Following the failure of the bizarre Super Mario Bros. movie from 1993, Nintendo quietly walked away from the concept of more Nintendo movies. However, a new Super Mario movie is now in development at Illumination, set to launch in 2022. What’s changed in all those interim years? Well, for Nintendo Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto, a major factor that changed his attitude was… Virtual Console?
Yep, Virtual Console, which exists/existed across Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, got Miyamoto to reconsider his reluctance to make more movies. This information comes from the Japanese Q&A of their recent investors meeting, which Siliconera has translated in part. Here are some relevant highlights of Miyamoto’s words:
… I was originally against Nintendo expanding into video-making, but am currently involved personally in using our company’s IP in film production, and the background behind this change is because Nintendo has re-released many games via Virtual Console. …
… when the original hardware compatible with the software is gone, we have no choice but to port it onto new hardware. After experiencing this process of bringing older software onto new hardware many times, I began to consider that our content business would be able to develop even further if we were able to combine our long-beloved software with that of video assets, and utilize them together for extended periods.
Basically, it’s not that ‘I want to make a Mario movie’, but that I began to consider that ‘we should bring more Nintendo content into the field of video-making’.
Miyamoto concludes by saying that making a movie would broaden the amount of people who can engage with Nintendo IP, which would in turn broaden interest in other media (i.e., video games). So in effect, this is Miyamoto’s very long way of saying, “Porting old games takes a deliberate effort and is generational. Movies make bank and you can watch ’em whenever.” And the man isn’t wrong!
Are you surprised that Virtual Console had this effect on Shigeru Miyamoto?