Rockstar San Diego Angel Studios founder says Shigeru Miyamoto left his balls frozen Buggy Boogie

Diego Angel founded Angel Studios, a maker of 3D graphics that went on to be bought by Rockstar to become Rockstar San Diego. Polygon has written a frankly long-winded feature about the man, but there are worthwhile details in it if you’re persistent. Among other things, Angel described what it was like to be part of Nintendo 64’s “dream team” of developers making exclusive content for the system, and he talked about a time when Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto came to Angel Studios to look at their work on an (ultimately canceled) title, Buggy Boogie.

The team had spent 45 days working on a design bible for its game in anticipation of Miyamoto’s arrival, yet in the end, the meeting left Angel with (figuratively speaking) frozen balls:

Mr. Miyamoto went and spent 10, 15 minutes look[ing] at it, closed the big f***ing book, got his hand behind [the book], pushed it to me, looked at me and said, ‘Diego, I don’t want this.’ My balls got frozen. I lost my legs. I said, ‘F***, f***. I blew it.’ He said, ‘This is not what I want.’ I said, ‘What do you need, Mr. Miyamoto?’ He said, ‘I don’t want any game designs. [Let’s] spend the next three months working on the technology and making sure it feels good.’ […] He says, ‘You’re going to throw away most of that s***.’

Miyamoto was most concerned about creating an experience that was just fun to play, which evidently wasn’t the case with Buggy Boogie. However, Nintendo was working with the developer on short-term, three-month contracts as opposed to long-term, multi-million-dollar deals. So when Buggy Boogie was ultimately canceled, it was by design not extremely painful for either party. Angel Studios would go on to create Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest, and the Resident Evil 2 port for Nintendo 64.

The studio was acquired and became Rockstar San Diego in 2002, though Diego Angel himself exited the company to return to his home country of Colombia in 2005. Presumably, his balls have long since healed.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea.

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