Miyamoto wanted Pikmin to be his next Mario
Never thought that Captain Olimar had this strange Toad vibe when picking stuff?
Born from the imagination of Shigeru Miyamoto during a sunny afternoon in his garden, Pikmin has become in less than 20 years one of the core franchises of Nintendo. Of course it hasn’t grown to be a Mario, a Donkey Kong or a Zelda, but its fresh and attractive universe, its innovative and accessible gameplay make Pikmin a true member of the Nintendo family. And today, thanks to a former member of the Nintendo EAD team, we understand a little more the vision that Miyamoto was putting into place by giving birth to those funny little creatures.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Motoi Okamoto remembered his days alongside Shigeru Miyamoto while developing Pikmin. And according to him, the one and only creator of Zelda, Star Fox and F-Zero wanted Pikmin to be the next Mario. If you remember right, the GameCube never had a Mario nor Zelda for its launch. Luigi’s Mansion was in the first big titles released, and then came Pikmin, an original IP considered as Miyamoto’s “baby”. A baby that didn’t grow as much as Mario, but who’s made its way in the best-selling franchises of BigN. Okamoto also takes the time to think about what it could become in the future, and he emits some really interesting ideas.
“I understand what Miyamoto meant when he said ‘the next Mario is Pikmin’. Pikmin was his launch title for GameCube, and is now seen as one of his masterpieces. He’d created a great game with Mario, and was trying to again create the next big thing in games.
I think that the great maestro will continue to consider where his work will go. Due to the advancement of the technology and growth of the staff, his balance could lean towards something other than traditional video games. If he were to introduce the Physics Engine and Chemistry Engine of Zelda: Breath of the Wild into Pikmin, it could be reborn into a completely different game.” – Motoi Okamoto, former Nintendo EAD member