Miyamoto blames industry slump on game quality

Mario creator tells The Economist that 2009 sales were down because games weren't as fun, explains his aversion to making online titles.

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While analysts spent 2009 backing away from any notion that the gaming business was "recession proof," one historically shrewd industry watcher is bucking the conventional wisdom. In an interview with The Economist published yesterday, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto blamed the industry's lower sales for the year not on financial worries, but on the games themselves.

Nintendo has finally come around to online gaming, but Miyamoto is taking a pass on it for now.
Nintendo has finally come around to online gaming, but Miyamoto is taking a pass on it for now.

"The fact that in 2009 we were not able to sell more than we did in 2008 was simply that in comparison, we were not able to produce fun enough products," Miyamoto said through an interpreter. "There are always ups and downs in this business. As long as we create unique and unprecedented experiences with video games, there should be nothing to worry about."

Miyamoto also talked about online gaming in the interview, explaining that Nintendo was late to the party because the company wanted "to take sufficient time to make it a proper business." The developer also acknowledged that it's not just his employer's stance that has kept him from making online-focused games to date.

"I think it is obvious that when everyone is connected online, there will be enormous opportunity for me to create something really unique," Miyamoto said. "But my job is to try to entertain as many people as possible, and I see all Wii owners as the audience. Of course, we have Mario Kart, which can be played online by multiple people. So we are gradually expanding the experiences using the Internet, but my own personal focus is to try to entertain people, even if they are not connected to the Internet. That is my first priority."

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