  and they haven't been all right since the Super Nintendo days;  when they had all the third party support,  great games (not made by them) and a powerful system.    The Wii U is garbage and should be discontinued in a few years.

xGr4ffitix
xGr4ffitix

I think Nintendo is alright. A lot of kids today want 'graphics', and a lot of companies want to work with the companies that give them the most powerful systems. You don't see Rockstar jumping over to Nintendo wanting their high graphic games to be on a Nintendo system very often. Whether we like it or not, Nintendo appeals to kids. We might feel like it's no good, but we were just as gullible back then too. Nintendo used to have gimmicks. The power glove, the super scope, the small discs. They'll always have gimmicks. The reason SNES had such a vast library, was because they were the most powerful system at the time. Lately, they don't focus on power so much. Maybe that is a mistake. They have lots of games, just not games that we feel are up to that tier. Most kids want to play your Call of Duty's and your Halo's and whatever else, but Nintendo is still testing the waters. That Wonderful 101 or whatever it's called, is pretty interesting. I don't remember any games like it. We've just kinda gotten ourselves into this comfort zone of what is good and what isn't. We were easily pleased as children, and now that we're older, we're picky. "This game is stupid, that game is stupid." But when we were kids, nothing was stupid. I remember playing Mario is Missing. If I play that game now, it's just horrible. But as a kid, I thought that was the coolest thing. I mean, you could play as Luigi. That was what we had long before Luigi's Mansion came around. Xbox is mostly FPS titles. Nintendo has all kinds of stuff. Sure, I agree, a lot of it may be crap, but they ARE trying new things. Xbox plays it safe. Notice how at the reveal the main game they put so much focus on, was Call of Duty? No one was surprised, no one was eager or excited. It was just that. Another Call of Duty game. I think once Nintendo builds themselves a more powerful console, more game companies will be willing to work with them. The game companies however, just feel it's safe to work with Microsoft or Sony, because if they can make a game look beautiful with the graphics, it doesn't have to be good, as long as it looks good. Remember that Banjo Kazooie game that came out for the Xbox 360? It looked AWESOME, right? I remember playing Banjo on the n64 for hours and hours. Then when this came out, I was excited. The problem was though, that's all it was. Graphics. The gameplay was mediocre, weird, and didn't even feel like a Banjo Kazooie game. It felt like a LEGO game. Anyway, sorry for rambling. Today's companies are just focused more on graphics instead of gameplay, so that's why it feels like Nintendo doesn't get the 'good games'. At least, this is my opinion.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Akijo 

That's not much unless the new Mario and MarioKart spike sales like it did with the 3DS, then 200% would be a great amount.  

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@vampyren 

Did you already forget that Skyward Sword came out in 2011 and that was in development since around 2007/08? 

Look at every Nintendo home console leading up to the Wii U and tell me that you never noticed how with each new console, they've always tweaked the controller or added something new to it that eventually became an industry staple. The way you control your games is a vital part of gaming and we wouldn't have the standard controller we have now if it wasn't for Nintendo's forward thinking. 

You make it seem like once the PS4 comes out, it's going to automatically have an amazing library of games and tons of features. Not saying it won't do good, but it's rather unrealistic to believe that the PS4 will have anything more than a decent launch line up. 

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@cnx2022 some will tell you that the Nintendo systems aren't powerful enough for the games they make today. Others will tell you that because it takes effort to port things to Nintendo they won't do it. Others will tell you that its the DRM and publishers won't put games on them because Nintendo told the publishers to F themselves.

But really? They don't support it because they won't sell millions of games on the Nintendo systems. And unless a game sells 7m+ copies these days most pubs consider it a failure.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@parrot_of_adun I think "embracing 3rd party titles" for Wii U is mostly going to entail an endless stream of 360/PS3 ports. 

Tri-Enforcer
Tri-Enforcer

@parrot_of_adun Nintendo is very open to third parties.  However, third parties don't embrace Nintendo.  It's up to the 3rd party to decide if they want to produce for a Nintendo platform or not.  The lack of 3rd party software really isn't Nintendo's fault.

xGr4ffitix
xGr4ffitix

@ChiefFreeman Funny how that one post fell into every category of what I said about 'today's' market.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@xGr4ffitix It wasn't the power of the console that drove the 3rd party developers away. I am sure its the lack of DRM that drove them away. If you could develop a game and when a game is sold brand new you get profit, and when that game is used and you still get profit? publishers would go for that in a heartbeat. Its why EA is lying in bed with MS and its rumored that sony is there too. Nintendo was the only one that didn't bend over to the publishers demands like MS and Sony did.

