Shigeru Miyamoto is widely heralded as one of the best and brightest video game creators of all time. Nintendo is well known for their top-selling first party content, and many of the company’s most popular games came from the mind of Miyamoto. Mario, Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Pikmin are all among his creations, but it feels like it has been ages since we saw something new from Nintendo’s golden boy.
The Pikmin franchise (Miyamoto’s last new IP outside of Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Music) is over a decade old now, and Nintendo fans have been patiently waiting for something new. For the past three years, Miyamoto has raised the hopes of Nintendo fans by stating that he aims to have a new IP within a year’s time, but we still have nothing to show for it. Many fans believe this will be the year Miyamoto will finally unveil a new game for either the Wii U or the 3DS, but there are significant reasons to believe that we’re set for another E3 without Miyamoto’s new game.
On the surface, the timing for a new Miyamoto game couldn’t be more perfect. Nintendo is aiming to make this the year the 3DS really becomes mainstream outside of Japan, and the Wii U is in desperate need of some killer games. Miyamoto is preparing Nintendo for his eventual retirement and trusting younger developers with more, so now’s the perfect time for him to bring another game-changing franchise to the table.
Unfortunately for Nintendo fans, that’s not likely going to happen for a little while longer. The two things that Miyamoto has cited as the main reasons that he has not been able to work on a new IP are his abundant responsibilities and the development of Pikmin 3. The first is an ongoing struggle that he is working to relieve in his process of preparing Nintendo for his retirement, but the second is a more hands-on matter.
In the most recent episode of GTTV, Miyamoto revealed that he’s spending a great deal of time working closely with the development team on Pikmin 3, trying to make sure everything is just right for the game’s launch. The game does not have a more specific release date than “Quarter 2, 2013″ at this time, and it’s entirely possible that it won’t be out by the time E3 rolls around. With Miyamoto so deeply entrenched in its development, it’s unlikely that he’s had enough time to sit down and work on something new.
This situation is similar in nature to the announcement of Super Smash Bros. titles for Wii U and 3DS. Like Miyamoto’s new IP, the two games were “announced” at E3 2011 (in the case of Miyamoto’s new game, it was also hinted at a year earlier), but director Masahiro Sakurai did not even begin working on them until after his development of Kid Icarus Uprising (which released in March of 2012) was complete. A full year later now, we still don’t have a single screenshot for the game, although that will change at this year’s E3.
I’d love to see a new Miyamoto title shown off at E3 and released in time for the holidays, but it’s just not likely. I hope Miyamoto proves me wrong, but if I was a betting man I’d wager that we have one more year of the famed game creator saying “Maybe next year.”