had the chance to speak to Shigeru Miyamoto at Super Nintendo World, and the legendary game designer responsible for Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and so many more franchises that mean so much to millions around the world responded to his famous reputation for disliking stories in games.
Miyamoto took the time to share that it is not that he dislikes stories in games, but more so that he values gameplay above all and believes that making gameplay fun is the best place, at least for him, to start when developing a new project.
“First of all, it’s not that complex stories are unnecessary, that’s not what I’m saying at all,” Miyamoto said. “Story is one way of explaining a game. For example, when there’s an interactive game, the experience for everyone is different. One of the most enjoyable things about a PC or a computer is that it provides the same thing to everybody… That interesting aspect is something you have to keep pulling out as you keep playing, and keep playing, and keep playing. I think story is just another way to pull out enjoyment from this experience.
“Another way to focus on that enjoyment is to focus on a gameplay experience that gets you to try things over and over again. As I mentioned, story is one way to explain the game, and when that goes well, sometimes people take the route when creating their next game of starting with the story. For me, the starting story is how to make the gameplay fun, and that’s how I begin thinking about and creating a game.”
He finished that particular thought by saying he doesn’t believe that “story is unnecessary, it’s just that’s how I create games.”
Miyamoto actually spoke to us about his feelings on story in games in 2017, and he shared back then that, while it’s “important that a story lingers in their mind” after players finish a game, he loves when “their own experience in that game is what the story is.”
Miyamoto then brought the discussion back to Super Nintendo World, using it as another example for his particular style of creation.
“Going back to the theme park, obviously it has a lot of story that Mario has built up on, but at the same time it’s an interactive experience and it doesn’t really need a story. You go there and experience, and in that way I’m glad the theme park turned out the way it did.”
Stories in video games were only part of our much larger conversation with Miyamoto, and we encourage you to read our full interview with the legendary designer for more about Super Nintendo World, why he believes Nintendo is so much more than a game company now, and much more.
For more, check out our thoughts on Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World (Which is now open!), our recap of the latest Nintendo Direct, and the latest ad for the Super Mario Bros. Movie that is a wonderful homage to the live-action Mario series.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for . You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.