Yup, that’s right, recently somebody asked Shigeru Miyamoto, the most recognized and respected game designer in the world, what his favorite non-Nintendo game from 2011 was, and his answer was Angry Birds. He had this to say about the ubiquitous bird flicking game…
“What I like about Angry Birds is that it has a traditional videogame feel to it, but also a very creative side. And you can really feel that they’re having fun developing the game. That’s what I like about it.”
Miyamoto admitting he digs Angry Birds is somewhat surprising given other Nintendo figureheads like Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime have taken numerous jabs are mobile gaming. Then again, maybe it’s not so surprising. Miyamoto got his start making simple games that, like Angry Birds, were easy to pick up and play. Even today most of Nintendo’s titles continue to be built on a foundation of simple mechanics and finely tuned physics. In other words, putting aside Rovio’s controversial business model, Angry Birds is right up Miyamoto’s alley from a game design perspective.
Of course this raises the question — will Miyamoto’s embrace of Angry Birds influence Nintendo’s direction and future projects? Miyamoto may not be President of the company, but Nintendo pretty much follows the guy’s whims, and Miyamoto’s hobbies often dictate what kind of games he makes. He took up gardening and made Pikmin. He bought a dog and made Nintendogs. He got obsessed with weighing himself and made Wii Fit. Now he’s playing Angry Birds — could this lead to Nintendo embracing downloadable games more seriously? Or maybe the next Mario game will just involve a lot of crashing Mario face-fist into livestock.