Nintendo has good features and its power is pretty good for what they are. They might have to face up to the fact that the only publishers who will stand with Nintendo will be the ones who aren't afraid to take a risk and that might not be a bad thing. If a publisher is willing to take a risk that means that the games could be interesting.

vampyren
vampyren

@abHS4L88 I know some will be mad at me saying this but i dont care really. For me i could not stand watching Skyward Sword!!! It looks like crap! Sure i like a good story and game play like anyone but considering how many other GREAT  games i had access to at the time which were in HD i did not notice Skyward Sword come and go. It was just not in my radar due to the lousy graphic. The presentation is really important nowdays. I remember seeing the game in store and i tried to play a few minute and just laughed how bad it looks and that i made the right choice selling my Wii early.

About controller, yes up to GameCube i agree, after that they went the other way with the casual focus. Wii U added what exactly? a giant resistive screen! Personally i see it as a step backward. The Pro controller has what exactly that is unique? if anything it lacks the analog side buttons that are needed for car games for instance.

LordSadic
LordSadic

@Strider8009 @LordSadic Well you said it, he works for EA, but he has his own opinions , while the one I mentioned was actually an oficial statement by them.

GSJones1994
GSJones1994

@Strider8009 @LordSadic and the guy who said the Wii U is crap represents the immature stereotypes that the gaming industry has suffered for far too long.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Tri-Enforcer @parrot_of_adun Regardless of fault, Nintendo hasn't recently made their systems *attractive* to third parties, is the problem. Fortunately the WiiU is in a better position to do that than the old Wii.

THizzle7XU
THizzle7XU

@bunchanumbers @xGr4ffitix It's not lack of DRM or you wouldn't have seen any games on PS3 or 360. This "DRM" you speak of is maybe a next gen issue on PS4 and Xbox One. Saying it is DRM today makes no sense as all three current consoles don't have online DRM.

vampyren
vampyren

@abHS4L88

you speak as if all other games lack the "art style" all together!  Right now i have atleast 20 AAA games in my closet that i have not had the time to play. Great games come out weekly/monthly now days so the simple reason i choose to ignore this one is simple really. Yes i do play some old games like diablo II just a brief moment now and than and its fun but its wont replace my real gaming time. When Wii came out it lacked HDMI and HD support and that was when HD tv's were hot so the lack of it was a big issue for most core gamers i think. That and the lack of good games (mostly from thirdparty which abandoned Wii). 

The problem with the Wii U tablet is that i see it as a gimmick, i dont want to play on it when i have a huge TV, i can see some good use of it like map and such but still considering the bad battery time, big size, resistive screen (not very useful when it can only detect one point and not sensitive enough) i think they overdid it. They were hoping to make a mix of console and tablet but failed miserably. No one will abandon their ipad to play on wii U tablet. If any thing i think PS4 will be much much more popular when you can play on Vita which can be truly portable. 

MiiVerse, i couldn't care less, i'm maybe a minority on this but all the social networking stuff dont interest me one bit, i usually play single player games for the story and fun. 

 Sorry but i totally hate the direction Nintendo has taken and i do hope they can come back but for now they lost my support until i see much much more games and IP's that are appealing. I dont want more mario/wario games. I want new ideas and games that are mature and intriguing. 

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@vampyren

I actually enjoyed the visual presentation of Skyward Sword (as well as Xenoblade) more than I did many HD games that I've played because to me, art style is FAR more important than graphical quality. Of course that's me and I'm someone who really has no problems jumping between games of varying graphical qualities, hell I'm playing through the original Grandia right now and I'm hooked on it despite it being an early Playstation/Saturn game. It's up to you whether or not you want to let graphics affect you really and since I've chosen to make that one of the smallest deciding factors, I've enjoyed far more games (and still enjoy many of my older games) because of it. 

The Wii was actually originally targeted at "the core gamer" but when Nintendo saw how much the general audience accepted it, obviously they made sure to give a good amount of focus to those people also. Just saying the Wii U only adds a touch screen is an extremely shallow way of looking at it. Really, if adding in one analog stick changed how we game tremendously, then the amount of possibilities adding in a 2nd screen (that's not attached) is huge also since true asymmetric gameplay is now possible without the huge inconvenience of needing 3 handheld systems, conventional RTS games are now possible and the touch screen alone streamlines a great deal of features and that's just the controller. The Wii U also added in MiiVerse, gaming's first fully fleshed out social network which does add a great deal to the gaming experience.